Likud MK denounces Temple Mount ‘infringement’ (JERUSALEM POST) By JEREMY SHARON 06/28/12)
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Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely launched a fierce attack against the
Jerusalem police on Wednesday, accusing them of unilaterally
tightening regulations against Jews who want to go up to the Temple
Current Israeli law stipulates that Jews and other non-Muslims may
not pray out loud on the Temple Mount because of tensions it may
Supervisors from the Jordanian Wakf accompany visiting groups to
ensure that they do not pray or conduct any visible form of worship
with Israeli police providing security oversight.
Hotovely’s comments come following several recent incidents on the
Temple Mount in which Jewish visitors have experienced problems
during or before their ascent to the site, which the MK referred to
in her statement.
Last Wednesday Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, founder and director of the
Temple Institute, tried to go up to the Temple Mount, but was told by
police that he was banned from the site.
The Temple Institute is a non-profit organization that has
constructed the vessels for the Temple according to the directions
found in the Bible, and states that its long-term goal is to do “all
in our limited power to bring about the building of the Holy Temple
in our time.”
Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said that Ariel tried to
break the law during his last visit to the Temple Mount, but refused
to elaborate on the issue because police have opened a criminal
Ariel last visited the site on Jerusalem Day, along with MKs Michael
Ben Ari and Uri Ariel and other prominent rabbis and public figures.
The relatively large group prayed out loud, sang and recited
blessings while on the Temple Mount. Yisrael Ariel, who, during the
Six Day War, was a paratrooper that participated in the capture of
the Temple Mount, recited a mourner’s prayer in memory of soldiers
who were killed in the battle for Jerusalem in 1967. Uri Ariel, who
is a kohen, recited the priestly blessing, and the entire group
recited a thanksgiving prayer.
The Temple Institute later published a video of the visit on YouTube.
It is likely that it is this incident police are investigating.
Ben-Ruby said that Yisrael Ariel has been banned from the Temple
Mount during the course of the investigation.
He added that the ban is not permanent and police will re-examine the
ban on his access to the Temple Mount after the investigation is
concluded and either arrest him and bring him to court, or lift the
Hotovely called the ban on Ariel “a fatal blow to freedom of worship,
which has no place in the State of Israel, not toward members of any
religion and especially not towards a devout Jew.”
She also submitted a request for a special hearing in the Knesset’s
Interior Committee on the issue of freedom of worship at the Temple
Rabbi Chaim Richman, international director of The Temple Institute,
denounced what he termed “the recent shift of policy towards Jewish
visitors to the Temple Mount,” as draconian and totalitarian.
“The treatment of Jews on the Temple Mount bespeaks utter contempt,
insensitivity to religious feelings and a brutal quashing of the most
basic human rights,” he said.
“It is inconceivable that Jews are treated as criminals for
expressing a desire to pray at their holiest site.”
Melanie Lidman contributed to this report. (© 1995-2011, The
Jerusalem Post 06/28/12)
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