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‘Preparing the hearts’ – how the Temple Mount movement works towards their goal of building the Third Temple over the ruins of Al Aqsa

Israel/Palestine
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After failing to blow up the Dome of the Rock in 1984, Yehuda Etzion of the “Jewish Underground” messianic terrorist group realized his mistake while in prison.

Their plan to destroy the “abomination,” was appropriate; the only problem was that they acted ahead of their time, Etzion argued.

“The generation was not ready,” Etzion wrote in a letter while incarcerated.

Once out of prison Etzion established the Chai Vekayam (Alive and Existing) movement, which believes in shaping public opinion as a prerequisite for building a Third Temple in the religious complex in Jerusalem’s Old City where Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are located, otherwise known as the Noble Sanctuary. In addition to housing Islam’s third most holiest site in the world, the compound is also one of Judaism’s most sacred sites and the desired location for the Third Temple.

According to messianic belief, building the Third Temple at the Al Aqsa compoundwhere the First and Second temples stood some 2,000 years agowould usher the coming of the Messiah.   

In his prison letter he explained, destroying the Dome of the Rock could be part of the plan,

“We must build a new force that grows very slowly, moving its educational and social activity into a new leadership. Of course I cannot predict whether the Dome of the Rock will be removed from the Mount while the new body is developing or after it actually leads the people, but the clear fact is that the Mount will be purified [from Islamic shrines] with certainty…”

Three decades later, “the process of ‘preparing the hearts’ that precedes the practical stage of removing the Dome of the Rock is now underway in full force,” noted Israeli NGO Ir Amim in their 2013 report, “Dangerous Liaison.”

Since then dozens of organizations have formed with the goal of promoting “temple awareness”- raising awareness about the Third Temple’s importance and its construction. In 2013 Ir Amim noted 19 registered associations that call for changing the status quo at the Noble Sanctuary.

Since 1967, Israel has controlled the entrance to the Noble Sanctuary and the compound is administered by Islamic Waqf seated in Jordan. Non-Muslims can enter the site as tourists, but cannot pray there.

Today, discussion about changing the status quo on the Al Aqsa compound and building the Temple is part of Israeli mainstream discourse.

2017 was a record breaking year in many aspects including an increase of 75 per cent in Jewish visits to the compound. In 2017 around 25,600 Jews visited the compound compared to around 14,600 in 2016.

Last October, around 500 Jewish activists practiced their ritual next to the Southern Wall, closer to the compound than ever before. 

The Temple Institute’s model of the Third Temple. (Photo: Mersiha Gadzo)

The Temple Institute’s recreated Golden Menorah displayed outside is ready to be used in the Third Temple once it’s built. Temple Institute leadership claims that by placing the menorah in full view of anyone heading to the Western Wall from the Jewish quarter, helps promote the idea of rebuilding the Third Temple.
(Photo: Mersiha Gadzo)

“The struggle is about sovereignty”

Many Temple activists have openly admitted that praying at the compound is just the first step in achieving their greater goal of building the Third Temple inside the Noble Sanctuary. It’s why Palestinians remain concerned about increased Jewish visits to the compound.

Yehuda Etzion inside the Nobel Sanctuary in Jerusalem, 2015 (Photo: Honenu/YNET News)

Elishama Sandman, founder of Yeraeh, which publishes weekly statistics on the number of Jews visiting the Noble Sanctuary. Using the Jewish term for the compound, the Temple Mount, she stated:

“Our aspiration is to build a Temple on the Temple Mount. In order to get to a Temple, there is a path that must be followed, and along this path there are various milestones that are effectively our more immediate goals: Allowing open and free prayer on the Mount, extending entry hours for Jews as well as broad awareness among the people and so forth.”

Former Likud member Moshe Feiglin revealed the real intention behind the call to Jewish prayer at the compound:

“Let’s be truthful. The struggle here in not about prayer,” Feiglin admitted. “Arabs don’t mind that Jews pray to God. Why should they care? We all believe in God. The struggle is about sovereignty. That’s the true story here. The story is about one thing only: sovereignty.”

Last summer, right-wing rabbis called for increased visits “to strengthen our hold on this holy place.”

Motti Inbari, professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke agrees that the Jewish activists’ “act of going up the Temple Mount is an act of showing ownership” over the site.

“Building the Third Temple is viewed as something futuristic, not something that’s going to happen soon,” Inbari told Mondoweiss.

“But Jewish presence on the Temple Mount and Jews coming to pray is viewed as a more realistic goal that they can achieve to symbolize ownership,” he said.

Likud Knesset member Yehuda Glick has played a key role for more than a decade in promoting Jewish visits to the compound and calling for their right to prayer.

According to Glick, when he first ascended the compound in 1990, Jewish visitors were let in only one at a time and there were only three rabbis who supported their cause since leading rabbis have repeatedly ruled that it is forbidden for Jews to enter any part of the compound due to the site’s sacredness.

Now, groups of 50 and more typically visit (sometimes over 100) and according to Glick, there are around 300 rabbis who support their call.

“They have successfully changed the halachic [Jewish law] position concerning ascent to the Mount among the Council of Yesha Rabbis and even to expose rifts within the Haredi public, for which activity promoting the rebuilding of the Temple as a practical program was once entirely insupportable,” Ir Amim noted.

Palestinian Muslims arrive at Al Aqsa mosque for Friday prayer. January 2017. (Photo: Mersiha Gadzo)

A view of the Dome of the Rock taken from outside of the Temple Institute. (Photo: Merisha Gadzo)

“A particularly alarming trend”

One of the leading Temple movement organizations is the Temple Institute, which has had a blueprint ready for the temple’s construction since 2011. In 2014 they crowdfunded over $100,000 on Indiegogo to prepare architectural plans for their Third Temple.

“This is the generation. The children are ready,” reads the tagline in one of their videos which often show the youth leading their parents and the elderly away from distractions and towards the Third Temple.

Their ultimate goal is no conspiracy theory.

