The Temple Institute has condemned last night's attempted murder of Yehudah Glick, a former director of the Institute, and said that Israeli authorities must shoulder their share of the blame for the attack.
"Yehuda is a selfless champion of the right for Jews to pray at the Temple Mount who works tirelessly towards this goal, and together with all of Israel, we are deeply concerned for his welfare, and in prayer for his speedy and complete recovery," the Institute said in a statement.
Government inaction, it said, had "paved the way" for Glick to be gunned down by a Palestinian terrorist. The veteran activist - who now heads the LIBA Institute for Jewish Freedom on the Temple Mount - was shot three times by his attacker, and is currently hospitalized in serious condition.
"Responsibility for this despicable act rests squarely upon the government of Israel and the Israel Police, who have allowed the Temple Mount, Israel's holiest site, to degenerate into an arena that hosts daily occurrences of unbridled and heinous expressions of Jew-hatred - from organized, Hamas-funded incitement, to ambushes against Jewish visitors, to Molotov cocktails and rocks, to spray-painted swastika graffiti," continued the statement.
"While in the political arena, PA Chairman Abbas's recent statement that Jewish visits should be stopped 'by all means,' and PM Netanyahu's 'assurances' to Jordan's King Abdullah that he will not allow Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount - all this has proven that violence against Jews pays and has paved the way to the attempted murder of Yehuda Glick."
The Institute went further, branding the government's response to the murder itself as "criminal and yet another gift to the Muslim agitators."
"While they have announced that the Temple Mount will be closed to both Jews and Muslims, pictures have already emerged showing known Muslims troublemakers roaming freely on the site, while Jews are locked out," it said, noting conflicting reports about whether some Muslims were indeed allowed on the Mount despite the ban. Jewish protesters, meanwhile, have clashed with police at the site during a prayer vigil.
"We call upon our government to enforce full entry and full Jewish prayer rights immediately," the group added, emphasizing that Jewish worshipers were not there to provoke violence. Although the Temple Mount is Judaism's holiest site, Jews are forbidden from worshiping there and Jewish visits are heavily restricted - measures Glick and the Temple Institute alike say amount to capitulation to Islamist threats.
"It must be stated clearly that Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount simply come to be seen by G-d in the holiest place on earth. We seek no conflict with anyone and merely want to exercise our right of freedom of worship in the heart of Jerusalem. The Temple Mount should be a symbol of universal unity, peace and brotherhood of mankind.
"The Temple Mount is prophesized to become 'a house of prayer for all nations' (Isaiah 2). The attack against Yehuda Glick is an attack against every Jew who seeks to pray on the Temple Mount, who seeks peace for all nations, and against every civilized human being who cherishes religious freedom and expression. To gun down a peaceful advocate for the right to pray is attempt to silence man's hope for equality, and attempted murder against the Divine image in which all men were created."