Symbolic Passover offering, 2004
Symbolic Passover offering, 2004Israel news photo: file

State attorneys asked Sunday for the Supreme Court to forbid Jews to bring sacrifices on the Temple Mount. The appeal to the court was a response to a petition from the Temple Institute, which requested permission to bring a sacrifice on the Temple Mount prior to Passover.

The Temple Mount Institute argued that Jews are commanded to bring a sacrifice prior to Passover, and that by prohibiting them from doing so, the state was violating its own laws protecting freedom of worship.

State attorneys argued that the sacrifice would be a dangerous provocation of Muslim sensitivities. “Performing the ritual on the Temple Mount would deal a severe blow to public safety and security,” they said.

The sacrifice would be dangerous “particularly at the current time,” they said, apparently in reference to recent Muslim riots over the dedication of the rebuilt Hurva synagogue in Jerusalem's Old City. Muslim and Palestinian Authority leaders incited their followers to violence, claiming that the rededication of the synagogue was part of a Jewish plan to seize control of the Temple Mount.

In past years, the Supreme Court ruled that Jews may not offer sacrifices on the Temple Mount due to the possibility of a violent Muslim response. The Temple Mount Institute has performed an educational demonstration of the Passover sacrifice instead.