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New Temple Mount Furor - News

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Arab destruction above

Arabs destroying the Temple Mount with "midnight excavations"

Temple Mount Faithful leader Gershon Solomon charged that the authorities were afraid. "Everyone is covering up for everyone else," he told reporters. "Everyone who was here - the representatives of the government, the State Attorney's Office, the Jerusalem Municipality, the court itself - knows that there is a tragedy and a terrible crime taking place on the Temple Mount."  The goal of the Arabs is to destroy all the evidence of the First and Second Temples while making the site completely Islamic so as to turn it into one big mosque. The Moslems are trying in this way to say that the Temple Mount was never the site of the Jewish Temple and for the past 1363 years of Islamic occupation of Jerusalem it has always been the site of a mosque.  Visit Gershon's site here / See a miracle that happened to Gershon here.
While the world's news media have kept quiet, the Arabs have hauled truckloads of dirt and debris out from under the south end of the Temple Mount, dumping it in the Kidron Valley. They destroyed any opportunity for archaeologists to explore the first and second Temple periods that were evident under the south end of the Temple Mount by paving the area and creating a huge Moslem prayer hall. Some Israeli archeologists are furious that the Barak administration could have allowed the desecration.

The very deep digging by the Arabs on the Temple
Mount at the entrance to "Solomon's Stables" which
destroyed very important remains from the First and
 Second Temples.



News: 04 Oct 01: In a reversal of policy, Jerusalem police announced last night that they would not permit members of the ultra-nationalist Temple Mount Faithful to drive two symbolic "cornerstones" for a third Temple to a parking lot outside the walls of the Old City near the Dung Gate this morning.  Read Here


News: 07 Sep 01: Wakf stopped from escavations at the southern wall of the Temple Mount 

6 Sep 2001 Jerusalem Post News article carried the report that: Iran claims that the Israeli's are digging 2 tunnels under the Temple Mount in a bid to cause Jerusalem's Al-Aksa Muslim Mosque to collapse.  Read Here

The primary spiritual significance of the Sacrifice of the Red Heifer is the fact that it symbolically points to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ as our only hope of being cleansed from the uncleanliness of our sins.  Read 1997 report that a pure Red Heifer was born in Israel here

Is the Dome of the Rock not even actually on the Third Temple spot? Is it in the Court of the Gentiles instead?  Can the Jewish Temple be built now north of it?  Was Revelation 11:1-2 a "wake up" when it says; "Rise and measure the temple of God, the alter, and those who worship there.  But leave out the court which is outside the temple"

Wherever the Jews have been during their 2000 years of exile, they always prayed toward Jerusalem. Many hung a frame called a mizrach (“East”) on the wall facing Jerusalem, bearing the words: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning…if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy” (Psalms 137: 5,7).

According to Jewish tradition, the holiest site in Jerusalem is the Temple Mount. King David bought the threshing floor that was originally located there so his son Solomon could build the House of God on that site. When King Solomon inaugurated the Temple, he prayed:

For will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain Thee; how much less this house that I have built! Consider therefore the prayer of Thy servant... that Thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, toward the place of which Thou hast said, ‘My name shall be there.’...And listen to the supplication of Thy servant, and of Thy people Israel, when they shall pray towards this place; and hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling place; hear and forgive (1 Kings 8:27-30).

In the midst of the Holy Land is the Holy City; in the midst of the Holy City is the Temple Mount; in the midst of the Temple Mount stood the Holy Temple; and in the midst of the Temple was the Holy of Holies. Therefore, the Temple Mount is the heart of the Jewish people.

Nevertheless, the heart is not whole. The Temple Mount is effectively under the sovereignty of the Moslems, who oversee the two mosques that mark the third holiest site of Islam. The Mount has not been fully restored to the Jewish people.

Israel Asks UN to Control Holy Site:

War has broken out in Israel! The fighting that started on Rosh HaShanah, September 29, has erupted in a "holy war" effort to destroy Israel. At the time of this writing, hundreds are dead and thousands are injured. The battleship USS Cole was damaged by Arab terrorists. If you have kept up with the nightly news, then you are familiar with the details.

We have been expecting this Middle East powder keg to explode for several months. It seems to have started right on schedule. It all started on the first day of the seventh millennium in the Hebrew calendar. That is the time the prophets called the "day of the Lord." The current conflict may be the predicted prelude to the battle of Gog and Magog.  Read this interesting article by J.R Church at Prophecy in the News



The Riddle of the Dome of the Rock: Was it Built as a Jewish Place of Prayer?

