Jerusalem liberator banned from Temple Mount
July 3, 2012 | Jewish Tribune
ISRAEL – Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, the 78-year-old founder of the Temple Institute and a former Israeli paratrooper that took part in the Israeli liberation of the Temple Mount in 1967, has been banned from entering the Temple Mount by Israeli Police.
Although an official reason was not given, the rabbi was told by police officers that he was banned indefinitely, thought to have been connected to a video released of a large group of Jews that ascended the mount with Rabbi Ariel on Jerusalem Day to celebrate 45 years since the liberation of Judaism’s holiest site.
The video shows a large gathering of Jews that were able to pray, sing and say blessings while on the Temple Mount, for the first time in many years, unhindered by nearby police, and shows Rabbi Ariel saying, “I have waited 45 years to be able to say the shehechianu, (blessing of thanks), here on the Temple Mount.”
“This is a fatal blow to freedom of worship, and has no place in the state of Israel,” said Likud MK Tzippy Hotovely.
“It is inconceivable that Jews are treated as criminals for expressing a desire to pray at their holiest site,” said Rabbi Chaim Richman, international director of the Temple Institute. “His ‘crime’ was giving thanks to G-d, in that very spot, for the return of the site to the Jewish people, [but] has it indeed returned to the Jewish people? Every day that this situation is allowed to continue is a step backwards for the state of Israel.”