American Magnates Finance New Temple Mount Campaign

Jingles for "Temple Mount - Heart of the Nation" have been broadcast widely on Israel Radio Reshet Bet and Reshet Gimmel during the past week. Calling for opening up the Temple Mount and strengthening the Jewish presence there, the messages were aired despite the recent prohibition against political or campaign-related broadcasts on state radio.

Financial support for the "Temple Mount - Heart of the Nation" campaign has been provided by a group of several Jewish American magnates. A source close to the unnamed donors explained that "they are pained that the Temple Mount has been closed to Jews for the past two-and-a-half years, and want to deepen the public awareness and the identity of the Jewish people with the site."

The source added that the future of the site, which is holy to the Jewish people, concerns the group's members although they are not all religiously observant Jews themselves.

On behalf of the group, the Oren advertising agency (which managed the electoral campaign of the National Religious Party) prepared the 10-day, NIS 2-million campaign, launching it immediately after the elections on Tuesday. It also features posters, billboards and advertisements in the Haaretz and Ma'ariv weekend supplements.

According to the donors' spokesman, Itzik Roth, the role of the campaign "is to restore the Temple Mount to the center of public debate. It is the heart of the Jewish nation and the donors' aim is to heighten awareness and the public's attachment to [the mount]. They believed the timing - the day after the election - was perfect, as it would create public pressure that the Temple Mount would enter into coalition negotiations."

The texts of the broadcasts, drafted by Oren several weeks ago, had to be rewritten twice. The third version was accepted by both the Voice of Israel and the head of the Israel Broadcasting Authority.

The radio jingle features the voice of Motti Gur, head of the Paratroopers during the Six-Day War in 1967, and was aired almost hourly Thursday on the radio.