In DC for Trump Inauguration, Likud MK Expresses Hope That Expected Change in US Jerusalem Policy Will Prompt Israel to Allow Jewish Prayer on Temple Mount
A Likud MK currently visiting the US said on Thursday he “definitely” hopes that an expected upcoming shift in American policy regarding Jerusalem would prompt the Israeli government to change the status quo on the Temple Mount and allow Jews to pray there.
In response to a question asked by The Algemeiner at an Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) event on Capitol Hill, Yehuda Glick — a longtime advocate of equal prayer rights for members of all three monotheistic religions on the Temple Mount — said:
When I started 25 years ago, there were 100 Jews annually [visiting] the Temple Mount. In 2016, there were 20,000 and the numbers are growing. [Yet] this year was the quietest ever on the Temple Mount. Listen to the contradiction. People always said if Jews go on the Temple Mount, it will cause the third world war. [But we] have we seen [that] when they [Muslims on the Temple Mount] get used to the fact that we’re here for good and we’re not going anywhere…we become part of the natural view.
Under the current status quo, Jews are allowed to visit but not pray at the contested Jerusalem holy site — where the two Jewish temples once stood.
For over a year now, Knesset members have been barred by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from visiting the Temple Mount — a measure implemented by Netanyahu to try to quell Palestinian violence sparked by false claims made about Jewish activities at the hilltop compound.
The 51-year-old US-born Glick — who barely survived an October 2014 assassination attempt by an Islamic Jihad terrorist from east Jerusalem — went on to say he hoped any alteration of the Temple Mount status quo would be “done by dialogue.”
“If that dialogue includes listening, understanding and identifying, then there’s a good chance that the status quo will change,” he stated.
During last year’s presidential election campaign, Republican Donald Trump — who will be sworn in on Friday — promised to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the US Embassy to there from Tel Aviv. On Thursday, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters to “stay tuned” for an imminent announcement from the new administration on its decision about the potential move.
Likud MK Sharren Haskel, who also took part in Thursday’s EMET event, said, “I do think that with this new administration we have a lot of hopes. We do hope that one of the first moves that Donald Trump will do is to move the embassy. Whether he will do it or not, we don’t know.”
Relocating the embassy to Israel’s capital, Haskel noted, would help kill the dream held by many Palestinians that Jews will one day leave Jerusalem.
Both Glick and Haskel are in Washington, DC for the inauguration as guests of the pro-Israel Christian group HaYovel.
Glick said he expected Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence will have a “genuine, true and fair friendship with Israel.”
“If that happens, we in Israel will be very happy,” Glick said.