In relentless obsession, Israel is attempting to ignite the Middle East’s ultimate TNT. In the last days of September 2013, newly released data shows that the effort is escalating dangerously.
Muslims and Jews consider the Temple Mount a holy place. Muslims call it Haram al-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary; Jews call it Har HaBait, Mount of the House. The Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock mosques atop it are among the holiest places to Islam.
In the past, the First and Second Jewish temples stood there. The Western Wall is nowadays the most visible leftover of the Second Temple. Quietly and slowly, Israel is planning the Third Temple, an event that may trigger an Armageddon-style war.
Several years ago, while preaching in a Bolivian church, I was asked if Israel was planning the Third Temple in Jerusalem. At the time, the idea seemed preposterous. There were isolated signs of plans promoted by individuals and organizations, most notoriously between 1980 and 1984, when a Gush Emunim spinoff known as the Jewish Underground committed several terror attacks. The most prominent one was an attempt to destroy the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. Stopped at the last moment, it led to the formal dismantling of Gush Emunim. Israeli President Herzog replaced the life sentences, sending the terrorists home shortly after the trials.
Yet, there was nothing that amounted to an organized effort by the State of Israel. Since 2011, the situation has changed.
The change came when the Military Rabbinate revealed plans of the Third Temple. A pamphlet was issued for Hanukkah; it described the Jewish revolt against Hellenistic rule. It included a section named “The Festival of Jewish Heroism,” which included an article and a quiz on the Jewish struggle against ancient Greece. In the picture accompanying it, the Dome of the Rock mosque had been edited out.
The State of Israel distributed pictures showing the scene of the crime after the destruction of the Dome of the Rock. It distributed it to soldiers, who have access to the weapons needed to perform the crime. It is the same thing that happened with Yigal Amir—Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin—when he was approached by Avishai Raviv, Israel’s agent provocateur. Israel seems to be hoping for what later would be described as an “unpredictable crime,” and “an act of a wild soldier.”
Next important event took place in the beginning of October 2012, when belligerent declarations by settlers were accompanied by a survey conducted by the Joint Directorate of the Temple Movements. It disclosed that 17% of Israeli Jews, religious and secular alike want to see a Third Temple built. In a related topic, numbers increased from previously conducted polls; 43% of the secular public and 92% of the religious Jewish public want to pray in the Temple Mount. This averages to 52% of the Jewish public. A threshold was crossed.
Over half the Jews want to pray in the Temple Mount; several Jewish organizations announced in parallel that everything is ready. This includes a fast deployable altar and the garments of the “HaCohen HaGadol” (“The High Priest”). Israel just got one step closer to the Third Temple; the world got one step closer to World War III.
2013 Brought an escalation in the rhythm of the events, with two bombshells. Israel announced the expansion of the Western Wall. In July, the Dome of the Rock was virtually destroyed by an Israeli government-related organization that disclosed an interactive depiction of the Third Temple.
In the press release of the last event was said “at any moment with a click on the mouse, the Dome of the Rock vanishes.”
The developments described above are easy to find. Less obvious is that Israel started a foot-soldiers’ conquest of the Temple Mount. In a recent interview, Adnan Husseini, the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem, claimed that instead of Jews arriving individually to the site, they are arrive now in groups of up to 100.
This is corroborated by a recent report of the Israel Police, which showed a dramatic development.
On July 2013 (data released on September), more than 5,600 visited the site, which formally is forbidden to Jews by guidelines published by Israel’s Chief Rabbinate. Muslim religious authorities—the Waqf—allow access to Jews as long as it is clear they are not there to provoke violence.
“That is nothing! Over 10 million visit the Western Wall every year!” some readers may be exclaiming now.
That is correct, but they are looking at the wrong parameter. The mentioned number almost matches the entire number of Jewish visitors during 2010. In other words, we are seeing an increase of over one order of magnitude. The never resting infantry is climbing the Holy Mount, carefully igniting its ultimate TNT.
Meanwhile, the army’s leader regularly calls Uncle Sam complaining of Arab terrorism and warmongering for the sake of WWIII and the Third Temple. The Second Intifada began on September 28, 2000, when Ariel Sharon, Likud candidate for Israeli Prime Minister, entered the Temple Mount accompanied by over 1,000 security guards. He said, “the Temple Mount is in our hands and will remain in our hands. It is the holiest site in Judaism and it is the right of every Jew to visit the Temple Mount.” He ignited five years of violence.
Netanyhau, can’t your vandals understand that the real temple is the compassion emerging from the human heart? Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
Roy Tov is the author of “The Cross of Bethlehem.” His website is Words from a Christian Israeli Refugee.