Wednesday, January 19

Israeli political system divided over idea of MKs ascending the Temple Mount


 

 

While some MKs are planning their visit to the Temple Mount at the first available moment, others warn about provocations. Deputy Finance Minister Yitzhak Cohen stressed: “Any rising up to the Temple Mount is a provocation and not a good deed.” However, Likud MK Yehuda Glick welcomed this development: “The decision is right and proper.”

Hours after Channel 2’s Amit Segal published for the first time that Knesset members will be allowed to reenter the Temple Mount after 8 months of not being permitted to do so, the political system in Israel has once again discussed the explosive issue. The outline that is presently being formed will permit MKs, both Jews and Arabs, to return to the Temple Mount at the end of Ramadan.

“This is an unfortunate decision,” Deputy Finance Minister Yitzhak Cohen of Shas proclaimed. “There is no benefit except for a provocation. Not only is there a prohibition and severe religious law as well as a ruling by great men of this generation, but there are other prohibitions such as don’t provoke war and preserve your souls.” Cohen added that “any rising up to the Temple Mount is a provocation and not a good deed. The Temple Mount is not a political place. It is not permissible to turn it into a political Hyde Park.”

On the other hand, there were MKs that welcomed the decision. Lifting the ban on MKs going up to the Temple Mount is good news, MK Bezalel Smotrich of Ha-Bayit Ha-Yehudi stated. The fact that we did this only to surrender to the Arab MKs and also due to Jordanian pressure is disturbing and sad.

MK Shuli Muallem of Ha-Bayit Ha-Yehudi added: “The way of thinking that MKs going up to the Temple Mount is the main factor aside from Palestinian incitement is wrong. It is clear that Jewish MKs going up to the Temple Mount constitutes grounds to increase incitement but it is forbidden for us to surrender. It is the holiest site to the Jewish people.” She stated that she plans to go up on the first day possible.

Likud MK Yehuda Glick added: “The decision is right and proper. I really want the Temple Mount to be a place for peace and reconciliation. All you need to do is honor the place and to cooperate in order to make it a place of coexistence.”