外交官的國際新聞導覽及中東中亞的歷史故事 Diplomat's daily news review and history research on Middle East and Central Asia
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2021 年 7 月 27 日 14:38
突尼斯總統凱斯·賽義德在突尼斯首都突尼斯外的迦太基宮舉行的政府宣誓就職儀式上發表講話，突尼斯，2020 年 2 月 27 日
（照片來源：FETHI BELAID/POOL VIA REUTERS）
在經歷了十年艱難的穩定之後，突尼斯這個阿拉伯之春唯一的成功故事已經接近崩潰的邊緣。在周日晚上的公告中，突尼斯總統凱斯·賽義德 (Kais Saied) 推翻了政府，並將議會的活動凍結了 30 天。
在周一晚上的總統令中，賽義德加大了權力攫取力度，宣布從晚上 7 點到早上 6 點實行為期一個月的宵禁，並禁止在公共場所舉行三人以上的聚會。
賽義德的反對者很快將此舉稱為政變，是對該國脆弱民主的攻擊。突尼斯最大的政黨、溫和的伊斯蘭復興黨領袖兼議會議長 Rached Ghannouchi 說：“今天，我們目睹了憲法所涵蓋的政變企圖。憲法中沒有任何規定允許總統解散議會或行政部門。即使在緊急狀態下，議會也必須繼續開會。”
為了反對賽義德的舉動，Ghannouchi 與 Ennahda 的其他成員一起，試圖在周一進入議會召集反對這一舉動的會議。作為回應，駐紮在外面的軍隊阻止了他進入大樓。
賽義德在周日晚上的聲明中表示，他正在援引憲法第 80 條，該條允許總統“在迫在眉睫的危險情況下採取特殊措施”。
第 80 條規定，在援引任何緊急權力之前，必須諮詢議會議長和總理。然而，加努奇說，他沒有以議長身份徵求過他的意見。
根據該國 2014 年憲法，此舉的合法性應由該國憲法法院決定——但由於其成員的內部爭議，授權法院仍未成立。
突尼斯是十年前阿拉伯之春唯一的成功故事。該國在 Mohamed Bouazizi 於 2010 年底自焚後發起了這場運動，並於 2011 年罷免了總統 Zine El Abidine Ben Ali。從那時起，該國一直處於搖搖欲墜但相對穩定的民主制度下。最近的政府是在 2019 年的全民投票中選出的。
然而，這個非洲最北端的國家最近捲入了由大流行和經濟困境引起的問題。今年夏天，COVID 發病率飆升，這是自大流行開始以來最嚴重的一次。根據衛生部的數據，只有 7% 的人口接種了全面疫苗，但 90% 以上的 ICU 床位都被佔用。大流行也影響了經濟，失業率和腐敗現像不斷上升。
作為對賽義德週一晚間宣布的回應，全國各地城市的街道上擠滿了人群。人們無視冠狀病毒的宵禁，可以看到人們在街上歡呼、按喇叭並在令人回憶起 2011 年革命的場景中燃放煙花。
只有土耳其發表了譴責，總統雷傑普·塔伊普·埃爾多安（Recep Tayyip Erdoğan）所在政黨的發言人厄梅爾·切利克（Ömer Çelik）在推特上說：“那些對兄弟的突尼斯人民做這種惡行的人正在傷害自己的國家。突尼斯人民有機會和經驗以團結和團結克服當前的危機。這只有在立即恢復憲法秩序的情況下才有可能。”
Tunisia on the brink of collapse as president dissolves government
“We have taken these decisions… until social peace returns to Tunisia and until we save the state,” Tunisian President Kais Saied said, promising that these were only “temporary measures.”
By LAUREN MORGANBESSER
JULY 27, 2021 14:38
Tunisia's President Kais Saied gives a speech at the government's swearing-in ceremony at the Carthage Palace outside the capital Tunis, Tunisia February 27, 2020
(photo credit: FETHI BELAID/POOL VIA REUTERS)
After a decade of rocky stability, Tunisia, the Arab Spring’s lone success story, is nearing the brink of collapse. In an announcement Sunday night, Tunisian President Kais Saied ousted the government and froze the activities of parliament for thirty days.
“We have taken these decisions… until social peace returns to Tunisia and until we save the state,” Saied said in a televised speech, promising that these were only “temporary measures.”
In a Monday night presidential order, Saied doubled down on his power grab, announcing a month-long curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and a ban on gatherings of more than three people in public places.
Saied’s opponents quickly labeled the move as a coup and an assault on the country’s fragile democracy. Rached Ghannouchi, leader of Tunisia’s biggest political party the moderate Islamist Ennahda and parliament speaker, spoke out: “Today we are witnessing a coup attempt covered with the constitution. Nothing in the constitution allows the president to dissolve the parliament or the executive. Even under a state of emergency, the parliament has to remain in session.”
To oppose Saied’s move, Ghannouchi, along with other members of Ennahda, tried to get into parliament Monday to call a session against the move. In response, the army that was stationed outside blocked him from entering the building.
In his statement Sunday night, Saied said he was invoking Article 80 of the constitution, which allows the president to take “exceptional measures in the event of imminent danger.”
Article 80 says that the parliament speaker and prime minister must be consulted before any emergency powers are invoked. However, Ghannouchi said he was not consulted in his capacity as speaker of parliament.
According to the country’s 2014 constitution, the legality of the move should be decided by the country’s constitutional court – but the mandated court has still not been formed due to internal disputes regarding its members.
Ousted Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi issued a statement late Monday night, almost a day after the power grab was announced, saying that he would hand power to the person chosen by the president.
“Therefore, in a sense of keenness to avoid the country [having] further congestion at a time when it most needs to join forces to get out of the crisis situation it lives [with] on all levels… I declare that I am lining up as I have always been [doing] alongside our people and their entitlements and declaring that I do not hold any position or responsibility in the state,” Mechichi said.
TUNISIA STANDS as the lone success story of the Arab Spring a decade ago. The country inaugurated the movement after the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in late 2010, and ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011. Since then, the country has existed under a shaky but relatively stable democracy. The most recent government was elected in a popular vote in 2019.
However, the northernmost African country has recently been embroiled with problems caused by the pandemic and economic woes. COVID rates have skyrocketed this summer, the worst since the pandemic began. According to health ministry figures, only 7% of the population is fully vaccinated, but more than 90% of ICU beds are occupied. The pandemic has also impacted the economy, with burgeoning rates of unemployment and perceived corruption.
