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October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
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Is Ascending the Temple Mount Irresponsible?

That a Knesset member must toe the line of the majority, not because it is the law but because it is the majority opinion, is not applicable to democracy.

Member of Knesset Moshe Feiglin (Likud).

Member of Knesset Moshe Feiglin (Likud).

The following is my response to a woman who criticized me for visiting the Temple Mount. In a letter to me, she claimed that I broke the law and irresponsibly provoked Arab anger. She suggested that my actions should conform to the will of the “majority.”

Dear S.:

1) In your letter, you claim that I broke the law. I am sorry to say that from your letter it is obvious that you are not familiar with this issue. The legal situation on the Temple Mount is the complete opposite of what you describe. There is not and there cannot be a law that prohibits the entrance of Jews to the Temple Mount. There is not and cannot be a law that prohibits Jews from praying on the Temple Mount. There are laws that emphasize the rights of all religious groups to enter their holy places (similar to their rights to enter any other public place) and to pray there.

I would like to remind you that the nation of Israel also has a faith. It also has a holy place and – wonder of wonders – the Jewish people also have feelings, such that these laws relate to me as much as it does to any other citizen.

The courts have time and again upheld our legal right to enter and pray on the Mount. On Sukkot of this year, I was arrested for praying on the Temple Mount. Despite all of the police’s best efforts, the judge released me without bail due to “absence of guilt.”

Thus, I suggest that you may want to consider whether the situation is not completely the opposite of what you claim. Perhaps I am the one abiding by the law, while those trusted with upholding the law are actually breaking it. As you are a responsible citizen, I am certain that this disturbing possibility will cause you to lose some sleep.

2) Regarding your claim that I acted irresponsibly, I say this: Although you try to be objective, this claim is up to its neck in a typically one-sided worldview. You conclude that we must give in to the Arab threat of violence. You place the responsibility for the outcome on whoever does not surrender.

I wonder if you would respond in the same way if a bully would take over your house and prevent you from entering. How would you relate to someone who would point the accusing finger at you, reprimand you for demanding that the police arrest that ruffian and blame you – not the intruder – for the outcome? You are correct that in light of the de facto surrender (in secret, against the public’s will, without any Knesset decision and against the law) of Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount, there is a certain probability that my entrance to the Mount would initially arouse attempts to react violently. But does capitulation to the Arab threat of violence bring quiet?

Our experience on every front that we have tested the capitulation innovation is completely clear. Both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem have become legitimate targets for rocket attacks as a result of our recent withdrawals. As a Jerusalemite, you certainly must remember the exploding buses. Try to remember a similar attack before the Oslo Accords.

Simple logic shows that it is not the one who refuses to capitulate to violence and demand his legal and ethical right to enter the Mount who is irresponsible – but vice versa. Those who evade their responsibility to maintain Israeli sovereignty on the Mount are irresponsible. Ultimately, they will find themselves in a never-ending bloody conflict over our sovereignty over the entire land of Israel. The thousands of Oslo victims – soldiers and civilians – who paid with their lives, and the constant danger that there will be more victims are the direct result of this irresponsibility.

3) Democracy: This claim is a bit awkward, both from a factual standpoint and even more so in its essence.

I do not know how you justify your statement that I do not represent the views of the majority of citizens. I have read numerous studies that reinforce the fact that our nation feels a strong connection to the Temple Mount.

But that really does not matter. The argument that a Knesset member must toe the line of the majority – not because it is the law but because it is the majority opinion – may be applicable to the understanding of democracy in the People’s Republic of China. There is no need to further belabor the point. Thus I suggest that you rethink your position.

Sincerely,

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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4 Responses to “Is Ascending the Temple Mount Irresponsible?”

  1. Everything comes down to former defense minister Dayan, who allowed the Muslims to keep control of the Temple Mount, but in actuality, it was Israel right to keep ti for being the victorious in the 1967 war. Israel should have been the power in control of that area, never mind, Israel cosiders Jerusalem its Capital, and she claims sovereignty on the whole area. Thus, why it is that Jews are not allowed to worship on the Temple Mount if Israel controls the whole area? Why is it that the Muslims have to dictate and forbid Jewish people to worship there if you know that the old Temple was built right there? How long are you people going to keep the status quo as it is just because the Muslims do not like Jews at all? What needs to be done to change this loudicrous status quo, and let Jewis People not only built their Templo but to worship there again? What are you afraid of? World War III? then, so be it. You will never have your Third Temple and worship there unless you do something about it. Just keeping the pathetic status quo is not going to solve the problem. Do you want the Anti-Christ to show up and do that job for the Jewish State? I would prefer Israel to take care of the problem, and now; not in about 1,000 years. The Jewish Faith is paramount to the Nation of Israel, and that is why Jews are back on their own homeland.

  2. Israel should take back the Temple of the Mount. They will do a much better job than the Arabs.

  3. Robin Rosenblatt says:

    The more we give to the Arabs the more they will take.

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