Unite and fight for Temple Mount, not each other over the Western Wall

Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Israel
Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Israel

The division of diaspora Jews and the State of Israel continues to grow. The hot issue that is causing a spike in this divide is the very recent decision that Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli government made regarding the Western Wall.

Back in 2016 PM Netanyahu and the cabinet made a decision to install a third plaza at the Kotel (Western Wall) for an egalitarian prayer. This would accommodate Reform and Conservative Jewish organizations and sects of Judaism that are not Orthodox and allow men and women praying together, and other more lenient restrictions in prayer.

Recently Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to scratch this plan and keep the Kotel the way it is, breaking promises to Jews worldwide. This decision has caused an uproar between the diaspora and the State of Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu has yet to comment why he decided to make this decision, which is really a shame because it was a promise he made that he has now gone back on.

This has triggered many organizations like the Jewish Agency, an organization who helps Jews from around the world to make Aliyah, the Jewish right of return to Israel. American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) leaders will be on their way to Israel to discuss this issue. Their stated main reason for the support of Israel on Capital Hill is that Israel is a democracy, and this move sends the wrong message to the world.

Now, I personally have not made a stand either for or against an egalitarian prayer at the Kotel. But I ask myself, why are we fighting each other regarding the outside wall of the Temple Mount instead of fighting to get full rights of the Temple Mount itself?

One thing is for sure, we need to teach Jews in Israel or diaspora that the Kotel is not the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount is. That is where everything began and where the most holiest of acts have been performed for the Jewish people, not to mention the two Jewish Temples that have been built on top of the mount, centuries ago.

In reality that is what the Western Wall is. An outside wall. And we should look at ourselves and ask why are we fighting each other over such nonsense. Arabs basically have stolen the Temple Mount from us and were able to manipulate governments into this status quo allowing Muslims to pray and hang out in the Temple Mount all day, every day. But the Jewish people can only pray twice a day for an hour. And we can’t even pray out loud or at all in the Temple Mount. Where is the outcry from all the Jewish organizations?

Regardless of what sect or background of Judaism you belong to, the Temple Mount is a part of your history and destiny. We should unite to fight for it and take it back.

David Weissman was born in Queens, NY and served 13 years in the U.S. Army as a chaplain assistant, including two deployments to Afghanistan. Upon being honorably discharged he made the Jewish right of return (Aliyah) and moved to the city of Ashkelon in Israel where he experienced the war with Hamas in the summer of 2014. David is now a freelance writer living in the city of Efrat in the Jerusalem district.