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Israeli right dreams of third temple in Jerusalem


Right wing Israeli politicians are visiting Temple Mount again

Dome of the Rock on the Noble Sanctuary/Temple Mount

Shlomi Eldar writes in Al Monitor, “The ban imposed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on visits by government ministers and Knesset members to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount lasted three straight years, barring some experimental interruptions in 2017. Netanyahu’s decision at the time was prompted by riots at the site and the so-called individual Palestinian intifada, which broke out in the fall of 2015. The murder of Alexander Levlovich in September 2015 and the murders of Eitam and Naama Henkin in the West Bank in October 2015 signaled the beginning of the intifada.”

“The tension in Jerusalem was intense, and the Palestinians accused Israel of seeking to change the status quo at the Temple Mount complex. Netanyahu feared that the Palestinians would view visits by right-wing ministers and Knesset members as provocations, engendering further violence. And so, he rightly issued the ban. Since then, the political right has applied relentless pressure on Netanyahu to lift it.”

“On July 3, Netanyahu addressed a letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, saying that lawmakers could visit the Temple Mount once every three months…The timing of the renewed visits is probably not a coincidence. It comes just three weeks after Netanyahu’s June 18 meeting in Amman with King Abdullah of Jordan, the site’s Muslim custodian, after which his office issued a statement saying the prime minister “reiterated Israel’s commitment to maintaining the status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem.” Did Netanyahu discuss with the monarch his desire to lift the ban and thereby ease the political right’s pressure on him? Possibly. The fact is that following the meeting, the Knesset’s chief security officer issued a letter on July 5 advising all Knesset members interested in going to the Temple Mount to coordinate with police.”…

Jews to pray on Temple Mount

“According to a recent report by the Yeraeh movement dedicated to promoting a Jewish presence on the Mount, the number of Jews visiting the site has increased significantly, reaching 22,000 in 2017. The group describes itself as an initiative by volunteers who greet Jewish visitors to the site and report on events there; its report forecasts a further significant rise in the number of visitors in the next few years because of its activities…

“The visitation to the Mount by the right-wing leadership, which openly claims the erection of the third temple is on the agenda, helps instill in the public mind an idea once considered absurd, nightmarish and dangerous. And if high-ranking ministers of the right ascend the Mount, their supporters will surely follow.” (more…)

 

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