ZOA Appalled: Biden State Dept’s Bigoted, Antisemitic Policy Against Jews Visiting Judaism’s Holiest Site, the Temple Mt. & Lands
News Press Release
May 23, 2023

ZOA Demands Jewish Leaders and Lipstadt End Their Deafening Silence on this Issue

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:

 Yesterday, the Biden Administration State Department issued another appalling and despicable and antisemitic statement that attacked Jews (including a Jewish Israeli Minister) for visiting Judaism’s holiest site – the Temple Mount. Visits by Jews to the Temple Mount are a religious and spiritual right and observance – not a “political” “provocation,” as the State Department insultingly declared.  

As ZOA pointed out in response to previous Biden administration attacks on Jewish presence on our holiest site, it is a fundamental American principle that religious and racial discrimination is impermissible, unacceptable and unjust.  Yet, the Biden administration is again siding with those who demand that Judaism’s holiest site should be an apartheid “No Jews allowed – only Arabs allowed zone. (See The Biden Administration Sides with Discrimination on the Temple Mount,” by Morton A. Klein, JNS, Jan. 4, 2023.)  

It is particularly galling and offensive that the Biden State Department attacked Jewish visits to the Temple Mount in the same week as Shavuot, one of Judaism’s three pilgrimage festivals. In accordance with G-d’s commandment in the Torah, Jews throughout the land made pilgrimages to the Temple Mount on the Shavuot, Simchat Torah and Sukkot festivals. The First and Second Jewish Temples stood on the Temple Mount for almost 1,000 years, long before Islam began. All people were welcome to pray there. Throughout the millennia and still today, Jews pray three times a day in the direction of the Temple Mount; mourn the Temples’ destruction; and pray for the Temple to be rebuilt.  

The Biden administration statement also cited Jordan’s “special role” regarding Muslim holy shrines – but ignored that the 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty, Article 9(1), first and foremost provides that “Each party will provide freedom of access to places of religious and historical significance.” Jordan’s “special role” thus does not override the Jewish right to access Judaism’s holiest site.  

It’s time for the State Department to condemn and not remain silent over the real provocations regarding the Temple Mount, which come from Palestinian Authority (PA) terrorist “pay to slay” dictator Mahmoud Abbas’ repeated broadcasts urging Arabs to spill blood and become “martyrs” to prevent Jews and Christians from “defiling Al-Aqsa” with their “filthy feet.” 

Yesterday’s insulting and antisemitic State Dep’t statement also attacked Jewish presence on Jewish lands in Homesh in Samaria. Israel evacuated the Jewish communities in Homesh together with Jewish communities in Gaza, in a failed, doomed-from-the-outset effort to bring peace, and as a quid pro quo for the Bush administration’s letter that: reiterated the Oslo Accords’ requirements that the Palestinian Authority must stop all terror and acts of violence against Israelis; reiterated Israel’s right to secure and recognized borders; and recognized that any peace deal would incorporate into Israel the “realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers” [large Jewish communities in Judea/Samaria].  

The Obama-Biden and Biden administrations ignored the Bush letter’s requirements. It is the height of hypocrisy for the Biden administration to now demand that Jewish communities in northern Samaria must remain “judenrein” (free of Jews).

The Biden administration’s intolerable, unjust anti-Jewish discrimination needs to stop. We urge all Jewish and political leaders and envoy Deborah Lipstadt to condemn this bigoted, antisemitic action by the Biden State Department. 

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