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The Temple Mount 

THE STATUS QUO HAS GOT TO GO

   There should be free and open access to Jews and Christians as well as Muslims to walk and pray openly on the Temple Mount without restrictions. The Jordanian Waqf is making itself into the "'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand)." - Matthew 24:15. Fair prophetic warning to the Waqf, you're standing in a dangerous place. You might want to reconsider your ever more proudful assumptions. 

   To the Jews it's known as Har Habayit. It’s holy to the Jews because tradition has it that this is the place where God commanded Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. (Genesis 22). After King David conquered the Jebusites and took control of Jerusalem, his son, Solomon built the first Temple on the mount. It would be destroyed later by the Babylonians.

   After the Jews were released from their 70 years of exile in Babylon, they returned to Jerusalem where Nehemiah and Zerubbabel oversaw the building of the second Temple. Then finally, Herod the Great restored the second Temple to become one of the most beautiful buildings in the ancient Roman world.

   Yet it too was destroyed by the Romans in the Year 70 

   To the Christians it is sacred because it’s the place where, when He was 12 years old, Yeshua had been lost for three days, but his parents found him in the Temple, sitting with the teachers, listening and asking questions, being about His Father's business, He said. It’s where He taught; and where He overturned the money tables. It's where He was found during the festival of Dedication (Hannukah - John 10:22), being confronted by a group of Jews who threated to stone Him. He even prophesied against the Temple, that it would be thrown down without a stone left standing upon a stone. It’s also where many of the apostles taught about Jesus according to the book of Acts.

   Finally, to the Muslims they claim that the Temple Mount is the third most holy site in Islam after Mecca and Medina. Muslims are taught that Muhammad ascended to Allah from the Temple Mount. The Dome of the Rock is a Muslim shrine that is supposed to mark the location from which Muhammad is said to have been raised up. The famous Al-Aqsa Mosque sits at the southern end of the Mount.

   It should also be noted that Muhammad had his first revelations from Allah about 600 years after the time of Yeshua, making Islam the junior of the three monotheistic religions said to be founded on Abrahamic tenets.

   Modern Israel was established in 1948 following World War II and the holocaust. It was established by a vote of the UN General Assembly with a powerful lobbying effort from the United States. At the time the Temple Mount, along with the whole of East Jerusalem (which includes the Old City), was known as 'Transjordan' and was controlled by Jordan from 1948 until 1967.

   In 1967 during the Six-Day War the Jordanians, who had control of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, attacked Israel with the help of Syria and Egypt. This was a war that Israel did not want but was forced into as a matter of existential survival. The attack was ill-conceived from the beginning. The Israelis wound up pushing the Jordanians out of the West Bank and as a result took, and annexed East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. They also annexed the Golan Heights, taking this small but strategically important piece of real estate from Syria. These were the only two territorial gains Israel chose to claim.

   However, after the dust settled from the Six-Day War, Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol returned the authority of the Temple Mount to the Islamic Waqf. The Waqf are the Islamic guardians of Muslim holy sites; they watch over them and make sure they are being managed properly. He returned the Temple Mount to the Islamic Waqf as a gesture of peace to the Arab world after soundly defeating their attempt to push Israel into the sea. Apparently, this gesture of goodwill to the Jordanians did not include a caveat that would insist that the Temple Mount should allow free and open access to Jews and Christians as well as Muslims. Given that it is a holy site to all three religions, this was an egregious oversight. 

   As was noted earlier, the Temple Mount has been controlled by different peoples, nations, and empires over the past 3,000 years, and while many diverse peoples have laid claim to the Temple Mount over the millennia only one group of people actually ever paid for the property.

   Second Samuel 24:18-25 says that King David was commanded by the prophet Gad to erect an altar on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. King David approached Araunah and asked to purchase the threshing floor from him. Araunah refused and wished to give the threshing floor to the King. King David replied, “‘No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God with that which cost me nothing.’ So, David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver”.

   Araunah’s threshing floor is the site of the Temple Mount, and we have written record of it. We have historical evidence recorded in Scripture of King David purchasing it for a price. There is no record, written or elsewise of any other party purchasing the property of the Temple Mount from King David or anyone representing the king's interests, which we believe makes the Israelis sole owners and guardians of the sacred Temple Mount. Mazel Tov.


   The agreement allowed the Jordanian Islamic Waqf to have administrative control of the Jewish Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem while Israel maintained control of the security for the area, sharing overall sovereign governance.

and the struggle for some sort of De Facto control over this sacred mount

status quo - police are necessary to protect Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount

   The Temple Mount is a trapezoid-shaped area in the southeastern corner of the old city of Jerusalem. The compound today is about 36 acres, or 144,000 square meters, the equivalent of 29 American football fields.

