“Two Temples, But No Jews???” by Jack Kinsella

The Jerusalem Post ran a story this week about the long lines of tourists forced to wait in line for an hour or more before being allowed to visit Temple Mount.

“In a scene that has replayed itself over the last couple of weeks, the queue for non-Muslims to enter the site on Sunday morning stretched from the entrance to the compound at the Mughrabi Gate, adjacent to the Western Wall, all the way past the Dung Gate,” the paper reported.

According to Israel, the Temple Mount, currently occupied by the al Aqsa Mosque, is really the site of the threshing floor purchased from Araunah for fifty shekels of silver by King David of Israel.” (2nd Samuel 24:24)

But according to the Arabs, there was never a Jewish presence on Temple Mount prior to the construction of the al Aqsa Mosque by the Umayyads in 710 AD.

The structure has been rebuilt at least five times; it was entirely destroyed at least once by earthquakes. The last major rebuild was in 1035.

When the Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099, Al-Aqsa became the headquarters of the Templars until it was recaptured in 1187 by Saladin. It remained in Muslim hands from 1187 until the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I.

When the British captured Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Faisal al-Husseini, declared the al-Aqsa Mosque the ‘third holiest site in Islam’, claiming that it was ‘the furtherest mosque’ referred to by the Koran as the place where Mohammed ascended into heaven.

According to popular myth, the mosque had always been so regarded, but its very construction argues against it. Among Caliph Omar ib Khattib’s, (who captured Jerusalem in 638) advisors was a converted Jew named Ka’ab El Akhbar.

He proposed the mosque be built on the northern side of the Temple Mount so that worshippers could worship at the mosque while facing both the Mosque and Mecca.

Omar rejected the proposal as an attempt at “Judaizing” Islam and the mosque was subsequently built in the south, where the present-day el Aqsa stands.

Its construction forces worshippers turn their backs to the mosque in order to face Mecca.

In addition, the inside of the al-Aqsa mosque is ringed with verses from the Koran. The one verse NOT found among them is the one about the ‘Night Journey’ where Mohammed ascended into heaven from the furtherest mosque.

Finally, during the thousand-year Islamic occupation of the Holy Land, the city of Jerusalem, allegedly the third holiest city in Islam, languished, forgotten in its little corner of the Ottoman Empire.

In all those centuries, through a succession of Muslim conquerers, not once was Jerusalem ever elevated to the status of even a provincial capital.

It occupies no special place in Islamic history, was given no special status, and, until it was captured by the British, was simply another city in the Ottoman province of Southern Syria.

These three facts combine to provide strong evidence that the Muslims had not associated the al-Aqsa mosque with the ‘furtherest mosque’ until long after its construction in the 7th century.

That is one version of history, and it is the version that existed for about a thousand years.

The other version, the one invented by Faisal al-Husseini in 1917, is the version under which the rest of the world is operating.

According to this version, there was never a significant Jewish presence in what the Arabs call Palestine.

There was never a Jewish Temple within the walls of the city, and Israel’s claim is an historical invention designed to allow the Jews to seize control of Arab lands.

By 1967, the revised version was so ingrained in the public psyche that Moshe Dayan surrendered control back to the Muslim Waqf immediately after capturing it in the Six Days War to preempt UN calls for an Israeli withdrawal from the newly-captured West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights.

In this revised view, Judaism’s holiest site on earth is actually an Islamic holy place under Israeli occupation.

We opened by discussing the long lines of non-Muslim tourists this year waiting for their chance to visit the Temple Mount.

The visitors were, for the most part, Christians.

The Jerusalem Post noted that nearly 240,000 non-Jewish tourists were permitted by the Islamic Waqf to visit the Temple Mount this year — an increase of forty percent over last year.

But only 5,200 Jews have been permitted to visit the Temple Mount — and they live there!

Try and see it from the perspective of an observant Jew.

The Temple Mount, purchased by King David as an eternal possession, the site of both Solomon’s and Herod’s Temples, a place so holy that, in Jesus’ day, non-Jews who entered the sanctuary were put to death.

Today, anyone can tread the same ground upon which David placed the Ark of the Covenant — except Jews.

If the situation was infuriating before, it is even more infuriating in light of recent archeological discoveries.

On February 28, an excavation in Jerusalem’s Old City of David uncovered bits of pottery and several seals dating to the 8th century BC.

The discovery should have been front page news worldwide; here was incontrovertible evidence of a Jewish presence at precisely the time and place recorded by Scripture. But it barely made the back pages.

That shouldn’t have been too surprising, when one thinks about it. The Western Wall of Solomon’s Temple stands in the middle of Jerusalem for all to see.

Despite its commanding presence, the myth of a late Jewish presence in Jerusalem remains the UN’s default political position.

This week, the dig at the City of David, conducted less than a hundred yards west of Temple Mount, uncovered more remains from Solomon’s First Temple period. The dig first revealed the remains of a magnificent colonnaded street from the Late Roman period (2nd century AD).

The Romans had built a road over the older site, which effectively prevented the site from being looted over the millennia.

Under the road, among the artifacts found at the dig was a personal seal inscribed with the name of its owner, “Netanyahu ben Roush.”

Since it was during the Netanyahu administration that Arafat officially claimed there was never a Jewish historical presence on Temple Mount, finding a seal inscribed with Netanyahu’s name is particularly ironic.

In addition to the personal seal, a vast number of pottery vessels were discovered in the dig, including three jar handles that bear stamped impressions.

An inscription in ancient Hebrew script is preserved on one these impressions and it reads: “[belonging] to the king of Hebron.”

The discovery marks the first time in the history of Jerusalem archeological research that building remains from the First Temple period have been exposed so close to the Temple Mount.

At last! The historical mystery has been solved. The most controversial question of our time has been put to rest. The Jews did not steal Arab land, they reclaimed their ancestral homeland.

Nobody has ever dug up anything with Arafat’s family name on it, but Netanayahu’s Holy Land heritage dates back to the 8th century before Christ.

As I said earlier, this should be front page news! The truth is revealed, and the truth shall set you free!

But it isn’t. And it didn’t.

It isn’t even back page news. Search Google News for the words “1st Temple Period” and there are exactly TWO news reports on the archeological find — and BOTH of them are from the Jerusalem Post.

Think of it! This discovery completely destroys the working principle behind the peace process, which is that Israel was carved out of an Arab country and given to the Jews.

The entire Arab claim rests on the fact the Jews are ‘occupying’ stolen Arab territory.

The claim is accepted by the UN, the EU, the majority of UN member states, and it is a bedrock article of faith to the Islamic world. If true, then Israel owes the Arabs it displaced.

If not, then the Arab claim collapses.

So instead, the world just looks the other way and pretends it doesn’t know any better.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” (Zechariah 12:2-3)

And the conflict rages on.

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