Latest update: September 24th, 2013
In his reply to my questions to Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino on the legal status of the Muslim Trust and freedom of access and worship for Jews on the Temple Mount, the police’s legal adviser, Brig. Gen. 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: no such decision exists.
I have demanded that the police produce the aforementioned government decision. When the police fail to display the decision that clearly does not exist, I will demand, at the first stage, to close the Temple Mount to Muslims during the Sukkot holiday.
It is unacceptable that Muslim rioters control the Mount while Israel’s Police Force, which claims to be the Mount’s sole authority, 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 its reply to me regarding 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
As I am the legal adviser to the police, I have been authorized to answer your letter.
As you know, the decision to entrust the internal arrangements on the Temple Mount to the Islamic Trust is a 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.
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
* * *
My reply to Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino:
Re: The Status of the Islamic Trust on the Temple Mount
1. I received your reply through Police Legal Adviser Shaul Gordon from 4 Tishrei 5774.
2. In paragraph 2, Brig. Gen. Gordon writes: “As you know, the decision to entrust the internal arrangements on the Temple Mount to the Islamic Trust is a 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 Muslims and non-Muslims 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 Muslims to enter the Temple Mount from all its gates with no security check, while it demands a security check on all non-Muslims. 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-Muslims 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 caprice of its employees.
Deputy Speaker of the Knesset
MK Moshe Feiglin
About the Author: Moshe Feiglin is the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and a member of Israel's Security and Defense Committee. He heads the Manhigut Yehudit ("Jewish Leadership") faction of Israel's governing Likud party. He is the founder of Manhigut Yehudit and Zo Artzeinu and the author of two books: "Where There Are No Men" and "War of Dreams." Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in Combat Engineering and is a veteran of the Lebanon War. He lives in Ginot Shomron with his family.
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