Following the deadly attack last week on the Temple Mount which led to the tragic death of 2 Druze policemen, Israel placed security measures at the entrance to the Temple Mount, including metal detectors.
This has led to mass protests against Israel’s use of these measures:
Shortly after the #IsraelPolice announced that Muslim worshipers can return the #TempleMount, the holy site was shut down again due to the #Jerusalem Islamic #Waqf officials’ protest against the new security measures. “It’s an embarrassment to go through a checkpoint of the occupation to #Al-Aqsa,” the Muslim worshipers said. Instead they are praying outside the Security checkpoints in Jerusalem.
But these measures implemented are no different to those taken at most other major religious site – including the holiest site to Islam in Mecca!
The metal detectors and security measures at the Temple Mount prevent terror and protect worshippers – like at religious sites everywhere. pic.twitter.com/VsGexeZQ7U
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) July 18, 2017
— Andreas Fagerbakke (@afagerbakke) July 19, 2017
What Rights do metal detectors installed at the Temple Mount, like in airports, prevent?
Only the Right to Terrorize.
— StandWithUs (@StandWithUs) July 19, 2017
In an opinion piece in the Times of Israel, editor David Horovitz calls this “outrageous”:
It’s outrageous that in parts of the Muslim world, Israel is being castigated for installing metal detectors designed to boost security at the holiest place in the world for Jews and the third holiest for Muslims. Don’t they want security there?
It’s outrageous that many of those who are castigating Israel for ostensibly “changing the status quo” at the Temple Mount / Al-Aqsa Mosque compound are doing so without so much as mentioning the murderous attack that defiled the holy site and prompted the deployment of the metal detectors: On Friday, three Muslims — Israeli Arab Muslims — emerged from the compound, guns blazing, and shot dead two Border Police officers who were stationed on duty immediately outside. The two victims just so happened to be Druze — an Arabic-speaking monotheistic community incorporating many Islamic teachings. To put it really crudely then, Arabs killed Arabs at a holy place, the Jews are trying to ensure that it doesn’t happen again, and the Arab world is furious with the Jews about it…
It’s outrageous that the deployment of metal detectors outside the compound is being misrepresented as a change to that post-1967 status quo, when Israel since 1967 has always maintained overall security responsibility for the site, and when Friday’s events manifestly demonstrate the imperative for improved security.
The religious custodians of the third most holy place in Islam self-evidently loathe the notion of what they portray as a submission to those Jewish-overseen security checks more than they cherish the right to pray there
It’s outrageous that the metal detectors are deemed unacceptable when religious sites the world over are secured in exactly the same way, for exactly the same unfortunately necessary reasons. There is high security around key Islamic sites, notably including at Mecca and Medina. There is high security, including metal detectors, around the Western Wall plaza, immediately below the Temple Mount, imposed by Israel on all Jews and non-Jews who enter that area…
It’s beyond outrageous that, since the compound was reopened by Israel on Sunday, after two days of security sweeps following Friday’s murderous attack, the Waqf officials have overseen what amounts to a boycott of their own holy places — insisting that Muslim worshipers not enter the Al-Aqsa compound so long as the metal detectors remain in place…
Is there freedom of religion on the Temple Mount for Jews?
The permissibility of going on to the Temple Mount – aliya to Har Habayit – is an issue of major halachic debate with a majority of religious Jews not going. However, there are a growing number of those who do go up.
Below is an interesting perspective from Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel who went to Har Habayit this week and found a lack of freedom of religion for Jews: