A 10-second video released by campaigners has graphically highlighted anti-Jewish discrimination on the Temple Mount.
The clip, recorded yesterday (Wednesday) and uploaded the same day by the Temple Institute, shows a group of Jewish visitors being harassed and heckled by a large mob of Muslim provocateurs as they enter the Mount, which is Judaism's holiest site.
Such scenes are far from uncommon, with Islamist groups organizing and even paying Muslim activists to harass and intimidate Jewish visitors in an effort to dissuade other Jews from visiting and cement Muslim control over the complex. Islamist groups like the Islamic Movement have even bused in Muslim extremists from as far as the Negev in southern Israel to take part in the harassment campaign.
In stark contrast, non-Muslims are forbidden from praying or conducting any other forms of worship on the Temple Mount, may only enter via one gate designated for "infidels," and only during certain hours of the day. This is the result of what Jewish campaigners have branded a "capitulation" by the Israeli government to threats of violence from Muslim groups, should non-Muslims be permitted to pray.
For identifiably-religious Jews the restrictions are even harsher, with a far smaller window of time and strict limits on the size of their groups – which are often forced to undergo lengthy security checks to search for any "forbidden" religious items such as prayer books.
Jews who break the rules are often immediately arrested – but this time, amid the deafening screams of "Allahu Akbar," one of the women in the Jewish group – a tourist from Russian named Ludmilla who teaches a Jewish school in the city of Kemerovo in Siberia – had had enough.
Ludmilla responded to the Islamic chanting by reciting the "Shema Yisrael" prayer, the simple, six-word Jewish declaration of faith.
Watch: Jewish woman defies Muslim mob
It is almost impossible to hear her over the noise – but alarmed police, who until then had stood indifferent to the loud chants from the surrounding Muslim mob, quickly rushed to silence her.
She was not arrested, but in a statement accompanying the video, the Temple Institute said it nevertheless underscored the "horrifying" double-standard of police conduct on the Temple Mount.
"How horrifying that in the midst of the violent Muslim incitement against the Jews on the Temple Mount, the policeman chose to silence the one barely audible Jewish worshiper as she uttered a prayer while ignoring the volcanic wave of Muslim hatred engulfing the group of Jews," the statement read.
Numerous Israeli court orders have ruled that Jews – and other non-Muslims – should be permitted to pray on the Temple Mount, citing Israeli's Basic Laws enshrining freedom of worship. Despite those rulings, however, police continue to impose the ban, apparently due to orders from government ministers, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu himself.