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No longer active? Ben Gvir waffles about changing the Temple Mount status quo

No longer active?  Ben Gvir waffles about changing the Temple Mount status quo
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Knesset member Itamar Ben Gvir, who until recently favored allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, expressed ambivalence on the issue on Sunday – just as he prepared to take responsibility for Israel’s police. -policy of the day on the site.

Ben Gvir, who will soon catch up the new name of the minister of national securitywhen asked, he avoided answering In an interview with Kan public radio if he planned to allow Jews to pray on the Temple Mount. Still, he said in no uncertain terms that he would seek to address the current situation where Jews cannot pray at the holy site, calling it “racist.”

The comments were a marked departure from his unequivocal rhetoric on the Temple Mount on the campaign trail, when he repeatedly emphasized the importance of Jews demonstrating that they are “owners of the land.” Ben Gvir is a regular visitor to flashpoint.

“Will the Minister of National Security Allow Jews to Pray on the Temple Mount?” Kahn journalist Kalman Liebskind asked Ben Gvir on Sunday.

“The Minister of National Security will demand an explanation and will work against the racist policy on the Temple Mount,” the MK replied.

Asaf Lieberman, host of Liebskind, noted that the person who will have to “clarify” the position of the police on the Temple Mount will be none other than the Minister of National Security.

“Itamar Ben Gvir will demand an explanation from the minister of national security, who will call Itamar Ben Gvir to clarify,” Lieberman joked.

Many of the policies on the ground at the Temple Mount are determined not by official government decisions, but by the police stationed in the area—from Jewish visiting hours to what pilgrims are allowed to do on the mount—by the minister in charge. because the police would have significant power over these decisions.

Ben Gvir reiterated his opposition to the “racist policy” of restricting non-Muslim prayer, without explaining what the new policy would look like.

Ben Gvir also refrained from responding if the likely prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, demanded that Jewish prayer be allowed on the Temple Mount as a condition for joining his government.

“Some things are just between me and the prime minister,” he said.

In recent years, a group of far-right Jewish activists have worked to make what was once the topic of Jewish visits to the Temple Mount a major issue in right-wing and religious circles. Although many leading rabbis forbid Jews from climbing the mountain because they involuntarily trample on forbidden holy land, including rabbinical leaders who support the two ultra-Orthodox parties that will join the next government, Shas and United Torah Judaism, more and more Orthodox rabbis are embracing the practice. they signed.

Israel once strictly forbade Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, but that ban has slowly eroded over the years, with individual silent prayers and occasional group services now not uncommon.

Temple Mount activists argue that it is discriminatory to allow Muslim prayer while banning Jewish public prayer at Judaism’s holiest site. Opponents argue that allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount would lead to mass protests and riots by Muslims in the Middle East, as well as damage Israel’s diplomatic ties with Jordan, which has a special relationship with the Temple Mount.

Last year saw a record number of Jewish visits to the Temple Mount.

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