Gershon Baskin believes that people who care about their Holy Places should not use them as places to launch violence against others, and that al-Haram ash-Sharif/The Temple Mount in the holiest place in the world for Jews and Jews should have the right to pray there.
Al-Aqsa Mosque, is the third holiest site in Islam and is located in the Old City of Jerusalem. The site on which the silver domed mosque sits, along with the Dome of the Rock, is referred to as al-Haram ash-Sharif (“the Noble Sanctuary”), or the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. Muslims believe that Muhammad was transported from the Sacred Mosque in Mecca to al-Aqsa during the Night Journey. Islamic tradition holds that Muhammad led prayers towards this site until the seventeenth month after the emigration, when God directed him to turn towards the Kaaba.
Religious people who care about their Holy Places should not use them as places to launch violence against others. All Holy Places should be open to all for prayer.
The Temple Mount in the holiest place in the world for Jews and Jews should have the right to pray there. The same place, also known as al Aqsa or Haram a-sharif is holy to Muslims and should always be open for all Muslims to pray there.
Unfortunately it is the politics that prevents people from having free access for prayer to the same God. Since it is really a political problem and not a religious problem – both Judaism and Islam do not prohibit people of other religions from praying in their places of worship – there must be a political solution. That solution, for now, must be that the Muslims pray on the mount and the Jews at the Kotel and no one should do anything to damage or harm the site without mutual agreement.
When there is peace and normal relations, it might be possible to find ways to expand rights of prayer – for now that is not possible without bringing world war 3 upon us all.
I am not religious and I don’t believe in god – but i understand the importance of religion and god to people who do believe – and I have no tolerance for people who use religion and god for hatred and violence – these cannot be described as religious people or people who believe in god.
Gershon is an advisor to Israeli, Palestinian and International Prime Ministers on the Middle East Peace Process and the founder and director of IPCRI, the Israeli-Palestinian Public Policy Institute. He was the initiator and negotiator of the secret back channel between Israel and Hamas for the release of 1,027 prisoners – mainly Palestinians and Arab-Israelis of which 280 were sentenced to life in prison for planning and perpetrating various attacks against Jewish targets that resulted in the killing of 569 Israelis in exchange for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit. Gershon is actively involved in research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, environmental security, political strategy, peace education, economics, culture and in the development of affordable solar projects with the goal of providing clean electricity for 50 million people by 2020.