Ben Shapiro
Ben Shapiro Rich Polk/Getty Images for Politicon

Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro called for the building of a synagogue on the Temple Mount, days after he was kicked out of the holy site for reciting prayers.

Shapiro, 35, who visited Jerusalem and recorded a special podcast over the Western Wall Plaza last week, dedicated the beginning of his show to a segment on the Temple Mount and the Jewish connection to the holy site.

“The Western Wall is thought by many to be the holiest site in Judaism. It’s not, the Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism,” said Shapiro. “The Western Wall is actually a retaining wall for the platform where the Temple stood. It’s kind of weird. We’re actually praying at the retaining wall not for the actual Temple itself, there was another wall that surrounded the Temple. It’s sort of like praying at the fence of a parking lot that contains the building you actually care about.”

“That’s where the Holy of Holies used to stand in the Beit HaMikdash – the Temple. It is the rock where Abraham, according to the Bible, was about to sacrifice Isaac. It is also the site where Jacob, when he had the dream of the ladder going to heaven was promised the land. It is a deeply important place at the root of Jewish spirituality. And Jewish spirituality lies at the root of Christian spirituality and Muslim spirituality.”

Turning to the political issues revolving around Israel’s capital city, Shapiro called for the city to remain undivided under Israeli sovereignty.

“Jerusalem needs to remain unified and in Israeli hands.”

“Bottom line: you see around me a thriving city. This was not a thriving city in 1966. In 1966, this was a closed city, the Jordanians were in charge of it, Jews could not pray at the Western Wall. All of this was closed to Jews and largely to Christians as well. That changed in 1967 during the Six Day War.”

“When people talk about dividing Jerusalem, they’re insane, they’re just crazy…you can’t divide the Old City. It is entirely cohesive.”

Shapiro also discussed his own visit to the Temple Mount several days before the podcast, and his removal from the holy site after he was spotted praying.

“We walked over there earlier this week and then we were kicked off for the crime of mumbling prayers, which apparently is not allowed formally because of the Waqf.”

Shapiro also called for the building of a synagogue or prayer space for Jews on the Temple Mount.

“It is absurd that you are not allowed to openly pray up there. [Jews] should obviously be allowed to openly pray up there. Muslims not only are allowed to openly pray up there, they have the Dome of the Rock and a mosque up there. In fact, I think there’s a strong case to be made that Jews should be building, if they can’t build the Temple, because there’s the Dome of the Rock right there. They should at least build a synagogue up there so you can have regularized prayers. If Muslims are able to build a school on one end which they have done, it seems to me the Jews should be able to build a synagogue in a space that is roughly the size of three football fields.”

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