In response to Saied’s announcement Monday night, crowds of people flooded the streets in cities around the country. Defying the coronavirus curfew, people could be seen cheering in the street, honking horns and setting off fireworks in scenes that recalled the 2011 revolution.
Saied warned against violent response, saying that “I warn any who think of resorting to weapons… and whoever shoots a bullet, the armed forces will respond with bullets.”
Al Jazeera tweeted that their offices were stormed in the capital, with security forces expelling their journalists. In a statement, the Qatari news agency said it views the raid as “an attack on press freedom.”
The response from the international community has been muted and cautious. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted Monday that he had a “good phone call” with Saied, and State Department deputy spokesperson Ned Price said in a press statement that the US is “closely monitoring developments in Tunisia.”
“Tunisia must not squander its democratic gains. The United States will continue to stand on the side of Tunisia’s democracy,” the statement said.
The UN’s response was similarly cautious, with a spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guetteres calling on all parties “to exercise restraint, refrain from violence and ensure that the situation remains calm.”
Only Turkey issued a condemnation, with Ömer Çelik, the spokesperson for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s party, tweeting that “Those who do this evil to the brotherly Tunisian people are harming their own country. Tunisian people have the opportunity and experience to overcome the current crisis in unity and solidarity. This is only possible with an immediate return to the constitutional order.”
中國核電站將在法國關閉 - 共同擁有者
該聲明是在 EDF 警告台山核電站“迫在眉睫的放射性威脅”之後一個月發布的。
2021 年 7 月 27 日 09:36
2013 年 10 月 17 日，廣東省台山市，工人們（下）站在核反應堆前，台山核電站是在建的台山核電站的一部分。
台山核電站的共同所有者法國電力公司 (EDF) 於 6 月表示，1 號核反應堆出現惰性氣體積聚，並補充說這是“已知現象，研究並提供因為在反應堆操作程序中。”
EDF 擁有 TNPJVC 30% 的股份。其餘 70% 由中國廣核集團 (CGN) 持有。
儘管聲明如果該工廠在法國，它將關閉該工廠，但 EDF 補充說，泰山的放射化學參數仍低於該工廠實施的監管閾值，並表示這與國際慣例一致。
今年 6 月，CNN 報導稱，EDF 已致函美國能源部，警告稱中國安全部門正在提高廣東省工廠外輻射檢測的可接受限值，以避免將其關閉。
國際原子能機構 (IAEA) 在 6 月份報告稱，CAEA 已更新稱，該工廠處於“正常狀態，運行安全得到保證”。CAEA 補充說，該反應堆發生了“輕微的燃料棒包殼故障”，導致該裝置主反應堆冷卻劑中的放射性增加，並稱這是該工廠的“普遍現象”。
據自由亞洲電台報導，法國電力公司在 2016 年警告說，在測試由法國核公司阿海琺設計的歐洲加壓反應堆 (EPR) 期間出現了設計缺陷，這些反應堆在台山工廠使用。據自由亞洲電台稱，台山儲存的放射性核燃料量是日本福島核電站儲存量的三倍。
工程師兼可持續發展活動家 Albert Lai 在 2016 年告訴自由亞洲電台：“存在太多信任問題，很多人現在認為這座核電站的質量控制低於標準。而且，問題更加嚴重。”比我們想像的要好。”
其他國家/地區的 EPR 由於一系列缺陷而遭受多次延誤，包括擔心它們可能在操作過程中破裂。
台山EPR是第一個進入商業運營的。然而，根據香港自由新聞社 2018 年的一份報告，就在它投入運行前一周，中國國家核安全局 (NNSA) 確定了該反應堆的“六大問題”。
據新聞網站報導，在反應堆開始運行之前，還報告了許多其他問題，國家核安全局指出台山有 20 個需要改進的地方，包括由於焊接缺陷而需要經常維修的管道。
Chinese nuclear power plant would have been shut down in France - co-owner
The statement comes a month after EDF warned of an "imminent radiological threat" at the Taishan nuclear power plant.
By TZVI JOFFRE
JULY 27, 2021 09:36
Workers (bottom) stand in front of a nuclear reactor as part of the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant seen under construction in Taishan, Guangdong province, October 17, 2013.
(photo credit: BOBBY YIP/ REUTERS)
China's Taishan nuclear power plant would have already been shut down in France, the French company that helps operate it announced on Thursday, a month after it warned of an "imminent radiological threat" at the site.
Électricité de France (EDF), which is a co-owner of the Taishan plant, stated in June that there was a build-up of noble gases at nuclear reactor No. 1, adding that it was a "known phenomenon, studied and provided for in the reactor operating procedures."
CNN reported at the time that the reactor is leaking fission gas, adding that EDF had warned in a letter that the Chinese safety authority has raised regulator "off-site dose limits."
On Thursday, EDF announced in a press release that analysis of the loss of fuel rod sealing at the site indicates that the situation is "evolving."
The company stressed that, in France, it would have shut down the reactor "in order to accurately assess the situation in progress and stop its development," although it did not directly call on China to shut down the Taishan plant. The press release stated that the relevant decisions at Taishan belong to Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture Co. (TNPJVC).
EDF owns 30% of TNPJVC. The other 70% is owned by China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN).
Despite the statement that it would have shut down the plant if it was in France, EDF added that the radiochemical parameters at Taishan are still below regulatory thresholds in force at the plant, which it said are consistent with international practices.
In June, CNN reported that EDF had sent a letter to the US Department of Energy warning that the Chinese safety authority was raising the acceptable limits for radiation detection outside the plant in Guangdong province in order to avoid shutting it down.
A source told the news channel at the time that the Biden administration believes the power plant is not yet at a "crisis level." If there is any risk to the Chinese public, the US would be required to make it known under current treaties related to nuclear accidents.
Framatome, a nuclear reactor company owned by EDF, reached out to the US in order to obtain a waiver that would let them share American technical assistance in order to resolve the issue. The waiver can only be granted for two reasons, one of which is an "imminent radiological threat."
China has denied that there is a leak at the Taishan plant or that it has raised the acceptable limits for radiation detection. China's Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) has reported that continuous environmental radiation monitoring confirmed that there has been no radiation release and there is no environmental concern.
THE INTERNATIONAL Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported in June that CAEA had updated it that the plant was in "normal condition and that operational safety is guaranteed." The CAEA added that the reactor had experienced a "minor fuel rod cladding failure" which caused increased radioactivity in the unit's primary reactor coolant, saying that this is a "common phenomenon" at the plant.
