Israelis on Monday evening marked the beginning of Tisha B'Av, the national day of mourning over the loss of Israel's ancient temples. The First Temple was destroyed 2,500 years ago by the Babylonians, and the Second Temple was demolished 2,000 years ago by the Romans.
To mark the day, the Knesset TV Channel conducted a survey asking Israelis if they desire the building of a Third Temple. A 49 percent plurality said they do. Only 23 percent said they do not want a Third Temple.
However, 48 percent said they don't think the State of Israel should take active steps to reclaim control of the Temple Mount and build a Third Temple there. Israelis across the board fear the hostile and violent international and Muslim reaction that such a move would certainly evoke.
The Muslim authorities that today control the Temple Mount play off those fears, and Jews are rarely allowed to visit the site. Jews and Christians alike are forbidden to utter prayers or carry Bibles atop the Temple Mount.
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