LTTN med xp logo Eyewitness Report from the Temple Mount

June 22, 2000

© 2000 Light to the Nations, Rabbi Chaim Richman - All Rights Reserved
An Urgent Message from THE TEMPLE INSTITUTE, Jerusalem
 
For eight months, we have reported on the Moslem Waqf’s illegal excavations in the southern part of the Temple Mount. It has been established that these unsupervised excavations have facilitated the deliberate and calculated destruction of archeological remnants from the Holy Temple. Now, the desecration and destruction has moved into a new phase.  Recently, new reports have begun to circulate that the Wakf has renewed its illegal construction activities on the Temple Mount. A number of articles on the subject have appeared in the Israeli press over the past few days. In one of these articles, appearing in the Hebrew daily Ha’aretz, correspondent Nadav Shragai wrote: “The Islamic Movement in Israel has a master plan to build a forth mosque on the eastern side of the Temple Mount, according to a detailed report prepared by security officials.”
 
We were recently able to ascend to the Temple Mount to view this construction activity firsthand. What we saw there was so staggering that it is difficult to convey the images in words. Under the open skies, and with no pretenses, the entire eastern section of the Mount has been turned into a busy construction site. Activity is taking place at a fever pitch. Not one inch of the eastern section of the mount remains untouched. Haphazard heaps of archeological remnants of major significance, freshly unearthed, are strewn about everywhere. Next to these sit large consignments of newly hewn masonry stones, still wrapped in neat plastic packaging, just delivered to the site. A structure near the Golden Gate is already at an advanced stage of construction. Tractors are at work and other heavy machinery can be heard; there is activity of paving and other aspects of ground preparation, digging, masonry and more. It should be noted that this construction is taking place in areas that are clearly within the boundaries wherein chambers of the Holy Temple stood. Thus the actual site of the Holy Temple is now being turned into a Moslem site, all over again.
 
In the southern end of the Mount, new ornamental skylights have been fixed over the area of the new underground mosque now in use. Many other permanent changes in the area can also be plainly seen.
 
The plans of the Waqf and the Islamic movement also include a number of other changes. However these plans have not been published and are not publicly acknowledged. A petition has been made to the Jerusalem District Court by Yehuda Etzion of the Chai V’kayam movement, demanding that the Waqf reveal their plans for the site based on the Freedom of Information Act. However the state has refused to divulge this information on the grounds that it is “secret,” and the court has yet to hear this petition. Similarly, several months ago the commander for the Jerusalem District of the Israel Police revealed to the Knesset Education Committee that the Waqf has six plans for the Temple Mount ­ but he refused to elaborate, citing state security. Meanwhile, the Israel Antiquities Authority as well as the Committee for Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount, have called upon both the Attorney General and the Prime Minister to personally intervene and put a stop to the illegal activity.
 
What we were able to see on our own visit substantiated, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what we have always known: Motta Gur’s immortal declaration “The Temple Mount is in Our Hands,” uttered in June 1967, is a fantasy that has no basis in reality. It is an unhealthy dream from which the people of Israel must wake up. It has been completely shattered; even the most skillful ostrich can no longer delude himself. Israel exercises no sovereignty whatsoever on the Temple Mount. On the very day of our own visit, a group of Knesset Members on a fact-finding mission to the Mount were prevented by the Israel Police from carrying out their task ­ and the police, in turn, while entrusted with carrying out the law of the State of Israel, were simply manipulated by the Waqf, the real power and control on the Temple Mount. Thus the Knesset members, who are the lawmakers of our nation and who are entitled to Parliamentary immunity and extra-legal status, were prevented from photographing the illegal construction; they were prevented from moving about freely on the Mount, and were not able to enter the underground structures. The group’s guide, archeology student Zachi Zweig (www.miac.com/bait), was physically attacked and threatened by the commander of the police.
 
However, the worst is yet to come. The Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount has pointed out that if the Waqf implements all its plans, the face of the Mount will be completely altered, aside from the damage that will be caused to the antiquities at the site.
 
All the deliberate destruction of archeological remains, and the dumping and trashing of hundred of tons of precious Temple remnants that we have focused upon until now, is ancient history ­ for the Waqf has now moved on from the destruction of Temple remains, to the complete and permanent alteration of the Temple site.
 
The matter is clear. The Waqf saw that they were able to destroy archeological remains that are precious to the people of Israel with impunity. They were not stopped. Now they are confident that in the face of Israel’s weakness, they can truly do anything. Thus they are rapidly attempting to change the physical reality of the Mount, in a permanent fashion. By creating new facts on the ground, the Waqf is successfully de-Judaizing Jerusalem, and wresting the city from the people of Israel.
 
We call upon all people, wherever you may be, to appeal to the Prime Minister of Israel to exercise Israeli law on the Temple Mount and put an end to this destruction. He has the power to change Israel’s power concerning the Mount. We also call upon you to communicate with your elected representatives, and ask them to condemn the outrageous actions of the Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority, who receive funding and use those funds to destroy precious archeological artifacts. Building a new mosque over the area of Israel’s ancient Temple is a contemptible, sacrilegious act which reveals the true intentions of the Palestinians towards Israel ­ as reflected in the official Palestinian Charter, which remains unchanged and still calls for the annihilation of Israel.
 
Israel has zealously protected the shrines of other religions, including Moslem sites. Yet Islam is destroying the holiest shrine of Judaism, and the Government of Israel, whose only interest is the quick implementation of the American “peace process,” is impotent.
 
The continued destruction at the site of the Holy Temple will result in an irreparable loss for the entire world. We urge you to act immediately.

Rabbi Chaim Richman 
THE TEMPLE INSTITUTE JERUSALEM