The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America today praised Ariel Sharon for reasserting the right of Jews to visit the Temple Mount. Jerusalem under the sovereignty of the State of Israel is a free and open city to all faiths and Jews should be able to visit the Temple Mount. Israel has upheld its moral and ethical obligations to the people of the world by granting access to all religious holy sites of all faiths. It is intolerable that Jews cannot visit the Temple Mount without threats of riots and violence by the Palestinians. The very fact that threats are made by the Palestinians when a Jewish official elects to visit the Temple Mount is reason enough to make sure that the Temple Mount remains under exclusive Jewish sovereignty so that no one of any faith is denied access to a holy place.
The Temple Mount, Har Habayit, is sacred to the Jewish people and is our national treasure. We deplore any consideration of granting the United Nations Security Council jurisdiction over the Temple Mount. The UN has never accepted Israeli rights and sovereignty in Jerusalem. This has long been central to the discriminatory treatment of Israel that has been demonstrated by the United Nations throughout its institutions and overall structure. Past UN resolutions on Jerusalem have deemed it “occupied territory”. UN refusal to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem makes Israel the only country in the world that does not have a sovereign right to choose its own capital. Israel cannot allow Har Habayit to be under the jurisdiction of a body that has been politicized against Israel for many years. We deeply oppose this proposal and reiterate our firm belief that all of Jerusalem must remain undivided under the sole sovereignty of the State of Israel.