One of the most fascinating questions about the Temple Mount after the Islamic occupation in 638 A.D. is connected with the Dome of the Rock. Important scientific research conducted by Ya'akov Ofir holds that the Dome of the Rock was built in 691 A.D. for the Jews as their “last house” of prayer by their ally Abd el-Malik, the Umayyad ruler of Damascus, who also controlled the land of Israel in those days. The Jews who built the house believed that their redemption had already come. Ofir's conclusion is that the Dome of the Rock is a Jewish building.  Read this fascinating article here


Desecration Uncovered in Muslim Excavation of Temple Mount

Can Israel Resume Worship on the Holy Mount Now?

Why not via the "Tabernacle of David" (tent)?

Israeli scholars are warning of a travesty at the holiest site in Judaism. - Israeli scholars are warning of a travesty at the holiest site in Judaism. They say Palestinian Muslims are bulldozing tons of stone containing priceless historical treasures at the famed Temple Mount, and the government of Israel has done nothing to stop it.

In a CBN News exclusive, last week in Jerusalem Pat Robertson talked with Dr. Eilat Mazer, an archaeologist at Hebrew University, who provided photographic evidence of the destruction.

Pat Robertson: I'm showing pictures here that show stones from the Temple from ancient days, then I see a stone cutter and little clean blocks where these ancient stones from the Temple Mount have been cut up by Palestinians. Dr. Mazer, would you tell us about it?

Dr. Mazer: Well, it's quite a long time that the Islamic authorities are destroying the ancient antiquities of the Temple Mount. And we are speaking about the area which contains the remains since the first Temple period, the Biblical period, and then the New Testament period at the second Temple period, the time of Jesus at the Temple Mount, and then later periods, Byzantine period, the Crusades period. And they destroy it all. They have one goal, which is very certain and we have very solid evidence about it: to build the whole area as a mosque and they couldn't care less what they do.

Robertson: I'm looking at a picture here that shows — I don't know if we can get a close-up of this — but this picture shows the ruins. It shows an arch in here. It shows the antiquity and it shows the entrance to a mosque. And then later [a follow-up picture shows] all this has been bulldozed away and just the arch [from the mosque] is left. There were several Roman columns I understand.

Mazer: This is a stone from the Herodian period, and you can see this is characteristic of the Herodian period, the second Temple period, and you can see the layers by layers that should have been studied carefully and taken carefully.

Robertson: And they just bulldozed it away?

Mazer: Bulldozed it away. You can see the tractors working [in this picture]. Then furthermore, they have this stone cutter, which is on the Temple Mount. The ancient stones are there. We have one of the pictures showing how they have the ancient stones piled up near the stone cutter and then they cut it into new paving stones and new building stones and we can see afterwards how they built with them. This is [during] a time — here you can see this — this is a time when it's like [they were] saying nothing happens on the Temple Mount by the government, by the police, nothing happened. But we can see [it did].

Robertson: Why isn't the government of Israel — I talked to Mayor Olmert and he said he's now learned about it and he's stopped it. Is that not the case?

Mazer: He said they stop it, but nothing has stopped as you see. We have aerial photographs taken as we can see the development, 16,000 meters square are already paved and constructed and we're speaking just about a progress that is getting worse and worse.

Robertson: Why hasn't someone stopped this?

Mazer: Look, we are very large group of citizens from Israel, from all parties, places, name it, but we don't have the force to influence the government which has such really hard problems nowadays and it's very hard to be very determined about what's going on in the Temple Mount. So that's what happened.

Robertson: These pictures, I'm told if someone knew that these pictures had been taken, the chances of their being killed is very real. Is that correct?

Mazer: That's why we've been very careful and really, you are the first to see —

Robertson: What is this? [pointing to an artifact on the table]

Mazer: This is on the Temple Mount. You can see it's clearly seen. You see this piece of stone, very beautifully decorated. This is just one that has been taken out, very riskily out of the Temple Mount. But we know that lots and lots of material, complete pottery vessels, architectural elements, we expect to be there lots of inscriptions also relating to these ancient and most important structures that are laid there, destroyed, but still so important.

Robertson: For example, what would be done with this? They're going to bulldoze it and make it scrap?

