Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat has repeatedly declared that there never was a Temple built by Solomon, nor was there a Second Temple built by Herod - the Temple in which Yeshua Himself was dedicated and where he taught. Instead the ancient Temple Mount has now become "Haram al-Sharif."
On February 20, 2001, it became official. The supreme Moslem cleric in Israel, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ikram Sabri, issued a religious decree (fatwa) which stated that not only the entire Temple Mount, but even the Western Wall (the Wailing Wall) is Islamic property, none of which has anything to do with Jewish history.
"No stone of the Western Wall has any connection to Hebrew history," declares the decree. It is, the Mufti claims, simply the western wall of the Aksa Mosque. As such, it should not be called the Western Wall, but the Al-Burak Wall, after the name of Mohammed's horse. The fatwa concludes that since the Haram al Sharif has never belonged to the Jews, they should have no right to pray at the Wall or to have access to the entire area.(Jerusalem Post, Feb. 21, 01)
Preposterous?Certainly. Silly? And how. Significant? Definitely. The pagan world, which has little or no Biblical foundation, is going with the flow. Main networks such as CNN, the BBC and other global networks which often serve as the Palestinian mouthpiece are even now beginning to publicize the new version of history.
Incredibly, I myself have heard CNN talk about "Haram al Sharif, where the Jews claim their Temple existed."(Also noted in J.P. Mar. 9, 2001)
This all-out PR war which claims that neither the Western Wall nor the Temple Mount has anything to do with Judaism or the Jewish people is another attempt by Arab leaders, religious and political, to rewrite history and erase the memory of the Temple Mount from world consciousness. (Ibid., Jan. 5,01)
Palestinian children are now being taught this version of history and, in fact, tour groups visiting the Temple Mount may, at any time, encounter Palestinian teenagers screaming at them, telling them that their guide is lying to them and that no Jewish temple ever existed on that spot.
Even the far-left intellectuals in Israel are finally coming to the conclusion that these denials of Jewish history in the Holy Land are part of an overall Palestinian strategy to replace the Jewish state with an Islamic one - so that the area from Northwest Africa to India would be a vast Moslem world. The Jews are a bone in the Moslem throat.
ISRAELI LEFT JOINS THE FIGHT
Up until now, a small fringe group called The Temple Mount Faithful has been the most vociferous defender of Jewish claim and legitimacy to both free access and return to full Jewish sovereignty of the Temple Mount. "Ironically, today it is the Palestinians’ total denial of any Jewish connection to the site that has galvanized many apathetic Israelis into taking a more defiant stand on the Temple Mount.” (Ibid.)
For years, Israeli Jews have not been allowed to set foot on the Temple Mount. But after the Camp David talks, many Israelis became aware for the first time that the Palestinian position maintains there is absolutely no historical Jewish connection to the site. And to think that this is the place which was consecrated to the God of Israel for 1000 years! It is toward this place - which God Himself chose - that Jews have prayed for another 2000 years.
Now, a lot of secular left-wing Israelis have become angry at this denial of Jewish history. The defining moment came when President Bill Clinton presented a proposal to grant the Palestinians sovereignty over the Temple Mount. In doing so, he not only stirred up Orthodox and traditional Jews, but he sounded an unintentional alarm which awakened dormant feelings of nationalism and Jewish identity among many Jews who don't even believe in God.(Ibid.)
The truth is, up until now, many secular Jews have not given the Temple site much thought. One young Tel Avivian explained that he had not realized that the Temple Mount had existed long before Islam built a mosque on the site (1360 years ago). He thought that the two sides - the Jews and the Moslems - "were just trying to push each other out." But now he knows that his forefathers have been in this spot "thousands of years while the Moslems have been there for only hundreds of years."
Well-known leftist Hebrew University professor Shlomo Avnieri says, "I find it very difficult to imagine a nation giving up a core symbol of its identity voluntarily…I know of no case in which a modern nation has been ready to give up something as central as the Temple Mount is to the Jewish people." (Ibid.)
DESTROYING JEWISH ARCHAEOLOGICAL PROOF
It is with this background that the Waqf (the supreme Islamic governing authority in the Holy Land) and the Islamic Movement in Israel have come under severe criticism by both Israeli archaeologists as well as the Israeli public for carrying out unauthorized digging and building on the Temple Mount which is seriously damaging antiquities and artifacts that would substantiate Jewish claims. Dozens of trucks loaded with construction material have entered the Temple Mount area and these same trucks have left the site loaded, carrying a total of 15,000 cubic meters of debris and earth saturated with archaeological artifacts from every era. The obvious aim of the massive work is to turn the site into an exclusively Moslem holy site.(Ibid.)