The IAEA explained that while such failures result in an increase in radioactivity of reactor coolant, the reactor can continue to operate safely as long as levels remain within the normal range of operation. Such failures are a "known and not uncommon occurrence," according to the agency.
This isn't the first time that concerns surrounding the Taishan plant have been raised.
EDF warned in 2016 that design flaws emerged during testing of the European pressurized reactors (EPR) designed by French nuclear firm Areva, which are used at the Taishan plant, according to Radio Free Asia. The amount of radioactive nuclear fuel stored at Taishan is three times of what was stored at the Fukushima plant in Japan, according to RFA.
"There have been so many trust issues, that a lot of people now believe that quality control at this nuclear power plant is below standard," engineer and sustainability campaigner Albert Lai told RFA in 2016. "What's more, the problems are much more serious than we thought they were."
EPRs in other countries have suffered from numerous delays due to a slew of defects, including concerns that they could crack during operation.
The EPR at Taishan was the first one to enter commercial operation. Just a week before it entered operation, however, China’s National Nuclear Safety Administration (NNSA) identified "six major issues" in the reactor, according to a report by the Hong Kong Free Press in 2018.
A number of other issues were reported with the reactor before it began operation, with the NNSA pointing to 20 areas for improvement at Taishan, including pipelines that required frequent repairs due to welding defects, according to the news website.
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.
2021 年 7 月 27 日 22:17
視頻顯示，自由愛國運動議員 Ibrahim Kanaan 和前真主黨議員 Nawwar Al-Sahili 帶著他們衣著奢華的女兒走在過道上，狂歡者享用酒精飲料和豪華餐點，包括鮭魚和松露。
“這些是我們的代表和部長的孩子。至於我們的兒子，他們從他們的國家移民出來，以尋求他們在他們的國家被剝奪的生計和尊嚴，”黎巴嫩歌手 Amal Hijazi 在 Twitter 上回應婚禮時寫道。“祝賀真主黨副手 Nawar Al-Sahili 的女兒。”
“前真主黨副手 Nawar al-Sahili 在 2018 年任期結束時告訴 [真主黨附屬電視台] Al-Manar，他將繼續在真主黨工作，並希望成為一個‘簡單的聖戰者（聖戰者）’在聖戰者的道路上，”黎巴嫩記者 Diana Moukalled 在推特上寫道。“而今天，納斯魯拉為克服崩潰而發明的‘耐心和洞察力’之路最終以他女兒的傳奇婚禮而告終。”
一些社交媒體用戶表達了對 Sahili 的支持，強調他沒有為婚禮買單，如果可以的話，他女兒有權擁有一個愉快的婚禮。
據阿拉伯新聞報導，根據危機觀察站最近的一份報告，基本食品的價格在不到一個月的時間裡上漲了一半以上，自 2019 年以來上漲了 700% 以上，服裝已成為一種奢侈品。報告稱，截至 7 月上半月，一個五口之家每月在食品上的支出超過 350 萬黎巴嫩鎊（2,300 美元）。這大約是最低工資的五倍，即 675,000 英鎊（450 美元）。
As Lebanon collapses, Hezbollah members enjoy extravagant weddings
Social media users expressed outrage at the lavish events that took place despite the extreme conditions much of Lebanon is facing as part of the country's economic crisis.
By TZVI JOFFRE
JULY 27, 2021 22:17
A couple prepares to pose for their wedding photos, near the Raouche Rocks in Beirut, Lebanon
(photo credit: REUTERS/HANNAH MCKAY)
Lebanese citizens expressed outrage in recent days after pictures and video from the lavish weddings of the daughters of two Hezbollah-affiliated politicians were leaked on social media, showing the politicians celebrating in style while most of Lebanon is suffering the effects of a worsening economic crisis.
Video showed Free Patriotic Movement MP Ibrahim Kanaan and former Hezbollah MP Nawwar Al-Sahili walking their extravagantly dressed daughters down the aisle and revelers enjoying alcoholic beverages and luxurious meals, including salmon and truffles.
The FPM, of which President Michel Aoun is a founding member, is a Christian party allied with Hezbollah.
Social media users expressed outrage at the lavish events that took place despite the extreme conditions much of Lebanon is facing as part of its worsening economic crisis, with many mocking Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah by referencing his past statements calling on his supporters to be patient and sacrifice.
"These are the children of our representatives and ministers. As for our sons, they emigrated from their country in pursuit of a livelihood and dignity that they were denied in their country," wrote Lebanese singer Amal Hijazi on Twitter in response to the wedding. "Congratulations to the daughter of the Hezbollah deputy Nawar Al-Sahili."
"Former Hezbollah deputy Nawar al-Sahili, at the end of his term in 2018, told [the Hezbollah-affiliated television station] Al-Manar that he would continue his work in Hezbollah and hoped to be a 'simple mujahid (jihadist)' in the mujahideen's path," wrote Lebanese journalist Diana Moukalled on Twitter. "And today, the path of 'patience and insight' that Nasrallah invented to overcome the collapse culminates with a legendary wedding for his daughter."
Some social media users expressed support for Sahili, stressing that he didn't pay for the wedding and that it was his daughter's right to have an enjoyable wedding if she could.
Sahili published an apology on Twitter after the uproar, saying that he "did not realize that it would cause harm" and for the "unintended offense" to the Hezbollah Party, adding that he would be suspending all of his activity in the party until the Hezbollah leadership makes a decision concerning the issue.
Many Lebanese citizens are struggling to make ends meet as the crisis in the country deepens. Basic services, such as the power grid, are quickly collapsing, with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warning on Friday that most water pumping in the country will likely cease in the next four to six weeks.
The price of basic food items has increased by more than half in less than a month and over 700% since 2019, and clothing has become a luxury, according to a recent report by the Crisis Observatory, Arab News reported. A family of five was spending over 3.5 million Lebanese pounds ($2,300) on food per month as of the first half of July, according to the report. That's about five times the minimum wage, which stands at 675,000 pounds ($450).
