Temple Mount field trips for Jewish students recommended by gov’t education committee

Israeli Jewish students should visit the Temple Mount, the Knesset education committee recommends.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The subject of the Temple Mount should become part of the mandatory curriculum for Israeli Jewish students, the Knesset’s Education Committee stated Wednesday.

As part of a course about the site, students should be able to visit the site on organized field trips, the committee, headed by New Hope MK Sharren Haskel, added.

The committee found that “the history of the Mount and its significance in Jewish culture and history are not being taught correctly.”

In order to rectify this, the Education Ministry should “introduce the subject of the Temple Mount and the Holy Temple to the matriculation examinations; to place an emphasis on learning about the heritage of the Temple Mount within the curriculum; and to encourage visits of students to the site on a more frequent basis.”

The committee acknowledged logistical issues around security for the class visits. Due to the status quo at the Jordanian Waqf-run site, private Israeli security guards would not be allowed to carry weapons while accompanying students.

Israeli police officers, who are permitted to be armed on the Temple Mount, would provide security for the visits.

During a Knesset discussion on the topic last week, Lt.-Col. Nati Gur, who oversees the area for the Israeli Police, said the site was safe for organized field trips.

“Schools can go up to the Temple Mount without any exceptional conditions,” Gur said.

“The police secure any group that ascends the Temple Mount and there is no need for private security on the Temple Mount. The security guard that accompanies the class can wait for them at the entrance, and guide them afterward through the Muslim Quarter.”

Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount since September 2021 reached a record high, with the 10,000th visitor recently ascending to the site.

In October 2021, after an Israeli court ruling which essentially permitted silent Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, terror group Hamas released a statement calling the decision a “declaration of war.”

The ruling was “a blatant attack on Al Aqsa Mosque and a clear declaration of war,” Hamas said.

Days later, fearing escalation, a higher court reversed the original court decision, ruling that praying on the Temple Mount would continue to be off-limits to Jews.