From YNet News:
The Waqf's director-general Adnan al-Husseini said his decision to shun the committee's invitation [to compile a report about the Wakf's illegal excavations on the Temple Mount] was dictated by the Waqf's year-long policy. "The Waqf does not acknowledge Israel's authority in Jerusalem or the Temple Mount…the Waqf boycotts Israeli politicians all the time."
Al-Husseini stressed that he did not intend to attend any formal meeting on the issue of the Temple Mount dig. "This is an Islamic issue that the Muslims should decide upon."
Al-Husseini implies that Jews have no business about what Islamic authorities decide to do with the Temple Mount an 'Islamic holy site'. In the past few months, the Islamic wakf has been carrying out unauthorized excavations on the Temple Mount and even went so far as to intentionally destroy an uncovered wall dating from the First Temple period. Israeli archaeologists have discovered that Wakf officials have been dumping priceless ancient articles such as the bells that the priests wore in the Kidron valley. Jerusalem District Archaeologist Yuval Baruch uncovered fragments of ceramic table wares, animal bones, and more. The finds date from the 8th to 6th centuries BCE; the First Temple existed between the 9th and 5th centuries BCE, having been built by King Solomon in 832 and destroyed in 422 BCE. The finds include fragments of bowl rims, bases and body sherds, the base of a juglet used for the ladling of oil, the handle of a small juglet, and the rim of a storage jar. The bowl sherds were decorated with wheel burnishing lines characteristic of the First Temple Period.
It has been standard policy for the past few decades of Wakf and Palestinian officials to deny that there ever even was a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. To support their ridiculous claim, they have been destroying proof of the Temple. By doing this, they are able to tell the world that the Jews are colonialist invaders and that the "Palestinians" are the true indigenous people. The Midrash long ago said "Eretz Yisrael is the navel of the world, and Jerusalem is its center, and the Beit HaMikdash is at the center of Jerusalem, and the Holy of Holies is at its center, and the Holy Ark is at the center of the Holy of holies, and in front of it is the Foundation Stone on which the world was founded." It is truely the heart and soul of our nation. Three times a day, we face Jerusalem in prayer and beseech Hashem 'that our eyes may behold Your return to Zion in mercy'. For 2000 years, we ended our Passover Seders, Yom Kippur fasts and Sukkot celebrations with the words 'Next Year in Jerusalem!'. Just as Catholicism is focused in Rome and Islam is centred in Mecca, Jerusalem is the soul of Israel. Without it, we are a body without spirit.
Jerusalem is never mentionned in the Qur'an while it is mentionned over 800 times in the Jewish Bible. The Islamic connection to Jerusalem revoles around a singular verse which some interpret to refer to Jerusalem. 'Glory to (Allah) Who did take His servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the farthest Mosque, whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things)'. (17:001). The 'Farthest Mosque' in Arabic is al-aksa, hence the name of the current Muslim abomination sitting on the Mount. However, during the 7th century when Muhammad supposedly was transported to Jerusalem, there was no mosque on the Mount since Islam had not yet conquered Jerusalem. The only reason why the Temple Mount has become important in Islam is religious imperialism, to deny Jews legitimacy and rights over their most sacred site. It is in this sense that Avraham Avinu (read Parshat Lech-Lecha for proof that Avraham was most definitely a Jew) is called a Muslim in the Qur'an or why Muslims converted one of the greatest churches in Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the Hagia Sophia, into a mosque.
The true vilains are the Israeli government, corrupt collaborators with the vile Wakf. On the orders of the government, Jews suffer discrimination on the Mount. Jews must obtain special permission to ascend and religious articles are confiscated. A request to build a synagogue on the Mount was rejected while a proposal by the king of Jordan to build a new minaret, which symbolize Islamic supremacy, was accepted. Our ancestors, weeping over their exile by the rivers of Babylon, vowed "if I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither, let my tongue cleave to my palate if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy." (Psalm 137: 5-7) and now the Israeli government is gladly turning over our most sacred site, our birthright.
I'll end on a positive note, with the first Priestly Blessing being recited on the Mount since the beginning of the exile over 2000 years ago.
A historic first: Last week, during a special visit to the Temple Mount, the Priestly Blessing (Numbers 6:24-26) was recited there, for arguably the first time since the 1st-century destruction of the Second Temple.
The Blessing is recited daily in synagogues in Israel by descendants of Aaron the Priest, but only on festivals in most synagogues in the Diaspora. During the Priestly Blessing, the "Kohanim" raise their hands.
The special visit was held to commemorate the 842nd anniversary of Maimonides's famous visit to the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site. A group of some 25 Jews, organized by the Temple Institute in Jerusalem, marked the special day with a commemorative visit. Giving extra-special meaning to the occasion was a spontaneous Priestly Blessing delivered to the group by Yehuda Katz, the lead singer of the Reva L'Sheva band, and Eliezer Breuer, originally of the former Soviet Union and now from Kiryat Arba.
Rabbi Chaim Richman, one of the organizers of the trip, said, "This was probably the first time since the destruction of the Temple [1,937 years ago] that the Priestly Blessing was delivered on our holiest site. At times like these, when there is talk of giving away our precious places, and when despair is sometimes in the air, events of this nature serve to remind us that G-d has not forgotten about us, and that He still has big plans for both us and the Holy Temple - and that the Temple will yet become the focal point of the world once again."
Cross-posted to Goat's Barnyard