2021 年 7 月 27 日 18:02
2021 年 7 月 26 日，領先的商人納吉布·米卡蒂 (Najib Mikati) 在黎巴嫩巴卜達的總統府做手勢。
這位億萬富翁將成為自一年前貝魯特港爆炸造成 200 多人死亡並迫使哈桑·迪亞布辭職以來第三位嘗試這項工作的政治家。
米卡蒂是黎巴嫩首富，曾兩次擔任總理，現在面臨著幾乎不可能的組建政府的任務。他於週二開始與政黨協商，在哈里裡在 10 個月後放棄後，開始了一項沒有憲法截止日期的任務。
將這些不同的派系合併為一個政府是不小的挑戰，而 Mikati 的繼任者發現這是不可能的。
米卡蒂的第二個任務在於經濟形勢。自 2019 年底以來，該國經歷了金融危機。世界銀行將該國的局勢描述為 19 世紀中葉以來世界上最嚴重的危機之一。
黎巴嫩的貨幣貶值了 90% 以上，一半的人口生活在貧困線以下。該國面臨嚴重的燃料短缺以及食品、水和藥品短缺。
對 Mikati 的樂觀在於他的經歷。在薩阿德·哈里裡 (Saad Hariri) 的父親拉菲克·哈里裡 (Rafik Hariri) 被暗殺後，他曾於 2005 年擔任看守總理，並於 2011 年和 2013 年至 2014 年擔任總理。他的整個政治生涯還曾在三個不同的內閣任職。
週一，米卡蒂在議會的 118 票中獲得了 72 票，以擔任該職位。他得到了真主黨的提名和哈里裡的支持，得到了該國許多團體的支持。
What does the new prime minister designate mean for Lebanon? – analysis
Mikati is Lebanon's richest man and was prime minister twice before, but now he faces two troublesome tasks: stymying political gridlock and fixing the disastrous economic situation.
By LAUREN MORGANBESSER
JULY 27, 2021 18:02
Leading businessman Najib Mikati gestures at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon July 26, 2021.
(photo credit: MOHAMED AZAKIR/REUTERS)
After almost two weeks of political free fall following the resignation of caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri, the Lebanese parliament on Monday designated Najib Mikati to form a government.
The billionaire will be the third politician to attempt the job since the explosion at the Port of Beirut a year ago that killed more than 200 people and forced the resignation of Hassan Diab.
Mikati, who is Lebanon’s richest man and formerly the prime minister twice, is now faced with the near-impossible task of forming a government. He began consultations with political parties on Tuesday, setting off on a task with no constitutional deadline after Hariri gave up after 10 months.
However, Mikati faces two troublesome tasks: stymieing political gridlock and fixing the disastrous economic situation.
The first task lies in the chaotic political situation. Political parties are deeply divided, especially along religious lines. The structure of the government itself intensifies this disunity, as positions are allocated by religious affiliation. Under the National Pact, the president of the country must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister must be Sunni, and the speaker of parliament must be Shi’ite.
Hezbollah further complicates the situation. The Iranian-backed Shi’ite group is both a major political party and militant group that is a political heavyweight in the country, earning it the reputation of being a “state within a state.” Its military adventurism across the region and its significant political power makes its support integral to any major decisions in the country.
Bringing together these different factions into one government is no small challenge, and Mikati’s successors have found it to be impossible.
Mikati’s second task lies in the economic situation. Since late 2019, the country has experienced a financial meltdown. The World Bank has described the situation in the country as one of the world’s worst crises since the mid-19th century.
Lebanon’s currency has lost more than 90% of its value, and half of the population is living below the poverty line. The country suffers from severe fuel shortages, as well as food, water and medicine scarcities.
Protests against the government appear to be near-permanent features in the country, including riots at gas stations and grocery stores in response to shortages.
To unlock much-needed international aid, Mikati needs to reform both its economic and political landscapes. The international community has signaled to Lebanon that aid is conditional on reforms that fight rampant corruption and mismanagement.
Part of Mikati’s charge also lies in resumption of talks with the International Monetary Fund for an emergency loan, which requires formation of a government.
Is Mikati a consensus candidate capable of easing deadlock? Or, as his critics proclaim, is he just an extension of the blinded and inept political elite?
Optimism toward Mikati lies in his experience. He previously served as caretaker prime minister in 2005 after the assassination of Rafik Hariri, Saad Hariri’s father, as well as prime minister in 2011 and from 2013 to 2014. He has also served in three different cabinets throughout his political career.
On Monday, Mikati received 72 votes out of 118 in parliament to assume the position. He was nominated by Hezbollah and endorsed by Hariri, garnering support from many groups in the country.
“Today, with signs that hint at the possibility of forming a government… we named Mikati to give an extra boost to facilitate forming a government,” the leader of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc, Mohammad Raad, told reporters.
However, Mikati was not supported by all parliamentary factions. Importantly, he faced opposition from the two major Christian political parties, including the Free Patriotic Movement, President Michel Aoun’s party.
A positive relationship with the Christians, especially with Aoun, could make or break a new government. Hariri failed his mandate to form a government after a struggle with Aoun over cabinet positions that eventually reached a deadlock. To succeed, Mikati will need to gain the favor of Aoun, or at least convince him to put aside misgivings to move the country forward.
Mikati’s ascension to power was met by skepticism by opponents. Critics say he is part of the incompetent political class. In late 2019, Lebanese citizens brought charges against him for illicit profiteering on state-subsidized housing loans, an allegation he denied. However, on Monday evening, his house was surrounded by protesters accusing him of corruption.
The future of Lebanon remains uncertain, especially with Mikati at the helm. For him to be successful, he must overcome significant barriers both politically and economically and bring together a deeply fractured and hurting country. He must also prove critics wrong, showing that his political experience will serve the people instead of further entrenching inefficiencies and corruption.
Mikati’s challenges are clear, but he must stand apart from other politicians to usher in a new future for the sake of the Lebanese people.
約旦挫敗殺害以色列國防軍士兵的陰謀 - 報告
四名 ISIS 恐怖分子於 2 月因計劃在 Ghor es-Safi 地區發生的襲擊而被捕。
2021 年 7 月 27 日 16:50
10 月 22 日，從以色列一側看到，一名以色列國防軍士兵在 Naharayim 的以色列和約旦邊境地區巡邏。
約旦報紙 Al-Rai 週二報導稱，約旦挫敗了 ISIS（伊拉克和敘利亞伊斯蘭國）恐怖分子在以色列邊境附近殺害以色列國防軍士兵的企圖。
報告稱，四名恐怖分子於 2 月因計劃中的襲擊而被捕，襲擊本應發生在約旦河谷的 Ghor es-Safi 地區。
Ghor es-Safi 位於Karak 和Tafilah 省之間，靠近死海南部。
Jordan foils plot to kill IDF soldiers - report
Four ISIS terrorists were arrested in February in connection with the planned attack, which was supposed to take place in the Ghor es-Safi area.
