Police prevent Jews from entering Temple Mount (file)
Police prevent Jews from entering Temple Mount (file)Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Other than breathing, it appears all Jewish rights on Temple Mount have been taken away, and Rabbi Chaim Richman, International Director of the Temple Institute, is exasperated.

Jews who belong to the growing stream of Temple Mount adherents are used to being mistreated by the police and harassed by Muslims there, but Sunday's instruction by a policeman to a Jewish visitor has surprised even the seasoned pilgrims.

The policeman – whom Temple activists identified as a Druze – told the Jewish man that he may not drink water.

"Naturally, it is a hot day today, I went to get a drink,” the man, Elishama Sandman, told Ynet. “When I came close to the faucets, the policeman stopped me and told me that I do not have permission to drink.” Sandman asked him if this was a new instruction and the policeman answered in the affirmative.

“Saying to people who are already cooking in the sun for two or three hours that they can't drink water is saying one of two things,” Richman told Arutz Sheva Monday. “Either that they should die in the heat, or that they can't go up to the Temple Mount.”

Netanyahu is behind it

Temple Mount activists have contacted Knesset members who have promised to fight for their rights to hydrate, but the latest humiliation has driven home to the activists that in Binyamin Netanyahu's fourth term as prime minister, too, they are facing a hostile government, and that barring a miracle, no relief is in the offing.

Rabbi Richman has no doubt that the single element behind the policy against Jewish visits to the Temple Mount is Netanyahu, who believes that insistence on Jewish ascent to the mount could create a large scale conflagration in the Middle East at a time in which Israel does not seek one. Netanyahu, he explained, gets his marching orders regarding the Temple Mount from Jordan's King Abdulllah 2.

“Why degrade ourselves to this extent, even if this is something he is doing for national security?” asks Richman rhetorically. “After all, what he is giving up shows the Arab world we are willing to foreclose on the very secret of Jewish identity – the Temple Mount. What message does this send our neighbors? This is a picture of anarchy.”