As tensions continue to mount between the hareidi and National Religious communities in the wake of the negotiations on which parties will or won't be part of the new government, MK Meir Porush (United Torah Jewry) called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to throw MK Moshe Feiglin out of the Likud, because of his “provocative actions” in ascending the Temple Mount.
“Attempts to ascend the Temple Mount are irresponsible and dangerous, and damage the delicate relations between Jews and Muslims,” Porush said Monday. “His actions are likely to set off a conflagration that will result in an intifada.”
The Temple Mount was closed off Monday morning after Feiglin asked to be allowed to ascend and enter the Dome of the Rock. As an MK, Feiglin was within his rights to do so at his request, although police still refused to allow him to enter. Meanwhile, a crowd of Arabs gathered around Feiglin. Police declared an emergency and called in forces to break up the Arab mob, closed the Mount to non-Muslims, and ejected Feiglin.
In response, Feiglin sent a letter to the Attorney General asking him to make clear whether Israel has given up its sovereignty over the Temple Mount, and if so – when and in what circumstances did it do so.
In a statement, Jerusalem police said that MK Feiglin had attempted to enter the Dome of the Rock, which is closed to Jews. Police said that they told him he could not enter, but said that he insisted by virtue of his position. Police said they closed the Mount to visitors and ejected Feiglin after a disturbance broke out. As an MK, Feiglin is generally immune from arrest for political or social activities.
Addressing also Hatnu'a leader Tzippy Livni and Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid, Porush added that he hoped that they too “would act responsibly as future members of the government, and join me in this request.”
Jewish law states that areas of the Temple Mount which were part of the Holy Temple may not be entered by Jews today, because of issues of ritual purity. Many National Religious rabbis have published opinions regarding entry to certain parts of the Mount, saying that they were historically not part of the Temple compound, and that there is no reason to prevent Jews from ascending to those areas, especially in light of the fact that allowing Jews to ascend the Mount demonstrates Israeli sovereignty over the site. Hareidi rabbis have generally forbidden all ascents to the Mount, claiming that it is impossible to know which areas are halachically off-limits to Jews, and that the risk of entering these areas overwhelms any other issue, including showing Jewish sovereignty over the site.