When Labor Party Knesset member Yehiel (Hilik) Bar joined Likud Knesset member Miri Regev in sponsoring a bill granting freedom of movement, religion and worship on the Temple Mount to Jews and Arabs alike, he knew the initiative would not pass quietly. But it seems he underestimated its explosiveness and the extent of the commotion it would cause. The fuss did not die down even after he decided to draw back his support from the proposed legislation. It will likely require the intervention of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The storm, with the Jordanian monarchy one of its many eyes, erupted the morning of May 18 following a report of the proposed bill in the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth. Bar explained that he was proud to introduce such a bill, aimed at enabling Jews to exercise their freedom of worship at the holy site, which is limited nowadays. “I believe that the co-existence of Jews and Arabs begins with full equality on the Temple Mount, as well,” he said. By the way, a similar bill proposal was introduced in the past by right-wing members of the Knesset.