The dozens of ritual objects that are displayed in Plexiglass cases at the institute aren’t merely replicas. They have been specifically made to be used in the Third Temple once it’s rebuilt.

“The Temple Institute’s ultimate goal is to see Israel rebuild the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah [where the Al Aqsa compound is located] in Jerusalem, in accord with the Biblical commandments,” reads their statement on their website.

At the institute, paintings are displayed on walls depicting visitors arriving by light-rail train and cable car. They gaze at the gigantic Third Temple, clearly located in today’s Al Aqsa Compound. In all of their illustrations, there is no Dome of the Rock or Al Aqsa mosque in sight.

With the Midrasha, the Temple Institute’s educational arm, their “growing infiltration” of the Israeli education system is a “particularly alarming trend,” according to Ir Amim.

“By presenting itself primarily as an educational body, without emphasizing its ultimate goal of rebuilding the Temple, the Institute has been successful in garnering support,” Ir Amin wrote, “Because there is no other organization representing an alternative viewpoint, students receive a blatantly biased perspective. In this way, both secular and religious students under the Education Ministry are exposed to a one-dimensional approach to the subject.”

From 2008 to 2011 the Temple Institute and Midrasha received an average of $110,000 (412,000 NIS) in state funding. In 2012, the most recent year that statistics are available, Midrasha received $230,000 (819,000 NIS) from the Ministry of Education.

The Temple movements’ influence reached the Knesset as well. From May 2013 until October 2014, the Knesset Interior Committee held 14 discussions concerning the issue of Jewish entrance and prayer to the compound, compared to four discussions in the entire preceding decade.

Glick also formed a lobby that successfully convinced Israeli decision makers in 2015 to outlaw the Mourabitoun movements, guardians of Al Aqsa mosque.

“Religious groups that joined the Likud Party ranks have raised the curtain on the issue, making it mainstream,” Glick said in an interview. “[…] I was present at all these junctures and used all the tools to give the idea a serious push.”

According to a poll from 2013, about a third of Israelis support building the Third Temple in the Al Aqsa compound.

Omar Kiswani, director of the Al Aqsa mosque compound. (Photo: Mersiha Gadzo)

Recently, the battle over Al Aqsa’s sovereignty has shifted to legal grounds. Last October the Supreme Court ruled that soccer games are forbidden on the compound because it desecrates the site’s holiness. Palestinian youth often play soccer in Al Aqsa’s courtyard since there are few places where they can freely do so in their neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem.

The Waqf has refused to respond to summons sent by Israeli courts to hear claims filed against it, since they don’t recognize Israeli law over Al Aqsa. They maintain that Israel has no authority to interfere in Al Aqsa’s affairs.

According to Omar Kiswani, director of the Al Aqsa compound, since the prayer protests led by Palestinians last July, Israeli authorities have maintained their ban on tools, electric cables and renovation materials from entering the compound, consequently halting much-needed renovation for the mosque. Any minor maintenance now requires approval from the Israeli police. As of January 2017 renovation plans have still been frozen.

“Even cleaning. We need approval from Israeli police to clean,” Kiswani said. “It’s because they want to change the status of Al Aqsa. They want to have more control over the mosque.

“[The Israelis] will take quicker steps in the future [to assert sovereignty.] Now, the battle is with the Waqf inside the mosque. The Israeli government has been trying to find a way to impose their policies without provoking Palestinians.

“For the public outside it appears quiet, but this is an illusion. It’s not peace and quiet. We are afraid that if it continues like this the situation will explode.” Kiswani said.

About Mersiha Gadzo

Mersiha Gadzo is a multimedia journalist. Her articles have appeared in Al Jazeera, CBC, Canadian Dimension and the Middle East Eye. She tweets at @MersihaGadzo.

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87 Responses

  1. Maghlawatan
    February 16, 2018, 5:22 pm

    Zionism is insane.
    Moving to Palestine and expelling the locals was insane
    Thinking there could be a tabula rasa after the Shoah was insane.
    Conquering the last 22% with the people attached was insane.

    Zionist leaders are bastards.
    and they all run the groupthink.
    but they left al Aqsa alone.

    Because it is a powder keg.
    And the jihad that followed would destroy Judaism

    • Misterioso
      February 17, 2018, 10:37 am

      @Maghlawagan

      The forced creation of the racist, fascistic, expansionist entity known as “Israel” in historic Palestine by Jews of foreign origin was brought about by their violent, brutal dispossession and expulsion of the indigenous Arab inhabitants while most of the world looked the other way. It was and remains the number one geopolitical blunder of the post WWII era.

  2. RoHa
    February 16, 2018, 10:15 pm

    “Palestinian youth often play soccer in Al Aqsa’s courtyard since there are few places where they can freely do so in their neighborhoods in occupied East Jerusalem.”

    And that makes it clear (not that there was reason to doubt) that there is nothing un-Islamic about football. Now all that is needed is some sort of accommodation with pubs.

    • HarryLaw
      February 19, 2018, 5:31 pm

      Mohamed Salah is one of the more well-known Muslim players in England, and certainly the talk of the Premier League since Liverpool paid 34 million pounds (almost $48 million) in a transfer fee from Italy’s AS Roma last summer. He’s also very outward with his faith, often bowing in prayer after scoring goals.
      That’s what makes this new song — in which fans sing of following Salah to mosque after he scores — so surprisingly welcome to experts who follow international soccer.
      A non profit NGO It analyzed 1,378 soccer matches during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons and recorded 539 incidents of racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, nationalist and Islamophobic nature, according the group’s monthly reports. British fans were responsible for 59 of those incidents, more than any other country.
      And then along came Salah, and fans have quite literally changed their tune.
      “This is the first time I’ve seen such an exuberant, overt, positive appreciation that includes [a player’s] religion,” FARE Executive Director Piara Powar said.
      Liverpool fans have taken to affectionately calling Salah, a native of Egypt, “The Pharaoh” or “The Egyptian King.”
      There have been other songs, too:
      “He’s running down the wing,” one goes. “Egyptian king!”
      “We brought the lad from Roma and he scores in every game,” starts another. “He’s Egyptian and he’s brilliant and Mohamed’s his name!”
      The new chant is to the tune of Dodgy’s 1996 hit ‘Good Enough’ and includes lyrics suggesting Reds’ fans would consider converting to Islam, reports the Mirror.
      Liverpool fans have started a new chant.
      And the Egyptian has responded to his latest chant on Twitter…
      “If he’s good enough for you, he’s good enough for me.
      “If he scores another few, then I’ll be Muslim too.”
      “If he’s good enough for you, he’s good enough for me.

