Published by The Freeman Center
The Maccabean Online
Political Analysis and Commentary
The Fiction that Bars Jews from the Temple Mount
By Moshe Feiglin
15 September, 2013 / 11 Tishrei, 5774
In his reply to the questions that I had addressed to Police Commissioner Yochanan Danino on the legal status of the Islamic Trust and freedom of access and worship for Jews on the Temple Mount, the legal advisor to the police, Brigadier General Shaul Gordon, wrote that in 1967, Israel’s government made a historic decision to allow the Islamic Trust (wakf) to control the Mount.
The truth is that no such decision exists.
When the Knesset’s Interior Committee convened on Monday, 12 Tishrei (Sept. 16, '13) the Police could not produce any document testifying to the above government decision. As the decision clearly does not exist, I demanded, at the first stage, to close the Temple Mount to Moslems during the Sukkot holiday just as the Mount was closed to Jews for the month of Ramadan.
It is unacceptable that Moslem rioters control the Mount while Israel’s Police Force, which claims to be the sole authority on the Mount, allows them to continue to riot while preventing Israel’s Jewish citizens from freely accessing Judaism's holiest site.
The following is a short summary of the points made by the police in their answer to my query about the legal status of the Islamic Trust on the Temple Mount and my full response to the Commissioner:
To MK Moshe Feiglin
Re: The Legal Status of the Islamic Trust on the Temple Mount
1. As I am the legal advisor to the Police, I have been authorized to answer your letter.
2. As you know, the decision to entrust the internal arrangements on the Temple Mount to the Islamic Trust is an historic decision of the government of Israel that was made in 1967. Israel’s Police Force is solely responsible for the preservation of law and order on the Temple Mount. This authority has not been delegated to any other agency.
3. Regarding your question about the relationship between the police and the Islamic Trust: Within the framework of its authority to preserve law and order on the Temple Mount, the Police are also in contact with the representatives of the Islamic Trust.
Brigadier General Shaul Gordon
7 Tishrei, 5774
To: Police Commissioner Yochanan Danino
Re: The Status of the Islamic Trust on the Temple Mount
1. I received your reply, through Police Legal Advisor Attorney Shaul Gordon from 4 Tishrei 5774.
2. In paragraph 2, Brigadier General Gordon writes: “As you know, the decision to entrust the internal arrangements on the Temple Mount to the Islamic Trust is an historic decision of the government of Israel that was made in 1967.” As I am not aware of any government decision from 1967 that affords the Islamic Trust any authority on the Mount, I request that you display a copy of this government decision.
3. To the best of my knowledge, no such decision exists. From the protocol of the meeting of the Ministerial Committee in 5728 (1968) it is clear that they did not think that such a decision had been made. For example, I will quote from the words of Justice Minister Y. S. Shapira at the Ministerial Committee meeting on June 30, 1968: “We never announced that the Temple Mount belongs in its entirety to the Arabs. We never announced that Jews are prohibited from praying there; we never announced that Jews are prohibited from erecting a synagogue there.”
4. The entry arrangements to the Temple Mount enforced by Israel’s Police severely discriminate against non-Moslems and even more so against Jews, as is detailed in Manhigut Yehudit’s Special Report on Violation of Jewish Rights on the Temple Mount (26 Iyar 5773). This discrimination is based on the erroneous Police assumption that it is implementing a government decision.
5. As such I request of you:
A. To immediately nullify all the orders that discriminate between Moslems and non-Moslems at the entrance to the Temple Mount and to allow free entry at all the gates to the Mount, in accordance with the law.
B. To coordinate the arrangements on the Temple Mount only with public representatives who are subordinate to Israeli law.
6. As previous experience has shown that when legal claims do not carry their weight, security claims take their place, I would like to clarify that it is unthinkable that Israel’s Police Force allows Moslems to enter the Temple Mount from all its gates with no security check, while it demands a security check on all non-Moslems. A lesser form of discrimination at the entrance to the Ben Gurion airport, which demanded a security check only of those people who appeared to be Arabs, was nullified by the High Court.
7. Parenthetically, I would like to call your attention to the fact that my questions regarding the legal status of the Islamic Trust on the Temple Mount were not addressed. This evasion of the issue endorses the fact that the Trust is not registered by law and acts against the law: by its very existence, by the fact that it pays salaries to its workers but does not pay taxes or social security, by the prohibition against money laundering and by its practice of forcing discriminatory arrangements against Jews or non-Moslems on the Mount on the basis of race. This is a badge of shame for Israel’s Police Force, which cooperates with this criminal organization and whose police officers accede to the whims of its employees.
MK Moshe Feiglin
Deputy Speaker of the Knesset