MK Eldad: Marchers' Rights Are Worshipers' Rights

A religious Knesset member argues that if freedom of movement applies to the Gay Pride march in Jerusalem, it must also apply to Jewish worshipers on the Temple Mount. Works for me.

Arutz Sheva:
Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad wrote to the attorney general today demanding that Jewish worshippers on the Temple Mount be accorded the same civil rights protection as homosexual parade marchers.

In a letter sent to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz on Tuesday, MK Eldad (National Union-NRP) called for the state's chief legal counsel to apply the principles he elucidated regarding the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem to the rights of Jews to worship on the Temple Mount. As of now, police enforce a ban on Jewish worship on the Mount, Judaism's holiest site, due to threats of violence on the part of Muslims, who were allowed to maintain jurisdiction over the mosques on the Mount even after Israel conquered it in 1967. The ban is in effect despite Israeli lower court decisions stating that, in principle, Jews should have freedom of access and of worship on the Temple Mount. ...

On Monday, Atty. Gen. Mazuz rejected a police recommendation to ban the parade, saying, "We have to make a decision, either we give in to threats or we deal with them. We have to exert efforts to find an equation so that it can be secured." Mazuz ordered the police to work together with representatives of the Open House Gay pride organization to find a way to hold the event "with a modest character."

Further addressing the apparent inconsistency in the application of the law in the capital, Eldad pressed the attorney general: "You support the 'modest' right to protest of the [homosexual] community in Jerusalem, but you must surely know that a Jew caught standing with closed eyes and murmuring in a whisper is ejected from the Temple Mount."

Commentary. I like this. Eldad may not be thrilled about the court decision ruling that the gay parade can continue, but he understood that the principle behind it could work in his favor too. And he's right: If threats of violence are not permitted to deter the Gay Pride event, then why should the Jews' established freedom to worship on the Temple Mount be held hostage to threats?

For all related posts, please go to this category archive: Jerusalem Pride 2006.