The world should condemn the Temple Mount riots that took place on Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), says Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, Rabbi of the Kotel (Western Wall).
Several hundred Muslim youth rioted following Friday prayers. The riots ended only when police stormed the compound and arrested 15 people.
While the riot was confined to the Temple Mount itself, the rioters clearly meant to drive Jews away from the Kotel, which is adjacent, Rabbi Rabinovich accused.
“Their goal was to hurt the Jews who came to pray at the Western Wall on Rosh Hashanah,” Rabinovich said.
“All violence should be condemned, but all the more so when it comes to the holiest place of the Jewish people. The world should condemn this act, and express contempt for this attempt to hurt worshipers on a holy day,” he continued.
Just one month ago Muslims celebrated Ramadan, and Jews respected their need to worship, even though the Muslim prayers meant certain difficulties for Jewish worshipers at shared holy sites such as the Western Wall, he added.
“The security forces have to arrest the rioters and those who incite them to violence, and make them face the courts,” he concluded.
The Temple Mount is Judaism's holiest site, but Jews are forbidden from praying there due to the presence of a large Islamic complex, and under threats of violence by Muslim extremists.
Jews who do visit are subject to severe restrictions, and sometimes face harassment and physical attacks at the hands of Muslim worshippers.