Edelstein Demands Reprimand for Danino

Edelstein fires back at Aharonovich over Danino's stance against MKs ascending Temple Mount, says 'it is not his place to give advice.'

Hezki Baruch and Tova Dvorin , | updated: 5:15 PM

Yuli Edelstein
Yuli Edelstein
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) has sent a letter expressing his discontent with the security situation to Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich on Wednesday, including several fiery comments over Aharonovich's opposition to MKs ascending the Temple Mount.

"These things are serious and do not deserve to be decided upon by a Police Commissioner [Yohanan Danino - ed.] regarding [the freedoms of] elected officials," Edelstein wrote. "We cannot agree to this, whereby a public official - who is supposed to be a senior authority - appeals against the freedom of movement given to elected officials and their immunity by virtue of their status, including on the Temple Mount."

"It is not his job to give them such advice," he added. 

"The current wave of terror, like its predecessors, is an expression of hatred, incitement and and calls to violence which has affected large parts of the Palestinian population," he continued. "Interest in the Temple Mount is, for them is an excuse for attacks and riots. The increase of Jews ascending the Mount, including a public figure, is not a 'provocation' and certainly not a violation of the status quo, as those who try to spin it that way claim; just as Arab MKs ascending to the Mount is not." 

"I would like to contact you to reprimand the Commissioner for his mistake and order him to avoid these quasi-statements in this period, and to maintain strictly the separation of powers and to maintain the dignity of elected officials," Edelstein concluded.

On Tuesday, Danino made a series of statements opposing visits to the Temple Mount, sparking outrage over his support for the continued discrimination against Jews visiting the Mount. 

"Anyone who wants to change the status-quo on the Temple Mount - it (should be) forbidden for him to go up there," Danino said at a conference in Sderot. "I banned (Likud MK Moshe) Feiglin from ascending the Mount until I had no backing from the attorney general. This is a mistake, to allow someone who is a symbol of (the movement to) change the status-quo."

"We want quiet and to restore security," he continued. "We are saying all the time 'let's do everything to not escalate the situation.' Again and again we go back to the Temple Mount - this is a place holy to many religions and we say to guard the status quo in order to guard the quiet there."

Muslims are permitted to pray on the Mount - which is Judaism's holiest site - while restrictions are placed on Jewish worshippers.