Jerusalem Mayor: Let My People Pray
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat has come out against the ongoing discrimination against Jews on the Temple Mount. Jews are prohibited to pray on the Mount, which is the holiest place in the world according to Judaism, and many have even been arrested for moving their lips at the site.
The matter is ultimately in the government’s hands, Barkat said, and not in the hands of Jerusalem leaders. His own opinion is “to let every person pray on the Temple Mount,” he said.
In August MK Aryeh Eldad (Ichud Leumi) proposed a daring solution to the current impasse: split access to the Temple Mount between Jews and Muslims. The approach would allow Jews to pray while avoiding the Temple Mount riots feared by police.
Barkat gave his opinion on the matter while visiting Netiv Meir, a yeshiva high school for religious-Zionist youth.
He also spoke to the young students about leadership, and shared his own life story, which included services in the IDF Paratroopers, years in the business world, and then time in the realm of politics and public service.
In addition, Barkat addressed the issue of selecting a chief rabbi for the city. He noted that he had promised deceased religious-Zionist leader Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu that he would work to get a religious-Zionist rabbi appointed.
However, he said, it appears that a Chief Rabbi will be chosen only after the next mayoral elections, potentially putting the matter outside his influence. “I worked to lay the groundwork for a Zionist rabbi to be chosen, and I hope that will continue,” he said.