Jun 29, 2022
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On Tuesday, the Knesset’s Education Committee discussed the need to teach Israeli students about the historic connection between the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and the Jewish people. This educational initiative would include school trips to Judaism’s holiest site.

“Find a way to ensure that every student studies and visits the Temple Mount,” said former Knesset Member Yehuda Glick during the session.

Several of the attendees emphasized that many young Israelis mistakenly believe that the Western Wall, actually a retaining wall for the Temples, is the holiest site in Judaism.

MK Itamar Ben Gvir (Otzma Yehudit) expressed this.

“My feeling is that the story of the Temple Mount is swept under the table and even when taught then it is about the first or second house and the Temple Mount is not only sacred in the past it is also sacred today and relevant today,” Ben Gvir said. “I am a resident of Hebron and we have seen student tours of the Cave of the Patriarchs, tours that contribute, empower and teach so much. I would not be surprised if there are only a few schools that toured the Temple Mount,” he said.

MK Yom Tov Kalfon of the Yamina party agreed.

“I was not born here and I was surprised that everyone in the country thinks the Western Wall is more important than the Temple Mount and in my eyes, it is an embarrassment for prior generations,” Kalfon said. “The discussion today is a wake-up call to the education system. If school groups are sent to Poland despite the logistics, then it is also possible to go to the Temple Mount.”

”The place of the Temple Mount needs to be understood,” stressed MK Nir Orbach. “Even if there is disagreement on the sides of Jewish law and politics, one should know that the Temple Mount is the holiest place for the Jewish people.

“We flock to the Western Wall, but we should know that it is of a lesser significance than the Temple Mount,” Ohrbach clarified. “There is public confusion and a lack of knowledge on the subject. I hope there will be a change in the education system on the subject of the Temple Mount.”

Some members expressed concern for the security of children at the site.

“Schools can go up to the Temple Mount without any exceptional conditions,” Lt. Col. Nati Gur, who oversees the area for the Israeli Police, explained to the committee. “The police secure any group that ascends the Temple Mount and there is no need for private security on the Temple Mount. The security guard that accompanies the class can wait for them at the entrance, and guide them afterward through the Muslim Quarter.”

“I have a lot of love for the heritage of the people of Israel,” MK Amir Ohana said. “There was an injustice in 1967 when we liberated the Temple Mount but the work was not completed and we did not allow free worship for all religions. There has been a surge of people going up there lately. I will also phrase carefully and say that there is also a reduction of the restrictions on the people going up to the Temple Mount.