The Land Doesn’t Lie

The Land Doesn’t Lie

In a region where the art of lying and deceit has been raised to a level of expertise rarely seen in the world, where political leaders often mislead their people and retain power against all odds, the land doesn’t lie. Where religious leaders whip their followers into a fury and preach violence and death, the land continues to give silent testimony to the truth of the millenia. The land doesn’t lie.

On Har HaBayit today and yesterday, war rages. Even the name is at stake. In English, Har HaBayit means the mountain of the House, the House of God. More simply, we call it the Temple Mount because it is the mountain on which our ancestors built the first and second Temples.

Sacred to Jew, Christian and Muslim, Har HaBayit is essentially an open book. Studied by archeologists and historians, its history is written in each civilization layered deep into the soul and soil.  Geographically, the Arabs would have you believe a technically impossibility. They claim we are the occupiers of a land that shows its roots each time you dig. But the land doesn’t lie. This is our ancient homeland and our modern rebirth. It is their mosque built atop the ruins of our Temples. The land doesn’t lie.

Today is Yom Yerushalayim. Fifty-four years to the day that Jerusalem was reunited and returned from captivity. Ours again, ours forever. For 19 years, they held part of our city, the heart and symbol of what it is to be a Jew, the Temple Mount. They denied us any entrance after losing a war they started. For 19 years, they kept us away and when Israel reconquered and reunited Jerusalem, we made a huge mistake. What the western world would see as fairness, the Arab world saw as weakness.

Immediately, we offered religious freedom for all, or at least for most. While Muslims have full access and nearly full control, the State of Israel discriminates against Jews and Christians, limits their access and actions on the Temple Mount. Regularly, Jews are forbidden entrance. Of the 12 gates, 11 are for Muslims. Non-Muslims enter only through the Mughrabi Gate. And when Jews ascend, even whispering a prayer is forbidden. 

Not so long ago, the Arabs held the Old City, desecrated our cemeteries, and used the tomb stones to build walls and bathrooms. While falsely claiming that we persecute them, the reality shows that their “peaceful” prayers often end in attacks on civilians and security forces, rioting, and threatening calls for bloodshed. At least during the “holy” month of Ramadan. A trip to the Mount of Olives will show you the ruined tombstones. The land doesn’t lie. 

From our Temple Mount, from the heights and depths of that holy place, they continue to preach hatred. Hatred and lies. And the world is forever ready to condemn the Jew, to believe the worst. And, to be honest, the western world fears Islam and the violence that is rampant within their own countries, never mind what they bring to ours and so they choose to appease the violent one and turn away from the obvious chain of evidence. In the simplest of terms, the land doesn’t lie

Endlessly, the west fails to accept fundamental differences in culture and mindset. Even when these differences are not only proclaim by Arab leaders, but celebrated by them. It was Hassan Nasrallah who more than a decade ago confessed the eternal truth so well, “The Jews love life, so that is what we shall take away from them. We are going to win, because they love life and we love death.”

And so it is possible, in the month of Ramadan to count the bodies that pile up around the world. This year, terrorists opened fire on three young Jewish men. One murdered; another in critical condition. Endless stoning attacks throughout the country. And, as of this morning, hundreds of arson attacks burned over 5,000 dunams of land. Rocket fire last night, and again early early this morning, hundreds of thousands of people are under fire, rushing to bomb shelters. And terrorists launched explosive balloons into Israel, bringing devastation to a land they claim they love.

The land doesn't lie
Beeri Nature Reserve

Yesterday, explosive balloons landed in the Beeri Nature Reserve set it afire. It’s a beautiful area preserved for all, open to hiking, bicycling, and visitors coming to see the beautiful wild flowers growing there.

Where once beautiful flowers grew, today, the earth has been blackened and the smell of smoke permeates the area. You cannot deny their arson; the land doesn’t lie.

