In the wake of the attempted assassination of Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a prominent advocate of allowing Jews to worship atop the Temple Mount, the Obama Administration confirmed that it supports the suppression of full religious freedom at the Jerusalem holy site.
During a press conference last Friday, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki was asked to articulate the White House’s reaction to the shooting of Glick, a US citizen, by a Palestinian Muslim terrorist.
In her bumbling and somewhat evasive response, Psaki said that while the Obama Administration condemn’s the shooting, it continues to oppose Glick’s efforts to open the Temple Mount to Jewish and Christian worshippers.
“We support the long-standing practices regarding non-Muslim visitors to the site, to Haram al-Sharif / Temple Mount,” said Psaki. “And consistent with our respect for the status quo, we would like to see it returned to that.”
Those “long-standing practices” have been to deny Jewish and Christians visitors the right to worship, pray or carry Bibles atop the Muslim-controlled Temple Mount, despite the fact that it is for all Jews and many Christians the most holy site on earth.
Many Jews and Christians have been detained even for mouthing silent prayers while visiting the Temple Mount.
To clarify that it is, indeed, this denial of freedom of worship that the Obama Administration supports, a reporter pressed Psaki: “You condemn the shooting of an American citizen who had advocated for non-Muslim worshippers to be able to go. But you don’t support [his cause?]”
She responded in the affirmative: “Our position hasn’t changed on this issue. That’s true. …It doesn’t mean we don’t condemn, of course, the shooting.”
Seizing the opportunity provided by Washington, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Monday released a statement rejecting the very presence of Jews atop the Temple Mount.
“Break-ins by the settlers and Jewish extremists” to the Temple Mount are an affront to “Muslim sensitivities,” read the statement.
A day earlier, Israel Police Chief Yohanan Danino told a Knesset hearing that security forces would do everything in their power ensure Jews and Christians were able to continue ascending the Temple Mount, but insisted the aforementioned “status quo” would be maintained at the holy site.