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« Reply #60 on: September 30, 2006, 03:01:48 AM »

Shofar, so good: Blower to return to Temple Mount 
Man sounding Jewish instrument silenced for fear of offending Muslims


A Jewish man who was barred from the Western Wall after blowing the shofar, or ceremonial ram's horn, during prayer services for last weekend's Rosh Hashana high holiday is allowed to return to the holy site after an Israeli judge yesterday cancelled a police restraining order.

Shmulik Ben Ruby, a spokesman for the Jerusalem Police Authority, told WND earlier the Jewish man, 19-year-old Jerusalem resident Eliyahi Kleiman, was taken forcibly from the Western Wall last weekend for fear the sound of the shofar he was blowing would offend nearby Muslims congregating on the Temple Mount, which is opposite the wall.

"Hundreds of Muslims went up to the Temple Mount. In order to prevent any tensions between the two sides, we asked Kleiman to stop blowing the shofar," Ben Ruby said. "He continued and so he was removed and detained."

The shofar traditionally is blown hundreds of times during Rosh Hashana prayers.

The incident took place Sunday morning, the second day of the two-day Rosh Hashana holiday, when a group of about 20 Jews gathered at the northern-most section of the Western Wall commonly referred to as the "Small Wall." The little-known area stands opposite the spot at which the Holy of Holies is believed to have resided and is considered by Jews to be the most holy section of the Western Wall.

The Holy of Holies is a room within the Tabernacle of the Jewish Temple in which Jews believe God's presence dwelt. During the First Temple period, from the 10th century B.C. to 586 B.C., the Holy of Holies was said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant, which contained the Ten Commandments.

The "Small Wall" is located within a mixed Jewish and Arab section of Jerusalem and is supposed to be accessible to Jews at all times.

Large prayer services take place at the central section of the Western Wall, where thousands gather for prayers on holidays. Smaller groups regularly gather at the "Small Wall."

Kleiman says he had attended services at the "Small Wall" annually for several years without incident. He said he prefers the smaller wall because it is less crowded.

After the man began blowing the shofar during last weekend's Rosh Hashana service, a nearby police officer asked him to stop, according to Kleiman, the Jerusalem police and several witnesses who spoke to WND.

Kleiman says he continued blowing for about two minutes to finish the section of prayer that requires the sounding of the shofar.

The officer then demanded Kleiman immediately leave the area for his refusal to stop blowing the shofar when asked, Kleiman says.

He says he was in the middle of reciting the Amidah, the central prayer of Jewish liturgy, which according to tradition must be read standing and cannot be interrupted unless there is a risk of life.

"I couldn't go with (the officer) until I finished the Amidah," Kleiman says.

The officer called for backup, which Kleiman and observers say arrived several minutes later. Fifteen policemen then dragged Kleiman from the site, observers say.

According to police spokesman Ben Ruby, Kleiman was finished reciting the Amidah at the time he was detained by several officers.

Kleiman and several witnesses said he was removed while still reciting the Amidah, which is elongated on Rosh Hashana and can take about 20 minutes to complete. They said the police refused to allow Kleiman to finish his prayers.

"They dragged me when I was trying to finish the Amidah," Kleiman said.

Kleiman was taken to a nearby police station for questioning. He was released after several hours pending an investigation that could see him charged with disturbing public order and disturbing a police officer in the line of duty.

Kleiman was informed earlier this week a police restraining order was imposed to ban him from all sections of the Western Wall for the next two weeks, until the police investigation is concluded. The Jewish holidays of Yom Kippur, Succot, and Simchat Torah take place within the next two weeks.

'Any debate on case highly embarrassing for Israel'

But yesterday Kleiman, who has no prior police record and is not associated with any Temple Mount group, challenged the restraining order in a Jerusalem court and won the case. The restraining order was cancelled, allowing Kleiman to return to the Western Wall for today's Shabbat prayers and for upcoming Yom Kippur services, which begin tomorrow night.

A source close to Kleiman's defense speculated the restraining order was removed "to ensure there is no debate about the case. Any debate about why a Jew was removed from the Western Wall for blowing the shofar on Rosh Hashanah would be highly embarrassing for the state of Israel."

The source asked that his name be withheld because the case was still ongoing pending the completion of the police investigation.

The judge's decision for the police to rescind the restraining order did not include any comments on the legality of Kleiman's arrest.

Police spokesman Ben Ruby says Kleiman was originally arrested because a group of "hundreds" of Muslims had ascended the Temple Mount on the opposite side of the "Small Wall" and may have been offended by the sounding of the shofar.

"Our job is to keep peace in the city and ensure there are no tensions. The shofar may have offended the Muslims and could have started a confrontation."

Miriam Janoff, a Jew who lives near the "Small Wall," called Ben Ruby's contentions "ridiculous."

"Several times per day the Muslims broadcast prayer services on loudspeakers that can be heard for miles, including every morning at 4 a.m. It is extremely disturbing when you are trying to sleep, but you don't hear the Jews complain about it," Janoff said.

"It is the height of absurdity a Jew cannot blow the shofar near our holiest site on one of our holiest holidays because a Muslim is nearby."

Also, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which started last week, Arabs in Jerusalem's Old City regularly celebrate after sunset with loud explosions from firecrackers and gunshot blanks.

Temple Mount: No-prayer zone

Jews regularly are banned from the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. Muslims call it their third holiest site. It is the place Muslims believe Muhammad, the founder of Islam, ascended to heaven to receive revelations from Allah.

