Israel News

PM Bennett Hints at Change in Temple Mount Prayer Policy

In News Surrounding Israel by Chris Katulka

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett recently spoke publicly that both Jews and Muslims have freedom of worship on the Temple Mount, hinting at a change in policy at the most contentious site in Israel. Currently, Jews can visit the Temple Mount that houses the Al-Aqsa mosque, but the status quo there has been that non-Muslims are forbidden to pray.

Status quo means that they’re not going to upset any of the religious sites for either Muslims or Jewish people or Christians. It’s embedded in Israel’s declaration of independence that they wouldn’t do that. This is important because even in the 1967 War when Israel captured east Jerusalem and the Old City, they could have taken the Temple Mount at that point, but they didn’t because of the status quo law. They gave it back to the Muslims.

Interestingly, Naftali Bennett, the first real religious kippah-wearing prime minister says, “You know what? Maybe enough is enough? Jewish people should be given the permission to pray on top of the Temple Mount. It is their most holy site. It’s where the Holy of Holies was placed.” So, of course they want to pray there. On the other hand, that site for Muslims is only the third most holy place and it’s actually never even mentioned in the Quran. I think it’s okay that Naftali Bennett is pushing a little bit. I think it’s time for the waqf, who are in charge of that area, to allow the Jews to pray at their most holy site.

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About the Author

Chris Katulka

Chris Katulka is the assistant director of North American Ministries for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, the host of The Friends of Israel Today radio program, a Bible teacher, and writer for Israel My Glory magazine.