The following is a letter to the editor written to the New York Times by Rabbi Avi Shafran of Agudath Israel of America that appears in today's edition. The letter was in response to a New York Times article which can be read here
To the Editor:Re “As Holy Days Mix in Old City, So Do Wary Jews and Muslims” (Jerusalem Journal, front page, Sept. 29):Some Muslims indeed “defy archaeology and history” by denying the centrality to Judaism of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. But I question whatever notion of journalistic fairness led to your assertion that “the same problem exists on the other side as well.”Yes, believing Jews consider the Temple Mount and Jerusalem to have been divinely deeded them. But Muslims are free to live and worship in Jerusalem, unlike Jews or Christians in Mecca or Medina. And the Jewish claim to Jerusalem is in accordance with, not in defiance of, archaeology and history.
(Rabbi) Avi Shafran Director of Public Affairs
Agudath Israel of America New York, Sept. 29, 2008