27. Preserve the Status Quo at the Temple Mount

The Temple Mount is the most sensitive site in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict given its importance to both sides, and perceived changes there have often been the spark for the largest conflagrations of violence. The current status quo, in which Jews are allowed to visit but not allowed to pray and Muslim men under the age of 50 are restricted from visiting during times of high tension, has historically been successful in lowering the temperature surrounding the site but is now under unprecedented erosion. There were 50,000 visits by Jews to the Temple Mount between September 2021 and September 2022, with many visitors praying openly, leading to increased tensions over the site.

The status quo is a necessary evil that prevents wide and frequent bloodshed, and it must be maintained at all costs despite its fundamental inequality to both sides. The Israeli government should continue to hold the line against ideologues who seek to change the present situation, while a more permanent solution for the Temple Mount is reserved for a comprehensive final status agreement.