Why did Moshe Dayan allow the Muslims to retain control of the Temple Mount?


Moshe Dayan, the Israeli military leader and politician, played a key role in the events

Moshe Dayan

surrounding the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during the Six-Day War in 1967. After Israel captured East Jerusalem, including the Old City and the Temple Mount, Dayan made a decision to allow the Muslims to retain control over the holy site. Several factors contributed to this decision:

  1. Religious Sensitivity: The Temple Mount is a site of great religious significance for Jews, Christians, and Muslims. It houses the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque, two of the most important Islamic holy sites. Dayan, recognizing the religious sensitivity and the potential for conflict, sought to avoid exacerbating tensions by maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount.
  2. Political Considerations: Dayan was pragmatic and took into account the geopolitical situation. Allowing Muslims to retain control over the Temple Mount was seen as a way to prevent a major escalation of tensions and to avoid a direct confrontation with the Muslim world.
  3. International Perception: There were concerns about how the international community, including Israel’s allies, would react to Israel asserting control over such a sensitive religious site. By allowing the Muslim religious authorities (the Waqf) to continue administering the Temple Mount, Dayan aimed to project an image of Israel as a responsible custodian of religious sites and to avoid further diplomatic complications.
  4. Humanitarian Concerns: There were practical considerations related to the welfare of the Muslim population in Jerusalem. Allowing the Jordanian-appointed Waqf to continue administering the holy sites ensured that the local Muslim population could continue to access and worship at the site without interruption.

Dayan’s decision, while aimed at preventing immediate conflict, did not resolve the underlying political and religious issues in the region. The status of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, remains a contentious and central issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. — ChatGPT


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