Potentially explosive statement by Jewish Home’s Uri Ariel breaks taboo against damaging status quo on Temple Mount
A government minister from a nationalist religious party called Thursday for the Jewish Temple to be rebuilt on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
The statement from Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) breaks a long-standing taboo on high-ranking government officials speaking about changing the fragile status quo on the holy and contested esplanade, and will likely draw ire from official Israeli circles and anger the Arab and Muslim world.
Speaking at an archaeological conference next to the West Bank settlement of Shilo and quoted by Maariv, Ariel called for a third Temple to be built on the site, which today is home to the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque and is considered Judaism’s holiest site and Islam’s third holiest.
“We’ve built many little, little temples,” Ariel said, referring to synagogues, “but we need to build a real Temple on the Temple Mount.”