Even though the Jewish state controls Jerusalem, the Muslim Waqf, or holy site monitors, serve as the custodians of the Temple Mount under a deal made with the Israeli government when Jerusalem was captured by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War.

The Temple Mount was opened to the general public until September 2000, when the Palestinians started their intifada by throwing stones at Jewish worshipers after then-candidate for prime minister Ariel Sharon visited the area.

Following the onset of violence, the new Sharon government closed the Mount to non-Muslims, using checkpoints to control all pedestrian traffic for fear of further clashes with the Palestinians.

The Temple Mount was reopened to non-Muslims in August 2003. It still is open but only Sundays through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., and not on any Christian, Jewish or Muslim holidays or other days considered "sensitive" by the Waqf.

During "open" days, Jews and Christian are allowed to ascend the Mount, usually through organized tours and only if they conform first to a strict set of guidelines, which includes demands that they not pray or bring any "holy objects" to the site. Visitors are banned from entering any of the mosques without direct Waqf permission.

Rules are enforced by Waqf agents, who watch tours closely and alert nearby Israeli police to any breaking of their guidelines.
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« Reply #61 on: October 09, 2006, 01:17:03 PM »

Record number of Jews gather at Temple Mount 
Ceremony at Western Wall a tradition since area taken in 6-Day War

A record number of Jews gathered Monday at the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City for the traditional massive Birkat Kohanim, priestly blessings.



The ceremony has become a tradition ever since the liberation of the Temple Mount during the Six-Day War in 1967 and is seen as an observance of the Jewish obligation to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Holy Temple three times a year, on Pesach (Passover), Shavuot (Pentecost) and Sukkot (Tabernacles). During the weeklong Pesach and Sukkot holidays, the ceremony is held on the second of the Hol haMoed (intermediate) days.

Hundreds of kohanim, Jews who trace their lineage to Aaron, the first High Priest, stood closest to the Western Wall to take part in the special blessings. Attending the Western Wall prayers Monday were Chief Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yonah Metzger, as well as Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch. Rabbi Rabinovitch told Arutz-7 that Monday's priestly blessing marked the largest such gathering for prayers at the site since the first Sukkot after the Six Day War.

Police were forced to close the gates leading to the Western Wall Plaza due to its being filled to capacity by worshippers. "The blessing, however, reaches those stuck outside the plaza as well, obviously," Rabbi Rabinovitch said. He added that many of those packing the plaza were not outwardly observant. "Many secular Jews have adopted the custom of making a pilgrimage to the Western Wall on the holiday," he said.

The Birkat Kohanim is a part of daily prayers in Israel, but is only recited on holidays in most communities outside Israel. The blessing given appears in Numbers 6:23-27:

And G-d spoke to Moses saying: Speak unto Aaron and his sons, saying, in this manner shall you bless the children of Israel. Say to them:
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord shine His face upon you.
May the Lord lift His countenance upon you, and grant you peace.

Meanwhile, there have been ongoing visits to the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site, throughout the week. Guided visits are being offered free of charge for those wishing to visit the permitted areas of the mount in accordance with Jewish law.

National Union faction head MK Uri Ariel ascended the Temple Mount Monday morning, saying that there is special significance to completing one's pilgrimage at the actual site of the Holy Temple on the three festivals. Ascending today, even as the Holy Temple is not standing, broadcasts a message reminding the entire world and first and foremost Israeli society, that the Temple is the center and the heart of the Jewish nation," Ariel said. "And we still expect and are prepared to rebuild it."

Visits for Jewish men and women who wish to ascend the Temple Mount in accordance with Jewish law are being offered over the course of the Sukkot Festival. All tours begin at 7.30 AM, beginning at the Mughrabi Gate, adjacent to the main entrance to the Western Wall plaza.

Participants must undergo physical preparations and immerse in a ritual bath beforehand, as well as arrive dressed in non-leather shoes. Police currently require a passport to ascend the mount and forbid the carrying up of religious articles aside from tzitzit and head coverings.


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« Reply #62 on: October 13, 2006, 07:54:57 PM »

Israel has not objected to Jordanian plans to construct a fifth minaret on the Temple Mount, and the Hashemite Kingdom is pressing ahead with plans to do so early next year, a senior Jordanian official said Wednesday.

The minaret, which will be constructed on the eastern wall of the Temple Mount near the Golden Gate, will at 42 meters be the highest of the minarets on the Mount and the first to be built in more than 600 years, Dr. Raief Najim, vice chairman of the committee running the project, told The Jerusalem Post in a telephone interview from Amman.

# Rabbis split on Temple Mount synagogue plan

He said he spoke with Israeli authorities about the plan last year and did not hear any objections to the proposed construction. He revealed that he toured the intended site with a top Jerusalem police commander, a senior government official and the head of the Antiquities Authority and none of them voiced any opposition.

"Even though the political situation has changed, I do not think they will refuse to construct such a thing," he said.

The Prime Minister's Office said Wednesday that no decision was taken to approve the construction of the minaret. The Antiquities Authority declined comment.

Earlier this week, King Abdullah II issued an international tender for the design of the minaret, which is expected to cost 400,000 to 500,000 Jordanian dinars (NIS 2.4 million to NIS 3m.).

The winner of the tender will be chosen in three months, Najim said, adding that construction work could begin early next year.