The land doesn't like - Beeri after arson attacks
Beeri Nature Reserve Today

Who will mourn for Beeri? Who will cry out in anger that once again the land and people of Israel are under attack? Not Washington, that once again demands our “restraint”. Not the Europeans. And not even some wise and alienated Jews in the United States who believe what our enemy wants them to believe.

After all these years, after all the lies, you would think they would awaken but inevitably the Arabs are portrayed as the under-dogs. Some say we should delay our celebrating our holiday because of theirs; that we should restrict our access to the holiest of places in deference to their demand that history be rewritten. Inevitably, what they miss is that appeasement will not lead to peace.

Whatever Ramadan is supposed to be, in Israel it is a time of hate and blood and violence. Last night, mobs rioted all over Israel, Arabs fired fireworks at buildings and people. Rocket fire. Arson attacks. Physical attacks on Jews caught in the open. Attacks on our soldiers and police. Violence and hatred. Ramadan.

Police Protecting Injured Motorist

So now, once again, we are there on the edge waiting to see what will happen this time. Whether Hamas will pull back and claim they want peace and Israel was the aggressor or decide they need a war to bolster their demand for power and elections.

Whether the Israeli political instability will pull us further down or perhaps worse, prevent us from a proper and firm response. We are caught in the eternal game of waiting to see whether “relative” calm returns or all-out war erupts. One missile aimed to well is enough, too much. All it takes is what they crave – death and blood and darkness.

Fifty-four years ago, our army placed Jerusalem back in our hands. It is time, good heavens, it is time for us to make it crystal clear. If Israel prevents Jews from ascending Har HaBayit, Arabs should be as well. If Arabs attack Jews in the streets of our country, let them know no rest.

Apparently, once again, yet again, it is time to make it very clear to our enemies that the choice is theirs. They can live with us in peace, or they will know no peace. Perhaps, they can choose violence and death but we will continue to choose life. They will not, ever, defeat us. We are stronger, in power, but more in spirit. Last night, as rioters raged, young Israelis unfurled a huge Israeli flag across the Kotel plaza area.Yom Yerushalayim Flag

As they surrounded the flag, music played in the background. “If I forget thee, oh Jerusalem”. Every day we fill the plaza and ascend to Har HaBayit, we promise we will not forget.

Today, as a tense Israel celebrates, there is a part of us that is waiting and another part that is promising.

Our Iron Dome will stop the rockets, our jets and tanks will respond, even if it means another war. Perhaps it has been too long and our enemies forgot that our sons and daughters protect us. From the land, and from the skies, and from the seas. Always, we will be the first to stand for peace but maybe, after all these years, we accept that war is inevitable and perhaps this time, we will take the decision from their hands.

In the street outside my house, an ambulance sits. Magen David Adom wants as many ambulances available as possible ready to move quickly if needed. And so my oldest son, an ambulance driver, once again volunteered. Police are everywhere in Jerusalem and elsewhere. Ready. Waiting. Prepared.

The Iron Dome protects our skies, but what our enemies forget time and time again, is that the real power of the State and People of Israel comes from Above, high Above even the Iron Dome’s range, the Guardian of Israel waits and watches.

One comment

  1. אסתר רביבו

    The land doesn’t lie, nor does Paula Stern. I pen this after a night of sirens but few in comparison to those suffered by my dear Ulpana colleagues and former pupils in Sderot. Hamas plays the foreign media for all it’s worth, for neither CNN, BBC, nor the NY Times made mention of the huge rocks waiting to be thrown from the mosque on Har Ha’Bayit. Neither was any mention made about the Tiktok Intifada. However, not only will we persevere, but we shall win in the end, Be’H. Firstly, for He above is watching out for us. And secondly, we are simply the most amazing people to populate this planet! The most saddening fact about these never-ending campaigns is that with each cease-fire the incredible unity among our nation disappears. Halevi that this mini-war puts an end to the incendiary balloons (which in Netivot have carried grenades near homes) and the ‘open season’ which allows rocketing of my area to be practically unnoticed unless a barrage reaches Beer Sheva, or in this instance, Yerushalayim. Bless you Paula for another stunning post!

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