By JEREMY SHARON Religious affairs: Current status of Temple Mount is one of most explosive issues for competing faiths anywhere in world. Photo: Marc Israel Sellem As points of religious contention go, the current status of the Temple Mount is one of the most potentially explosive issues for competing faiths anywhere in the world.
For Jews, it is the holiest place on Earth, from where the world was created, the site of the Binding of Isaac and the location of the First and Second Temples.
For Muslims too, al-Haram al-Sharif (noble sanctuary), has become a crucial place of worship and pilgrimage, where there stands a monumental shrine – the Dome of the Rock – and the al-Aqsa Mosque, a site of great importance in Islam.
This reality, combined with the Temple Mount’s physical location at the heart of contested territory, has given it a unique geopolitical combustibility not to be found anywhere else on the planet.
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By Ryan Jones
The Emir of Qatar on Sunday opened the International Conference for the Defense of Jerusalem, where for the next three days Arabs and Westerners, Muslims and Christians will attack Israel’s position that Jerusalem is its eternal, undivided capital.
The official program calls for discussing “the legal status of Jerusalem before and after the Israeli occupation [sic], the reality and the future of Jerusalem under occupation [sic], and the status of the holy places under international law.”
Arab media reported that the conference is being held amid ongoing assaults on the Muslim-controlled Temple Mount by Israelis determined to “Judaize” the city.
There has been violence at the Temple Mount in recent days, but it has all originated on the Muslim side. Twice last week, Christian tour groups were stoned by Muslims while visiting the Temple Mount. The violence escalated on Friday, with Muslim worshippers attacking police throughout eastern Jerusalem, resulting in the death of at least one Muslim and the injuring of 11 Israelis.
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Hamas announced Thursday that the new rulers of Egypt have given their blessing to a “million man march” against “Judaization” of Jerusalem. By David Lev
Hamas announced Thursday that the new rulers of Egypt – swept into power as a result of the “Arab Spring” rebellion – have given their blessing to a major demonstration to take place in Cairo next week. The “million man march” to be sponsored by Islamist groups a week from Friday will protest against the “Judaization” of Jerusalem.
Symbolically, the march will leave from the Al-Azhar mosque, Egypt’s most prominent, and proceed to Tahrir Square, which was the spiritual center of the protests that swept Hosni Mubarak from power last spring.
The march will be led by no less than Ahmed a-Taib, Egypt’s highest-ranking Islamic cleric and perhaps the most important in the entire Sunni Arab world. A-Taib, head of the Al-Azhar mosque, called the march “very important,” and worthy of the time of every Muslim who valued his religion. In recent weeks, a-Taib set up a special committee to prevent the progress of the “Zionist plan to Judaize Jerusalem.” The committee is expected to develop a platform that it will ask all individuals planning to run in Egypt’s upcoming elections to support, committing them to using whatever resources are at their disposal to “defend the Al-Aqsa mosque” on the Temple Mount. A-Taib expects all politicians in Egypt – including Coptic Christians – to endorse the platform.
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Temple Movement may adopt a new slogan – “Say ‘no’ to the Kotel” – because it wants people to say ‘yes’ to the Temple Mount. By Gil Ronen
The Movement for Establishment of the Temple will hold a Temple Conference and “Temple Feast” in ten days’ time, and it intends to adopt a new slogan – “Say ‘No’ to the Kotel” — that some will find provocative.
Yehuda Glick of the Movement explained the rationale behind the slogan in an exclusive Arutz Sheva interview. The Jewish people, he said, have gotten psychologically accustomed over the centuries to a situation in which they only had access to the Kotel and in which rebuilding the Temple seemed like an impossible dream.
However, the dream is more possible than ever and it is time to start thinking and acting differently, he urged. “About 25 years ago we started to ascend to the Temple Mount,” he explained. “We were barely ten people. And now hundreds of people ascend. The question is, how do we create a consciousness that Jews on the Temple Mount are a natural thing.”
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Glenn Beck told an enthusiastic gathering of 3,000 Christians at the ancient Roman amphitheater in Caesarea on Sunday that Israel need not fear the world’s agenda because it would soon see the miracles of God.
“I’ve spent the last few years trying to find solutions for what is happening in the world,” Beck said during the opening event of his four-day “Restoring Courage” rally in Israel. “While there may not be a political solution, the good news is the God of Abraham ain’t running for office.”
Speaking directly to the Israelis he came to bolster, Beck said to get ready to see God’s direct working in the affairs of their nation.
“Be not afraid, know who He is, know His face, know that He is a God of covenants and miracles,” admonished Beck. “We are leaving the age of man-made miracles of spacecraft, and we are entering the age of the miracles of God.”