   Jerusalem's original temple was built by King Solomon on the high ground of the Temple Mount in the 10th century BCE. That original structure was destroyed during the Babylonian conquest in 586 BCE and was rebuilt in 516 BCE. The Second Temple served the Jewish people for nearly 600 years until King Herod, in an attempt to gain favor with his Jewish subjects, commissioned an enormous expansion and renovation project. Once finished it is said to have been the largest, and most beautiful of sacred sites in the Roman Empire.

   Four gigantic retaining walls were built to enclose the entire compound. A small, exposed segment of one of those retaining walls is what is known today as the 'Western Wall', also known as the Kotel, or the 'Wailing Wall'.

   So, while the Muslims have authority to manage the Temple Mount according to their laws, traditions, and practices, the Israeli police are tasked with keeping the peace by standing guard at the entrances and exits and on the plaza. The Israeli police work with the Islamic Waqf to provide safe entrance at specific times during the day for non-Muslims to tour the Temple Mount.

WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THIS ANCIENT HILLTOP

THE SO-CALLED 'STATUS QUO' IS THE CURRENT STANDING - AS IF THERE'S EVER BEEN A STATIC STANDING

   President Trump attempted to negotiate what came to be called the 'Deal of the Century' in 2019. The Deal involved Israel, the Palestinians, and Jordan, and included a carving up of the Jordan River valley, and the West Bank. Interests of Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia were included, and pretty much from the outset, all parties involved rejected the deal for various reasons.

A place of prayer for some 2,000 years. Note the written prayers placed between the stones.

The city of Jerusalem was originally settled by the Jebusites and was called Jebus, but they lost the city doing battle with King David (see- Zion). The city of Jerusalem included that tiny little bit of real estate that would become the Temple Mount. This small but very sacred site has been passed from hand-to-hand over the past 3,000 years. The ancient Israelites established it first as a sacred site, then the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders, Turks, British, Jordanians all laid claim and now the modern Israelis.

AD. The Jewish people still mourn this tragic event on the fast day of Tisha B’Av. Today millions of Jewish people come to the Western Wall of the Second Temple to pray.

   After its rejection of the 'Deal of the Century' Jordan had effectively lost its exclusive control of the Waqf council and was pressured into a shared control stipulation. However, in the diplomatic scuffles at the time, Jordan insisted the Jordanian guardianship of the holy places in Jerusalem was historic and it would be problematic to relinquish any part of it to Saudi Arabia or Turkey.

   Instead, Jordan decided to rebuild the Waqf council, while also insisting the Jordanian nation would continue to reject 'normalization'.

   Violent incidents continued to occur, and Jordan made a concession to the Palestinians, expanding the council, allowing the PA a place on the Waqf council, a violation of the Oslo agreements.

the 'status quo' is constantly changing and is more of a myth than a law

Police separating Jewish visitors from protesting Arab women who are paid by a Muslim 

organization to disturb the visit of every Jewish group.

   It's unclear exactly when the term 'status quo' was first applied to the contemporary Temple Mount discussions. The status quo concerning the Temple Mount seems to include three points at issue:

   We know the phrase was used by Prime Minister Netanyahu in order to assure the Arab world and the international community that Israel had no intention to change the status quo. Netanyahu pledged not to alter the arrangements under which only Muslims are allowed to pray on the Temple Mount.

   U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also emphasized the importance of preserving the historic status quo on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. Although exactly what he meant by 'historic' remains unclear. Since 1967?

   King Feisal of Saudi Arabia said in 1977 on Radio Riyadh, "The Jews have no connection whatsoever with Jerusalem and have no sacred places there. The Temple of Solomon does not exist in Jerusalem. Therefore, the Jews have no right to have any presence in Jerusalem."

   The religious sensitivities surrounding the Temple Mount have repeatedly made the site a boiling point for violence and unrest. Palestinians have long suspected that Israel intends to alter the status quo established for the site following the 1967 war, and the absurd claim that the Jewish temple never stood there continues to be alleged by one phony propogandist after another.

   In September 2015, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said on Palestinian television that Israelis would not be permitted to “defile” the Al Aqsa Mosque with their “filthy feet". Israel has emphatically denied that it wants to change current arrangements at the site; however, several Israeli leaders have made symbolic shows of asserting Israeli sovereignty there and indeed there have been plots by Jewish fringe groups to blow up the Dome of the Rock. In September 2000, then opposition leader Ariel Sharon undertook a visit to the site under heavy guard, setting off riots that would eventually explode into the Second Intifada.

   In recent months, Jordan has presented to the United States a document in which the Waqf director in Jordan offers a long list of sweeping new changes to the existing standing arrangements concerning the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

   The main demand is to renew what they call the "historic status quo", which the Jordanians claim requires the complete transfer of responsibility for the Temple Mount, including the security arrangements, to the Waqf, so that Israeli police officers will not be allowed to ascend the mount even in the event of violence or riots at the site.

