“I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting My Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.” (1 Kings 9:3)
A council of Muslim religious leaders has announced they wish to return the Temple Mount to the same status it had under Jordanian occupation, effectively banning Jews from the Temple Mount.
“The Muslims want Al-Aqsa Mosque to be returned to the situation before 1967, when it was liberated from all occupation and under the rule of the Arabs and the Muslims, since it belongs only to the Muslims,” stated the Muslim council, which gathered in Jerusalem. (Arutz 7)
“The Muslims demand to have the key of the Mughrabi Gate returned to them, after it was seized by the occupation army and currently serves for aggressive invasions,” said the council, referring to the only gate to the Temple Mount that allocates entrance to non-Muslims.
“The Islamic department of holy sites is the one that determined who was allowed to enter and exit from among the non-Muslim visitors,” in vague reference to the threat of a full ban against Jews.
The Old City of Jerusalem festered as it did under Jordanian occupation between 1949 and 1967, and the Temple Mount was entirely off-limits to non-Muslim visitors. As well, Jordanian forces burned 35 of 36 synagogues.
Yet, increased incitement against the Jews since the Jewish New Year — leading to a spate of murderous attacks against Israelis — has falsely stated that the Al-Aqsa is “in danger” and being “desecrated” by Jews.
It is not only Jewish People who are experiencing trouble on the Mount.
At the end of October, a self-professed Jordanian guard ousted a Danish Christian named Jane Kiel from the Mount, claiming she had prayed inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque. After Kiel denied the accusation, the guard pointed to the entire grounds of the Mount and told her: “Same area. This is all mosque. … This is only for Muslims.” (BIN)
Knowing who she was, the Jordanian called out, “Jane, …we waited two months for you!” and called her a “born-again believer.” The man took her to the Waqf “boss” who demanded she delete her videos and photos and leave.
On a previous visit, a Waqf guard took her phone from her had deleted her videos and photos himself. But that didn’t stop her from posting other videos and writing about her experiences on her blog and on Facebook. Since then she has received numerous threats.
While Israel’s enemies falsely accuse her of “apartheid,” the guards’ hostility — which is popular among Muslims — and the Muslim council’s requested ban on Jews are true apartheid sentiments.
In surprising juxtaposition to the United States’ early struggle for civil rights, this sentiment was affirmed by US Secretary of State John Kerry upon a recent visit to Jordan, saying: “It is Muslims who pray on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif and non-Muslims who visit.” (Family Security Matters)
Meanwhile, in rejection of this overt discrimination, a far-right Israeli group named “Returning to the Mount,” has announced they would give 2,000 NIS ($516) to anyone caught praying on the Mount. (TOI)
To prevent rioting on the Temple Mount as well as Jewish prayer, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah of Jordan recently agreed to install surveillance cameras; however, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki rejected the idea as a “trap” meant to arrest Palestinians “under the pretext of incitement.” (JP)