Most of those attending the event were American Christians who traveled to Israel to take part in the Restoring Courage rally, which Beck hopes will encourage Israelis to stand firm upon their biblical promises without regard for the bellyaching of the international community.
On Monday, the group was scheduled to attend a Holocaust remembrance ceremony. The main event is to take place in Jerusalem on Wednesday evening, with simultaneous rallies outside the southern end of the Temple Mount and at Jerusalem’s City Hall.
Israeli Arab leaders have threatened an outbreak of violence over Beck’s rally
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Around the world, people love to have their minds stirred by humanity’s ancient edifices. Be it the Parthenon in Greece, built 2,400 years ago for the goddess Athena, China’s Great Wall, Rome’s famous Coliseum, the Vatican’s Basilica of St. Peter or the Taj Mahal, these iconic structures capture imaginations and have become gateways into history.
In June, another imagination-stirring edifice was added to that list.
This structure is not only older, but more remarkable and more inspiring than any of the others. Situated just outside the Old City in Jerusalem, the Ophel City Wall site sits between the City of David and the southern wall of the Temple Mount. Now open to the public, the Ophel Wall features ancient artifacts dated to the 10th century b.c., a period during which the ancient kingdom of Israel experienced extraordinary expansion under King David and his son and heir, Solomon. Among the Ophel discoveries is an impressive edifice—a 70-meter-long and 6-meter-high wall—constructed during King Solomon’s reign.
Unfortunately, Solomon’s towering wall hasn’t captured enough imaginations. Not yet anyway
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by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Glenn Beck and Knesset Member Danny Danon plan to ascend the Temple Mount next week. Beck also will speak with a Knesset committee that Danon heads.
Beck will arrive in Israel Monday, an organizer of his visit told Israel National News. He declined to reveal any timetable or details of the visit, but a Knesset source confirmed the visit to the Temple Mount.
Beck will appear at the Knesset Committee on Aliyah to speak about the anti-Israeli effort to present the Jewish state as being illegitimate.
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Op-ed: Time has come to end the discrimination, allow Jews to pray at Jerusalem holy site
The day the Old City was conquered was the happiest day in the sovereign State of Israel’s history. It was a rare day where imagination and reality, prayers and actuality came together. Even David Ben Gurion characterized it as a more joyous day than the day our independence was declared.
Regrettably, it was also a day of historical failure: Instead of celebrating on Temple Mount, the paratroopers ran to the Western Wall.
They simply got confused. That generation was still closely attached to the memory of the Diaspora, where the Kotel served as a symbolic substitute for Temple Mount. This period kept on extending and with the passage of time we saw emotional confusion between the substitute and the original.
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by Gil Ronen
Popular conservative politician Sarah Palin understands the importance of the Temple Mount to the Jewish people, according to MK Danny Danon (Likud), who accompanied her on a visit to the Kotel Sunday.
Danon told Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew-language service: “When we toured near the Kotel and in the tunnels near the Holy of Holies, she told me clear things without hesitating. She understands the importance of the place for the Jewish People and even asked me ‘Why do you keep apologizing to the Muslims all the time?'”
“I explained to her the mistakes made by [then-Defense Minister] Moshe Dayan in 1967 and our mistakes in not fulfilling our rights in the Temple Mount and the Old City,” Danon said. He was referring to Dayan’s decision to hand back the keys to the Temple Mount to the Muslim Waqf immediately after the liberation of the Mount in the Six-Day War.
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The hareidi religious community has been visiting the Temple Mount in larger numbers than ever, according to Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick.
Rabbis are divided on whether Jews are allowed to ascend to the holy site in modern times, 2,000 years after the Second Temple was destroyed. Many Zionist rabbis support ascent to the Temple Mount but some very prominent ones do not, citing the Nation of Israel’s current state of impurity. Those who support ascent insist that the visitors first undergo ritual immersion in a mikveh, remain along the outer perimeter of the grounds and stay outside of areas where Jewish law forbids them to go, although their is a controversy over their whereabouts..
Rabbi Glick said the increasing number of hareidi religious rabbis on the Temple Mount is a new phenomenon, coinciding with a similar interest from other streams of Judaism.
He noted that many people have requested to ascend to the Temple Mount site this week because of the anniversary of the death of Maimonides, known as the Rambam, Wednesday night and Thursday. The ascension to the Temple Mount has been dedicated to Yitzchak and Talia Imas, two of four Jews who were gunned down and murdered near Hevron by terrorists last month. Yitzchak Imas frequently visited the Temple Mount site.
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