Mazer: Surely. First if you realize — I don't know whenever, that it has been there after it is cut into new material construction, you never know.

Robertson: What is the date of this piece?

Mazer: This is a late Byzantine architectural element. I also have with me an ancient lamp. This is dated to the late First Century AD really less than 100 years after Jesus. And it's complete. It has been taken out, very riskily. You can see how beautiful it is.

Robertson: This is lovely, it’s completely intact. It has no damage right now.

Mazer: What we have here, a handle of a cooking pot. This is dated to the time of Jesus, really. This is First Century —

Robertson: Are you telling me that these artifacts would be bulldozed and just crushed?

Mazer: This is the less important elements that could have been taken — but the complete vessels, the inscriptions, the architectural elements — we don't see them even. They are taken out and we hear that the antiquities market is full of them, the most important and interesting pottery vessels and remains and finds. This is something which we cannot control. As tractors are bulldozing out, it's like almost 20,000 tons, and we know it by counting trucks that are going in and out, have been taken out of the Temple Mount. 12,000 have been dumped into the garbage area, and then they received some improvement, like the antiquities authority is going to watch it. But you cannot watch tons and tons of dumps.

Robertson: It’s appalling to me. I know this is a difficult situation, that Israel controls the Temple Mount, or does it control the Temple Mount? Who controls it now?

Mazer: Well, this is a hard question. I can speak just about the evidence and the evidence is such a brutalic destruction that couldn't be [tolerated] anywhere else in the world. But altogether, on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which is so important to so many millions in the world, it's not just for Jews or just for Israel. This is a common cultural, most important site.

Robertson: Have you taken these photographs to the authorities? Have you taken them to the prime minister's office or to the mayor or somebody?

Mazer: Yes, we did. We showed it to so many people, including the prime minister, including [Security Minister] Uzzi Landau, including [Jerusalem Mayor] Ehud Olmert, everybody.

Robertson: What do they say?

Mazer: That they will see to it that they will try to control it, that they will do their best, but at the same time, they hear from local authorities like the police that not so much is going on, because the police is the only figure that can go up. They don't allow anybody except the Muslims to go up. So we cannot bring the media into the Temple Mount to show the media by themselves, they don't need us to see the destruction. But nobody can get in.

Robertson: So what you're saying is as we speak at this moment, this destruction is still going on?

Mazer: More than you think because now we know that hundreds of people are working in construction on the Temple Mount. We have very solid evidence about hundreds of volunteers — it's a volunteer work — are working and they’re brought by buses and they make the work and nobody, it's very hurting, nobody is stopping them.

Robertson: Thank you for sharing this. We'll get this out to see what happens next. Thank you so much.

Mazer: You are most welcome.

Robertson: God bless you.

Lee Webb: Since this interview was recorded, Dr. Mazer has informed CBN that Palestinians are bringing large amounts of construction materials into the Temple Mount area. Observers watched workers haul in 20 wagonloads of cement, sand and stone chips on Monday. The Israeli government denies that, but tomorrow ten parties in the Knesset are expected to call for a discussion and investigation of the Temple Mount activities.

Pat Robertson: Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Temple of Solomon, this is the Temple of Herod. This is the place where Jesus walked. It is the most holy place of Judaism and the most holy place of Christianity. The Muslims only have a secondary claim to it because that Dome of the Rock mosque was built about the 7th or 8th Century after they tore down that Orthodox church. So they're latecomers. But this is the place of Mount Moriah where Abraham was taking his son Isaac for sacrifice. It is the place where Solomon built the Temple. It is an incredibly important place. And the antiquities, we showed you one pile of marble columns that were recovered intact in the Temple from the Roman period and the Palestinians took them outside and broke them and threw them out in a big pile. You saw the pile of marble columns. This is a desecration that should send the entire world into orbit. You heard the outcry about what the Taliban is doing to some statues of Buddha in Afghanistan. Well, this is every bit as bad and yet, the fact that the Israelis themselves control this thing and yet they don't dare go in there and stop it.

Gordon Robertson: I remember when Netanyahu was prime minister. They opened up some tunnels underneath the Temple Mount and the outcry internationally, not just from the Islamic community, but internationally, forced that to stop and here we have wholesale destruction of archaeological material that's just being trucked out of the Temple Mount and there doesn't seem to be any report, any outcry, anything at all.