   There are specific additional demands including the transfer to the Waqf the total authority to green-light all visits by non-Muslims to the Temple Mount, requiring the submission of an advanced written request. Jordan is also demanding that the Waqf be given the authority to maintain dress codes for non-Muslims, to ban all 'prayer aids' for non-Muslims at the site, groups of non-Muslim visitors to the Temple Mount will be restricted to no more than five people, and tour routes of no more than 150 meters in each direction will be established for non-Muslim visitors. This is what the Jordanian Waqf wants for the new status quo. Will these demands satisfy their appetite, or will they come again later with more demands? Total control to what started off as a gesture of good will after the walloping Jordan suffered in the wake of the 1967 Six Day War - it was a peace offering, but now they've turned it on it'd head.

WHERE ARE WE GOING FROM HERE

when Muslims pray, they pray towards Mecca, even if it means their asses and feet are 

towards the Dome of the Rock, indicating it is not held in very high esteem

(1) Who can ascend to the Temple Mount.
(2) Who can pray on the Temple Mount.

(3) Who ultimately controls the Temple Mount.

   The Temple Mount rioting that occurred during Ramadan (April 2022) was only one aspect of the overall violence that Israel suffered during this period of time. There were also many murders and riots off the site of the sacred mountain. As usual, the narrative was turned around to make the Jews responsible for all violence, and the Arab Islamicists the victims of Jewish aggression. Ramadan festivities seem to be all about initiating violent hostilities against anyone not of your tribe. It 

seems to relieve the boredom of not eating or drinking anything during daylight hours.

   The photograph left, shows a tent city adjacent to the Al-Aksa Mosque on the holy site. The mosque has been used as a headquarters for hundreds of Arab rioters who have attacked Israeli police since the beginning of Ramadan, 2022.

   The tent city is being used to house the rioters during Ramadan, giving them easy access to the mosque that they have barricaded and essentially converted into a makeshift fortress.

   It was reported that Arab rioters in the Al-Aksa Mosque had desecrated the mosque by using it as a fortress for rioting, leaving their

A picture of a tent city erected on the Temple Mount

The image, caught by Israel365 News, Josh Wander.

shoes on and playing soccer inside the structure. The video enraged many in the Arab world.

   The Israeli courts are struggling to maintain the status quo in the interest of maintaining public peace and security, and public order. The Jerusalem district court upheld the ban on Jewish prayer (status quo) on the Temple Mount overturning a ruling by a lower court issued earlier that appeared to have allowed such activity. This ruling came down in the case against three minors who had thrown themselves to the ground of the Temple Mount and voiced the Shema prayer. The three boys were arrested and charged with criminal activity. Nati Rom, the attorney who represented the three boys said, "Fifty-five years after we liberated the Temple Mount, it is not clear that it is still in our hands.”

Amen. Hallelujah.

   It's only too clear that Islam has determined to take complete control of the Temple Mount, and they want the blessing and approval of the international community with the help of the compliant world press. This has become a key component of the greater game plan to expel the Jewish people from Israel altogether. They tried the full-frontal assault in 1967 and were embarrassed by their failure. Now they are attempting a more incremental approach, but the goal remains the same. Wiping the Jewish people from the face of the earth has become the battle cry of the fringe Islamist extremists. There is no level of violence that would go too far, up to and including the use of nuclear weapons. The use of which, they would blame on Israel, as usual.

   It's clear the Islamicists have no intention of giving up on their dream (or nightmare) of liberating Israel from Jewish 'occupation'. Still, bear in mind that these are the chosen people of Yahweh Almighty, God of Abraham, and this land of Israel is the land He chose for them to occupy. Any who believe they can abrogate the Will of God would be wise to reconsider.

   The British Ambassador to the UN, Barbara Woodward, recently stated that, "The UK remains firmly of the belief that maintaining the historic status quo is the only means of assuring freedom of worship."

   We would like to know who appointed this nitwit to such a prestigious position? The intellectual dishonesty baked into her statement is beyond extravagant. If indeed the status quo means that Muslims have the right to pray and worship on the Temple Mount and nobody else does, and this is an arrangement that equals freedom of worship in her mind, then the oxymoron she is expressing is brutally embarrassing.

   What we have seen in fact, is a gradual encroachment of Muslim control over the Temple Mount, and few willing to stand against it. In 1967 there was one mosque on the Temple mount, today there are 5 mosques. Jews (or any non-Muslim) used to be able to enter through three of the twelve gates. Today only one, the Mughrabi Gate, and the times and days are highly restricted. The Muslims have gradually been asserting greater and greater authority over the mount.