  3. JosephA
    February 16, 2018, 11:05 pm

    What a f****d up situation. These Israeli nut jobs are far worse than American Bible thumpers.

  4. gamal
    February 16, 2018, 11:10 pm

    ” Now all that is needed is some sort of accommodation with pubs.”

    the pioneers

    “Anyway, the section below struck us as interesting in the context of the argument put forward by some commentators that pubs have suffered in certain towns and cities whose populations include a substantial number of Muslims:

    It was almost lunchtime and the pubs looked inviting. In one of them, the man behind the bar had a broad Lancashire accent, but the warm, dusty interior felt like part of the one of those benighted tropical places which Graham Greene evokes so well, where on the priest and publican are white. The publican here was serving a group of Pakistanis and all the faces in the ‘best’ room were dark.

    ‘We’ve been here two years now,’ he said, ‘and it’s beginning to drive the wife crackers. Wednesday afternoon, she had a drink, there were so many Pakistanis in here by ten she started crying. At two in the morning I was still trying to comfort her. This last month, at least ninety per cent of my customers have been Paks. I’ve about six whites apart from the girls, you get them of course. The whites have just drifted away. When we came, there’d be twenty or so.’

    Now, that sounds to us like evidence that people from (probably) Muslim backgrounds (clearly not especially religious in practice) did attempt to make the pub part of their lives”

    https://boakandbailey.com/2016/01/pakistanis-in-the-pub-bradford-c-1965/

    nowadays Muslims can frequent bars without reducing the Landlady to tears.

    • RoHa
      February 17, 2018, 8:54 pm

      It is good to see integration and some assimilation.

      “nowadays Muslims can frequent bars without reducing the Landlady to tears.”

      And, I would hope, without the whites drifting away. But I will say no more, and stop interrupting the conversion about the plans for the new temple.

      • gamal
        February 17, 2018, 11:00 pm

        “I would hope, without the whites drifting away”

        no worries white people love me and cleave close

  5. Citizen
    February 17, 2018, 9:33 am

    I assume Hagee ilk fully support Etzion’s messianic agenda.

  6. Ossinev
    February 17, 2018, 1:59 pm

    @maghlawatan
    “Because it is a powder keg.
    And the jihad that followed would destroy Judaism”

    Totally agree. The Yahoo and those few Jewish Israelis to his left in Ziopolitics have known this for a long time and whilst they trample over each other to try and keep up with right wing lunatics like Lieberman,Shaked,Hotovely,Regev and the arch right wing lunatic Herr Bennett they have controlled and restrained the attempts of the messianic Third Temple nutjobs. Things are however rapidly changing. The Yahoo is on his way out and the only next steps for the loony right who now represent the only game in Zioville are 1) A takeover of the Al Aqsa and 2) Full annexation of Judea and Samaria with the Al Aqsa takeover an absolute priority.
    As you say the consequences of this for Jews in Israel and worldwide as well as for those countries specifically the US which give succour to Zioloons would be catastrophic.
    It may well be the case that the very few sane individuals dealing with foreign policy in the Trump administration have pointed out that the recent recognition of ” all” of Jerusalem as Zioland`s capital will in effect be seen as a green light for an Al Aqsa takeover. Thus the apparent recent backing off from the unequivocal support for Zioland by Donald.

  7. Kaisa of Finland
    February 17, 2018, 2:16 pm

  8. Misterioso
    February 17, 2018, 3:27 pm

    For the record:
    More on comedian Sarah Silverman expressing support for Ahed Tamimi:

    https://forward.com/fast-forward/394635/sarah-silverman-calls-on-jews-to-stand-up-for-palestinian-ahed-tamimi/

    Forward, February 16, 2018
    “Sarah Silverman Calls On Jews To Stand Up For Palestinian Ahed Tamimi’
    By Nathan Guttman

    “The arrest of Ahed Tamimi, a 17-years old Palestinian girl arrested after being filmed slapping an Israeli soldier near her West Bank home, has evolved into an international debate, pitting human rights groups against the government in Jerusalem and pro-Israel groups.

    “Now, comedian Sarah Silverman is weighing in on Tamimi’s side and urging fellow Jews to do the same, even if it means parting with the Israeli government. ‘Jews have to stand up EVEN when — ESPECIALLY when — the wrongdoing is BY Jews/the Israeli government,’ Silverman tweeted Thursday.

    “Silverman promoted an email campaign launched by Amnesty International which called on supporters to write to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and protest Tamimi’s detention. ‘There is nothing Ahed Tamimi has done that can justify the continuing detention of a 17-year-old child,’ Amnesty wrote in its appeal.”

    • Jethro
      February 17, 2018, 6:55 pm

      The comments people left in response to her tweet are cancer.

  9. MHughes976
    February 17, 2018, 11:41 pm

    I think that these Temple Mount people are getting absolutely nowhere. There aren’t going to be white-robed priests sacrificing sheep, there isn’t going to be a red heifer whose ashes purify priests, there isn’t going to be an election for High Priest. Not for a long time.

  10. Emet
    February 18, 2018, 10:07 am

    Mersiha, you lie and distort. If your article talks about Al-Aqsa, then why do you show a picture of the Dome of the Rock? Al-Aqsa is the mosque that is also on the Temple Mount, the holiest site for Jews. But this is not what you show. The Dome of the Rock is built on top of the ruins of the Second Jewish Temple. The Al-Aqsa mosque is build over to the side of the compound. The Jews will build the Third Temple on the site of the Dome of the Rock and not, I repeat, not over Al-Aqsa. So let the readers know that you lie and distort the truth for political means.

