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DJ: I think you were once quoted as saying that you would like to see the Israeli flag fly on the Temple Mount.

TH: I think I made it very clear. I said that only Israeli sovereignty on Temple Mount will allow all religions. This is what I said about Jerusalem. This is the only way to make sure that all religions can have freedom of religion in Jerusalem and on the Temple Mount.

DJ: Absolutely. But when I was on Temple Mount a few weeks ago I tried to enter the Dome of the Rock and I was told at the door only Muslims are allowed in here.

TH: I think there are certain hours.

DJ: We were observing — I was with a professor from Oxford and it was a purely scholarly kind of interest — but they said no for political reasons because ever since [former Likud leader] Ariel Sharon came [in 2000] we don’t allow non-Muslims. Now I know this is nonsense but this is what they believe. 

No, it’s not nonsense, I’m just saying that I think the fact that it’s not open all the time to everyone is a problem.

DJ: It’s a problem. The Western Wall, for example, is open, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is open, anyone can come to the other shrines.

I didn’t know that tourists were also having this experience. I knew that Jews were having this experience.

I just want to thank the Prime Minister, Theresa May. I was at the Conservative Friends of Israel lunch and I was deeply impressed by her strong commitment to Israel. I think that Britain-Israel relations after Brexit will have more opportunities to get close.

DJ: I’m interested you thought that because I thought it was an unusually warm speech. It clearly came from the heart. This was not just being diplomatic and polite, she clearly feels strongly about Israel.

TH: This is what I felt — exactly what I felt. I felt she was bringing her personal experience by visiting there and she felt the right way about  issues like terrorism.

DJ: She went out of her way to say, we don’t want our money going to Hamas and people like that, which is a big problem, because as you know a lot of their money does come from Europe.

This was one of my initiatives in the foreign ministry and I thank Britain for taking it up. 

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