Pat Robertson: This is the first time these pictures have been shown to a television audience in America. The lady who you saw, Dr. Mazer is a distinguished archaeologist from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She's not some newcomer to the scene. She's so passionate about this particular matter. And I'm just fortunate I recorded that interview just before I left Jerusalem. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the kind of thing that's happening. We're being snowed under with an avalanche of propaganda coming out of the PLO and I'm telling you, it's time that the Christians of America and those of goodwill around the world call for a halt to this thing. This is a terrible desecration.

The Israeli media company Media Line contributed to this report.

UPDATE February 2005

The re-established "Sanhedrin" convened to hold its monthly meeting in early February 2005, with the question of the Holy Temple's precise location the main topic on the agenda.

The recently re-established Sanhedrin - ideally, Judaism's top legal assembly - of 71 rabbis and scholars also moved to solidify logistical aspects of the body.

The Sanhedrin heard expert testimony on the various opinions as to the exact part of the Temple Mount upon which the Holy Temple stood. The fact that there has never been an archaeological expedition or dig on the Temple Mount, coupled with continuous Muslim efforts to destroy historical evidence of the Holy Temple at the site, have made determining the exact location difficult.

Identifying the spot on which the Temple stood is a matter of controversy among scholars, and has serious ramifications for those wishing to visit the Temple Mount. It is also critical for the renewal of the Passover sacrifice, and ultimately for the building of the third and final Holy Temple. While numerous opinions have been expressed throughout the years, and while several of them were expressed at the Sanhedrin gathering this week, the two main opinions state that the Temple stood either on the spot currently occupied by the gold-topped Dome of the Rock, or just to the north of that spot. An opinion that the Temple stood south of that spot, approximately behind the present-day Western Wall, was also presented - though most scholars basically discount it.

The opinion that it is impossible to determine the site of the Temple without prophecy was also presented.

Currently, observant Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount undergo strict preparations in accordance with halakhah (Jewish law), including - but not limited to - immersion in a mikveh (ritual bath) prior to ascending the Mount. Once on the Mount, they adhere to a specific route, based upon the accepted positions of rabbinical authorities. (A map of the permitted area reflecting the most central and widely-accepted route can be viewed by clicking here).

The opinions were delivered by rabbis, professors and archaeologists, all experts in the matter of the Temple Mount. A final presentation on the matter will be given to the Sanhedrin by a subcommittee now in formation. The subcommittee will thoroughly examine the various opinions, and present its findings to the Sanhedrin, which is then to make a decision on whether the site can be determined.

The founders of the new Sanhedrin stress that they are merely fulfilling a Biblical mitzvah (obligation). “It is a special mitzvah , based on our presence in Israel, to establish a Sanhedrin,” Rabbi Meir HaLevi, one of the 71 members of the new Sanhedrin, has explained. “The Rambam [12th-century Torah scholar Maimonides] describes the process exactly in the Mishnah Torah [his seminal work codifying Jewish Law]. When he wrote it, there was no Sanhedrin, and he therefore outlines the steps necessary to establish one."

During Temple times, the 71 members of the Sanhedrin, the center of Jewish jurisprudence, were seated in a semi-circle within a special chamber in the courtyard of the Temple.

“It is appropriate that the Sanhedrin convened to discuss this lofty matter [of the Temple's location] this week,” Sanhedrin spokesman Rabbi Chaim Richman told Arutz-7’s Ezra HaLevi, “as the Torah portion is Terumah – the portion of the Bible which begins to deal with the preparations for the Tabernacle. Though seemingly esoteric, the preparations for building a Tabernacle and the Temple are at the center of who we are as a people.”

Richman also said that it was heartening to see that despite talk of withdrawal from parts of the Land of Israel, and despite Prime Minister Sharon’s declaration that Israel has “given up its dreams,” the Sanhedrin continues to move toward strengthening the nation of Israel. “As all these things happen all around us," Rabbi Richman said, "the Sanhedrin is researching ways to renew the deepest roots of our faith – to renew Temple service, reunite Jewish legal tradition and inspire the Jewish people to aspire to greatness. Our people have one path before us, and we will continue to march toward our destiny.”

Sanhedrin member Rabbi Yisrael Ariel - former Yeshiva head, founder of the Temple Institute, and one of the paratroopers who took part in the 1967 liberation of the Temple Mount - said:

“People today ask, ‘Who are we in this generation to even consider building the Temple?’ But in this week’s Torah portion we see that the commandment to build a Temple was given to Jews who had just sinned and committed idolatry in the Sin of the Golden Calf. The fact is that what G-d requires in this world is for regular people to do their best. That is what we are trying to do.”

