A Modest Proposal for the Temple Mount

Source: The Economist

This blog tries to keep a light and frothy tone, avoiding controversial subjects and focussing on people who talk in the cinema or the name of the next royal baby.

But occasionally, a geopolitical problem presents itself that everyone, including frivolous websites, should take an interest in. One such dilemma is the sovereignty of the Temple Mount in Israel.

Like a sitcom character who has two dates on the same night, our omniscient God made the Temple Mount a holy site to both Muslims and Jews.

In Islam it is known as the Dome of the Rock, the site where Muhammad rose to heaven.

According to Judaism it is the location of  King Solomon’s Temple of Jerusalem, with only the Wailing Wall surviving as a place of worship.

Predictably neither religious group – whose holy texts both include Adam, Abraham and the Archangel Gabriel – can find any common ground and refuse to share the Temple Mount.

So if no compromise can be reached, what should be done with this contentious location?

Obviously a new tenant is needed. Preferably one that will bring hope and prosperity to the Middle East.  One with a symbol as iconic as the crescent moon or Star of David. One that eschews the fundamentalist violence of religion but still inspires the same blind devotion. In short, they should open an Apple Store.

I can honestly only see positives .There will be no need to wail once people see the thousand seat Genius Bar, open every day including the Sabbath. And imagine how mouthwatering your Eid al-Fitr feast will look when it’s photographed with the iPhone 5’s eight mega pixel camera. You’ll have the most followed Instagram account this side of the River Jordan.

Besides,  if there is one thing Israeli’s and Palestinians can agree on, it is the satisfaction of completing a new level of Angry Birds. Take that you filthy pigs!

Apple will also benefit from the PR boost of solving one of the Middle East’s most intractable problems. To misquote the third religion contributing to the region’s “situation”, the technology giant can help Jerusalem residents beat their swords into iPads and their spears into whatever the next gadget middle class people with far too much disposable income will be queuing overnight for. Possibly some sort of Dicky Tracy-style watch if the tech blogs are to be believed.

In 1945 it was suggested Temple Mount and the wider Jerusalem  area be declared a “separate entity” under the jurisdiction of the United Nations, the same organisation that would later hire out its New York headquarters to Gucci for a product launch.

The Apple solution is merely cutting out the middle man to allow market forces to solve a problem multilateral diplomacy could not. Maybe if Jesus hadn’t thrown the money lenders out of the temple, we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place.


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