Justice or caution? The pros and cons of MKs on the Temple Mount

Freedom of religion is perhaps the most compelling individual rights-based argument for allowing MKs back on the Mount. Then, there’s security.

Today, just about anyone can visit the Temple Mount, though only Muslims are allowed to pray at Judaism’s holiest site.

But there’s one group of 120 people who are barred from the Mount: members of Knesset.

In October 2015, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed police to keep them away from the site, and the order has remained in effect ever since.

Lawmakers are expected to be allowed on the Temple Mount next week for a one-day trial. It’s unclear if this will mark the end of the ban, since there have been quite a few unfulfilled commitments to let MKs visit the site.

The average Israeli might shrug this off and wonder why MKs, who are supposed to be representing them and not just themselves, are making such a big deal about this. But whether one is for or against lawmakers visiting the Temple Mount, there are much broader implications relating to democracy, rule of law, and security.

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