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Anti-Jewish Discrimination at Temple Mount

Discrimination against religious Jews who wish to visit the Temple Mount continues. A group was turned away today, as non-Jews passed freely through.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 2/26/2006, 9:18 AM / Last Update: 2/26/2006, 11:59 AM

A small group of Jewish tourists from Los Angeles attempted to ascend to Judaism's holiest site this morning, after immersing in a mikveh and taking the other Halakhic precautions. They were stopped at the entrance, however, and told they could not enter because they did not have identification.

"The most frustrating part," said their tour guide, Yossi Maimon, "was that lots of other tourists, clearly not Jewish, were allowed up without even being checked." Maimon said he asked the local police commander about the discrimination against Jews, and was told that this is in fact the official policy.

Long-time Holy Temple activists Rabbi Yosef Elboim of Jerusalem and Yehuda Etzion of Ofrah said that this policy is a long-running one.

"Not only are there different rules for religious Jews and others," Rabbi Elboim told Arutz-7, "but the police treat the religious Jews with tremendous disrespect. Recently, a large group of students from the Birkat Moshe yeshiva in Maaleh Adumim wished to ascend [to the holy site], and the police took aside the Rosh Yeshiva [dean], who is not a young man, and totally checked every part of him. Would they ever treat a priest or a kadi that way?"

"A sheikh can call for world-wide Moslem rule from the Temple Mount," Rabbi Elboim continued, "but if a Jew whispers Yibaneh HaMikdash (a prayer that the Holy Temple should be rebuilt), they immediately take him away for questioning and restrict him from visiting the site again. Where are we living?!"

At present, religious Jews are permitted to enter the Temple Mount, if they are approved, from 7:30 to 10:00 Am, and for another hour beginning at 12:30.

Etzion said that a special booth has been set up at the Mugrahbim Gate entrance to the Temple Mount, adjacent to the prayer area of the Western Wall, for the purpose of checking religious Jews. "The way they check Jews, under their yarmulke and all over the body, for any type of prayer, is simply humiliating," he said.

Etzion said that he himself is now less involved in direct Temple Mount issues, and is rather dedicating his efforts towards the publication of a six-volume work of the writings of Shabtai Ben-Dov.

Rabbi Elboim said that the deterioration in Jewish rights at the Temple Mount has taken place since Gideon Ezra assumed the post of Minister of Public Security. Ezra can be faxed at (+972-2) 530-8039, and emailed at .