    • John O
      February 18, 2018, 11:43 am

      Oh, dear! What a calamity! The wrong photo got published. Article totally invalidated. Pull it now. Better still take down the whole Mondoweiss website. Unclean unclean!

      Re your assertion that the temple will be built alongside the mosque, are you implying the site will be shared territory? I guess there’s a first time for everything in Israel.

    • Mooser
      February 18, 2018, 1:34 pm

      “John O”, tourism is a very important industry for Israel. A third Temple would be a very attractive destination resort.

      • Mooser
        February 21, 2018, 1:09 pm

        “A third Temple would be a very attractive destination resort.”

        With a pet-shop on the way in.

    • RoHa
      February 18, 2018, 7:47 pm

      I’m not an expert on the subject, but I am under the impression that it is far from certain that the Second Jewish Temple was at the location now occupied by the Dome of the Rock. However, it does seem pretty certain that there was a church there, and before that the entrance to the courtyard of the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus. The Al-Aqsa mosque seems to have been the location for the actual Temple of Jupiter, and, perhaps, the preceding second Jewish Temple.

      https://followinghadrian.com/2014/11/05/exploring-aelia-capitolina-hadrians-jerusalem/

      http://www.templemount.org/mtmoriah.html

      http://www.bible.ca/archeology/bible-archeology-jerusalem-temple-mount-threshing-floor.htm

      If we are going to knock down Islamic buildings to rebuild ancient temples, let’s go for the full, glorious, Temple of Jupiter complex. That would go nicely with the Western Wall, which is probably Roman.

      • RoHa
        February 19, 2018, 1:12 am

        And here is an argument that the Haram ash-Sharif was not the site of either the Jewish or the Roman temple.

        http://www.hope-of-israel.org/realsite.html

        A critical comment on that argument.

        https://prophecywatchers.com/response-dr-ernest-l-martin/

      • Emet
        February 21, 2018, 12:40 pm

        Roha, you are a hypocrite. Why do you have no comment about Islamic claims to the site when all there is in Islamic texts is a vague reference to the journey Mohammad made on his way to heaven when he stopped off at the place of the rock? And this nearly 700 years after the Jewish Temple was destroyed and for the second time. Now tell us, how many rocks are there in the world? When you are finished counting I suggest you come back here and admit that your comments have an evil purpose to them. And then tell us how you feel about Islamic claims. Looking forward to reading your reply.

      • zaid
        February 21, 2018, 3:44 pm

        Roha,

        Watch out from Bible.ca it is not an accurate source.

        I went through their website and i found several mistakes in translating Arabic sources and other rookie mistakes

        There were nothing on Alaqsa when Muslims entered Jerusalem as evident by the Madaba mosaic map.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madaba_Map

        Also the resemblance to Baalbak compound is really superficial and the sizes doesnot match at all.

      • RoHa
        February 21, 2018, 6:36 pm

        @Emet.

        My proposal to rebuild the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus shows that I’ve already discounted Muslim claims.

        However, I will point out that that Muslims have regarded the site as holy for 1300 years, and there have been Muslim holy buildings there for nearly all that time. (There was a short break when the Crusaders used the Dome as a church. ) And they are still there.

        Now you might want to say that Jews have revered the site for much longer, but there are, and have been for most of those 1300 years, many times more Muslims than Jews, so the total amount of Muslim reverence will greatly outweigh the Jewish reverence.

        If that doesn’t impress you, think of it this way.
        The Jewish claim is the unproven belief that the temple used to be there.
        The Muslim claim is the proven belief that the Dome and the mosque are right there now.

      • Mooser
        February 21, 2018, 7:08 pm

        “Emet” will there be a petting-zoo for the kids at the Third-Strike Temple?

      • eljay
        February 21, 2018, 7:25 pm

        || RoHa: … The Jewish claim is the unproven belief that the temple used to be there.
        The Muslim claim is the proven belief that the Dome and the mosque are right there now. ||

        Ergo, reality is anti-Semitic.

      • Emet
        February 22, 2018, 2:31 am

        “many times more Muslims than Jews” : So what you are saying Roha, is that its a numbers game. Never mind the facts. Throw your integrity out the window. Sorry, you don’t have any so there’s nothing left to part with. You discount every piece of evidence that supports Jewish claims on the one side, The Torah, The Bible, historians who lived in Jerusalem at the time, but then you have nothing on the Palestinian side, except for recent history with facts on the ground. If that’s what you are suggesting then swallow the facts that are now on the ground because you leave Israel no alternative.

      • RoHa
        February 22, 2018, 7:27 pm

        You don’t like me numbers? OK, we’ll throw them out. The number of Muslims, the number of years Jews have revered the site – all gone.

        What’s left?

        Jews: We had a temple there.

        Classical Pagans: We had a temple there, and it was more beautiful than the Jewish one.

        Christians: We had a church there, probably destroyed by the Jews in the Sassanid army …

        Classical Pagans: And who destroyed our temple?

        Jews: For that matter, who …

        Christians: OK, so we’ve all been a bit hasty. Let’s just agree that the temples and church were destroyed.

        Muslims: Not our fault. It was like that when we got there. So we cleared up the rubble and built a shrine and a mosque. They are still there.

        So Jews, Classical Pagans, Christians, and Muslims can all claim the site on the basis of having had a religious building there. All those claims are of equal force.

        But the Muslims can add two other points to their claim. First, they didn’t destroy a previous building, and, second, that their buildings are still there and in use.

        Now what basis do Jews have for saying their claim is stronger than the other three claims?

      • Emet
        February 23, 2018, 1:32 am

        Roha, so what you are saying by listing your understanding of events, is that the current structures on the Temple Mount are settlements, and by the same logic you apply to other settlements not too far away these settlements, which were built on other peoples land, must go. Wow, finally we are getting somewhere. Need more like you to finally understand this fact. Or is there a statute of limitations in this case? And if there is, what are its conditions? Judea and Samaria are the heartland of the Jewish story. Does your statute of limitations also apply here?