JULY 27, 2021 16:50
AN IDF soldier patrols the border area between Israel and Jordan at Naharayim, as seen from the Israeli side on October 22.
(photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)
Jordan has thwarted an attempt by ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) terrorists to kill IDF soldiers near the border with Israel, the Jordanian newspaper Al-Rai reported Tuesday.
Four terrorists were arrested in February in connection with the planned attack, which was supposed to take place in the Ghor es-Safi area in the Jordan Valley, the report said.
Ghor es-Safi is situated between the governorates of Karak and Tafilah, near the southern Dead Sea.
The four have been charged with conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks and promoting the ideology of a terrorist group, according to a charge sheet prepared by Jordanian prosecutors.
Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate succeeded in laying its hands on the terrorists before they carried out the attack. The first suspect was arrested late last year.
The terrorists planned to first attack Jordanian soldiers near the border with Israel before reaching IDF soldiers and killing them, according to the charge sheet, the report said.
2021 年 7 月 27 日 12:42
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Abdulrahman al-Heidari 是反對黨阿瓦士愛國阿拉伯民主運動的發言人，總部設在英國，但與胡齊斯坦省的人們保持密切和持續的聯繫，他將他們的名字更正為阿拉伯語“al-Ahwaz”在接受媒體專線採訪時。他告訴媒體專線，人們開始抗議是因為他們沒有足夠的水喝，也沒有足夠的水給他們的牲畜，但“水只是一個觸發因素……阿瓦茲人民長期以來一直受到伊朗政策的影響，因為超過九個十年。”
“目前，al-Ahwaz 地區已經完全乾涸，甚至沒有足夠的水飲用，更不用說成千上萬的牲畜、鳥類和魚類死亡，以及導致乾涸的 Karkheh 河的排水。在哈維澤沼澤之上，”聯合國教科文組織世界遺產，Al-Ahwaz 自由黨創始人 Hamid Mtasher 告訴媒體專線。“今天，我們的人民依賴瓶裝水，許多村莊因乾旱而無人居住和遷移到城市。” Mtasher 說他的信息是基於與該地區內部消息來源的不斷溝通。他希望他的位置保持未公開。
總部設在英國的反對派阿瓦茲人權中心執行主任費薩爾·馬拉馬齊告訴媒體專線，“到目前為止，我們已經逮捕了 1,500 多人，我們有 150 多人受傷，……到目前為止，已有 14 多人死亡。 ” Maramazi 描述了大規模逮捕阿瓦茲阿拉伯人的現實，因為政府部隊“一家一家，一家一家”搬家。他說，這些鎮壓行動導致抗議活動相對放緩。
伊朗外交部發言人賽義德·哈蒂布扎德（Saeed Khatibzadeh）在推特上發文稱，“專員關於#huzestan 省最近發生的事件的聲明令人遺憾，稱其完全無效，並帶有虛假指控和不正確信息”。
Maramazi 和 Heidari 都說，Ahwazi 阿拉伯人認為水危機是德黑蘭有意使阿拉伯少數民族流離失所的政策的結果。“阿瓦茲人認為，阿瓦茲的這場水危機是有意為之，目的是改變阿瓦茲的人口結構，將阿瓦茲人從胡齊斯坦和伊朗其他省份強行遷移到伊朗其他中心城市，”馬拉馬齊說。
Ultimately, said Maramazi, "Ahwazis, they don’t see themselves as Iranian, they want their self-determination, and they want their independence from Iran." This goal was echoed by Mtasher, which said that the protests are – among other goals –intended to send this message to Iran: "We demand that they leave our lands and let us live in peace."
然而，特拉維夫大學國家安全研究所的伊朗專家Raz Zimmt 博士認為，種族分歧遠不是抗議活動的核心。“這些抗議活動的背景非常清楚缺水，”齊姆特告訴媒體專線。然而，他補充道，“胡齊斯坦省除了水、[問題] 貧困和經濟匱乏、失業和沙塵暴、電力供應問題之外，還有很多問題，所以很明顯你不能說他們走上街頭只是因為缺水，即使那是促使他們退出的催化劑。”
Zimmt 解釋說，整個伊朗都面臨著供水問題，但由於一些原因，胡齊斯坦是一個特例。首先，“它是伊朗最熱的地區，也是最容易發生乾旱的地區。” Zimmt 說，第二個原因是伊朗對水和農業的管理不善。“例如，過度築壩。多年來建造了許多大壩，這導致生態破壞和[水]短缺，”他說。此外，胡齊斯坦是一個盛產石油的地區，Zimmt 表示，石油工業是一個特別耗水的企業。所有人都聯合起來否認胡齊斯坦或 al-Ahwaz 的居民有穩定的水供應。
Heidari 同意抗議活動中的大部分口號都圍繞著水展開。然而，他指出，示威者用阿拉伯語表達了他們為 al-Ahwaz 獻出生命的意願。他表示，這表明願望比解決水危機更重要。
然而，全國各地的起義表明，表面下正在醞釀著更深層次的麻煩，這可能對政權構成威脅。示威活動最近每隔幾年就會震撼伊朗，Zimmt 說，“毫無疑問，這些抗議浪潮是由未滿足的需求引發的，無論是經濟需求，還是與基礎設施問題相關的需求。” 他解釋說，德黑蘭政權沒有辦法解決這些問題，“因為它們需要大量資源，而它們目前沒有，它們需要改革。”
Iran's water shortage protests might pose future trouble - analysis
The uprising throughout the country is an indication of a deeper trouble brewing under the surface, which may yet pose a danger to the regime.
By DANIEL SONNENFELD/THE MEDIA LINE
JULY 27, 2021 12:42
The dried-up Karkheh River in the Khuzestan province in southwest Iran.
(photo credit: HAMID MTASHER)
Protests are raging on the streets of Khuzestan, an Iranian province in the country's southwest, which is home to most of Iran’s Arab Ahwaz minority and has seen many waves of demonstrations in the past. Protests erupted on July 15 in response to a severe water shortage causing suffering for the province's residents. Since then, demonstrations have spread outside the region and, on Monday, people reportedly marched in the streets of the capital, Tehran.
