EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The so-called “status quo” on the Temple Mount is dead. It was killed by Palestinian denial of Jewish connection not only to the Mount but to any part of the Land of Israel, by terrorists who may have been aided and abetted by the Waqf, and by Abbas’s diplomatic assaults on Jewish history and legitimacy in Jerusalem. It is time to level the playing field. In the context of renewed peace talks with the Palestinians, Israel should put on the table a plan to bring equity and fairness to administration of the Temple Mount: a plan that would represent a true sharing of sovereignty over the place most holy to the Jewish People.
The so-called “status quo” on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem has been violated repeatedly in recent years by radical Palestinian and Islamic actors, turning the Mount into a base of hostile operations against Israel instead of protecting it as zone of prayer and peace.
Waqf and Islamic movement provocateurs have attacked Jewish visitors to the Mount and Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall below the Mount. They have greatly restricted visitation rights to the Mount for non-Muslims; hijacked the pulpits in the mosque on the Mount to preach hatred and violence against Israel; purveyed a canard about the Al-Aqsa mosque being under attack from Israel in order to rile up the Palestinian public and broader Islamic world; and conducted vast and illegal construction projects on the Mount and beneath it, willfully destroying centuries of Jewish archaeological treasures.
And last week, Palestinian terrorists smuggled machine guns onto the Temple Mount and attacked police guarding its gates, killing two Israeli officers. The terrorists launched their attack from within the Temple Mount and then fled into the shrines on the Mount.
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