"Majadele's ongoing attempts to halt the excavation works at Jerusalem's Mugrabi Gate raise the great fear that he is serving our enemies' interests. This behavior questions causes us to question his loyalty to the Jewish state," Rabbi Lior continued in the letter.
"We were shocked to hear of the intentions of enemies from the inside and the outside, who speak out loud about handing over and abandoning the Temple Mount and parts of the Jewish people's eternal capital. The thought of foreigners defiling and ruling the Temple Mount and the holy Jerusalem shocks any Jews wherever he is."
Mugrabi Gate dig (Photo: AP)
Minister Majadele was deeply shocked by Lior's letter.
"There are more than 7 million people living in the State of Israel, one-fifth of them Arabs, and they are all citizens of the State," he told Ynet. "The Yesha Rabbis Committee, as its name implies, represents at the most those who follow it among the settlers. As you know, I am not a settler and have no plans to be one. Therefore, their leaflet does not apply to me in any way.
"I represent the sane and pragmatic camp of Muslims and Jews, who want to live together. It is sad that those who see themselves as the leaders of the settlers, instead of preaching dialogue and brotherhood, preach burning hatred, which according to their prayer books caused the destruction of the temple.
"The holy sites must not be part of the political dialogue. They and their holiness must be safeguarded for the sake of all sides," Majadele said.
Rabbi Dov Lior, 74, has become known for his controversial halachic rulings. In 2004 he ruled that IDF soldiers are allowed to shoot innocent people so as not to endanger themselves. He also signed a rabbis' letter calling on soldiers to refuse orders to evacuate Jewish communities.