Feb 21 2014
Jewish activists want to pray on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, raising fury in Muslim world, A small but growing movement of Jews demanding the right to pray at the site of their destroyed temple is creating a potentially explosive clash with the Muslims, who considers the spot Islamic and ban Jews from public worship there.
Temple Institute Each week, hundreds of Jews ascend the creaky wooden ramp built above the Western Wall and enter what is often called the most contested real estate on Earth. Many then embark upon a game of hide-and-seek with their police escorts — whispering forbidden prayers while pretending to talk into cellphones, and getting in quick but banned bows by dropping coins and then bending to pick them up.
Their proposals, long dismissed as extremist, are now being debated in the Israeli parliament and embraced by an expansionist wing in the ruling coalition government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The numbers of Jews ascending the Temple Mount in accordance with Jewish law, has been steadily increasing and in recent months we have seen these numbers reaching a critical mass. Yet in spite of the increased presence of Jews on the Temple Mount, which has forced the issue of Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, (and Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount), to front and center in the media, (both national and international), and public discourse, the police continue to enforce draconian measures forbidding Jews from any expression of faith on the Temple Mount. This is in spite of the fact that Jewish freedom of worship on the Temple Mount is guaranteed by Israeli law.
Temple Mount activists decided to put an end to this intolerable situation and performed a premeditated act of Jewish worship on the Temple Mount. In addition, the group of thirteen Jews unfurled an Israeli flag that they succeeded in “smuggling” onto the Mount, and sang Hatikva, the national anthem of the state of Israel. For all this the thirteen were promptly arrested by the police.
Temple Mount activists plan to continue and step up their prayer activity on the Mount with the intention of establishing a new norm on the Mount that sanctions freedom of worship for all in this holy place.
In response, Muslims are crying foul and threatening violence, as they continue their attempt to drive a wedge between the Jews and the Temple Mount. The threat of Arab violence is no doubt the main reason behind the police hostility toward Jewish prayer and presence on the Temple Mount , as they find it easier to harass a relatively small number of Jews than to curb the violence of a large number of Arabs.
But enforcing the law, guaranteeing citizens their rights and punishing those who seek to deprive others of their rights is, in fact, the task of the police, a fact that they will have to get used to as the number and nerve of Jews ascending the Temple Mount continue to rise.
We see this development as a major step forward in our battle to reclaim our Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, the reinstitution of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, and ultimately, the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, may we accomplish this soon in our day!