Tough Questions, Expert Answers: The Temple Mount heats up again

Seidemann Collage

I am proud to introduce Tough Questions, Expert Answers, a new APN publication series which tackles seminal issues pertaining to the conflict. In a world where soundbites dominate, it is critical to take the time to understand the issues that can change the world- for better or for worse.

The first edition in the series is a Q&A on the Temple Mount. With tensions growing by the day over the world’s most contested religious site, this timely explainer by Jerusalem expert Danny Seidemann is a must read. As Danny correctly states, "the battle over the Status Quo at the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif has increasingly become a proxy for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict writ large."

Donate An attorney and world-renowned Jerusalem expert, Daniel Seidemann is the director of Terrestrial Jerusalem, a Jerusalem-based organization he founded. I strongly recommend Danny’s cogent analysis and clear explanation of the current turmoil surrounding the Haram al Sharif/ Temple Mount.

For more background click here to read our essential resource page "Hard Truths About Jerusalem," which also includes links to briefing calls with Daniel Seidemann about Jerusalem.

Debra DeLee
President and CEO
Americans for Peace Now

P.S. Programs like this are made possible through your tax deductible contribution to Americans for Peace Now. Please donate so that we can continue to provide you with valuable information and analysis.


Q. APN: Since things heated up again in and around the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif, there has been a lot of talk about the "Status Quo." Why is this the case?
A. Danny Seidemann (DS): At the core of the current turmoil on and surrounding the Haram al Sharif/ Temple Mount are accusations and counteraccusations by the sides that each has changed, or seeks to change, the Status Quo. These accusations and counter-accusations find traction in part due to the lack of clarity and consensus over the definition of the Status Quo. They also find ready audiences on all sides due to the reality that the Status Quo has, indeed, undergone significant changes over the past 48 years, at times with the stakeholders not conscious of the changes, and at other times willfully denying them.

Q. APN: The term "Status Quo" implies a situation that is unchanging, but you say there have been changes in the Status Quo over the past 48 years. Can you explain what you mean?
A. DS: The Status Quo on the Temple Mount/Haram al Sharif is not and has never been static. Rather, various elements have changed over time due to changed circumstances, like the erosion of Israeli-Jordanian coordination and increasing political and religious attempts to challenge the foundations of the Status Quo.

Click here to read all of Tough Questions, Expert Answers!