Najim, who met with Abdullah on Monday to finalize the plans, said that the minaret will be constructed in Hashemite style to differentiate it from the previous four minarets, which were built in the Mameluke style, and will include seven sides representing the star on the Jordanian flag.

According to a decades-old regulation in place at the Temple Mount, Israel maintains overall security control, while the Wakf, or Islamic trust, is charged with day-to-day administration.

A leading Israeli archeologist lambasted the plan. "I am against any change in the status quo on the Temple Mount," said Bar-Ilan University's Dr. Gabi Barkai, a member of the Committee Against the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount. "If the status quo is being changed, then it should not just be the addition of Muslim structures at the site."

In contravention of the law, Antiquities Authority archeologists have not been carrying out full-time supervision of the site for much of the last decade due to their concern about renewed Palestinian violence, despite the reopening of the compound to non-Muslims two years ago.

During this period, Israel has been keen to involve the Jordanians in the ongoing repair work on the Temple Mount, as they are considered more moderate than the Palestinian heads of the Wakf appointed by Yasser Arafat on his return to the West Bank 10 years ago.

The other minarets include three near the Western Wall and one near the northern wall. The first minaret was constructed on the southwest corner of the Temple Mount in 1278. The second was built in 1297 by order of a Mameluke king, the third by a governor of Jerusalem in 1329, and the last in 1367.

"For the past century all Hashemite intervention [here] was restoration and maintenance, and now for the first time there will be a new monument on the site," Najim said.
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« Reply #63 on: October 13, 2006, 07:55:46 PM »

Jordan plans construction on Temple Mount

A senior Jordanian government official has said the country plans to construct a fifth minaret on the Temple Mount in early 2007.

Raief Najim, vice chairman of the committee overseeing the plans, said Israel has not objected to the construction of the minaret, which is planned for the eastern wall of the Temple Mount in the vicinity of the Golden Gate, the Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

Najim said he detailed the plan to Israeli authorities in 2005 and toured the site of the planned minaret with a Jerusalem police commander, a senior government official and the head of the Antiquities Authority. He said none of the three officials voiced opposition to the construction.

"Even though the political situation has changed, I do not think they will refuse to construct such a thing," he said.

The minaret, planned to be one of the tallest on the mount, will be the first to be built in more than 600 years, the Post said.
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« Reply #64 on: October 13, 2006, 08:05:40 PM »

 MK Ariel Plans to Build Shul on Temple Mount


MK Uri Ariel (National Union) is drawing up plans to construct a shul on the Temple Mount. The plan will be submitted to the Jerusalem municipality and the Committee for Design and Construction for approval. It will not inhibit Muslim services that are currently run at the site.

“This will be an ideal opportunity for the Muslims to demonstrate tolerance toward other faiths,” Ariel stated.


(A Shul is a Jewish Synagogue)

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« Reply #65 on: October 13, 2006, 08:12:09 PM »

Jerusalem grand Mufti warns of attacks against the Al Aqsa Mosque

Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, Skeikh Mohammad Hussein Khateeb, warned that any attack by extremist Jewish groups against the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem could lead the area into a new wave of violence.

The statements of Khateeb came after an Israeli members of Knesset, National Union Faction chairman, Uri Ariel, visited the Al Aqsa Mosque along with his bodyguards.

Ariel said that the Mosque “referred to as Temple Mount”, is the center and the “heart of the Jewish people”. The Al Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam after Mecca and Medina in Suadi Arabia.

He added that even if the Muslims are marking the holy month of Ramadan, Jews must visit the area.

“On Succot - as on Passover and Shavuot - there is a Torah commandment to visit the holy site”, Ariel stated.

Israeli sources reported that “Ariel plans to construct a shul on the Temple Mount”.

The plan, according to the Israeli national News website,  will be submitted to the Jerusalem municipality and the Committee for Design and Construction for approval.

Ariel said that the construction of the shul in the mosque area “will be the opportunity for Muslims to show their tolerance toward other faiths”.

Sheikh Khateeb slammed the visit describing it as provocative especially since he was surrounding by dozens of armed troops.

Khateeb held the Israeli government responsible of any further deterioration in the situation in the area and said that these visits and Israeli procedures are increasing tension among the Palestinians who are being barred from entering the mosque during Ramadan while extremist Jewish groups have easy access.

He called on the Arabs and Muslims to head to the mosque in order to protect it from the extremist groups in Israel that aim to demolish it. He also called on Arab leaders to defend the mosque and the holy sites in Palestine.

The Al Aqsa Intifada inflamed in late September 2000 after the then-prime minister, Ariel Sharon, entered the mosque area with his armored bodyguards.

* Shul: The Orthodox and Chasidim typically use the word "shul," which is Yiddish. It is derived from a German word meaning "school," and emphasizes the synagogue's role as a place of study. Conservative Jews usually use the word "synagogue," which is actually a Greek translation of Beit K'nesset and means "place of assembly".
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« Reply #66 on: November 10, 2006, 08:57:13 PM »

The Temple Mount. The chief Rabbinate is keeping quiet on the subject of construction.

Nearly 25 years ago, Rami Zayit, a scribe from Kiryat Arba, and Jerusalem architect Gideon Harlap, drew up the plan, "Mivneh Negev." The plan was to open the triple gate in the southern part of the Temple Mount (the Hulda Gates) and to transform the subterranean spaces of Solomon's Stables in the southeastern part of the Temple Mount into a prayer area for Jews.

