Religion Magazine

No Jewish Access to Mearat Hamachpela (and Har Habayit?) on Tisha B'Av This Year

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
Tisha B'Av is commemorated on Sunday, actually the Tenth of Av but with the Ninth landing on Shabbos this year we delay the commemoration of it to the 10th.
no Jewish access to Mearat Hamachpela (and Har Habayit?) on Tisha B'Av this year
Srugim is reporting that the government has decided to close off all Jewish-access to the Mearat HaMachpela in Hebron on Sunday, Tisha B'Av. They are keeping Jews out because of a Muslim holiday, Eid Al Adha. Basically, in honor of their holiday, the Muslims will have access to the entire Mearat Hamachpela complex and the Jews will not be given any access at all.
The Meara Administration is calling on Jews to come anyway. I guess they want to try to force the hand of the authorities and not be able to turn away so many people. But this is besides the point.
No final decision has yet been made, but it seems Har Habayit is also expected to be closed to Jews and open only for Arabs, also because of the holiday.
In the past Tisha B'Av has been one of the busiest days of the year at both of these sites for Jewish visitors, with massive amounts of people showing up.
I get that the Arabs have a holiday and their day should be respected and they should be given the opportunity to pray and commemorate as they want and need to, but the Jews also have a holiday and their day, our day, should also be respected. Keep the same arrangements as always, with both Arabs and Jews allowed up, and have extra security to keep everyone safe and separate so people don't cause trouble. Or divide the day up by hours. Or split the complexes and allow Jews in one half and Arabs in the other. A reasonable solution could be found without too much difficulty.
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