Moslem Destruction of Temple Mount Continues
By Clarence H. Wagner, Jr.
Despite the outcry of a blue-ribbon panel of archaeologists, politicians and academicians from the political right and the left, nothing seems to stop the wanton destruction of Biblical artifacts on the ancient Temple Mount where both Solomon’s and Herod’s Temple once stood.
To add insult to injury, the Palestinian Authority continues to publicize their fallacious claim that this site has never had any connection with the Jewish people in the historical past, that there were never any Jewish Temples on the site, and that the site has only had a Moslem past.
Meanwhile, the Moslems have uncovered artifacts from the site’s Jewish Temple history, which are systematically being destroyed, some sliced apart with a huge stone cutter brought there for this purpose, and some of the rarer finds being illegally sold to private collectors for high prices.
Chief Superintendent Niso Shacham, until recently commander of the police unit responsible for holy sites, says the original construction work of the Waqf (Moslem religious trust) on the Temple Mount had been done with official sanction.
In an affidavit filed with the High Court of Justice, Shacham said work is being done along the eastern wall of the Temple Mount, near the new entrance to Solomon’s Stables. He says a permit was approved several months ago, for safety reasons.
However, Shacham says during digging and removing earth from the site, the Waqf also began removing stone courses from a secondary wall that runs parallel to the eastern perimeter wall. The police ordered the Waqf to stop dismantling the ancient wall, and has taken steps to have the missing courses restored. Shacham confirms allegations that the Waqf uncovered an arch and a column from the Herodian period.
The President of Israel, Moshe Katsav, has stated clearly that the government of Israel must not permit the destruction of antiquities on the Temple Mount to continue.
After meeting members of the Committee to Prevent the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount, Katsav said he would ask Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to prevent trucks from entering the Mount and removing archaeological material. “To hear about hundreds of trucks removing archaeological material from the Temple Mount causes trembling, to hear about digging being done [by the Waqf - Moslem religious trust] without the knowledge of the Antiquities Authority causes anguish,” he said.
Katsav said after hearing the committee’s survey, he could not shake off the impression that the Waqf’s goal was not only to reinforce Moslem control of the mount but “to erase every Jewish trace.”
Dr. Shmuel Berkowitz, a committee member, said while the entire world is outraged by the Taleban’s destruction of ancient Buddhas in Afghanistan, the same world is silent about the destruction of Jewish antiquities on the Temple Mount.
Investigative reporter Dan Izenberg of the Jerusalem Post has confirmed that the Moslem Waqf has stealthily placed a stonecutter on site. “I say stealthily,” says Dan, “because the stonecutter is 24 feet by 12 feet (7.3 Meters by 3.65 meters) and used to cut massive limestone blocks. The stonecutter must have been put in place in the middle of the night, since it would take a crane and large equipment to place it there. The Waqf is not cutting new stones but ancient stones that may have been parts of Temple buildings.”
A fifteen meter (49 feet) hole has appeared on the Temple Mount as the Moslem council charges ahead with building plans to forever change the face of the Temple Mount the way they changed the tomb of Joseph in Nablus (ancient Shechem). The tomb was transformed into a mosque in October 2000, when Palestinian militiamen evicted the Jewish population that prayed there. The transformation took place within a few days and the character of the once 4,000-year-old Jewish holy site is now definitely Islamic.
The Temple Mount has been undergoing just such Islamization for the last two years but the pitch of the work schedules has been shifted into “emergency” to get the job done before anyone can put a halt to the work.
For the Moslems to declare that the Temple Mount has never had a Jewish history, not only undermines Jewish history on the site, but also Christian history. If there was no Temple on the site as the Moslems declare, then the events of the life of Jesus and the early Church that occurred on the Mount could not have taken place either. In other words, the Moslems are saying that Jewish and Christian history on the site is a lie.
I believe it is past the time for Christians, Jews, and all people of goodwill to raise their voice in protest in an effort to stop the continuous Moslem destruction of the ancient Temple Mount, which affirms biblical history on the site. -