For more stories from The Media Line go to themedialine.org
Abdulrahman al-Heidari, spokesperson for the Patriotic Arab Democratic Movement in Ahwaz, an opposition party, is based in the United Kingdom but keeps in close and constant touch with people in Khuzestan province, whose name he corrects to the Arabic “al-Ahwaz” in an interview with The Media Line. People began to protest because they did not have enough water to drink, or to give to their livestock, he told The Media Line, but "water was just a trigger… Ahwazi people have been suffering from the Iranian policy for a long time, for longer than nine decades."
Heidari explains that decades of diverting water from Khuzestan has impacted its rivers and shrunk its marshlands, which fed thousands of people. This forced farmers to forsake their villages, where they could no longer sustain themselves, and migrate to the cities.
"At present, the al-Ahwaz region is completely dried up and there is not enough water for drinking even, not to mention the death of thousands of livestock animals, birds and fish, and the draining of the Karkheh River which led to the drying up of the Hawizeh marshes,” a UNESCO world heritage site, Hamid Mtasher, founder of the Al-Ahwaz Liberal Party, told The Media Line. "Today, our people depend on bottled water and many villages have become empty of residents due to drought and migration to the city." Mtasher said his information is based on constant communication with sources inside the region. He preferred that his location remain unpublished.
Iranian authorities responded to the protests with a heavy hand. Live ammunition was used in efforts to quell the protests, Amnesty International confirmed on Friday. "Iran’s security forces have deployed unlawful force, including by firing live ammunition and birdshot, to crush mostly peaceful protests taking place across the southern province of Khuzestan," the organization's statement read. At the time, Amnesty confirmed that at least eight demonstrators and bystanders had been killed.
Faisal Maramazi, executive director of the opposition Ahwazi Centre for Human Rights, based in the UK, told The Media Line that "so far we have more than 1,500 arrests, we have more than 150 injured and … more than 14 people dead so far." Maramazi described a reality of mass arrests of Ahwazi Arabs as government forces move "family by family, house by house." These repressive actions, he said, have caused a relative slowing down of the protests.
"We are asking the international community to take action, to take urgent action to support the innocent people, they need to be supported. If we leave them there, ignored, they will be killed," Heidari said.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet responded to the events on Friday, and called on Tehran to solve the water crisis, instead of "using excessive force and widespread arrests to crush the protests about the situation."
The Iranian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh "described the commissioner's statement on the recent events in #huzestan province as regrettable, saying it was totally invalid and tainted with false accusations and incorrect information," the Iranian Foreign Ministry tweeted.
The Islamic Republic's state media claimed that only four people were killed in the protests, one a police officer, when it reported on the events in Khuzestan. However, the report blamed agitators for shooting into the crowd and at security forces.
Both Maramazi and Heidari say that Ahwazi Arabs see the water crisis as a result of an intentional policy of Tehran intended to bring about the displacement of the Arab minority. "Ahwazis believe that this water crisis in al-Ahwaz is intentional, to change the demographic in al-Ahwaz, to forcibly migrate [the] Ahwazi people from Khuzestan and other provinces in Iran to other Iranian central cities," Maramazi said.
A long list of grievances, which include displacement, government-generated poverty and unemployment, have led the Ahwazis to rise up, say the activists, and the dire water shortage was just the last straw.
Ultimately, said Maramazi, "Ahwazis, they don’t see themselves as Iranian, they want their self-determination, and they want their independence from Iran." This goal was echoed by Mtasher, which said that the protests are – among other goals –intended to send this message to Iran: "We demand that they leave our lands and let us live in peace."
However, Dr. Raz Zimmt, an Iran expert at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University, believes that ethnic divides are far from central to the protests. "These protests have the water shortage very clearly as their background," Zimmt told The Media Line. However, he adds, "Khuzestan is a province with a lot of issues apart from water, [problems] of poverty and economic deprivation, of unemployment and sandstorms, problems with the electrical supply, so it is clear that you can't say that they took to the streets only because of the water shortage, even if that was the catalyst that drew them out."
Zimmt explains that Iran in its entirety is suffering from issues with the water supply, but that Khuzestan is a special case, for a few reasons. First, "it is the hottest area in Iran, and the one most prone to droughts." A second reason is the poor management of water and agriculture in Iran, Zimmt said. "For example, over-damming. Many dams were built over the years, and this leads to ecological damage and a [water] shortage," he said. In addition, Khuzestan is a region rich with oil, and Zimmt says that the oil industry is an especially water-thirsty enterprise. All have combined to deny the residents of Khuzestan, or al-Ahwaz, a stable supply of water.
The Iran expert doesn't deny that minorities in Iran – including the Ahwazi Arabs – suffer from discrimination but suggests that this has a lot to do with their geographical placement, on the country’s periphery. Make a list of Iran's minorities and their homelands and it will be a list of the country’s border provinces. However, this does not mean that separatist movements among Iran's minorities reign supreme. Activists for Ahwazi independence may be using the current crisis to further their position, but they do not reflect aspirations on the ground, Zimmt says.
Heidari agrees that much of the chanting in the protests revolves around water. However, he points to calls in Arabic in which demonstrators express their will to sacrifice their lives for the sake of al-Ahwaz. This indicates aspirations more significant than solving the water crisis, he suggests.
There has been much talk in recent years of the Islamic regime in Iran and its survival. Months of talks regarding a return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the nuclear deal signed between Iran and the world powers, have failed to bring relief from crippling sanctions imposed on the Iranian economy. Zimmt, however, stresses that the protests "most certainly do not pose a threat," at their current scale. "These are relatively minor demonstrations … the regime will have no issues dealing with them," he said.
Yet, the uprising throughout the country is an indication of a deeper trouble brewing under the surface, which may yet pose a danger to the regime. Demonstrations have rocked Iran every few years recently and, Zimmt said, "without a doubt, these are protest waves fed by unmet needs, either economic, or relating to infrastructure issues." The regime in Tehran doesn't have a way to resolve these issues, he explains, "because they require a lot of resources, which they don't have at present, and they require reforms."
With these issues currently unresolvable, protests can be expected to occur again and again, with indeterminate results.
