A group of young Jewish rights activists in the United States have gathered nearly 3,000 signatures thus far on a petition demanding the Israeli government open the Temple Mount to Jewish prayer.
According to spokesman Yosef Rabin, it is an affront to Jews that Muslims can pray freely on the Jerusalem holy site but if a Jew merely opens a prayer book, he is accosted by police. Rabin's movement is supported by a number of activist groups, including Supporters of the New Jewish Congress, the Temple Institute, Manhigut Yehudit, the Hevron Fund and One Jerusalem.
"We are calling on all concerned Jews and lovers of all Israel to sign the petition," said Rabin. He added that the document was prompted by "the threat to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount" posed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.