The first Seekers of Zion conference, aimed at tightening the connection between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount, was held in the Knesset on Monday under the banner of “Jerusalem of Peace,” on the second anniversary of the assassination attempt on MK and Temple activist Yehuda Glick.
Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs, and Information Gilad Erdan (Likud) told the conference that “our right to the Temple Mount is indisputable, and no international entity can rewrite our history. The Temple Mount is the most sacred site to the Jewish nation and that cannot be changed.”
Having said that, Erdan admitted that “today’s status quo on the Temple Mount discriminates against the Jewish people. That is the truth. When I took office [the Waqf] limited the access of Jewish visitors on the Temple Mount based on racial and religious profiling, they came up close to them in an intimidating manner, let no one have any illusions about this — everything there was arranged, timed and paid for.”
“Together with the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister, and the cabinet, I led decisions to ban the Almoravid and Morabitat (separate male and female fanatical Islamic groups), and to ban the northern branch of the Islamic Movement,” Erdan continued. “My job is to secure the visitors ascending the Temple Mount, Jews, Christians and Muslims. The status quo discriminates against Jews. I’m glad there’s been a significant rise in the number of visitors on the Temple Mount.”
Turning to Glick, Minister Erdan said, “I think your victory, Yehuda, against those decrepit terrorists, is first of all the fact that more Jews are ascending the Temple Mount.” He added, “We believe that religion can be a source of reconciliation for people.”
Former MK Moshe Feiglin told the audience that “when we retreated in our hold on the Temple Mount, we retreated in our hold over the entire land.” He cited poet Uri Zvi Greenberg who wrote, “Whomever governs the mountain governs the land.”
Feiglin noted that when the nation lost its hold over the Temple mount, “we got the wave of knifings, we got a weakening of our hold on the rest of the neighborhood of Jerusalem, terrorist attacks in remote villages, rockets in Sderot, Beer Sheva and Tel Aviv, and our hold over the land continues to weaken.”
“Why the heck are we complaining against UNESCO who says we have no connection to the Mountain,” Feiglin asked, “when every Israeli government, especially this most recent one and especially this most recent prime minister are voting with their feet that we, indeed, have no ties to the mountain.”
Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Habayit Hayehudi) called for the speedy arrangement of of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, and the sooner the better.
Conference speakers included Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein; Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Ze’ev Elkin; Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel; Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely; and Sheikh Ahmad Riyadh.