(Times of Israel) – Liberal American Jews are feeling thwarted in their years-long campaign for the right to pray as they wish at the Western Wall. Long frustrated that the plaza in front of the wall is run as an Orthodox synagogue, they were doubly incensed when Israel’s political establishment scrapped an agreement that would have boosted access to their own space nearby.
Meanwhile, another group of Jewish worshippers has gained public approval and political traction by setting their sights a bit higher — on the plaza just above the Western Wall, where the ancient Jewish Temple once stood.
Often led by Orthodox American immigrants to Israel, the movement to gain greater access for Jews to the Temple Mount — site of the Dome of the Rock Muslim shrine and the Al-Aqsa Mosque — has moved from the margins nearly to the mainstream.
“Our movement is growing for sure,” said Yehuda Glick, a Brooklyn-born Israeli lawmaker and longtime Temple Mount activist. “The number of people ascending to the mount has doubled, and you see there’s a lot more activity, a lot more public support.”