National- religious parties up in arms over Jerusalem police's determination that famous catchphrase 'The Temple Mount is in our hands' constitutes incitement. 'The next step will be to prohibit Jews from praying,' says MK Katz
by Kobi Nahshoni
The Jerusalem police's determination that the slogan "The Temple Mount is in our hands," which was coined by Lieutenant General Mordechai 'Motta' Gur when the Old City was conquered during the Six Day War, constitutes incitement, stirred up a stork among religious Members of Knesset and Right wing activists.
On Sunday, Jerusalem police banned a group of female Bnei Akiva youth movement members to call out the famous slogan or hold up signs with the slogan during a demonstration they intended to hold in Jerusalem.
Police claim the statements constituted incitement against the Arab public and could lead to violence.
"If the police believe the slogan 'The Temple Mount is in our hands' is incitement, then we need to change the police, not the slogan," said MK Uri Orbach (Habayit Hayehudi). "The police's job is not just to protect the feelings of the Arabs, but also to maintain the rights of Jews," he said.
Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz said he will appeal Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch in demand that he investigate the matter, adding that the act is a blatant limitation on the freedom of expression. "Does the phrase 'Long live Israel' also constitute incitement?" he wondered.
"We can presume that the next step would be to prohibit Jews from praying and saying 'let there be built a Holy Temple in our time' just so as not to incite," said MK Yaakov Katz (National Union), adding that the "post Zionist" policy currently employed sends the people of Israel back to the days of exile."
MK Uri Ariel (National Union) claimed that "a procession of Jews calling to strengthen the Jewish grip on Temple Mount is not a provocation, but rather an expression of Israel's sovereignty over the holiest place to the Jewish people.
"It's time the police wields its authority on Temple Mount and prevents the Waqf from digging at its own will instead of preventing Jews from exercising their basic right to express their Jewish connection to the Mount."