The plan was designed to bypass the problems of Jews praying on the Mount, with specific reference to the tension between Jews and Arabs surrounding the location of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, and halakha, which prohibits Jews from entering the sanctity of the Mount.

Only after some time did moderate Temple Mount movements adopt this idea. Today we know the most significant change since 1967 - turning Solomon's Stables into a third mosque on the Mount, larger in area than Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock combined - was almost a direct result of these plans. Although the Israeli Islamic Movement sought an anchor in the Temple Mount, the location that was chosen for the Al-Marwani Mosque, Solomon's Stables, was the direct result of the Jewish plan to build a synagogue there.

Competing for the best minaret design

About 10 years after the construction of the Al-Marwani Mosque, the southeastern corner of the Temple Mount is again abuzz with provocative plans. A few weeks ago, to Israel's dissatisfaction, Jordan's King Abdullah announced the construction of a fifth minaret in the Temple Mount area. The minaret is to be named after King Hussein, Abdullah's father. One of the places designated for the minaret is the empty, southeastern corner of the Temple Mount, above the mosque in Solomon's Stables. Abdullah even declared a competition for the best minaret design.

The religious right is skeptical of the government's unofficial attempts to placate them. When it comes to the Temple Mount, the religious right is tired of denials, which ultimately turn out to be false, concerning the third mosque in Solomon's Stables, the fourth mosque in ancient Al-Aqsa, and the archaeological damage to the Temple Mount during the construction of the Waqf (the Moslem trust) over the years.

Perhaps this is why now, of all times, MK Uri Ariel (National Union-National Religious Party) is presenting a plan of his own for building a synagogue on the Temple Mount. He is also discussing the southeastern corner of the Mount, and this is apparently no coincidence. Ariel is presently looking for an architect, and he plans to submit the plan for the approval of the Jerusalem Municipality's planning committee - not that it has a chance. However, it will cause a commotion. "Such an act will repair a historical injustice much more than did the transfer to Israel of the remains of Herzl's children," says Ariel. "Throughout the generations we were expelled from the site. This is an opportunity for the Muslim world to prove that it is sufficiently tolerant to contain beliefs that differ from its own."

Circumstances indicate that Jordanian shares in the Mount are on the rise, whereas those of the Palestinian Authority are declining. After many years during which the Waqf was operated by the Jordanians, the PA expelled the Jordanian mufti (Sheikh Abdul Qader Abdeen) from the Temple Mount by force, and instead appointed a mufti of its own (Sheikh Ikrama Sabri).

All this took place in the early 1990s at the time of the Oslo Accords, years after King Hussein contributed money to cover the Dome of the Rock with gold. The PA also began to pay, at least in part, the salaries of Waqf officials, which for years came from Jordan. The fact that some of the PA officials adopted a policy of conflict with Israel on the Mount led to a revolution in the Israeli approach in recent years.

In the peace agreement signed with Jordan, the Hashemite kingdom received future precedence regarding anything concerning the Temple Mount, but for years there was no reflection of this commitment. In recent years, the situation has changed. Jordan was involved in reopening the Mount to Jewish tourists, after it was closed to non-Muslims for three years. The Mount was closed at the end of 2000, in the wake of the visit there by then chair of the opposition, MK Ariel Sharon. Jordan was also involved in coordinating the renovation of the southern and eastern walls of the Mount, which had cracks and protrusions, with the Israel Antiquities Authority, the police, the Prime Minister's Office and the Waqf.

Attorney Dr. Shmuel Berkovitz (author of "The Wars of the Holy Places"), who is very well versed in the fine points of relations between the various Mount groups, believes Jordan is trying to gain Israel's consent to build a fifth minaret; this fits in with the Israeli view of Jordan as a moderating influence on the Mount vis-a-vis the Palestinians and the Israeli Islamic Movement. This perspective, which Israel does not hide, is exactly what frightens the Temple Mount movements, which fear a quiet agreement between Israel and Jordan on the construction of the minaret.

In light of this, there is ferment in the Temple Mount movements; Ariel and his proposal are only the tip of the iceberg. Gershon Solomon of the Temple Mount Faithful, for example, is planning a campaign against the Western Wall, which he says diverts attention from the "real thing" - the Temple Mount - to which the Western Wall is only an entrance hall, at most. "The Western Wall is not a vestige of the Temple, as people tend mistakenly to believe, but the western support wall of the compound," Solomon points out.

The discourse among other activists is no different. Berkovitz remarks that for the right-wing organizations, another minaret on the Mount will perpetuate foreign domination. He predicts harsh opposition on their part to the plan, if it becomes realistic.

'A relay race of the generations'

The Chief Rabbinate is preferring to keep quiet for the time being, and, considering the two chief rabbis, this is hardly surprising. Rabbi Yona Metzger and Rabbi Shlomo Amar belong to the conservative rabbinic school, which considers the Temple Mount a matter for messianic times and not for the present. Metzger and Amar, like their patrons Rabbi Shalom Yosef Elyashiv and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, are opposed to allowing Jews to enter the Temple Mount, for two halakhic reasons: The lack of any possibility of becoming purified from contact with the dead before entering the Mount; and the lack of information regarding the exact site of the holiest of holies to which entry is forbidden except to the high priest on Yom Kippur.

cont'd

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« Reply #67 on: November 10, 2006, 08:57:38 PM »

During the term of Rabbi Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron and Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, who also adhered to the same prohibition, the Chief Rabbinate became involved almost against its will in the issue of building a synagogue on the Temple Mount. At the time, it was not right-wing organizations or Temple Mount movements that raised the idea. At that time, during the Camp David talks in 2000, it was none other than then prime minister Ehud Barak who raised the possibility of building a synagogue on the Mount, parallel to relinquishing sovereignty over significant sections.

