My fondest memory from the Temple Mount took place on Israel’s Independence Day two years ago, when I went up with a group of young religious Jewish men. It took several hours of waiting, debating the guards and relinquishing religious paraphernalia to get up there, and by the time we did, we had bonded, all of us, as if we were going to war.
Things became tumultuous up there. Muslim men and women surrounded us, 20 or 30 of them at a time, and what began as a joyous celebration of independence ended up being a hurried, fearful walk in silent determination. The Border Police did their best to contain the situation, and I remember one man, a Druze officer, making sporadic eye contact with me to calm my growing panic and assure me things would be OK.