Shocking: Muslims Daub Swastika on Temple Mount

Anti-Semitic graffiti on Judaism's holiest site must serve as a wake-up call to end Islamist violence, provocations, say activists.

Ari Soffer ,

Swastika graffiti on Temple Mount
Swastika graffiti on Temple Mount
Tom Nisani

On Sunday morning, Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount - the holiest site in Judaism - were appalled to find that Muslim worshippers had daubed anti-Semitic graffiti equating the Jewish Star of David to the Nazi swastika.

Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick first uploaded a photo of the shocking graffiti onto his Facebook account, along with a statement blaming the lack of proper response by authorities to Islamist rioting and provocations, and accusing the government of burying its head in the sand.

"When they make light of the torching of a police station on the Temple Mount, when the sole response to daily Muslim violence on the Temple Mount is to blame the Jews, there should be no surprise over swastikas as well.

"If this ostrich-like policy of the State of Israel continues we can be sure that the Arab violence will also cost human lives."

Glick, who head the LIBA Initiative for Jewish Freedom on the Temple Mount, said that the swastika graffiti at Judaism's holiest site should serve as a wake-up call "before it's too late."

"The only solution in the immediate-term is to deal uncompromisingly with those behind the violence," he added.

Glick also suggested authorities prevent friction between Jews and Muslims at the site by implementing a similar arrangement to the one currently in force at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron. That holy site is split between Jewish and Muslim worshippers in a complex arrangement, but one which generally has kept the peace and avoided the kind of violence regularly seen on the Temple Mount.

Currently, Jews are forbidden from praying on the Temple Mount and face arrest for doing so, in what Jewish activists have decried as capitulation to Islamist intimidation and violence; indeed, even those Jews who visit the site and adhere to the restrictions are regularly harassed and even attacked by Muslim extremists. There have been growing calls among activists and legislators for Jews to be granted equal prayer rights at their holiest site, citing the fact that police have ignored numerous court rulings in favor of Jewish prayer rights.

Wake-up call? Tom Nisani

The Temple Institute's International Director, Rabbi Chaim Richman, also condemned "the abhorrent graffiti", and echoed Glick's sentiments regarding the lawlessness on the Temple Mount.

"The fact that this could occur at the holiest site in the world for the Jewish people - the location of the Holy Temple - in the very heart of Jerusalem, should serve as a wake-up call to rouse Prime Minister Netanyahu from his slumber of 'status quo' on the Temple Mount.

"This despicable act is yet another indication of the lack of Israeli sovereignty on the Mount. Jews seeking to visit and pray at their holiest site, should be able to do so without fear of intimidation or violence. We call upon the government of Israel to immediately put an end to Hamas rule on the Temple Mount and permit non-Muslims to worship freely at the site."

The latest incident follows a string of incendiary statements by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, who called on Palestinians to prevent Jews from stepping foot onto the Temple Mount using "all means" at their disposal.