The council of the Chief Rabbinate decided at the time that the Temple Mount must remain under Israeli sovereignty, but one of the absurd consequences of Barak's moves was that after 33 years during which the Rabbinate rejected for halakhic reasons any possibility of Jews praying on the Mount, a committee was established by the Rabbinate to formally examine the possibility of building a synagogue on the Mount or within its walls.

Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, the chief rabbi of Haifa, is the head of the committee. The committee has met several times and discussed alternative sites for a synagogue, but did not reach a decision. The establishment of the committee was meant as a directional sign for the political leadership, or as Rabbi Lau put it at the time: "We are in a relay race of the generations, and our entire right to the Land of Israel derives in effect from our basic right to the Temple Mount. The Muslim claim to precedence on the Temple Mount is baseless. Islam was born 550 years after the destruction of the Second Temple [in 70 CE]."

The Muslims had a different interpretation of the establishment of the committee. Sheikh Hian al-Adrisi, the Temple Mount imam, accused: "They are actually talking about a synagogue in order not to heat up the atmosphere, but they are planning to build their Temple on Al-Aqsa. The Muslims are willing to sacrifice their lives and their blood to preserve the Islamic character of Jerusalem and of Al-Aqsa."

Two additional plans for the construction of a synagogue on the Temple Mount were presented in recent years. One is that of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, also a former chief rabbi. Eliyahu claimed years ago that "foreigners and idol worshippers should be expelled from the Temple Mount and a synagogue built there."

"We see with our own eyes how foxes walk there [a sign of desolation], and in a place of which it is said 'the stranger who approaches will be killed,' strangers walk and profane it," wrote Eliyahu in the periodical Tehumin. "We need not fear what they will say. My proposal is to build a synagogue and a place for Torah and prayer in the area where we are permitted to enter, with supervised entry and exit."

When he was chief rabbi, Eliyahu refined his proposal even further, and proposed building a synagogue in the southeast corner of the Mount behind the Al-Aqsa mosque, as long as the building would be higher than the mosque. Eliyahu also raised a possibility that one of the walls of the synagogue, the one that faces the holy place, be built of glass.

Another proposal for building a synagogue on the Temple Mount is that of architect Gideon Harlap, who even placed it on city planning maps as "a change in city plan 62 Jerusalem," on behalf of the Friends of the Temple association headed by Prof. Hillel Weiss. It was published in the anthology "Kumu Ve'Naaleh" ("Let us rise and go up"), edited by rabbis Yehuda Shaviv and Yisrael Rosen. Harlap got down to details, and even prepared a budgetary estimate. The cost of the planning and implementation will, according to his calculations, total about $8 million.

"This report," Harlap explained, "comes to inform the official authorities of the fact that, in terms of engineering, architecture and planning, there is a wide range of solutions that facilitate providing a place for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, which has long been necessary. And in any case, there are solutions for providing access for worshippers of various religions, without mutual interference, and in accordance with Jewish halakha."

Rabbi Yisrael Rosen, who heads the Tzomet Institute in Gush Etzion and began the anthology in which Harlap's plan was published, said, "secular Zionism has become distant from the Mount and its Torah," but he and his friends want to illuminate "Torah viewpoints, which are uplifting and exalting."
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« Reply #68 on: January 04, 2007, 11:53:37 PM »

Risk of collapse at Western Wall
Authorities plan to demolish Jews' only entrance to Temple Mount

Following report of risk of collapse, Western Wall authorities plan to demolish Mugrabi hill – Jews' only entrance to the Temple Mount, meaning Jews can no longer enter site

Within the next few days, the Western Wall authorities will begin demolishing Mugrabi hill, after it was discovered that the dirt paving beneath it was at risk of collapsing, along with the temporary wooden bridge that was built at the site.

Mugrabi Gate is the only opening through which Jews may go up the hill, and destroying the hill will prevent this as well.

The dirt paving in the Western Wall's square, the Mugrabi hill, leads to the Mugrabi Gate, one of the Temple Mount's entrances.

This is the only Gate which is under complete Israeli control, without Wakf supervision. Therefore, the paving is used by Jews as a crossing to reach the Mount.

This is also where police prepare to break into the Mount on Friday's incase stones are thrown towards the Wall.

'Worshippers' safety in danger'

Three years ago, a part of the hill collapsed in a snow storm and in its place a temporary wooden bridge was constructed.

In the long term plans, the government and the Western Wall Heritage Foundation plan to construct a permanent bridge. According to the plan, an aerial bridge will be constructed which will begin from the outside of the square.

It should be noted that the Western Wall Heritage Foundation works under the guidelines of the Chief Rabbinate, according to which going up to the Temple Mount is forbidden by the Halacha (Jewish law).

Therefore, the WWHF is not interested in building this bridge, but is going forward with the plans according to the police's security demands.

In recent days, engineer Ofer Cohen submitted his professional opinion that the danger is immediate: "In the existing situation, after large amounts of rain, another collapse could occur, which may endanger the stability of the temporary bridge and the safety of the worshippers in the square."

