Views From Kennewick

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Truth on Temple Mount (It's NOT What You Think You Know)

During the past few days, Israel has been accused of attempting to "undermine the Al-Aqsa Mosque" by carrying out construction near the Mugrabi Gate in Jerusalem's Old City. Inciteful language and libelous claims have led to violence, aided by a mainstream media only too happy to accept Arab propaganda at face value. Camera teams congregate at the scene, safe in the knowledge that their presence will further encourage Palestinian youths to riot, endangering Jewish worshippers at the Western Wall and forcing the Israeli police to confront the rioters.

Despite the fact that the Temple Mount is Judaism's holiest site, much of the media has stressed its importance to Muslims (the third holiest behind Mecca and Median) while ignoring or downplaying the very legitimate Jewish religious and historical connection to the site, which preceeds Muslim attachments by 1500 years. Despite ridiculous Palestinian claims that a Jewish Temple never existed on the site (which would negate both Jewish and Christian history), its identity with the location of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute.

While the international media has been too intellectually lazy to find out for themselves whether or not the Muslim intimidation and violence has any justification behind it or not, the Israeli press, familiar with the issues is able to recognize the real story. The Jerusalem Post asks:

What is Israel doing that has sparked such violent threats? Some years ago, the pedestrian ramp leading up to Jerusalem's Temple Mount fell apart. Now municipal authorities plan to build a permanent ramp to maintain access to this holy site, and are conducting, as required by law, an archeological salvage dig to make sure no artifacts are destroyed in the process.

All of this is completely outside the Temple Mount platform, and bears no relation or threat to that structure, let alone to the Aksa mosque. Why would Israel dream of undermining the Temple Mount, which is Judaism's holiest site? The claim that Israel is doing so is patently absurd, as anyone familiar with the area can immediately see. ...

What is going on now, of course, is a rerun of the violent riots of September 1996, over the opening of an additional exit to the then already existing Western Wall Tunnels, well outside the Temple Mount. Today this tunnel is a popular tourist attraction. It too had as much to do with the "foundations" of Al Aksa as does the reconstruction of the World Trade Center in New York.

Caroline Glick, also in the Jerusalem Post, adds:

the Israel Antiquities Authority coordinated its salvage dig by the Mughrabi Gate of the Old City with the Islamic Wakf, the Jordanian government and all other relevant authorities before its archeologists began their work this week. Everyone understood that the excavation is being conducted 70 meters away from the Temple Mount and will in no way affect it.

Referring to Muslim attempts to deny Jewish roots to Jerusalem and its holy places, Nadav Shragai writes in Ha'aretz:

It is therefore easy to understand why the Muslims are so afraid of archaeological digs, not only on the Temple Mount itself but also around it, although these digs also shed light on Jerusalem's Muslim history. Muslims fear these excavations, not because they physically endanger al-Aqsa's foundations, but because they undermine the tissue of lies proclaiming that the Jews have no valid historical roots in the city and its holy sites.

Israel has an unblemished record of preserving and protecting the holy sites of all three major religions. Meanwhile, unreported by the mainstream media, real archaeological vandalism has been taking place on the Temple Mount. The Palestinian Waqf continues, unsupervised, to illegally excavate areas of the compound, dumpiing and destroying antiquities of immense historical value and attempting to erase Jewish history.

Why has the media accepted the propaganda and lies disseminated by certain groups with a political axe to grind? The real story of a pedestrian ramp being rebuilt outside the Temple Mount compound to ensure the safety of visitors (97% of them non-Jewish) may not be as interesting to the media as scenes of violence. It is, however, irresponsible and unprofessional not to report it.

Write to your local media to ensure that the real story is published. (Click here to find contact details of many media outlets.) HonestReporting will continue to monitor any further developments.


We went to the scene of the Israeli construction with a camera to see for ourselves. Click on the image below to view some of the photos. For more images, head to our Backspin blog.


  • The work carried out by Israeli professional authorities is completely transparent, which is why the excavations are open to the press.
  • All activities are being carried out in a location that is under Israeli sovereignty in an area under the responsibility of the Jerusalem municipality and the Government of Israel.
  • The new bridge and the Mugrabi Ramp are located entirely outside of the Temple Mount complex and are not part of it.
  • The aim of this process is to replace the old ramp which collapsed due to natural causes.
  • Building the new bridge will not harm any religious feelings and/or interests.
  • All operations are in cooperation with UN officials, Palestinian officials and other member of the international community and are completely transparent to them.

    Honest Reporting


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