2021 年 7 月 27 日 11:57
Hamdam (Companion) 由國家附屬的伊斯蘭文化機構開發，要求用戶驗證他們的身份，進行心理兼容性測試，並為尋求婚姻伴侶的年輕單身人士提供建議。
據半官方通訊社 Fars 報導，該應用程序為準夫婦及其家人提供匹配和諮詢服務，並在婚後四年與他們保持聯繫。
自該應用程序推出以來，約有 15 萬人安裝了它，但迄今為止只有 6,500 名用戶通過了驗證。
該應用程序是對 2015 年推出的 Tebyan 婚介網站的更新。截至兩個月前，約有 87,000 人註冊到該系統，該網站成功安排了約 3,700 場婚姻。在網站上，申請人需要填寫註冊表，提供兩次心理測試和文件，並進行面對面的面試。該網站在兩個月前關閉，為推出 Hamdam 做準備。
應用程序主管 Zohreh Sadat Hosseini 告訴法爾斯通訊社，它的目標是“確保年輕人能夠在最短的時間內，以科學和有計劃的方式，在家人的支持和監督下，找到合適的伴侶。”
據伊朗媒體報導，在伊朗婦女的生育率在過去四年中下降了 25% 之後，官員們擔心伊朗的人口可能在 20 年內成為世界上最長壽的人口之一。該比率約為每名婦女生育 1.7 個孩子。
哈梅內伊在 2019 年與年輕的新婚夫婦會面時，鼓勵政府官員為家庭提供更多支持，以增加伊斯蘭共和國的人口，並補充說“生育更多的孩子應該成為一種文化”，據他的網站稱。
據法達電台報導，伊朗的年人口增長率在 1976 年為 3.7%，人口為 3300 萬，但此後下降至 1.3%，目前人口為 8200 萬。在 1979 年革命之前，伊朗官員擔心高增長率，但現在伊斯蘭共和國領導人對緩慢的增長率感到不滿。
伊朗的家庭規模也有所減少，同時出生率降低，結婚年齡提高。在 2016 年的人口普查中，大約有 1000 萬 20-39 歲的伊朗人是單身。
法爾達說，在 1990 年代，由於擔心人口爆炸，伊朗提供免費避孕服務並發布“支持輸精管切除術的宗教法令”。
這位最高領導人提倡擁有至少 1.5 億人口的伊朗，並在 2011 年堅稱“如果夫妻拒絕生育更多孩子，該國將在不久的將來面臨人口老齡化”。
“不要再重複陳詞濫調，說我們的國家很棒。我們的資源是有限的，”環境部負責人 Isa Kalantari 去年表示。“如果沒有保證進口，增加該國的人口將是不明智的，”他說，並補充說，這個國家將在不到 50 年的時間裡斷水。
Iran launches matchmaking app as fertility rates fall
The app offers matching and counseling services to prospective couples and their families, and remains in touch with them for four years after marriage.
By REUTERS, TZVI JOFFRE
JULY 27, 2021 11:57
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei smiles at a baby
(photo credit: KHAMENEI.IR)
Facing a fall in fertility rates, Iran has launched a state-approved matchmaking app to promote marriages in the Islamic country which restricts contact between unrelated men and women.
Hamdam (Companion), developed by a state-affiliated Islamic cultural body, requires users to verify their identity, carries out psychological compatibility tests and gives advice for young singles seeking a marriage partner.
The app offers matching and counseling services to prospective couples and their families, and remains in touch with them for four years after marriage, the semi-official news agency Fars reported.
Since the app was unveiled, some 150,000 people have installed it, although only 6,500 users have been verified so far.
Western-style dating is banned under Iran's Islamic laws but many young people reject traditional arranged marriages and want to decide their own future.
The app is an update to the Tebyan matchmaking website which was launched in 2015. About 87,000 people had registered to that system as of two months ago, with about 3,700 successful marriages arranged by the site. On the website, applicants were required to fill out registration forms, provide two psychological tests and documents and undergo an in-person interview. The site was shut down two months ago in preparation for the launch of Hamdam.
App director Zohreh Sadat Hosseini told Fars News Agency that it aims to "make sure that young people can find their suitable partner in the shortest possible time in a scientific and calculated way, and with the support and supervision of their families."
Users complete forms, take two psychological tests and attach their documents. Their profile is then sent to companion experts for approval who also verify the applicant's information, according to Fars. Once the user is verified, the system will begin suggesting possible matches – users can manually search for other users, find the right person and request to be introduced.
Hosseini told Fars that the psychological tests are used to help find suitable matches and screen people with personality disorders who should not yet enter the marriage process. "This screening also helps to build stable and growing families that, thank God, will not lead to divorce," the director said.
OFFICIALS HAVE expressed concern that Iran's population could be among the oldest in the world in two decades after the fertility rate among Iranian women dropped 25% over the past four years, according to Iranian media reports. The rate is about 1.7 children per woman.
Iran started reversing its family planning policies a decade ago to increase the birth rate – making contraception, which had been available for free, gradually more difficult to get.
In 2014, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued an edict that said boosting the population would "strengthen national identity" and counter "undesirable aspects of Western lifestyles."
In a meeting with young newlywed couples in 2019, Khamenei encouraged government officials to provide more support to families in order to increase the Islamic republic's population, adding that "having more children should turn into a culture," according to his website.
"When the population is large, righteous individuals will naturally be larger in number, capabilities will naturally be more and human resources will obviously be more advanced," said Khamenei. The supreme leader presented China and India as examples of how countries with larger populations achieve more, neglecting to mention that both countries have implemented measures to restrict population growth.
The annual population growth rate in Iran was 3.7% in 1976 with a population of 33 million, but has plummeted to 1.3% since then with a current population of 82 million, according to Radio Farda. Prior to the 1979 revolution, Iranian officials were concerned about the high growth rate, but now Islamic republic leaders are unhappy with the slow rate.
The size of families has also decreased in Iran alongside a smaller birth rate and a higher age of marriage. In the 2016 census, about 10 million Iranians aged 20-39 were single.
In the 1990s, Iran offered free contraceptive services and issued "religious edicts in favor of vasectomies" due to fears of a population explosion, according to Farda.
Under direct orders issued by Khamenei to the conservative government of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, progressive laws on family planning were reversed, access to contraceptives was restricted and voluntary sterilization was outlawed.
The supreme leader promotes the idea of an Iran with at least 150 million people and insisted in 2011 that "the country would face an aging population in the not-too-distant future if couples refuse to have more children."
Iran's parliament has passed provisions to provide financial incentives for childbirth and marriage, including loans and handouts to young married couples with several children.
"Stop repeating the shibboleth and saying our country is great. Our resources are limited," said Environment Department head Isa Kalantari last year. "Without guaranteed imports, it will not be wise to increase the country's population," he said, adding that the nation will be left with no water in less than 50 years.
