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Friday, September 18, 2020 

Freedom for Judaists to pray on Temple Mount is crucial

Josiah Rotenberg makes an important point that, for the Abraham accords to have real meaning, there must be freedom for adherents to Judaism to pray on the Temple Mount without incident:
Unfortunately, since 1967 Israel has not allowed Jews the freedom to worship at their people's holiest site. It did retain national sovereignty on and around the Temple Mount, but religious sovereignty was handed over to the Muslim Waqf, which asked that Jews be forbidden to murmur prayers, hold Hebrew books, or make any reference to the Temple while on the Mount. The status quo has remained in place because Israeli leaders were afraid that deviating from it would cause Muslims to riot in Israel and around the world. Israeli authorities have said more than once that this is a security issue, as a change to the existing order on the Temple Mount could spark violence.

That fear should not guide Israel, but these are the facts. However, we are living in a time unlike any other we have ever seen: the deal with the UAE and Bahrain, the Saudis permitting Israel to use their airspace, and the first Muslim-majority country (Kosovo) to open an embassy in Jerusalem. The Islamist wall of refusal to accept the Jewish state or Jews' sovereignty over their ancestral land is cracking.

And if the conflicts of the past are coming to an end, the arrival of an Emirati delegation might be the time to smash twisted conventions. Prime Minister Netanyahu can invite his senior counterpart to join him on a visit to the Temple Mount, and they can both pray for the peace to succeed and for the region to flourish and stay stable, each according to his own faith.
The case must definitely be made for any restrictions on the Temple Mount to be put to an end. Only if they agree on that will the Islamic/Arabic countries prove they're sincere.

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