A Nov. 6 news report in The Jewish Week quoted Israeli leaders as pledging to continue the status quo on the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.
The status quo began when Israel liberated the Temple Mount and the rest of Jerusalem in 1967, and decided to give exclusive control over the site to local Muslim religious authorities known as the Waqf. One consequence was that the Waqf prohibits Jews and other non-Muslims from praying on the Mount.
But the final paragraph of your news report mentioned a second important consequence of Muslim control of the site. Last week, Israeli soldiers pursuing Arab rock-throwers made a disturbing discovery: in the Al Aksa Mosque, which is situated on the Temple Mount, “they saw stockpiles of rocks and firebombs ready to be used on Israeli forces and visitors to the Temple Mount.”
Israel’s leaders may have thought it wise, in the circumstances prevailing in 1967, to give the Waqf control of the Temple Mount. But that was almost half a century ago. Today, Israel finds itself confronted by an entirely new set of circumstances: today the Waqf is either unwilling or unable to prevent Arab terrorists from using the Al Aksa mosque on the Temple Mount as a storage point for firebombs that would be used to burn Jews alive. Is such a status quo good for the Jews?
Member of the Board, Religious Zionists of America Manhattan