What is "Israel" stealing now ? Muslim identities
"Returning to the Mount" members dress like Palestinians in order to enter Haram al-Sharif.
A group in "Israel" has set its sights on a new target: Not the usual business of settlements, Palestinian homes, or land. This time it's Muslim identity.
The group is known as "Returning to the Mount," which dresses their members in traditional Muslim attire as well as face disguise, in order to pray at Haram al-Sharif, the third holiest site for Muslims, where Jews are allowed to visit, but not worship according to agreements after the Six-Day war in 1967.
According to a report that exposes the group, the members quietly recite Jewish prayers while pretending to be conducting Islamic prayer rituals.
Earlier this year, the 11-day war on Gaza in May began after confrontations at the location.
Head of the group, Raphael Morris, told Israeli Channel 13 that they are "not prepared to accept the sanctions against Jews that exist on the Temple Mount."
The Irony? In October the so-called Israeli "Magistrate's Court" had issued a decision granting settlers the right to perform "silent prayers" in the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque. Israeli settlers all too commonly raid al-Aqsa Mosque and perform Talmudic rituals.
It seems as though Israelis consider any and all locations to be fair game for them, regardless of whether they have a religious connection to it or not.
Dress to infiltrate
In an unknown apartment in al-Quds, members undergo significant transformations to dress in traditional Muslim clothing, carry prayer mats and prayer beads. Some even brazenly carry a Quran. Members also occasionally darken their hair and beard color to appear more Arab, which calls into question another level of stereotyping.
One member said “At worst, okay, they catch you so you are arrested...It is worth it to me in order to pray properly."
The member didn't hold back in divulging the true reason behind their continued efforts to show up was to eventually coerce the police to surrender and "simply open the gates to everyone."
Spiritual vision or military mission?
Morris articulated the group's "vision" to the channel, which he said is " to be able to go to the Temple Mount at all hours of the day, and eventually to also succeed in building the Temple and restore the sacrificial services."
One member told the network that he was "prepared to pay with his life" for the sake of the visit, in case they faced any resistance.
Although some members have frequently received restraining orders and admit there is a risk of being arrested, Morris insists his actions are legal and that they act "openly." A claim that makes the disguises and hidden apartment seem futile.
In a desperate attempt in 2015, "Returning to the Mount" offered to pay Jews $500 each to pray on the Temple Mount.