Israel groups call on UAE to recognise Jewish right to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque

An Israeli flag flies in front of the Dome of the Rock mosque near the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City (Ahmad Gharabli - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  November 19, 2020

An Israeli Jewish organisation has sent a letter to UAE Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Zayed calling on him to recognise the Jewish right to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque, Quds Press reported yesterday.

The letter, which was published by the Hebrew news website Makor Rishon, was signed by a number of Jewish groups, including the Middle East Forum – Israel.

“Perhaps it is time to exercise the faith of both sides,” the organisations wrote in the letter. “By allowing Jews and Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount [Al-Aqsa Mosque] in harmony and consent, without trampling on each other’s rights and freedoms.”

They added: “We suggest you join Israeli leaders to visit the place and pray for the success of peace, prosperity and stability in the region for all.”

In the letter, they suggested that a joint visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and possibly also Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas could be historic and “will shatter the paradigm and lead to a new era of peace and equality.”

Meanwhile, the signatories wrote that they “fully appreciate the importance of the UAE statement that Jews have deep roots in the region and that they belong here. This is a very significant statement, which is a significant backup to the sanctity of the Temple Mount for both peoples.”

Executive Director of the Middle East Forum – Israel, Neve Daromi, said: “Peace agreements are an opportunity to break old paradigms that have been established due to weakness.”

She added: “As we in Israel recognise the right of Muslims to pray in the holy place for them, so we have the expectation that there will be Muslim recognition of the right of Jews who will be able to exercise their religious affiliation to the Temple Mount.”

The Jewish groups said that they have not received a reply to their letter.