The Spotlight has now moved to the Centre of the stage of Time and Prophecy
The Temple Mount in Jerusalem
Ultimate Decoy of the Final Battle for Ownership of Jerusalem
The closing years of the millennium have seen the intensifying of
"The Battle for Jerusalem", which has now revealed itself as the culminating
flashpoint in the Middle East Crisis. The Final Countdown to Armageddon
For decades, the Arab-Israel conflict was a potential fuse to the igniting of
an international military confrontation - dreaded of nuclear magnitude.
The historic signing of the Oslo Peace Treaty on 15 Sept. 1993,
suddenly turned the spotlight onto the back stage of the world drama,
as Jerusalem, in glittering array, stepped challengingly through the
darkened crimson curtains of history, onto the centre of the stage -
revealing itself as the pivotal, contentious issue in the millennia-old
struggle for control of it's soul.
As early as 1967, after Israeli troops occupied Jerusalem, bringing
Jews back for praying at the foundations of their ancient, Roman
destroyed Temple for the first time in 2000 years, Jerusalem was
already important enough to warrant several United Nations
Resolutions to restrict Jewish claims on Jerusalem, their ancient Capital.
Gradually it is becoming clear, that not Arab interests, not
Palestinian oppression, not Jewish occupation, not territory, nor
Peace, is really the issue - but, control of Jerusalem, now emerges
as the flashpoint to, what Ancient Prophecies, as long as 3000 years
ago, predicted would be the Cause for a Final World War of
catastrophic magnitude - marking "The End of the World".
Suddenly the Jewish 3000-year old claim to it's ancient Capital
- the central theme of Jewish prayer throughout its 2000-year
exile from the Land - is vehemently opposed by the Palestinians who
have never yet had a capital city. And behind the scenes, the
Pope is making urgent overtures for internationalisation of Jerusalem
under his control as Peacemaker. In concert, the whole world has
turned against Israel and its Divinely mandated right to Jerusalem.
Why is control of Jerusalem so important to these opposing interests?
Recent developments in the Middle East Crisis, have been drawing
the spotlight onto the real nucleus of this explosive subject, which
until now has been totally overlooked by the news media, namely
the real 'inner soul' of Jerusalem - the Sacred Temple Mount.
Here currently stands an internationally well known landmark -
the golden domed Muslim Bayt al Maqdas, known as the Dome of the
Rock - and next to it, the silver domed Al Aqsa Mosque (Masjid e Aqsa).
This, to Muslims, is the third holiest site in the world. For Jews,
it is the exact Site where anciently two successive Jewish Temples
stood, over a period of some 1000 years preceding the Common Era
- First, the Temple of Solomon, a masterpiece of ancient architecture
until its destruction at the time of the Babilonian Exile, six
centuries BCE. Second, the Temple of Herod, where Jesus, the
contending Jewish Messiah, attended Jewish worship Services. It
also is the Site where, according to the Bible, the future Third
Temple of the Jews are to be erected and where God will appear
in Great Power at the time of the War of Armageddon.
And that is what makes this Temple Mount Site, which is pivotal
to the opposing interests of the world's three major religions,
the real flash point in "The Battle for Jerusalem.
The above is taken from the Introduction to the 160 pg
book authored by the Webmaster of this Web Site. For
a FREE full on-site copy of this testimony to God's
Signature to the world - Israel, Jerusalem and its
invincible nation, click on the following banner
Destruction of the Temple Mount
Courtesy of HolyLandPhotos.org
Muslim building projects on the Temple Mount and the expansion of a Muslim cemetery alongside the Mount have led to significant damage to the site in recent years and have created an unsightly hodge-podge of repairs and construction.
The 35-acre Temple Mount is the most hotly contested piece of property on earth. Holy to the world’s three monotheistic religions—Judaism, Islam and Christianity—it has for decades been the focal point of tensions between Jews and Arabs. The fight over the Temple Mount has sparked riots, such as those in 1996 after Israel opened an exit to a tunnel alongside the Mount (which allowed many more visitors to go through the tunnel) and the Second Intifada (Palestinian uprising), which began after future Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the Mount in 2000.
