Orthodox sect supports Muslims at Temple Mount

Israel Today/March 1, 2007

Islamic Movement Sheikh Raed Salah, leading the charge against the Temple Mount, has found support from an unlikely ally: an Orthodox Jewish sect.

Six Neturei Karta activists showed up in support of Salah at his protest tent in east Jerusalem. Israel Hirsch expressed solidarity with Salah, who has been banned from the Temple Mount compound since urging Arabs to 'save Jerusalem' from the Israel Antiquities Authority. He claimed IAA renovations were aimed at destroying the Al Aksa mosque, not fixing a ramp that could pose safety problems to non-Muslims visiting the Temple Mount.

"The Zionists have no right to change Jerusalem," Hirsch said. "Everything we do near the Temple Mount riles the Muslim world against us. The excavations are being done in the name of the Jewish people, but not everyone agrees to this. Not every Jew is a Zionist. We object to these actions and we're here to convey this message to Muslims."

Hirsch said that if there is really a problem with the ramp, the Palestinians should be allowed to fix it, rather than the Israelis.

Neturei Karta, established in 1935, opposes Zionism and the State of Israel, believing that the existence of a secular Israel is sacrilegious since a Jewish state cannot be established without the messiah. Neturei Karta members attended the Holocaust denial conference in Iran in December.

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