A former Canadian minister who visited the Temple Mount on Sunday was shocked to learn of the discrimination shown by Israeli police officers towards Jews.
Stockwell Day, who served as Canada’s Minister of Public Safety between 2006 and 2008, visited the Temple Mount following a coincidental meeting with a resident of Jerusalem, Yosef Rabin, who regularly visits the Temple Mount compound.
Rabin, who spoke to Arutz Sheva on Monday, said that his meeting with Day took place over Shabbat, when he visited friends for a Shabbat meal also attended by Day.
During the meal, Rabin said, he told the former Canadian minister about the situation on the Temple Mount where police, in an attempt to appease the Muslim Waqf which was left in charge of the compound after the 1967 Six Day War, ban Jews from praying or performing any other form of worship. Police sometimes close the Mount to Jews altogether in response to Muslim riots - for days or weeks at a time - despite evidence that such violence is usually planned in advance for the specific purpose of forcing Jews out.
“When I told Day about the situation on the Temple Mount, it pegged his interest and he asked me to arrange a visit for him,” said Rabin.
After the Sabbath, Rabin got in touch with LIBA project coordinator Yehuda Glick, who accompanied Rabin and Day to the Temple Mount the next day.
"[The former Canadian minister] was shocked over how Jewish police can do these things to Jews. He did not understand how one can talk about the reunification of Jerusalem while at the same time Jews are not allowed to open their mouths on the Temple Mount," said Rabin, who added that during this particular visit, he encountered a new phenomenon whereby Jews were forbidden to speak with tourists who asked questions about the Temple Mount. Police forbade Israelis to speak with tourists about the compound, claiming it bothers the Waqf, he added.
Former minister Day, said Rabin, could not believe his eyes when he saw the long lines of Jews waiting to get in, the Arab disturbances on the compound, the conduct of the Waqf and the endless shouting. “He could not understand how the Israeli government could do this to Jews.”
Rabin told Arutz Sheva that Day is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during his visit to Israel and would bring up the issue of the Temple Mount during the meeting.
Day, a former leader of the Canadian Alliance party which later merged with the Progressive Conservative Party to become the Conservative Party of Canada, lost the party’s leadership to Canada's current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, in 2002. Nevertheless, he remained on good terms with Harper, who is also currently visiting Israel, and served as a minister in his cabinet before retiring from political life.
The Temple Mount is Judaism's holiest site and the location of the two Holy Temples of Jerusalem, the latter of which was destroyed by the Romans in 70CE. Despite that fact, Jewish visitors face severe restrictions upon ascending the Mount, while the Waqf works to remove any Jewish presence on the Mount and consistently destroys Jewish antiquities on the compound in a direct violation of a ruling by the Supreme Court.