‘We Won’t Be Silent’: Protest to Demand Action on Temple Mount

August 28, 2015  

A student movement will protest outside the home of Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) on Saturday night, over the continued and escalating harassment of Jews on the Temple Mount. 

“First, we note that we welcome recent steps by the Israel Police and Minister Erdan, who have calmed – and by no small amount – the Temple Mount situation, which has reached an unprecedented level of violence against Jewish visitors, including women and children, every day,” the Students for the Temple Mount movement stated Friday.

“We are looking forward and waiting to see if the improvement will continue or whether this is a one-off, wherein Arab terrorists will surrender to demands once and then continue to attack Jews who wish to ascend the Temple Mount.” 

Recent measures have by no means been enough, however. 

“Even after this decision – our statement remains the same,” it said. “The status quo as it has stood on the Temple Mount in recent years cannot continue.” 

“We will hold a demonstration raising public awareness in front of the minister’s home, against the incompetence of the police against the frequent bouts of Muslim violence on the Mount, while also, at the same time, running a policy of persecution and discrimination against Jews.”

The movement then accused the Israel Police of defiling the Mount, which is the holiest site in Judaism. 

“The police would rather choose the easiest path, and instead of punishing the rioters, punishes the victims of aggression,” it noted. “We strongly demand from the Minister to stop talking and then take action. Stop these discriminatory restrictions and absurdity for Jews who wish to ascend the Temple Mount, to stop the brutal violence to the Jews and to restore Jewish sovereignty over the Temple Mount – before the next attack, not after it.”

“We will never relent until we see action on the ground,” it added. “Until we stop [being forced to] ascend the Temple Mount, knowing that we could be hurt. Until we stop [ascending] the Temple Mount and knowing that [the] police will prevent us from praying and will bully us.”

“As long as all these are happening on the Temple Mount every day, we will not be silent.” 

Ongoing violence

The movement’s call for protests were announced just hours after disturbing video footage surfaced showing a gang of Muslim women violently harassing small children on the Mount. 

Despite being the holiest site in Judaism, Jews – and other non-Muslims – are forbidden to perform any acts of worship on the Temple Mount, including uttering prayers, due to Muslim threats of violence.

Visibly-religious Jews are scrutinized carefully by police and arrested if suspected of praying – and, increasingly, for odd “violations” such as drinking water. 

The Temple Mount is the location of the two Holy Temples of Jerusalem, the latter of which was destroyed in 70 CE. 

It is also the site of the Al Aqsa Mosque compound, which is built atop the ancient Jewish ruins.

In recent years, Muslim groups have sought to deny the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount altogether, claiming it as an Islamic holy site and seeking to prevent growing numbers of Jews from visiting it via organized harassment campaigns and outbursts of violence.

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