Closing Temple Mount to Jews Leads to Increased Violence, experts say

And the many peoples shall go and say: “Come, Let us go up to the Mount of Hashem, To the House of the God of Yaakov; That He may instruct us in His ways, And that we may walk in His paths.” For instruction shall come forth from Tzion, The word of Hashem from Yerushalayim.



(the israel bible)

April 13, 2023

3 min read

In response to threats of violence, the Israeli government is banning non-Muslims from the Temple Mount for the last ten days of the Muslim month of Ramadan. But experts warn that this response has a record of producing the opposite result.

After consulting with the security establishment, the Prime Minister’s office announced on Tuesday that non-Muslims would be banned from the Temple Mount for the final ten days of Ramadan.

The announcement came after Hamas issued a statement calling on Palestinians to flock to the Temple Mount. Hamas also claimed that the anti-judicial reform protests helped their case by weakening Israel’s unity.

Al-Arouri, a founding commander of Hamas’s military wing and the group’s West Bank leader, said Israel was in the midst of “an unprecedented crisis” as a result of the divisions over the government’s judicial reform plans.

“[Israel] has never before experienced similar division,” he said, resulting in “internal disintegration while the axis of resistance gathers momentum and developments in the region work in its favor.”

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir disagreed, warning that the decision would ultimately provoke increased violence from the Arabs.

“The Prime Minister’s decision to close the Temple Mount to Jews during a wave of terror attacks is a grave mistake that won’t bring quiet but can only escalate the situation,” he said. “The lack of Jewish presence on the Temple Mount will automatically lower the police presence on the Mount, something that will create a fertile bed for the incitement to murder of Jews and even a situation of rock-throwing at Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall. When terrorism hits us, we have to hit it back, not capitulate to it.”

Tom Nisani, CEO of the Beyadenu Temple Mount advocacy organization, has been watching the situation on the Temple Mount for several years and noted a direct correlation between closing the site to non-Muslims and violence.

“In past years, the State of Israel has repeated the same mistakes again and again while expecting a different result,” Nisani said. “You will find that every time when the Temple Mount was more restricted than usual or closed to Jews altogether, the closure or restriction was the spark of serious riots on the Temple Mount which, from there, very quickly brought the possibility of another military operation, such as in the Guardian of the Walls, or a wave of attacks in Jerusalem, or ‘only’ another unprecedented destruction of antiquities on the Temple Mount; all while leaving the Temple Mount at the mercy of terror organizations and foreign state interests.”

“The escalation of violence does not occur because we take a firm stance and resistance to the demands of terrorist organizations; on the contrary, every time we have shown weakness in the form of closing the Temple Mount – our payment was in blood,” he added.

Last week, hundreds of Palestinians took this as an opportunity to challenge the police, barricading themselves inside the Aqsa Mosque, stockpiling explosive devices, rocks, and fireworks intended to be used against Israeli policemen and civilians. Police entered the mosque on Tuesday night. The Arabs responded with extreme violence inside the mosque.

Shoshana Bryen, the senior director of the Jewish Policy Center, wrote as much in a recent op-ed in Newsweek. Bryen noted that the Arabs enjoyed unrestricted access to the Temple and hundreds of thousands arrived at the site. 

“There appear to be two related motives for the terrorists,” Bryen wrote. “First, they are angry with Muslims who respect the rules, use the holiday time to actually have a holiday and celebrate in a peaceful fashion. Second, there is always the possibility that the Israeli police would overreact (“storm the mosque” in the terrorist vernacular) and prevent peaceful worshippers from gathering.”

Bryen praised the Israeli government for its measured and appropriate response. Bryen wrote that in response to Israel’s non-provocation, rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria. This was accompanied by horrific terrorist attacks that killed a mother and her two daughters in a Jordan valley shooting attack, as well as an Italian tourist in a Tel Aviv ramming attack.

Bryen explained why the Palestinian leadership opposes peaceful visitation to the Temple Mount.

“When the Palestinian people live and work with Israelis—and pray next to them—in a positive way, the revolution is dampened. The will to die for a cause that will never see fulfillment abates,” Bryen wrote. “Terrorist groups can’t afford to have their supporters lose their hatred. They have manipulated the situation in Israel to prevent Palestinians from ascending to Al Aqsa, to ensure Palestinians are killed, and to force the Israeli military to enter Palestinian villages to root out terrorists and their weapons.”Despite limited hours, Jewish visitation was at a record high with  3,430 Jews ascending to their holiest site during the holiday of Passover. From the beginning of the Hebrew calendar year on Rosh Hashana (September 25), 27,237 Jews have ascended to the Temple Mount.

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