This story was originally published by the WND News Center.
The Biden administration, which has worked hand-in-glove on a wide range of funding projects for Palestinians in the Middle East, now says it is adamantly opposed to allowing Jews to pray on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
Muslims have that right as of now. Jews do not.
The Washington Free Beacon reports that a Biden State Department official insisted it would be “unacceptable” for Jews to be allowed to pray there.
It’s because, the Biden official said, that would change the “historic status quo” that only allows Muslims to pray there.
“The stance is a blow to diplomatic relations between the United States and the newly installed Israeli government and signals the Biden administration intends to call out the Jewish state on issues other administrations might address behind closed doors,” the Free Beacon explained.
Biden’s spokesman said, “The United States stands firmly for the preservation of the historic status quo with respect to the holy sites in Jerusalem. Any unilateral actions that depart from the historic status quo are unacceptable.”
It’s not the first sign of a rift between Biden and Israel’s government.
Biden declined to immediately call Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to congratulate him on his election win last year, and his administration launched an investigation into the death of a Palestinian-American journalist even though investigators said it was an accident.
And Secretary of State Antony Blinken attended a conference held by J Street, which is a leading anti-Israel organization.
“Should it really be this difficult for the U.S. government to publicly affirm that Jews have a right to visit the holiest site in their religion?” Richard Goldberg, a former White House National Security Council official, told the Free Beacon. “Is the policy of the State Department: Freedom of religion for all except Jews?”
The issue arose a few weeks ago when Israeli leader Itamar Ben-Gvir visited the Temple Mount and said there should be a policy change that would allow Jewish prayer.
In recent years, only Muslims have been allowed prayer time there.
But the visit by Ben-Gvir was seen as a signal that could change.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, warned of Biden’s “pathological obsession with undermining Israel [and] is endangering the national security of America and our allies.”
Ben-Gvir said at the time, “Why are Arabs permitted to worship and Jews forbidden? I want equal rights.”