Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Save The Temple Mount’s Antiquities

Morton Klein and Daniel Mandel

Largely unnoticed and unreported, destruction and irreversible damage to priceless Jewish antiquities beneath Judaism’s holiest site, Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, has been proceeding unhindered for some time now. How can this be? Because the Temple Mount and the two mosques built on it have remained under the control of the Waqf, the Muslim religious authorities, since Israel reunited the two halves of the city in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, to which Jews turn in prayer, but is of far lesser significance to Muslims than Mecca and Medina, which Muslims face while praying. Mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible but not in the Koran, Jerusalem held little interest for Arabs during the years of Jordanian occupation (1948-‘67).

Other than Jordanian King Hussein, no Arab leader visited the city in these years. Today, however, the Arab world speaks of liberating the city from Jews; Jerusalem Day parades attract throngs in Muslim capitals, including faraway Tehran; and the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the Waqf explicitly deny history and Jewish religious attachment to the city and even the past existence of the biblical temples.
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