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JERUSALEM (RNS) Known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Haram As-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary), the most sensitive site in this most sensitive of cities is buffeted by a growing chorus of Israelis demanding their government allow Jewish worshippers access to the site, and thereby reverse decades of political and religious precedent.


  1. Why are the two mosques allowed to stay on the Temple Mount? This was holy ground for the Jews for at least a millenium before Islam came on the scene. The Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosques are architectural things of beauty, but they could be preserved in a different location.

    Unbelievable that one religion thinks it is allowed to usurp the holy ground of an even older monotheistic religion. However, the whole matter is indicative of the viewpoint of the radical Islamists on the planet.

    • Its a combination of possession is 9/10ths of the Law” and the lack of desire on the part of the Israelis to engage in wholesale ethnic cleansing of the Arabs of the West Bank.

      The Jews had a little hiatus in the region due to Diaspora. The Muslims controlled Jerusalem for over 14 centuries with minor interruption by Crusaders.

      “Unbelievable that one religion thinks it is allowed to usurp the holy ground of an even older monotheistic religion.”

      Interesting how you qualify that statement. So if someone levels a temple of some still existing polytheistic religion and builds a church on top of it, would that be OK with you?

      • I don’t see the “wholesale ethnic cleansing of the Arabs” as having any part in reclaiming the whole Temple Mount.

        No, I would not approve of the leveling of any temple that had been their first, not unless that temple no longer serves an extant population. The Muslims knowingly took the Temple Mount, knowing as well that Jews had been displaced from the region but were active throughout the Middle East and parts of Europe. Since the Muslims acted on the “might is right” principle, I see no reason why Judaism can’t do the same to reclaim what belongs to it. Granted the political stew that today is the Middle East militates against it, and there also are many Jews who do not believe that there should even be an Israeli state.

        I would like to hear Israeli statesmen respond to Islamist threats to crush Israel by replying that they are seriously considering removing the mosques. I wonder what the Arabs could possibly say that they could back up, given their lack of success since 1967.

  2. “Every citizen of the State of Israel should be allowed to pray in the places holy to them, whether they are a Muslim, a Jew, or a Christian,” Regev said.”

    I hope this includes women citizens, too, and the government ensures the rights of non-Orthodox Jewish women to pray at the Western Wall without harassment

  3. The 6th paragraph of your article is disturbing in which you state it is simply a belief that the Temple Mount is the site of the Jewish Temple and that the Western Wall is simply believed to be part of the retaining wall to this Temple. Both of those “beliefs” are facts that no credible archaeologist disputes.