A committee, which includes many leading archaeologists, is demanding that the Israeli government enforce the law, resume supervision of the site by the Antiquities Authority and ensure that no further archaeological artifacts are harmed. The petitioners called on the Israeli Supreme Court to issue an urgent temporary restraining order. They warned that extremely grave damage is being inflicted on the antiquities of the Temple Mount. "Rare archaeological artifacts are being cursorily destroyed by the giant scale activities of the Moslem Waqf and the Islamic Movement in Israel." (Ibid., Mar. 9, 01)
Israelis are convinced that the Moslem leaders are attempting to completely obliterate any scientific proof that Jewish temples existed on the Mount. "The ongoing work at the site makes more realistic the thesis that the aim of the Waqf is to turn the whole area from the Dome of the Rock to the eastern wall of the Temple Mount into one huge mosque, with Mecca-like dimensions, states Dr. Eilat Mazar an archaeologist from Hebrew University and a member of the Committee Against the Destruction of Antiquities." (Ibid., Mar. 1, 01)
Indeed, over the last two years the Waqf has constructed on the Mount a mosque that is able to accommodate 10,000-15,000 worshippers. However, because the Israeli government knows that an Arab-Israeli confrontation on the Temple Mount has the potential of bringing the entire Moslem world into a war, it has been loath to try to stop the obliteration of perhaps the most precious archeological ruins in the world.
Meanwhile, the international community is mute. This same international community was recently outraged by the latest campaign of Afghanistan's Talibans to demolish Buddhist statues in their domain. Though the rampant destruction on the Temple Mount is part and parcel of the identical phenomenon, this time, no other nation seems concerned. (Ibid. Mar. 9, 2001)
GOING GLOBAL WITH THE LIES
Can it be that world consciousness is buying into the new account of Middle East history which seeks to erase the Jewish link? As far-fetched as these assertions may seem to the informed student of history, thousands of visitors a day can now connect to any number of Internet sites which back these claims.
For example, one visit to the official website of the Egyptian embassy in Washington (www.sis.gov.eg) will show that Jews have no link to Jerusalem. Professor Shlomo Avineri, who wrote an article titled "A Pack of Egyptian Lies," states that the Egyptian government's website has all but eradicated Jewish history. The Jewish people simply are nowhere to be seen as the website gives the history of the area beginning with "Arab conquest of the area in 3,000 BC."
Their account continues with the explanation that Jerusalem has been populated by "Arab Jebusites, descendants of the Jebusite Ben Canaan" since 2500 BC. Says Avineri, "If this is what is being presented in English to an American audience, one can only imagine what is being taught in Egyptian schools." (Ibid., Dec. 19, 00)
Incidentally, the Egyptians do mention the word "Jew" a couple of times in their rendition of Holy Land history.One, when the Jews were "permanently expelled by Nebuchadnezzar, never to return,” and the second is this: "Under the Roman reign, the Jews informed the Roman ruler about Jesus Christ in 27 AD and accused him of atheism. Consequently, the Roman ruler crushed them all and destroyed the city and established a new one where the Jews were [prohibited] to enter."(Ibid.)
There is no doubt that a conscious effort is being made to rewrite history through false claims, fabrications and distortions on the worldwide web. Anyone primed for this anti-Jewish propaganda is an easy and willing target for the new writers of history.
SOME ARABS TELL THE TRUTH
Here and there is a voice in Islam that stands against the fundamentalist fanaticism coming out of Orthodox Islam. Citing Koran passages that show that the Land of Israel was given to the Jews and that the Jews would be brought back to Israel before the end of days, Sheikh Professor Abdul Hadi Palazzi, Secretary General of the Italian Moslem Association is an aberration in his beliefs and highly criticized by many of his contemporaries.