This means that by the next storm, there may be no choice but to begin work on demolishing the paving before it collapses on worshipers.

The Western Wall's rabbi, Shmuel Ravinovitch, said that "the police must decide if they want to build a bridge or not. If they do not, we will take down the mound and expand the ladies section. If they do, they should act in order to advance the plans of building a permanent bridge."
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« Reply #69 on: January 16, 2007, 03:30:48 AM »

Google Earth map marks
Temple Mount Palestinian 
Gaza Strip also 'Israeli occupied,'
even though Jews withdrew in '05

While Jerusalem serves as Israel's capital, and the Temple Mount is located within Israeli sovereignty, the popular satellite map program Google Earth divides the city and places the Mount – Judaism's holiest site – within Palestinian territory.

Interactive Google Earth maps mark eastern sections of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount as "occupied territory," set to become part of a future Palestinian state.

Google Earth states it demarcates its maps according to international standards, but no Israeli-Palestinian negotiations – even the failed Camp David final-status negotiations in 2000 – ever placed the Temple Mount within Palestinian territory.

The United Nations considers eastern sections of Jerusalem, recaptured by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War, to be "disputed." The Israeli Knesset officially annexed the entire city of Jerusalem as its capital in 1980.

"Google Earth is reinforcing lies," Rabbi Chaim Rechman, director of the international department at Israel's Temple Institute.

"The Muslims have engaged in a systemic campaign to re-write history and erase any traces of Judaism from the Temple Mount in total disregard to all actual archeological and historic evidence," he continued." Now Google Earth has given in to this campaign."

Jerusalem first was divided into eastern and western sections when Jordan invaded and occupied the city and the Temple Mount area in 1947, expelling all Jewish inhabitants. Israel originally built its capital in the western part of the city, while the eastern quarters remained under Jordanian control until Israel regained them in 1967.

'Racist Israel stealing Palestinian water'

Google Earth does not limit its input in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Jerusalem alone.

The Gaza Strip is labeled by Google Earth as "Israeli occupied," even though the Jewish state withdrew from Gaza in August 2005.

TotallyJewish.com, a UK-based Jewish website, pointed out an interactive Google Earth map of an Israeli community in the northern West Bank features integrated user comments implying Jews are stealing water from neighboring Palestinians.

A posting on a Google map next to the town of Kiryat Arba, near the ancient city of Hebron, states: "Note the well-tended lawns in a region deprived of water."

Clicking on a weblink in the posting brings the user to a site stating, "The principal reason for the water shortage is an unfair distribution of water resources shared by Israel and the Palestinians."

The posting decries Israel's purported water-confiscation practices as "illegal" and "racist," even though dozens of major Israeli aquifers, many run by the Jewish National Fund, purify water running through Palestinian cities and return the cleaned water to the Palestinian towns.

Comments on other Google Earth images claim Israel plans to divide parts of Bethlehem, even though no such plan exist.

Google Earth is also accused of showing falsified images. Visitors to Google Earth who click on an area just outside Jerusalem can view a computer-generated image claiming to depict an Israeli missile factory.

Israeli defense officials told WND the "missile factory" is a fabrication.

Google Earth could not immediately be reached for comment since its corporate offices were closed today in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

A Google spokeswoman previously told TotallyJewish.com comments and pictures on satellite maps can be switched off if visitors don't want to see them. She said the company would investigate the offending postings.

Referring to Google erroneously labeling the Gaza Strip as occupied, the spokeswoman said, "Borders and place names are not always updated straightaway. Occasionally there are discrepancies. We are happy to receive feedback and will pass it on to the Google Earth team and take the necessary steps."

Terror leader: 'Congratulations to Google Earth'

Mort Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, accused Google Earth of encouraging terrorism.

"When the Arab terrorists see Google Earth's falsification of geographic realities, they will be appeased and encouraged because these kinds of lying maps send the message that their disinformation campaigns and their terrorism work," Klein told WND.

Indeed, Abu Nasser, second-in-command of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group, said he was "thrilled" by Google Earth's depictions.

"Congratulations to Google Earth," Abu Nasser told WND.

"We congratulate Google and the American people in making this very important change in the Middle East. The Al Aqsa Mosque (located on the Temple Mount) is part of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem is part of Palestine. If such a big institution like Google corrected these historical mistakes on maps, maybe we can bring about a change in the depictions of Palestine by the American media, which is controlled by the Zionists."

According to Abu Nasser, whose terror group says it is trying to liberate the Al Aqsa Mosque, the Jewish Temple "never existed."

"At least not on the area Jews now call the Temple Mount.," he said. "Maybe a Temple existed somewhere, but not in Jerusalem. The Temple Mount exists only in the imaginations of the Jews and Americans."

Abu Nasser's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is the declared "military wing" of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party. The Brigades, together with the Islamic Jihad terror group, has taken responsibility for every suicide bombing in Israel the past two years, including an attack in Tel Aviv in April that killed American teenager Daniel Wultz and nine Israelis.

The revelation's about Google Earth's Mideast map follow media reports this week insurgents in Iraq are using Google's satellite imagery to attack British bases and troops.

Intelligence sources quoted by Britain's Daily Telegraph said raids of insurgents last week found printouts of Google satellite photographs of British bases, including details such as toiled blocks, Land Rover parking, and tented areas.

One of the photographs, taken of a hotel housing a British regiment, had the camp's longitude and latitude written on the back, the newspaper said.