In 1967, during the Six Day War, Israel captured east Jerusalem, including the Old City, which contains the Temple Mount. Although the Mount is technically under Israeli supervision, the Temple Mount has since the war been in the de facto control of the Muslim Waqf (religious endowment). The long-established policy, known as the “status quo,” is to leave Muslim and Christian holy sites in the hands of their respective religions.1 Therefore, the above ground area of the Temple Mount is reserved for Muslims and their religious observances. Although Jews and members of other religions have been allowed on the Mount since 2003 (there was a three-year exclusion after the Second Intifada started), none are allowed to pray there. Muslim authorities and the Israeli police keep the 40-year-old anti-prayer rule strictly enforced. Jews are only allowed to pray at the plaza outside the Western (or Wailing) Wall, part of the retaining wall built by Herod in the first century B.C.
Since the late 1940s, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has been in charge of the Waqf as the custodian of Muslim holy places, including the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa mosque, which stand on the Temple Mount. But in the early 1990s, Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat took over control of the Waqf, and a systematic destruction of any vestige of Jewish presence on the Mount was begun. Arafat claimed that there never was a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, an opinion often referred to as “Temple Denial.”2
During the ten-year “reign” of Arafat on the Temple Mount, and in the years since his death, numerous unauthorized and archaeologically unsupervised construction projects have been carried out. In 1996 the Waqf began converting the underground area of the Mount popularly known as Solomon’s Stables into a large mosque. It has bulldozed parts of the top of the mount to make way for “open” mosques, cleaned ancient cisterns, paved over ancient areas, damaged an ancient wall, dug a trench for a utility line, and removed thousands of tons of “debris,” from the site, dumping it in the Kidron valley.3 They’ve also employed a huge electric saw to cut up ancient stones from the Temple Mount, destroying any historical evidence the stones may have offered. An analysis in the early 1990s found that the Waqf had committed more than 35 violations of Israeli antiquities law on the site.4
Partly as a result of the construction, which has gone unchecked for years,5 the walls of the Temple Mount have weakened. As early as 2000, Israeli archaeologists noticed a bulge in the southern wall.6 An earthquake in February 2004 created another bulge in the eastern wall. The southern wall was repaired by a Jordanian team of engineers, a compromise because neither the Palestinian authority nor the Israeli government wanted the other to do the repairs. The Jordanian repairs to the southern wall have left an unsightly splotch—the new building blocks that were used to replace damaged ones do not match the old ones in color, and the result looks like a large patch.
The eastern wall is currently under repair by a joint Jordanian-Egyptian team. The joint team of engineers was called in at the behest of the Jordanian government, who regained custodianship of the Temple Mount in 2004 as part of the earlier Israel-Jordan peace agreement. That repair work has its own unsightliness—scaffolding currently covers the repair area.
The latest Muslim encroachment to the Temple Mount is at the “straight joint” and the Ophel road at the southeastern corner of the Temple Mount. The “straight joint” is a masonry seam marking the end of the pre-Herodian Temple Mount and the beginning of Herod’s extension of the wall southward; the masonry in the extension abuts the masonry to the north and is not interlocked with it. This was first excavated by Charles Warren in the 19th century, and then by Kathleen Kenyon, who stopped because of the outbreak of the 1967 war. Two Muslim cemeteries, one located north of the straight joint. The area south of the straight joint has been declared an archaeological park. It has no longstanding history as a cemetery, but new Muslim graves have now been filling this area.
The Israeli government has done nothing to prevent this increasing encroachment on the Temple Mount. The IAA is powerless to interfere because it has been so ordered by the highest levels of government.
The Jerusalem Post called the state of the Temple Mount an “archaeological tragedy,” and Eilat Mazar, one of the members of a group of scholars, archaeologists, jurists and luminaries known as the Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount founded in 2000, said, that the government has to do something: “This is the most important site in Israel, and yet we don’t see the authorities there. We have to wake up and realize that if we don’t take care of it, the vandalism and illegal construction will continue.”7 The committee filed a complaint with the High Court of Justice in May to stop the extension of the Muslim cemeteries.
The result of all the destruction and encroachment is an unsightly mess. The repair to the southern wall is visible even at a distance, the eastern wall is currently covered in scaffolding, and graves snake up the land to the Temple Mount wall.—K.E.M.
BAR editor Hershel Shanks recently returned from a trip to Israel and Jordan; his pictures of the current state of the Temple Mount Walls can be found at: Gallery.