Rabbi Richman stands on the Northern side of the Temple Mount. Behind him stand police and Waqf guards
With dozens of Jews arrested for “violating the rules” on visits to the Temple Mount, the Students for the Temple Mount organization had a simple question for police: Just what are the rules in the first place?
The answer to that question has not been a simple one; police have often refused to say what is permitted and what is not, and often arrest Jews after much hectoring by Arabs, who accuse Jews of violating their “no Jewish prayer” rule. It should be noted that there is no law against Jews praying on the Temple Mount, and that police arrest Jews who do so on charges of “fomenting a riot” or “endangering the public welfare,” and the like.
In appeals against arrests, Jewish groups have demanded that police produce an official list of behaviors that are acceptable and those that are not – a demand police have refused to comply with, even under court order.
In a conversation with the students' group, police admitted that they have adopted the Arab rule about Jewish prayer on the Mount – even though an Israeli court has ruled that police have no right to do so, and that they must allow Jewish prayer, unless it causes an imminent riot.
Police refused to budge on that point, but they did agree to produce a list of rules they expect visitors to the Mount to observe. Any Jewish visitor to the Mount will be able to request the list of rules, which will be provided on the spot, the police now promise.
The students' group praised police for their change in attitude, saying that they hoped that “as a result, the arrest of Jews who have done nothing wrong and were unaware of the rules will be halted.”