The recent proposal by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s right wing government to allow Jews to once again visit the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem should not be implemented at this time. You would be hard pressed to find a more ardent supporter of Israel than I am, but this plan would be unnecessarily inflammatory during the continued violence in the Middle East.
The Temple Mount is home to the third holiest site in Islam and is the holiest site in Judaism. Allowing non-Muslims to visit the Temple Mount is an extremely serious issue for the Palestinians. Muslims and Jews alike should have the right to pray on the Temple Mount. Violence or unilateral actions cannot resolve this issue, like all the issues that make up the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Solutions must come from the negotiation table in an atmosphere of security and non-violence.