Marlowe's Shade

Friday, October 08, 2004

Temple Mount Update

This past week Pat Robertson from Christian Broadcast Network interviewed archeology professor Gabriel Barkay from Bar Ilan University who gives this detailed description of the current situation on the Temple Mount:

[T]he Temple Mount is a huge enclosure that is larger even than the City of David. That huge enclosure was created by King Herod the Great who, instead of a mountain, created a flat platform. He surrounded the mountain with a large shoebox-shaped arrangement of tall and heavy walls. These walls are retaining walls, behind which there is artificial fill, between the retaining wall and the natural slope of the mountain. So, instead of the mountain, we have now a flat platform. With the activities of the religious authorities of the Muslims upon the Temple Mount since the 1990s, with the construction of the al-Marwani mosque within the subterranean structure, including also paving of much of the area next to the al-Aqsa mosque, the very delicate equilibrium that existed there for many centuries was disturbed. Today the runoff of rain water does not penetrate the ground, but it penetrates the walls. The eastern wall of the Temple Mount got cracked. The south wall of the Temple Mount has a huge bulge developing on it, and the matter is, that the last earthquake, which took place in February of 2004, did not help too much. And with large crowds gathering upon the paved areas of the Temple Mount, we see a very, very dangerous situation.

He also sheds some light on what motivated the Waqf construction:

In the Camp David talks in 2000, President Clinton and others brought up the idea that in the future, there will be a division of sovereignty on the Temple Mount. Whatever is above ground will be for the Palestinians. That will include the mosques. And whatever is underground, which includes the remnants of the temples of the Jews and anything else, that would be Israeli sovereignty. And so the Muslims got the message and began to dig down and they began to fill in every subterranean hollow and every space which was there, to occupy it, in order to avoid any possible presence of Israelis later on, if and when a future solution is reached. Actually what we see is that the Temple Mount is regarded as a political matter, rather than a place to be cherished by all nations.

Robertson adds at the end that what is happening on the Temple Mount is part of what he calls a "cultural intafada" that involves the desecration of all of the sites in Israel that are sacred to the Jews and Christians such as the tombs of Joseph, Abraham and Sarah, Bethlehem and Jericho in "an attempt to erase all knowledge that the Jews were in the holy land, and to try to make believe that they had no right to be here at all."

papijoe 9:41 AM