      • Mooser
        February 23, 2018, 1:28 pm

        “Now what basis do Jews have for saying their claim is stronger than the other three claims?”

        In fact, the Jews have a great deal to gain by disclaiming any special religious interest in the site. Judaism is a completely portable religion. One site or another makes very little difference to our God, who is everywhere, and hears His people equally well wherever they go.
        And the idea that animal sacrifice is essential to Judaism is, of course, insulting, and the invention of anti-semites.

      • RoHa
        February 23, 2018, 9:29 pm

        “is there a statute of limitations in this case?”

        Of course, but understanding it requires a bit of moral reasoning, and Zionists don’t seem capable of that. Still, I’ll do my best to explain.

        Sometimes, and far more often than we would like, an injustice leads to a situation which applies to more than the immediate perpetrators and victims. In such situation, restoring the status quo ante would cause considerable harm to more-or-less innocent parties, and thus add more injustice to the original injustice.

        For this reason, I do not approve of the idea of shipping all the Israeli Jews to Europe and the USA. Arseholes they may be (and frequently are), but that is not sufficient justification for throwing them out of the country they were born in.

        Building the Dome of the Rock might have been an injustice to the Christians who were alive when the Dome was built on the ruins of their church, but no Christian now is being harmed by this. Nor is any Classical Pagan or sensible Jew. There are a few fanatics who have worked themselves into a tizzy over the idea that they cannot pray at the site, but I would argue that they are harming themselves by not heeding the wise words of Mooser.

        “Judea and Samaria are the heartland of the Jewish story.Does your statute of limitations also apply here?”

        I would have thought that Samaria was the heartland of the Samaritan story. Jerusalem and Bethlehem are the heartland of the Christian story. But the stories do not give rights.

      • RoHa
        February 24, 2018, 9:35 pm

        So I ask again.

        What basis do Jews have for saying their claim is stronger than the other three claims?

    • Mooser
      February 21, 2018, 12:58 pm

      ” and admit that your comments have an evil purpose to them”

      “Emet” don’t you think killing a pigeon or sheep would be just as fulfilling if you do it in your own backyard, instead of the Third-mortgage Temple? Or you could get a job at a local slaughterhouse. I don’t think “RoHa” is trying to take anything away from you.

    • zaid
      February 21, 2018, 3:38 pm

      Alaqsa is the entire compound (144000 m2) , this is not disputed among Muslim scholars

      The dome of the rock is the center of the mosque and the building to the side is called ALjamea Alqibli no(t Alaqsa) .

      Muslims will not change their religion to accommodate your myths.

      By the way the Rock is 18x13m so it doesnot even fit inside the temple of Herod (Arab King).

      • gamal
        February 21, 2018, 5:59 pm

        “ALjamea Alqibli no(t Alaqsa)”

        the first qibla.

        One of the most sophisticated trigonometric tables from the whole medieval period was by the Syrian Al Khalili, to solve the complex problem of finding the Qibla from anywhere, the angle between you or some other cardinal point and the Qibla is called inhiraf al qibla, don’t quote me.

        Tabari’s tarikh al rasul wal muluk records the change of the Qibla in vol 7 “the history of the community”, he includes stuff from ibn ishaq relatively uncritically, which his predecessors like ibn hisham, ibn sad and al waqidi had rejected leading to one whole load of ignorance about “history” propagated by phony internet scholars of Islam,

        Palestinians collectively and some individually are the indisputable owners of Jerusalem, look how far Zionist vandalism is willing to go in pursuit of ultimately unrealizable goals

        may be time to change direction

      • Emet
        February 23, 2018, 1:44 am

        zaid, don’t you love the fact that when Muslims pray on the Temple Mount they turn their backs to the dome of the rock and face Mecca?
        Also, as we do not know for sure, it could have been that that the Jewish Temple was either built on top of the rock as well. Who knows? On top, around, inside? What we do know is that it was right there. But facts are facts and sometimes we all would prefer “other” facts. Not so? And just to put the facts straight, Al-Aksa mosque is the one with the black dome. The dome of the rock has the gold plated roof done not too long ago by the Jordanian King. This dome was also black before this. And that’s a fact.

      • zaid
        February 23, 2018, 9:51 am

        “zaid, don’t you love the fact that when Muslims pray on the Temple Mount they turn their backs to the dome of the rock and face Mecca?”

        We also turn our back to the Prophet tomb when we pray in Medina, so your point is?

        “Also, as we do not know for sure, it could have been that that the Jewish Temple was either built on top of the rock as well. Who knows? On top, around, inside? What we do know is that it was right there”

        How did you know that, do you have any evidence?

        “Al-Aksa mosque is the one with the black dome.”

        Feel free to believe whatever you want , but as far as Muslim literature and scholars is concerned the entire compound (Haram Alsharif) is Alaqsa Mosque and inside it there are several Prayer Area (Musallah) including:

        Musallah Alqibli (With the black dome )
        Musallah Qubbat ALsakhra (dome of the rock prayer area)
        Musallah Almarwani
        …etc

        http://masjidalaqsa.net/faqs/#squelch-taas-accordion-shortcode-content-2

        http://masjidalaqsa.net/musallah-al-qibli/

        Herod’s Temple (Arab King) regardless of where it was located were completely destroyed and nothing remained of it and we are not going to change our beliefs to accommodate you or your myths.

      • Emet
        February 24, 2018, 6:12 am

        zaid, what you have just said about turning your back on Medina and using this act to justify turning your backs to the Dome of the Rock, is a demonstration of how you and your friends mix and abuse politics in the conflict. You have actually shown us that the most important site for Muslims is Mecca and all other sites are secondary, as far as the religion is concerned. So then you are left with using these sites for political reasons. The Temple Mount, the site that now has the Al-Aksa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, is the most important site for Jews. You cannot change this fact zaid. You cannot justify religiously occupying a site belonging to another religion and so you revert to dirty distortions and lies. Go back to Mecca zaid. Jerusalem is not yours. It always belonged to the Jews. It may be the third holiest site for Islam today but third holiest is not good enough to then say that it is not as important for the Jews. Those reading your comments should understand how radical Islam can be which is not prepared to share with anyone. Therefor peace has no chance at all until there is a major change in Islamic thinking.

