For the past ten years, MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud-Beitenu) has been visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on the 19th of the Hebrew month, every month. But on Sunday, April 28, 2013, Feiglin received a phone call from Deputy Commander Moshe Barkat, Chief of the Israeli Police David Precinct, which includes the Old City of Jerusalem.
“He informed me that, on direct order from the prime minister, I would not be permitted to enter the Mount tomorrow,” MK Feiglin wrote in his Facebook page.
A source close to Feiglin told The Jewish Press that the deputy commander told the MK that the Waqf, the Jordanian charity organization which runs the Temple Mount, warned the Prime Minister’s office that should Feiglin go up on the Mount on Monday, it would “start World War Three.”
No one wants that. Except that the same Waqf has been cautioning about new world wars frequently, and is often involved in organizing, rather than trying to prevent them.
According to Feiglin, the prime minister has no legal authority to give such an order, because it violates three basic laws:
1. Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, which gives each person freedom of movement, and requires the state to protect this right.
2. Basic Law: The Knesset, which grants every MK complete immunity in carrying out his duties.
3. Basic Law: Jerusalem, which says: “The sacred sites shall be protected from desecration and any other violation and from anything likely to violate the freedom of access of the religionists to the sites they hold sacred, or their feelings concerning those sites.”
Also: “Any and all authority applying to the area of Jerusalem that is granted by law to the State of Israel or the Jerusalem Municipality, shall not be transferred to a foreign entity, political or governmental, whether permanently or temporarily.”
“The only legal way to prevent me from going up to the Temple Mount tomorrow (without changing existing law),” says MK Feiglin, “is if, in the opinion of the officer in charge of the place there exists an immediate, clear and present danger.”
But, having given him the warning a full day in advance, Feiglin argues, security forces should have ample time—had the prime minister only told them so—to organize and prevent dangerous gathering and violence.
According to MK Feiglin, the Prime Minister’s decision “confirms what I was told by the police command when I asked to tour the Dome of the Rock, that the Temple Mount is under Muslim sovereignty.”
This unfortunate decision, writes Feiglin, can be added to reports this week about transferring broad supervisory authority to UNESCO in Jerusalem, as well as the reality of a de facto construction freeze in Jerusalem, as Housing Minister Uri Ariel warned last week.
The source close to Feiglin says the MK will obey Netanyahu’s directive, but that as of tomorrow Feiglin would no longer be voting the Likud-Beitenu party line.
“When, just before Jerusalem Liberation Day, the Prime Minister orders an Israeli Knesset member that—contrary to Israeli law— he not to go up to the Temple Mount, it means that the Prime Minister has officially and openly revoked Israeli sovereignty on the Mount and given it to the Muslim Waqf,” MK Feiglin wrote.
“This is an entirely new situation, more severe than before, and I must consider now how to force the Prime Minister to respect the sovereignty of the State of Israel in its capital Jerusalem,” he concluded.