"This is evidence, as far as we are concerned, for planning terrorist attacks," an intelligence officer told The Daily Telegraph. "Who would otherwise have Google Earth imagery of one of our bases?"

A Google spokesman told the newspaper its information could be used for "good and bad." "Of course we are always ready to listen to governments' requests," he said.
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« Reply #70 on: January 21, 2007, 04:35:41 PM »

Islamic Movement protests Israeli dig under Temple Mount

The Southern Branch of the Islamic Movement, headed by Ra'am-Ta'al chairman MK Ibrahim Sarsour, on Sunday accused Israel of carrying out excavations underneath Jerusalem's Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.

Sarsour also claimed the Israel Antiquities Authority paid a Palestinian vendor $60,000 for his store along the Temple Mount. The Israel Antiquities Authority denied the accusation.

Earlier on Sunday, the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement presented pictures taken two weeks ago that allegedly documented excavations near the Temple Mount.

Northern Branch leader Sheikh Ra'ad Salah said the excavations were meant to "create a stranglehold around Al-Aqsa Mosque, in order for the Israeli establishment to fulfill its darkest dreams of building a Jewish Temple [in its place]." Islamic Movements representatives added that they have information on an upcoming dig that they will soon reveal.

An inquiry by Haaretz revealed that the excavations referred to by Sarsour were carried out some 100 meters from the Temple Mount and were stopped due to lack of funds. The excavations, carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority at the behest of a Jewish group on property owned by businessman Aaron Mosovitch, was first revealed by Haaretz about a year ago.

In the article, archaeologists said the excavations were not only vertical, but horizontal, and advanced to within 60 meters of the Temple Mount. However, archaeologists claimed the purpose of the dig was to clear out an old garbage-filled tunnel to determine whether it posed a safety hazard.

Since 1967, Muslim organizations have often accused Israel of digging tunnels underneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque in order to destabilize its foundations. All claims turned out to be false, with the exception of one: In 1981 Religious Affairs Ministry officials carried out excavations in a preexisting tunnel that led beneath the Temple Mount. Excavations were brought to a halt by order of then-prime minister Menachem Begin and Minister of Police Dr. Yosef Burg, and its entrance was permanently sealed.

The said property has been in Jewish hands for over 100 years. It was previously the location of Ohel Yitzhak Synagogue that was abandoned, then demolished in the wake of the 1936 Arab Revolt.
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« Reply #71 on: January 21, 2007, 04:42:15 PM »

The damage to the Al-Aqsa mosque that these people actually fear is not from the actually digging itself but from what may be found in those diggings. Many of the groups that have been digging there in the past have been looking for Temple artifacts, one of which is the Ark of the Covenant. Those that are opposed to the digs there fear that if the Ark or it's related artifacts are found it will lead to the destruction of the mosque and the building of the third Temple.

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« Reply #72 on: February 01, 2007, 04:35:03 AM »

'Proof' Temple Mount
'belongs to Muslims'
Head custodian says site will never
be returned to Jewish sovereignty

JERUSALEM – The replacement tomorrow in the Al Aqsa Mosque of a key podium transported with the coordination of Israeli security forces is "proof" the Temple Mount belongs only to Muslims and will never be returned to Jewish sovereignty, according to the leader of the Wafq – the Muslim custodians of the Temple Mount.

"This historic occasion proves that the extremist Jews will never achieve their goals of taking over the [Temple Mount.] It shows that we are much closer to liberating the Al Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem from Israeli occupation," said Waqf chief gotcha98 Husseini.

At a ceremony in the Al Aqsa Mosque, the podium is set to be unveiled and installed at the "exact spot" Waqf officials state the prophet Muhammad went up to heaven to receive revelations from Allah. The podium will be used by Al Aqsa preachers to deliver sermons.

The new stand replaces a 1,000-year-old podium believed to have been shipped to Jerusalem by the Islamic conqueror Saladin. That stand was destroyed in 1969, when an Australian tourist set fire to the Al Aqsa Mosque.

The replacement stand, a near replica of the original, was funded by the Jordanian and Saudi governments. It took craftsmen four years to construct. The podium's nearly assembled parts were shipped to Waqf offices on the Temple Mount earlier this month with help from the Israeli police, and will be installed at the center of the Al Aqsa Mosque tomorrow.

According to a Waqf official speaking to WND, the theme for tomorrow's installation ceremony will focus on exclusive Islamic domination of the Temple Mount.

"The official reason for the ceremony is to mark the installation, but unofficially it will be a celebration that this podium is proof we are the rightful owners of the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount). This podium solidifies our eternal presence here," the Waqf official said.

Al Aqsa Mosque built by angels?

The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism. Muslims say it is their third holiest site.

The First Jewish Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The Second Temple was rebuilt in 515 B.C. after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. That temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in A.D. 70. Each temple stood for a period of about four centuries.

The Jewish Temple was the center of religious Jewish worship. It housed the Holy of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant and was said to be the area upon which God's "presence" dwelt. The Al Aqsa Mosque now resides on the site.

The temple served as the primary location for the offering of sacrifices and was the main gathering place in Israel during Jewish holidays.

The Temple Mount compound has remained a focal point for Jewish services over the millennia. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem have been uttered by Jews since the Second Temple was destroyed, according to Jewish tradition. Jews worldwide pray facing toward the Western Wall, a portion of an outer courtyard of the Temple left intact.