        By the way, Herod’s Temple was not completely destroyed. You just have to dig a few feet down on the Temple Mount to find archeological evidence of the Jewish Temple. I am not proposing that this is done but everyone, including yourself, knows this to be true. The next time you enter the Temple Mount area, know that you are standing over remains of the Jewish Temple.

      • eljay
        February 24, 2018, 9:20 am

        || Emet: … You cannot justify religiously occupying a site belonging to another religion and so you revert to dirty distortions and lies. Go back to Mecca zaid. … ||

        Zionist Jews cannot justify occupying a territory (geographic Palestine) belonging to another people (geographic Palestinians) and so Zionist Jews revert to dirty distortions and lies. Go back to North America, Europe and Asia, Zionist Jews.

        Well said, even if I disagree with the part about Zionist Jews being chased out of geographic Palestine.

      • zaid
        February 24, 2018, 2:26 pm

        ” Herod’s Temple was not completely destroyed. ”

        Actually it was completely destroyed, “leaving not one stone upon another”, that is how it was described by contemporary sources.

        “You just have to dig a few feet down on the Temple Mount to find archeological evidence of the Jewish Temple”

        The Alaqsa Rock under the golden dome is a bedrock, do you know what a bedrock means?

        It means there is nothing under it but the rest of the rock itself (It is not detached from the mountain).

      • MHughes976
        February 24, 2018, 6:27 pm

        The Times of Israel 27 October 2016 carried a report from Ilan Ben Zion about a discreet archaeological effort by the Israel Antiquities Authoruty and the Waqf which had resulted in ‘a few tiny fragments of clay and bone’ which they dated to the Solomon’s Temple period. I agree that there’s not going to be much there but there will be some evidence of very ancient habitation. The scope of Jesus’ warning in Matthew 24:2 that not one stone would be left standing on another’ has been disputed but I would think it must mean everything in Jesus’ sight, therefore include the walls. This must have been what the Matthaean Christians of around 90 CE believed and they would have been in a reasonably good position to know.

      • gamal
        February 24, 2018, 7:00 pm

        ” do you know what a bedrock means?”

        Yes like when rock stone is your pillow….hear what the man say

        https://youtu.be/mOpCL3ggpCQ

      • Emet
        February 24, 2018, 8:22 pm

        Zaid! actually part of the JewishTemple does still stand. The outer wall of the Temple. It’s called the Western Wall. That’s where Jews currently gather and pray for the rebuilding of the Temple, amongst other things.

      • RoHa
        February 24, 2018, 9:33 pm

        “…all other sites are secondary, as far as the religion is concerned. So then you are left with using these sites for political reasons.”

        Non sequitur. That a site is of secondary religious importance does not imply that it is used for political purposes, or any other purposes than religious purposes.

        “The Temple Mount… is the most important site for Jews.”

        So what?

        “…a site belonging to another religion…”

        What does “belonging” mean here? Certainly not legal ownership. How can a religion own anything?

        (The Haram ash-Sharif is legally Waqf property, isn’t it?)

        “Jerusalem is not yours. It always belonged to the Jews.”

        In what sense did Jerusalem always “belong to” the Jews?

        “You just have to dig a few feet down on the Temple Mount to find archeological evidence of the Jewish Temple. I am not proposing that this is done but everyone, including yourself, knows this to be true.”

        I don’t know it is true. It may well be true, and there is good reason to believe it is true, but I won’t know it until it is proven.

        “The next time you enter the Temple Mount area, know that you are standing over remains of the Jewish Temple.”

        And the Roman temple, and a Christian church.

      • Mooser
        February 24, 2018, 10:10 pm

        “actually part of the JewishTemple does still stand. The outer wall of the Temple. It’s called the Western Wall.”

        So God must be straight up from there!

      • echinococcus
        February 24, 2018, 11:52 pm

        “Emet” is typically the guy who would be carried away in a straitjacket 50-60 years ago with no objections from anyone.

        Now he is just one of millions of other wall-climbing meshuggas calling themselves Zionists.

      • zaid
        February 25, 2018, 10:38 am

        “Zaid! actually part of the JewishTemple does still stand. The outer wall of the Temple. It’s called the Western Wall. ”

        How could the western wall be the outer wall of the temple if the temple was located were the dome of the rock is!

        Admit it Emet, you dont know were the temple was.

      • Mooser
        February 25, 2018, 2:33 pm

        But we do know what the Second Temple was built out of.

        It was entirely made of badly-reinforced syncrete.

      • Mooser
        February 25, 2018, 2:44 pm

        ” It’s called the Western Wall. That’s where Jews currently gather and pray for the rebuilding of the Temple, amongst other things”

        The problem, “Emet” is that “amongst other things” now includes the act of chipping of pieces of the stone and eating them, to inculcate the divine energy in the stones. (whilst repeating the words “Yum, yum, it’s so frum)

      • Mooser
        February 25, 2018, 3:04 pm

        “Emet” is typically the guy who would be carried away in a straitjacket 50-60 years ago with no objections from anyone.”

        For “Emet”, Judaism is a cargo cult.

      • Emet
        February 25, 2018, 3:35 pm

        “Alaqsa is the entire compound (144000 m2) , this is not disputed among Muslim scholars” say zaid. And when the lost prophet Maghdi does not return or reveal himself, the Muslims are going to say “All of the holy sites must be Muslim”. And when the lost prophet Maghdi still does not return they will say “All of Jerusalem must be Muslim”. And when the lost prophet Maghdi still does not return they will say “All of the land must be Muslim”. And when the lost prophet Maghdi still does not return they will say “All of the world must be Muslim”.
        Muslims are going to blame the Jews for all their problems. How convenient. And the Mondoweiss faithful who generally reject religion, are so eager to accept zaids religious fantasies. Two faced hypocrites, that’s what you are.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 25, 2018, 4:29 pm

        Emet, the entire compound is al aqsa. your commentary does not change that.