Criminal Muslim Destruction on the Temple Mount

The Waqf has proceeded on two fronts: one to de-Judaize the Mount and another to Islamicize it, although their actions often aim toward both at once. In a conscious attempt to make the Mount more hospitable to greater numbers of Moslem worshippers, the Waqf, in 1996, converted two Second Temple era structures into a new 1.5-acre mosque. The first was the Eastern Hulda Gate. This was one of the passageways used by ancient worshippers to access the Temple. The other structure is known as Solomon’s Stables. Located under the Mount’s current surface, it was used by ancient Temple priests to store vestments and other items. It also encompasses the area known as Jesus’ Cradle, the site where the 40-day-old Jesus was presented in the Temple. This small room, only 32.5 square feet in area, is now used for Moslem prayer. In 1997, the Waqf built a second new mosque, destroying another ancient passageway, the Western Hulda, to do so. There is no accurate record of all the artifacts lost during the conversions, but we do know that the material removed for them dated back as far as the First Temple Period (1006-586 BCE).6 By the autumn of 1999, however, Waqf actions finally caused extensive concern and then protest action by many prominent Israeli archeologists and others. Over three days and nights in November, using heavy machinery to cut through the ancient Temple Mount wall, the Waqf opened a gaping hole, 18,000 square feet in area and 36 feet deep, for an “emergency exit” from the new mosques. In January, another hole, 1250 square meters in area and twelve meters deep, appeared north of Solomon’s Stables. And the destructive construction continued.

    Without any archeological supervision, the Waqf used bulldozers and tractors on an ancient site never built to accommodate anything more than foot traffic. It removed and then paved over approximately 6,000 square meters of the ancient Temple Mount surface. Mount police also reported observing a Second Temple (516 BCE to 70 CE) era arched water channel being dismantled during this period. Temple artifacts were ripped from the Mount and, at first secretly, dumped in several places throughout Jerusalem, most prominently in the Kidron Valley just east of the city walls but also in El Azaria and the municipal city dump.

    The material often was mixed intentionally with modern-day garbage in an attempt to cover up these actions. It sometimes made archeological examination difficult, if not impossible. Volunteers, however, from students to some of Israel’s most renowned archeologists, were able to recover many ancient artifacts that the Waqf sought to destroy. Moreover, they were able to identify the Mount’s distinguishable dusty gray soil, containing a variety of stones, from different ancient periods mixed with contemporary material.

A survey of the Kidron site, for instance, dated by three respected archeologists, found ten percent of the recovered pottery shards to be from the First Temple period and another twenty-five percent to be from the Second Temple period. There very well could be more evidence of the Jewish Temples in the dumps, but many pieces still cannot be dated reliably. The earliest fragment found dates from the eighth century BCE, almost a millennium and a half before the Moslem conquest. Archeologists searching through the dumps also recovered a pillared figurine leg that they dated conclusively to the First Temple period.

    This evidence, however, presents a serious obstacle to Waqf assertions: hence, the secret dumps. And the deliberate destruction of history has gone even further. One Waqf employee, who participated in the 1996 construction, testified that workers finding stones with decorations and inscriptions were ordered to turn them over to the Waqf. The stones were then recut with the express intent of destroying any evidence of a Jewish presence. The Waqf employee specifically identified stones marked with a five-pointed star, used as far back as the second century BCE by the Hasmonean dynasty. Clandestine photographs were taken which then confirmed the employee’s statement. One picture, for example, showed an industrial stone cutting saw on the Mount, partially covered to obscure its presence. Others showed ancient pillars and ashlars, cut as alleged above, which were later used as pavement slaps and building stones.7

    A former commander of the police unit responsible for the site confirmed that the Waqf also uncovered an arch and a column from the Herodian period. This most likely came from a secondary wall running parallel to the eastern perimeter wall. Some archeologists, however, believe that the most significant artifact ever recovered from the Temple Mount is a carved marble lintel found in the Kidron dump in 2000. Archeologist Zachi Zweig calls the stone “the first archeological evidence of monumental architecture in the Temple Mount that can be positively dated to the Second Temple period. Noted archeologists have compared it in style to that identified in the Triple Gate at the Mount’s southern wall by Israeli archeologist Benjamin Mazar.