The Al Aqsa Mosque was constructed around 709 to serve as a shrine near another shrine, the Dome of the Rock, which was built by an Islamic caliph. Al Aqsa was meant to mark what Muslims came to believe Muhammad, the founder of Islam, ascended to heaven.

Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran. Islamic tradition states Mohammed took a journey in a single night from "a sacred mosque" – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to "the farthest mosque" and from a rock there ascended to heaven. The farthest mosque later became associated with Jerusalem.

Most Waqf officials deny the Jewish temples ever existed in spite of what many call overwhelming archaeological evidence, including the discovery of Temple-era artifacts linked to worship, tunnels that snake under the Temple Mount and over 100 ritual immersion pools believed to have been used by Jewish priests to cleanse themselves before services. The cleansing process is detailed in the Torah.

According to the website of the Palestinian Authority's Office for Religious Affairs, the Temple Mount is Muslim property. The site claims the Western Wall, which it refers to as the Al-Boraq Wall, previously was a docking station for horses. It states Muhammed tied his horse, named Boraq, to the wall before ascending to heaven.

In an interview with WND, Kamal Hatib, vice-chairman of the Islamic Movement, which will take part in the podium installation ceremonies, claimed the Al-Aqsa Mosque was built by angels, and that a Jewish Temple may have existed, but not in Jerusalem. The Movement, which works closely with the Waqf, is the Muslim group in Israel most identified with the Temple Mount.

"When the First Temple was built by Solomon – God bless him – Al Aqsa was already built. We don't believe that a prophet like Solomon would have built the Temple at a place where a mosque existed," said Hatib.

"And all the historical and archaeological facts deny any relation between the temples and the location of Al Aqsa. We must know that Jerusalem was occupied and that people left many things, coins and other things everywhere. This does not mean in any way that there is a link between the people who left these things and the place where these things were left," Hatib said.

Al Aqsa official to WND: Jewish Temples existed

Last June, in a widely circulated WND interview, a former senior leader of the Waqf contradicted his colleagues, saying he has come to believe the first and second Jewish Temples existed and stood at the current location of the Al Aqsa Mosque.

The leader, who was dismissed from his Waqf position after he quietly made his beliefs known, said Al Aqsa custodians passed down stories for centuries from generation to generation indicating the mosque was built at the site of the former Jewish temples.

He said the Muslim world's widespread denial of the existence of the Jewish temples is political in nature and is not rooted in facts.

"Prophet Solomon built his famous Temple at the same place that later the Al Aqsa Mosque was built. It cannot be a coincidence that these different holy sites were built at the same place. The Jewish Temple Mount existed," said the former senior Waqf leader, speaking to WorldNetDaily from an apartment in an obscure alley in Jerusalem's Old City.

The former leader, who is well known to Al Aqsa scholars and Waqf officials, spoke on condition his name be withheld, claiming an on-the-record interview would endanger his life.

He told WND "true" Islamic tradition relates the Jewish temples once stood at the site of the Al Aqsa Mosque.

"[The existence of the Jewish Temple at the site is obvious] according to studies, researches and archaeological signs that we were also exposed to. But especially according to the history that passed from one generation to another – we believe Al Aqsa was built on the same place were the Temple of the Jews – the first monotheistic religion – existed."

He cited samples of some stories he said were related orally by Islamic leaders:

"We learned that the Christians, especially those who believed that Jesus was crucified by the Jews, used to throw their garbage at the Temple Mount site. They used to throw the pieces of cotton and other material Christian women used in cleaning the blood of their monthly cycle. Doing so they believed that they were humiliating, insulting and harming the Jews at their holiest site. This way they are hurting them like Jews hurt Christians when crucifying Jesus.

"It is known also that most of the first guards of Al Aqsa when it was built were Jews. The Muslims knew at that time that they could not find any more loyal and faithful than the Jews to guard the mosque and its compound. They knew that the Jews have a special relation with this place."

Temple Mount: No-prayer zone

Currently, even though the Jewish state controls Jerusalem, the Waqf serve as the custodians of the Temple Mount under a deal made with the Israeli government that restricts non-Muslim prayer at the site.

The Temple Mount was opened to the general public until September 2000, when the Palestinians started their intifada by throwing stones at Jewish worshipers after then-candidate for prime minister Ariel Sharon visited the area.

Following the onset of violence, the new Sharon government closed the Mount to non-Muslims, using checkpoints to control all pedestrian traffic for fear of further clashes with the Palestinians.

The Temple Mount was reopened to non-Muslims in August 2003. It still is open but only Sundays through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., and not on any Christian, Jewish or Muslim holidays or other days considered "sensitive" by the Waqf.

During "open" days, Jews and Christian are allowed to ascend the Mount, usually through organized tours and only if they conform first to a strict set of guidelines, which includes demands that they not pray or bring any "holy objects" to the site. Visitors are banned from entering any of the mosques without direct Waqf permission. Rules are enforced by Waqf agents, who watch tours closely and alert nearby Israeli police to any breaking of their guidelines.
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« Reply #73 on: February 01, 2007, 04:35:58 AM »

They are going to have a big eye opener coming to them.

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« Reply #74 on: February 01, 2007, 10:07:48 AM »

Quote
'Proof' Temple Mount
'belongs to Muslims'
Head custodian says site will never
be returned to Jewish sovereignty

They will all soon wake up to THE truth!!!
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