      • RoHa
        February 25, 2018, 5:53 pm

        “And the Mondoweiss faithful who generally reject religion, are so eager to accept zaids religious fantasies.”

        First, and most importantly, if “who generally reject religion” is a non-defining relative clause, it should be preceded as well as followed by a comma. If, however, it is a defining relative clause, then it should be neither preceded nor followed by a comma.

        “Zaid’s” requires both a capital and an apostrophe.

        They used to teach this in schools.

        Second, those of us who do reject religion do not accept Zaid’s religious fantasies. We just don’t think your religious fantasise are any more important.

      • Mooser
        February 25, 2018, 6:07 pm

        “And the Mondoweiss faithful who generally reject religion, are so eager to accept zaids religious fantasies. Two faced hypocrites, that’s what you are.” “Emet”

        “Emet”, it is indeed shocking, and hard to bear, when you realize the world is not as philo-semitic as you have been led to believe.

      • eljay
        February 25, 2018, 6:13 pm

        || Emet: … Muslims are going to blame the Jews for all their problems. How convenient. … ||

        I condemn any attempt to blame all Jews for the problems of Muslims. Only those Jews who are legitimately to blame for the problems of Muslims should be blamed for the problems of Muslims.

        || … How convenient. And the Mondoweiss faithful who generally reject religion, are so eager to accept zaids religious fantasies. … ||

        I don’t accept anyone’s religious fantasies, but I do believe in the religious reality of FSM (mHtuawHNA)*.

        || … Two faced hypocrites, that’s what you are. ||

        Says the Zionist. Funny stuff! :-)
        ___________________
        (*may He touch us all with His Noodly Appendage)

      • Mooser
        February 25, 2018, 7:32 pm

        “may He touch us all with His Noodly Appendage”

        And let us banish all doubt about the FSM. I ask you, if there isn’t any FSM, why is there ‘Angel Hair’ pasta?

      • echinococcus
        February 25, 2018, 10:40 pm

        For Emet, Judaism is a cargo cult

        I don’t know how you do it, Mooser. You did it again and can walk home with the whole box of Cuban cigars. It is a cargo cult!
        Not only for Emet.

      • Emet
        February 26, 2018, 1:42 am

        Annie, Islam has changed its positions over the years. For political reasons and only in recent history, has the whole compound been referred to as Al-Aqsa. You will not find references to the whole compound as being Al-Aqsa in any, and I repeat, any material dating back prior to the 1960’s. In short, political Islam is full of you know what. As long as the Palestinians deny the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, then you are supporting an evil cause. Also, there are plenty of references in Islam recognizing the place for what it really is. But you should carry on supporting the cause. Jolly for you.
        By the way, notice how the support for the Rahinda cause melted away so quickly on mondoweiss. Flash, and it was gone. Move on, no Jews to be found here.
        And getting back to your point, Jews are not asking for yours or anyone else’s permission on what and how to refer to the Temple Mount.

      • Emet
        February 26, 2018, 6:11 am

        Roha, zaid writes his name in lower case. Can you not respect him? Or is it that you know better, just like what is right and what is wrong when it comes to the Israel/Palestine conflict? Climb down from your tower already, you elitist and arrogant pos.

      • eljay
        February 26, 2018, 9:26 am

        || Emet: Roha, zaid writes his name in lower case. Can you not respect him? Or is it that you know better, just like what is right and what is wrong when it comes to the Israel/Palestine conflict? Climb down from your tower already, you elitist and arrogant pos. ||

        I love how you undermine your pompous rant by starting it off with a mis-spelled name.

      • eljay
        February 26, 2018, 9:42 am

        || Mooser: … And let us banish all doubt about the FSM. I ask you, if there isn’t any FSM, why is there ‘Angel Hair’ pasta? ||

        I am humbled by your wisdom. :-)

      • Mooser
        February 26, 2018, 11:57 am

        “Annie, Islam has changed its positions over the years. For political reasons and only in recent history”

        Oh, those changeable Muslims!
        Us Jews never change!

      • Mooser
        February 26, 2018, 12:20 pm

        “I am humbled by your wisdom. :-)”

        Thank you. May the Sauce be with you.

      • zaid
        February 26, 2018, 1:08 pm

        “You will not find references to the whole compound as being Al-Aqsa in any, and I repeat, any material dating back prior to the 1960’s”

        You are by far the worst zionist commentator we have in mondoweiss.

        ” (مختصر كتاب البلدان) لابن الفقيه وصف المسجد الأقصى بحرمه وكامل معالمه في العصر العباسي عام (290هـ) فيقول: إن طول مسجد بيت المقدس ألف ذراع وعرضه سبع مائة ذراع،”

        Translation:

        Alaqsa is 1000 cubit in length and 700 cubit in width. (Ibn Faqih 290H or 869 AD in His book AlBuldan).

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibn_al-Faqih

        Note: Cubit is 457mm

        “طول المسجد ألف ذراع بذراع الملك الأشبيني و عرضه سبعمائة”
        أحسن التقاسيم في معرفة الأقاليم لشمس الدين المقدسي

        Translation:

        The mosque length is 1000 (ٍSevillian king ) cubit and its width is 700 cubit

        Shams Aldeen Al maqdisi (945 AD) is his book Ahsan Altaqasim fi Maarefat Al Aqalim

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Muqaddasi

      • Mooser
        February 26, 2018, 1:08 pm

        “Climb down from your tower already, you elitist and arrogant pos.” “Emet”

        Do you mean the tower which ” if ever needed, it will offer enough protection from those savages.”? That tower, “Emet”?