"Palazzi says that the Mufti of Jerusalem's denial of a Jewish Temple is a flagrant slap at Islamic tradition. He claims that ancient Islamic wise men wrote clearly and truthfully about Israel's history. For example, in the Middle Ages, Imam Qurtubi, the Islamic counterpart of the Jewish commentator, Rashi, quotes an earlier commentator, Imam Tabari, who related the Prophet Mohammed's response to a follower's query about the ruins of the fabled Jewish Temple. Qurtubi sets out in writing Tabari's words about the destruction of the Temple, which tally in every detail with the biblical accounts of the Temple's destruction by the Babylonians, reconstruction, and final destruction by the Romans." (Ibid., Feb. 9, 01)
Even as late as 1930, the Moslem Council Guide, written during the British Mandate by the Holy Land's Moslem leaders, stated categorically that the "Jewish Temple Mount connection is beyond dispute." It further states, "The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings." (Jerusalem Post, January 26, 01)
Nevertheless, today Islam is rewriting Jewish history - or more exactly, obliterating it. It is replacement theology taken to its logical end. For if there were no Temple, ever, then God did not reveal Himself as the Presence above the Cherubim in the Holy of Holies. If the children of Israel did not sacrifice their lambs at the Temple in atonement for their sins, then the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world has no meaning. In fact, if there had never been a City of David, where the sweet Psalmist reigned, and where He was promised a Son who would reign on his throne forever, then there can be no Messiah. For the Bible testifies that the Messiah will be the Son of David from the tribe of Judah. Actually, if Islam's version is true, as certainly millions of people now believe, then the Bible is a lie.
Here is what we know; Let God be true and every man a liar! he reason for the current revisionist history is because the last days are upon us.Satan is giving it his best. If only he could destroy Israel. . .his kingdom would come, not God's!
It will never happen. Nevertheless, believers must be aware of these incredible attempts to destroy the single most physical sign - Israel - in all of history that witnesses to the truth of God's Word and the certainty of His promises. Though it may become “politically incorrect”, "old-fashioned," or "naïve," the Lord's people around the world must become Israel's most faithful friend.
"For if I forget thee O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning."
Christians speak out
Clarence H. Wagner, Jr., International Director, Bridges for Peace,
"Because Islam teaches that Jews and Christians perverted the faith given them by God, they believe Allah gave the final revelation to Mohammed. Because Islam considers itself superior to both Judaism and Christianity, they have no theological problem in usurping Jewish and Christian sites and changing them into Islamic sites, or simply building a mosque next door. A Moslem mosque in Bethlehem's Manger Square, with a minaret towering above the Church of the Nativity's bell tower, is a case in point. Today, Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus (Shechem), and Jericho which were Jewish towns in the days of the Bible have been given over to the Palestinian Authority, and now the last vestiges of Jewish life and presence are quickly being eradicated.
However, of most concern is the Islamic usurpation of the Temple Mount, the site of Solomon's and Herod's Temple, which is a central holy site for both Jews and Christians. At present, there are three mosques on this site; the third one recently built in the underground "Solomon's Stables," and a fourth, unauthorized mosque being constructed at the Golden Gate. According to Prof. Eilat Mazar from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a specialist on Jerusalem archaeology, not only Temple artifacts, but layers of Biblical history are being destroyed in the construction process, and Israel is unable to stop it.
Here is what the official Palestinian Authority website says about the Western Wall, sacred to the Jewish people as one of the remaining fragments of Herod's great Temple complex. You can see that Islam totally redefines the entire area and eradicates its history.
"Al-Boraq Wall: Some Orthodox religious Jews consider it as a holy place for them, and claim that the wall is part of their temple which all historic studies and archaeological excavations have failed to find any proof for such a claim.” See http://www.pna.org/mininfo/j_ourcap/sites.htm
This revisionist description not only flies in the face of history and archaeology, but also has the more sinister motive of eradicating the Biblical history of the area which undermines the validity of Judaism and Christianity. Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority is calling this uprising the 'Intifada of Al-Aqsa,' after one of the mosques on the Temple Mount, and calling the Moslem world to declare a jihad (holy war) against Israel and come to help defend the mosque. Frankly, it has never been threatened.
In a day when everyone is calling for religious freedom, freedom of access to holy sites, and freedom of worship, the historical record shows that Israel has been the only one who has respected and encouraged this practice, while the Palestinian Authority and its majority Moslem community have proven just the opposite. The PA cannot protect the sites nor guarantee free access. These most recent incidents require us as Christians and Jews to speak out to the proper international authorities to protect our Biblical sites and places of worship before they are lost forever."
(Adapted from March-April 2001 edition) Reprinted by permission