A volunteer with the Magen David Adom first aid service was forced on Sunday to remove his jacket with the organization’s emblem before he was allowed to enter the Temple Mount. The emblem of Magen David Adom is a red Star of David.
The volunteer, Yonatan Tal, recalled the incident in a conversation with Arutz Sheva.
"I went up to the Temple Mount as I usually do. The weather was cooler so I put on my jacket [with the Magen David Adom emblem],” said Tal, who pointed out that the compound had been packed with tourists. As his turn came to enter, recalled Tal, he was called aside by a police officer who ordered him to remove his jacket. When Tal asked why he had to remove his jacket in order to enter the Temple Mount, the officer argued that this was the procedure.
Tal, who refused to accept this answer, demanded to know if there is a prohibition to ascend the Temple Mount while wearing a jacket. "He (the officer) tried to avoid answering the question, but in the end he had to admit that he was ordering me to take off the jacket because of the red Star of David that is sewn on it.”
Tal noted that the order was puzzling, particularly because of the steps that had been taken by Magen David Adom to join the Red Cross and thereby receive international recognition. Furthermore, he noted, as a Magen David Adom volunteer who resides in the Judea and Samaria community of Beit Hagai, he often cooperates with the Red Crescent, yet is denied entry to the Temple Mount because he wears a jacket with Israel’s national symbol.
Following the conversation with the officer, Tal told Arutz Sheva, he was forced to remove his jacket and only got it back when he left the compound. He called on Israelis to pressure the government to allow Jewish worship on the Temple Mount.
“If every one of us will devote one morning once a month and take the time to visit the Temple Mount, it will certainly change the situation and bring about a normal reality whereby Jews control the Temple Mount,” he said.
Tal’s experience on the Temple Mount is another example of Israeli police capitulating to the demands of the Waqf, which was left in charge of the Temple Mount after Israel liberated it during the 1967 Six Day War.
Police, in an attempt to appease the Waqf, limit the number of Jewish worshippers allowed on the Temple Mount at one time in order to prevent conflict with Muslim worshippers.
Police often close the Mount to Jews in response to Muslim riots – despite evidence that Muslim riots have been planned in advance for the specific purpose of forcing Jews out. Prominent Israeli MKs, such as Moshe Feiglin and Zeev Elkin, have been forced to leave the Temple Mount due to fears of Muslim riots.