      • RoHa
        February 26, 2018, 8:49 pm

        I’ve only seen Zaid’s name as the blue user name. Those all look a bit odd. Unlike “eljay” and “RoHa”, though, “Zaid” looks like a real name, so I give it a capital out of respect. If Zaid doesn’t want a capital, I’m sure he’ll tell us.

        “Climb down from your tower”

        And wade in the swamp of your ignorance of right and wrong? I’d rather not.

      • zaid
        February 27, 2018, 11:22 am

        Thanks Roha

        I tried changing zaid to Zaid but mondoweiss doesnot allow changing usernames.

      • Mooser
        February 27, 2018, 11:31 am

        ““Zaid” looks like a real name, so I give it a capital out of respect”

        A non-capitalized user name which is the first word in a sentence is usually capitalized.
        Fer Gawd’s sake, I learned that in second grade, and computers weren’t even in use back then.

      • Keith
        February 27, 2018, 6:02 pm

        ZAID- “I tried changing zaid to Zaid but mondoweiss doesnot allow changing usernames.”

        Yet, there must be exceptions. Yonah Fredman used to have the user name of Wondering Jew, and Tokyobk became objak. A special request, perhaps? (nothing wrong with zaid, of course.)

      • Yonah Fredman
        February 28, 2018, 2:58 pm

        Zaid- 0ne cannot change one’s user name, but on that log in page there is a prompt which gives choices regarding display public name with several choices.

  11. Ronald Johnson
    February 19, 2018, 12:12 pm

    An archaeologist named George W. Buchanan published a paper in “The Link” periodical of “Americans For Middle East Understanding”, June, 2014, Volume 47 issue No. 3, to argue for the Temples having been built next to the pool of Siloam, a necessary source of rinse water if the Jews were doing blood sacrifices. The Wailing Wall is, according to Buchanan, a later revetment for the Antonio Fortress. Unfortunately, “The Link” does not link for me, but you can look it up on their website.

    Be in dread of the fact that rational Israelis and Israel fans in the US have been disinclined or powerless to rein in the Temple Mount enthusiasts.

    • MHughes976
      February 19, 2018, 7:11 pm

      There’s much about ancient Jerusalem that is not understood. The Temple Mount sifting project – sorting artefacts from the rubble caused by current building work – has now lost its former funding after discovering nothing of any great significance. It’s trying to crowd-fund. The idea of the Temple over the spring has great difficulties and only minority suppprt.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 19, 2018, 7:59 pm

      ronald, you can find it and download it here under 2014, Volume 47, Issue 3, What if the ruins of King Solomon’s Temple are NOT under the Dome of the Rock?

      http://www.ameu.org/The-Link/Catalog-of-All-Link-Issues.aspx

    • Emet
      February 24, 2018, 6:35 am

      Ronald, the next time you visit Jerusalem, make sure you visit the archeological site of the City of David. There you will find an array of fascinating objects, including marble stairs leading up to the Temple Mount.

      • Mooser
        February 24, 2018, 1:23 pm

        ” There you will find an array of fascinating objects, including marble stairs leading up to the Temple Mount.”

        You don’t say? Fascinating.

  12. Emet
    February 24, 2018, 8:15 pm

    A picture is worth a thousand words. Seeing and standing in these places only strengthens the knowledge that the Jewish Temple was right nearby. The settlement that is now there, the Al Aqsa mosque will one day be removed, together with the Dome of the Rock, God willing.

    • eljay
      February 24, 2018, 8:53 pm

      || Emet: … The settlement that is now there, the Al Aqsa mosque will one day be removed, together with the Dome of the Rock, God willing. ||

      No need for “god” to remove anything. A simple fix of hearts, minds and texts and – Ta dah!!! – it’s always been “Next year in Tel Aviv!”

    • Mooser
      February 24, 2018, 9:50 pm

      .” the Al Aqsa mosque will one day be removed, together with the Dome of the Rock, God willing.”

      Well, “Emet’s” heart is all prepared.

      Are they drinking in moderation, or have they passed out?

    • jon s
      February 26, 2018, 2:59 pm

      Emet, that’s a dangerous fantasy. In real life, noone will remove al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock and the temple will not be rebuilt, thank God. We need a third temple like we need a third armpit.

      • MHughes976
        February 26, 2018, 4:12 pm

        It is dangerous that the fantasy is entertained but I’m sure that at very least for a long time yet it just isn’t going to become reality – as you say.

      • Mooser
        February 26, 2018, 6:46 pm

        Shorter “Jon s”: ‘Shhhh, “Emet”, that is inside the tent stuff, not for Gentile eyes and ears. See you at the blood sacrifice.’

      • Mooser
        February 27, 2018, 2:21 pm

        “We need a third temple like we need a third armpit.” “Jon s”

        You would deny the men and women who paid with their own Jewish blood for your right to live in Beersheva the right to worship where they please.
        You have separated yourself from your people’s culture and heritage.
        Apparently your Zionism goes no further than your own convenience.

        (“Jon s” if the Third Temple is a “third armpit” which Temples are the first two armpits?)

      • RoHa
        February 27, 2018, 7:28 pm

        Surely Jon is not suggesting that Jewish temples are the pits.

      • echinococcus
        February 28, 2018, 3:46 am

        RoHa,

        John S is not suggesting but stating that the first two Temples are pits. Armpits being known as rather pejorative in the already pejorative category of the pits.

      • RoHa
        February 28, 2018, 8:13 pm

        I admit that I always thought the pejorative phrase “it’s the pits” referred to coal mines.

  13. JosephA
    February 25, 2018, 11:18 am

    Emet has my “thoughts and prayers”, spouting off his shrill insanity.

    • Mooser
      February 25, 2018, 2:47 pm

      “Emet has my “thoughts and prayers”, spouting off his shrill insanity.”

      Well, you never know. Maybe “Emet” is in Motel-Kotel Management business and scents real opportunity.

  14. Qualtrough
    February 27, 2018, 9:08 pm

    This argument over claims reminds me of the debate about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. What is sad is that this debate is real, while the story about angels dancing on the head of a pin is probably apocryphal.

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