March 30 - Rabbis Issue United Call to Establish Synagogue on Temple Mount
Article: Israel And The Last Days
A wide ranging group of rabbis from the National Religious camp have written a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu advocating the construction of a synagogue on the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site.
Among the rabbis are those considered religiously “conservative” and who have avoided making public calls for prayers on the Temple Mount until now – including Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu – as well as those considered more “liberal,” including Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Rabbi She'ar Yashuv-Cohen, Rabbi Menachem Borstein, and Rabbi Daniel Shilo. Many of the latter have also avoided calling for prayers on the Mount as well. Also signing the letter were prominent Religious Zionist figures Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Eliyahu Zinni, and Rabbi Haim Cohen.
The letter was also signed by many professors, educators, and professionals; it was authored and delivered by the Amutat Yishai organization, which advocates building a synagogue on an area of the Temple Mount that many rabbis agree Jews are allowed to ascend to.
“The Temple Mount is a unique place for prayer,” the letter said. “As Prime Minister, we ask you to do what is necessary to establish a place of prayer for Jews on the Temple Mount, in a respectable and peaceful manner, that will honor the holy place we all long for.”
The fiercest opposition to the proposal in the past has come from Muslim authorities and Islamist groups, most notably the Islamic Waqf authority which administers the site. Muslim extremists regularly issue threats against Jewish visits to the Mount, and Jews are forbidden from praying at their holiest site by authorities in order to avoid offending Muslim sensibilities in the Al Aqsa Mosque complex.
Late last year a bill was tabled pushing for equal prayer rights for Jews on the Temple Mount - sparking fury from Muslim MKs.