For the second time in one month, newly elected MK Moshe Feiglin of Likud was
prevented from entering the Temple Mount Wednesday morning, based on police
warnings that his presence would incite violence among Palestinians. On March 4,
Feiglin was also stopped from entering the holy site upon demanding entry to the
Dome of the Rock, stating he was exercising his rights as a Knesset
“Based on indications we had from Palestinians, it was clear his
visit would cause disturbances,” said Police Spokesman Micky
“The police prevented him from going on the Temple Mount for
his own personal safety and to ensure there was no public
This is a standard measure.”
Rosenfeld added that
after Feiglin vacated the area, visits to the site resumed as scheduled.
Although the Supreme Court has upheld Jewish prayer rights on the Temple Mount,
the court allows the police to prevent prayer and other forms of worship if they
believe that such activity will cause a public disturbance.
Israeli Radio, Feiglin claimed he was denied entry to the site despite having
coordinated his visit with security services.
He added that his inability
to visit the Temple Mount shows the “sovereignty of the site belongs to the Wakf
[Muslim religious administration] and not to Israel.”
Feiglin’s repeated attempts to enter the holy Muslim site were uniformly
denounced by several Jews of various denominations visiting the Kotel Wednesday
afternoon, and deemed as an unnecessary provocation against
Avraham Rosen, an Orthodox Jew from Bayit Vagan, who came to the
Wall with his 16-year-old son, Noam, to make a pilgrimage in observance of
Passover, said that while he understands why Feiglin attempted to enter the
Temple Mount, his actions were inappropriate.
“I think he wants to show
that the connection to the Temple Mount with the Jews is still unbroken – even
though it is holy to Muslims as well,” said Rosen. “He’s trying to make a point
that the mount is still ours. But [Feiglin] is taking a dangerous
Rosen added that he, and the vast majority of rabbis, believe that
it is inappropriate for Jews to attempt to enter the Temple Mount because based
on Jewish law, they are considered “impure” to visit it until the Messiah
“It’s a complicated issue religiously, so one should try to take
great pains not to go there if one is a religious or secular Jew,” he
A rabbi near the Temple Mount’s entrance, who requested anonymity,
said he concurred with Rosen’s sentiments, adding that he viewed Feiglin’s
actions as a provocation of the Arab community.
“Maybe a lot of people
feel the way [Feiglin] feels, but the way he’s going about it is wrong,” he
said. “We have to think about how the world will judge such a provocation and
ask ourselves what purpose it will serve? How will it help us as Jews?” Avi, a
secular Jew who requested his last name not be published, said Feiglin’s actions
were clearly meant to incite hatred among Arabs.
“I’m on the left side of
the political map and believe there’s no question that this was a provocation.
He’s a provocateur – this is what he does,” said Avi. “It’s just the way
[Feiglin’s] mind works – he knows it’s a mistake, but he still does
Shlomo, an Orthodox Jew who came to the Wall with his wife and
infant son, and requested that his last name not be published, also expressed
his disapproval over Feiglin’s attempts to enter the Temple Mount.
disagree with what he’s doing,” he said. “I think we have better things to do
than upset Arabs. We don’t need to find excuses to [anger] them. We can prove to
them that it’s our land without getting the whole Arab world upset. We have to
be a voice of reason.”
Meanwhile, MK Aisaoi Farij (Meretz), issued a
stronglyworded statement Wednesday condemning Feiglin’s actions.
prime minister wants to run a country, but he can’t control his own party
members,” wrote Farij. “This is what Feiglin came to the Knesset to do – to
provoke, incite violence and get headlines.
In the meantime, Netanyahu
cannot try to sell us his peace speech while allowing extremists in his own
party to run wild and try to incite violence during the Holiday of Freedom,”
referring to the nickname for Passover.
Farij continued, “I want to
stress that it is important to respect freedom of religion, even for Moshe
Feiglin – but you have to balance this right and to restrict it if it’s done to
incite violence and hatred.”
Feiglin has previously vowed to beseech the
Knesset’s legal adviser to determine the “issue of sovereignty” and ensure
police are enforcing the correct laws.
The Wakf Muslim religious trust,
which administers the Temple Mount, is fiercely opposed to any non-Muslim prayer
at the site, however, Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit
Yehudi), visited the Temple Mount on Monday without incident.
could not be reached for comment.Jeremy Sharon contributed to this