Temple Mount
Temple MountFlash 90

The Supreme Court today rejected a petition against the government's decision to close the Temple Mount to visitors, Jews and Muslims.

"In times of routine, tens of thousands of Muslims visit the Temple Mount. It is precisely the Jewish ascent to prayer on the Temple Mount, even if in small numbers, that may violate symmetry and reciprocity," the judges wrote.

"The Israel Police is charged with public safety and maintaining public order on the Temple Mount from the standpoint of the long arm of state sovereignty," the ruling states. "With sovereignty comes authority, and with authority comes responsibility, and with responsibility comes reason and sensitivity. The Temple Mount is explosive, a place where the lava rivers of conflict spill over."

The petitioners, Yehuda Etzion and journalist Arnon Segal claimed that exceptions can be made on the Temple Mount, just as Waqf personnel entered the Mount, and as was done in the Western Wall, the Cave of the Patriarchs, and the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai on Lag Ba'omer.

Yesterday a hearing was held on the two petitions against closing the Mount to Jewish ascent. During the hearing their lawyer, Itamar Ben Gvir, claimed that the Mount was closed only to Jews, following an agreement with the Jordanians that had not been properly debated in government or in Cabinet.

"I want to know the truth and if the State has an understanding they should say there's an understanding and there's an agreement. Agreeing with the Jordanians was hidden from the public and not brought for discussion, neither in government nor in Cabinet. Why was there no procedure here? They make an agreement with Jordan that discriminates against Jews and no one discusses it ", said Ben Gvir.

He said, "If tomorrow morning in the Cave of the Patriarchs the military commander would come and not allow the Arabs to enter the Cave but only a handful of Jews, would any of the court judges allow such a thing? You'd have issued an interim injunction. No one would have accepted it."

Journalist Arnon Segal, a member of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, told Arutz Sheva that "the fact that rabbis, including national religious, are calling on Netanyahu to now open the synagogues, but none of them is thinking of demanding opening the Temple Mount for Jewish ascent on Jerusalem Day eve is very unfortunate and sad."

He added, "The 53 years of neglect and forgetting the holiest place in the world means that even our rabbis, those who are supposed to strengthen observance of public commandments, are already like 'children in captivity'."

He says: "The Temple Mount - the place where whether you are for ascending or oppose it, the heart of Judaism and focus of Jewish prayers, longings, and dreams over two thousand years, is now only an Islamic site. In our Holy of Holies only Muslims are allowed to tread. If they're not inciting to murder Jews, at the very least they play football on the Temple site."

"And our incredible disconnect, led by our rabbinate," Segal said, "means that it's completely possible to ignore our duty on the matter, to be moved by the poetry of Naomi Shemer 'and no-one visits the Temple Mount' without realizing that this reality hasn't changed at all, just that in 5780 (2020) as opposed to 5727 (1967) we have no-one to blame except ourselves."

יהודה עציון: "בחסות הקורונה דחקו את היהודים מהר הבית"