Jews Enter Legal Battle for 1960s-Esque Civil Rights on the Temple Mount

March 21, 2017

3 min read

In a court battle reminiscent of the American Civil Rights Movement of the ‘60’s, a case in the Israeli Supreme Court is intended to end discrimination against religious Jews on the Temple Mount. Anyone interested in bringing the Third Temple is invited to sign on as an official claimant.

The Friends of the Temple organization, headed by Yaakov Hayman, is bringing a court case against the chief of the Jerusalem police, Yoram HaLevy, and the Minister of Internal Security, Gilad Erdan, in which they claim that the rights of religious Jews as established by the Israeli High Court are being violated.

Iris Edri

“Basically, anyone who wants to access the Temple Mount and his rights are not being respected can be considered a claimant,” Hayman said to Breaking Israel News. Hayman posted a form on the internet which allows people to sign up.  “This is a chance for people to become part of the story; to help make the news that the Temple is on the way.”

The lawyer for the organization, Iris Edri, will present the list of signatures to the court, and everyone on the petition will officially be considered a claimant. This includes people living outside of Israel. “We need to get as many people as we can,” Hayman said. “The court has never seen such tremendous support for a cause before, but we need to keep the momentum.”

Hayman explained that it was especially important for Jews to sign.

“They are allowing the persecution of Jews on the Temple Mount,” Hayman explained. “The High Court of Israel mandated equal rights for Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, but the police are violating this.”

The Israeli High Court established equal rights for Jews to pray at their holiest site in a 2015 case decided in favor of Rabbi Yehudah Glick, now a member of Knesset. Glick was banned for two years by the police due to a video of him praying at the site. Despite the judge writing in his decision that it was the duty of the police to protect the right of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount, this right has never been upheld in practice.

Edri explained that even before addressing the issue of Jewish prayer, a much more basic issue of civil rights has to be resolved.

“The police are discriminating against religious Jews,” Edri told Breaking Israel News. “Arab Muslims can go up to the Temple

MK Yehudah Glick, Likud. (Knesset)

Mount from any gate, at any hour, without any security check. Religious Jews are only permitted to enter in groups from the Mughrabi Gate after a thorough check that goes beyond the need for security. And even then, they are followed but Waqf guards and restricted in their movements.”

Edri compared the situation to historical precedents in American history.

“Religious Jews are forbidden from drinking from the water fountains” on the Temple Mount, Edri said, noting that this was a flagship issue of the Civil Rights Movement of the United States, with separate, usually inferior water fountains designated for use by black people.

One difference Edri emphasized was that during the American Civil Rights movement, the police protected black children on their way to learn at white schools because of the principle of equality. “If there is violence, the police should relate to the source of the violence, and not the victim. On the Temple Mount,The police are relating to the Jews as an enemy, as a security threat.”

The petition to the Supreme Court was filed on the eighth day of Hanukkah, January 1, 2017,  but the state has postponed it several times. The date for a decision is currently set for April 5.

To join the court case and become a claimant, click here


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