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From the Temple Mount to Goldstone and Back

By Moshe Feiglin

The government is in disarray, frenetically trying to formulate a response to the Goldstone Report. Should Israel establish a commission of inquiry to deflect the danger of an international tribunal or should we do just the opposite and avoid opening a Pandora’s box? The Defense Minister opposes the inquiry – the Chief of Staff and the soldiers do not want to find themselves under interrogation on suspicion of war crimes. Other ministers are in favor; Dan Meridor (of course) Herzog and others explain that an Israeli inquiry will stave off international pressure. And Netanyahu, true to form, vacillates somewhere in the middle, establishes a committee to report on a commission of inquiry and attempts to give everyone what they are looking for.

But the real reason for the Goldstone Report is not the Cast Lead Operation. As such, Israel’s ability to deal with the report is not a question of inquiry into the fighting.

Leftist Ha’aretz journalist Ari Shavit came up with an excellent definition for the Goldstone Report. According to Shavit, it is the tip of the huge iceberg called loss of moral justification for the existence of a Jewish state:

“Under the calm waters upon which the Israeli luxury liner sails, lies an iceberg. The Goldstone Report was the first sighting of the iceberg. The Turks turning their backs on us was the second sighting. The pursuit of Israeli officers in Europe was the third sighting, the boycott of Israeli goods and companies in different places in the world the fourth sighting, the insensitivity to the fact that an atomic power  threatens to wipe Israel off the map is the fifth sighting of the iceberg. Every week, practically every day, the iceberg shows its face. And when we look carefully over the rail of the luxury liner, we can see the exact nature of the peeking iceberg. The iceberg is the loss of moral justification for the State of Israel.” (Ari Shavit, Ha’aretz, Oct. 15, ’09)

Ari Shavit has no doubt why we lost the moral justification for the very existence of a Jewish state on the face of the earth. The reason is the settlements, of course. When a person does not walk before G-d with simple sincerity, he can easily be drafted into the service of foreign gods. No historical or security facts will convince the Left to re-think its theories.

But at least our intelligentsia can define the problem and understand that we must deal with something far more serious than how our soldiers fought in Gaza. Our very right to Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel and essentially – the question of our being a nation and not just a religion – is on the line. And let there be no doubt: If we fail this test, the State of Israel will fall, G-d forbid. Because when a tree loses its roots and dries up, it will eventually fall over.

From where do we draw our moral justification? What is the point that, in its absence, our right to exist as a sovereign nation in our Land comes into question?

“He who rules the Mount rules the Land,” wrote the poet of rebuke and faith, Uri Tzvi Greenberg. When the State of Israel descended from the Temple Mount and gave it to the Moslem wakf immediately after its liberation, it charted the course to Goldstone. That is the core around which Shavit’s iceberg has crystallized.

The encouraging part of this story is that those who understand the source of the problem also know how to deal with the Goldstone Report. A commission of inquiry will not restore Israel’s moral justification. But a house of worship for Jews on the Temple Mount will.

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