聖殿山在猶太民族心理中並不顯眼 - 這就是原因
FM Yair Lapid 和 MK Merav Ben-Ari 最近都說西牆是猶太教最神聖的地方。為什麼這是一個如此普遍的誤解？
2021 年 7 月 27 日 21:50
（圖片來源：MARC ISRAEL SELLEM）
上週，外交部長兼候補總理亞伊爾·拉皮德 (Yair Lapid) 宣布西牆是猶太教最神聖的地方，引發了一場抗議風暴。
外交部長在前一天 Av 九日齋戒中回應事件，當時有幾位 MK 登上聖殿山，並發表了後來被總理納夫塔利·貝內特撤回的言論，即猶太人在那裡享有完全的禮拜自由。
Lapid 的黨內同事 MK Merav Ben-Ari 在接受電視採訪時發表了類似的評論，儘管她後來更正了自己，而反對派領導人和時任總理 MK Benjamin Netanyahu 從 2013 年起的評論被挖出來，他說西牆是猶太人最神聖的地方。
聖殿委員會的發言人阿薩夫·弗里德 (Asaf Fried) 是一個在聖殿山上促進猶太人權利的激進組織，他指出，在中世紀早期，猶太人能夠，而且確實，在西牆成為聖殿山之前很久，就能夠上聖殿山祈禱。朝聖地。
17 和 18 世紀，當聖地的猶太人定居點再次開始增長時，奧斯曼帝國的統治者繼續禁止猶太人登上聖殿山，但允許他們在距離該地點最近的地方西牆祈禱.
但從 1967 年以色列從約旦人手中奪回東耶路撒冷和聖殿山之後，幾乎沒有動靜來重申猶太人在聖殿山上的權利。
Yehudah Glick 是聖殿山的長期活動家和前利庫德集團 (Likud MK)，同意弗里德的觀點。
“我們生活在這樣一個環境中，我們所追求的頂峰是我們 50 年前無法達到的，”他繼續說道，提到以色列人在獨立戰爭和六日戰爭之間祈禱的願望西牆。
Temple Mount doesn't loom large in the Jewish national psyche - here's why
Both FM Yair Lapid and MK Merav Ben-Ari recently said that the Western Wall is Judaism's holiest site. Why is this such a common misconception?
JULY 27, 2021 21:50
Jewish worshipers celebrate Jerusalem Day at the Western Wall in 2019.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Last week, Foreign Minister and Alternative Prime Minister Yair Lapid set off a storm of protest when he declared the Western Wall to be the holiest site in Judaism.
The foreign minister was responding to events on the Fast of the Ninth of Av, the day before, when several MKs ascended the Temple Mount, and remarks, later withdrawn by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, that Jews had full freedom of worship there.
Lapid’s party colleague, MK Merav Ben-Ari, then made similar comments when asked in a TV interview, although she later corrected herself, while comments by opposition leader and then prime minister MK Benjamin Netanyahu from 2013 were dug up where he said the Western Wall was the holiest site for Jews.
The problem? The Western Wall is not, in fact, the holiest site in Judaism, but rather the Temple Mount which the Western Wall buttresses, is the true holiest site.
The Temple Mount is where the First and Second temples of ancient times were located, where according to the Bible, Abraham bound Isaac, where Jacob had his dream of a ladder reaching to Heaven and according to the Talmud, is where the entire world was created.
Why is it that despite the clear connection in Jewish history and tradition to the Temple Mount, it is the Western Wall which has claimed a place in the national Jewish consciousness as the holiest site in Judaism?
Asaf Fried, spokesman for the Temple Committee, an activist group promoting Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, notes that in early Medieval times Jews were able, and did indeed, go up to the Temple Mount to pray, long before the Western Wall became a site of pilgrimage.
But he noted that when the Crusaders reached the Holy Land and conquered Jerusalem, they forbade Jews from ascending the Temple Mount and Jews prayed instead at the Western Wall.
This was the site closest to where the Holy of Holies of the ancient temples was located, while a Midrash (biblical commentary) stated that the divine presence would never leave the Western Wall, despite the destruction of the temple.
This situation prevailed for hundreds of years after the Crusaders were long gone.
When Jewish settlement in the Holy Land began to grow again in the 17 and 18th centuries, the Ottoman rulers continued to forbid Jews from going up to the Temple Mount, but allowed them to pray at the closest accessible spot to the site, the Western Wall.
And since the Chief Rabbinate was founded, before the establishment of the state, it has worried that Jews would enter areas of the Temple Mount prohibited by Jewish law due to ritual purity concerns, and therefore banned all visitation to any part of the holy site.
After the Jordanians conquered the Old City of Jerusalem in 1948, even to the Western Wall was beyond reach.
But from 1967 when Israel captured east Jerusalem and the Temple Mount back from the Jordanians, there was little movement to reassert Jewish rights on the Temple Mount.
The Mughrabi Quarter in the Old City was demolished to create a prayer plaza at the Western Wall, and the old status quo in which Muslims would pray at al-Aqsa mosque located at the southern end of the site, and Jews would pray at the Western Wall below, persisted.
“We are a conservative society, and we react slowly to events,” says Fried.
“A lot of people think the Western Wall is a holy site, but it is a wall of something else, not something in and of itself.”
Yehudah Glick, a long-time Temple Mount activist and former Likud MK, concurs with Fried.
“When you can’t get somewhere you want to go, then you go to the closest place you can. And you get used to what you have,” said Glick.
“We live in an environment in which the peak of what we strive for is what we couldn’t get 50 years ago,” he continues, in reference to the desire of Israelis between the War of Independence and the Six Day War to pray at the Western Wall.
“It’s hard to change reality. After the Israelites left slavery in Egypt, they began complaining that they wanted to return for all the free watermelon and cucumbers which they used to eat there,” said Glick in reference to the events of the Exodus as recorded in the Bible.
Glick insists, however, that despite the apparent lack of public knowledge of the centrality of the Temple Mount to Judaism, it is critical for the Jewish people to be connected to that site.
“God chose the Jewish people and he chose the Temple Mount as His one resting place in the world, and as a result, we have a common destiny which is to declare God’s kingdom from the Temple, which will be a house of prayer for all people, and where all nations will announce that God is one and His name is one.
“We can only do that from the Temple on the Temple Mount, which is where God chose to place, his palace. We cannot choose anywhere else.”