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February 21, 2007

Israel News on Israel Prayer .com
NOW On-Line News Briefs and News Launch

Go beneath the surface to the most pertinent
Israel News Stories and all the News Impacting Israel

Pray in the Spirit and with understanding.
Titles are hyperlinked to the full article at the original news source

The Temple Mount Dispute:
A Search for the Truth

For a couple of weeks the Israeli newspapers have been filled with news articles and Op-Eds about the Muslim protest of the rebuilding of a weather-destroyed entrance ramp—the only Israeli-held entrance ramp to the Temple Mount. Battles over digs and construction on or near the Temple Mount have reared an ugly head repeatedly over the years. The mere idea of an uproar erupting there is a living nightmare to many Israelis.

Usually in the ensuing battle for public perception over who really has the right and ownership of the Temple Mount, such a dispute as broke out at the beginning of February would have played out with much greater ferocity and over many months. Many in the Israeli media and public were braced for Arab ‘outrage’ that would launch a third Intifada. This has not materialized, but the barrage of news stories generated in the Israeli media is instructive for future reference to Christians who do not have a good handle on the swirling undercurrents.

This Israel News Briefs is a special focus on the most important Israeli news articles, Op-Eds and backgrounders to come out of the Mughrabi Gate Ramp Story. With layers of propaganda and perspectives all over the map from Right to Left, it is the truth we are seeking to uncover in the dirt of this archeological dig. This incident actually begins to unfold in the Fall of 2006.

A Minaret, a Tunnel, a Muslim Prayer Room or two,
a Synagogue & a Ramp
The Beat Goes On

Higher than the Al-Aqsa Mosque
By Nadav Shragai Haaretz 2-6-07

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.

An excellent historical perspective at both Arab and Israeli attempts to change facts on the ground at the Temple Mount area. Nadav Shragai has provided the best historical overviews in the past several weeks. dd

Ramadan realities
by Elliot Jager elliotjager .com 10-1-06
[Jager is the Deputy Editorial Page Editor of The Jerusalem Post. This is an opinion piece from his private blog.]

SO WHAT do we do in the face of such relentless religious hatred, which has not abated? What I like to call the irrational Right would have Israel take an adversarial position: Don’t “appease.” Confront.

That’s the idea encapsulated in National Union-National Religious Party MK Uri Ariel’s call for building a synagogue on the Temple Mount. . . . Call me chicken, but I don’t think six million Jews should go out of their way to further antagonize 300 million Arabs – not to mention the one billion Muslims who stand behind them in order to hasten the rebuilding of the Temple. I’d like to leave that job to God.

Rabbis split on Temple Mount synagogue plan
By Matthew Wagner Jerusalem Post Oct. 10, 2006

Any attempt to build a synagogue on Jerusalem's Temple Mount would immediate plunge Israel into horrible bloodbath, warned Tuesday MK Ibrahim Sarsur, head of the southern wing of the Islamic Movement. "Muslims and Arabs will not stand idly by while representatives of Satan on earth such as MK Uri Ariel and his lunatic friends from the Yesha Rabbinic Council try to launch their insane plots," said Sarsur.

Jordan plans new Temple Mt. minaret
By Etgar Lefkovits Jerusalem Post Oct. 11, 2006

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.

More than a walkway
By Daoud Kattab Jerusalem Post Feb. 11, 2007

WHAT ISRAELI politicians are also unaware of is the amount of literature about the various messianic * groups that exist in Israel and whose main goal is to rebuild the temple. Almost every action of the Temple Mount Faithful is broadcast on Arab satellite stations. Reports on the various Jewish organizations dedicated to studying and rebuilding the Jewish temple are regularly featured in the Arab media. The Islamic media, whether in Israel, Palestine or the Arab countries, is especially focused on this issue.

While many Israelis might claim that these fringe groups are not representative of the main Israeli body politic, so long as the Israeli governmental and semi-governmental institutions are not taking a stand on them, most Muslims will believe that their silence toward these radical groups amounts to acquiescence.

* Clarification in the term "messianic" The use of the term "messianic groups" in this article DOES NOT refer to the Jewish believers in Yeshua as most people outside of Israel and the Middle East understand that term, and the followers of Yeshua are not included at all in the term useage in the above article. In this case, as often within Israel and in the Middle East Arab nations, Daoud Kattab is using the term "messianic" to identify groups within traditional Judaism, such as the Temple Mount Faithful or as the ultra-Orthodox Lubavitcher followers of deceased "messiah" Rabbi Scheerson. Within some streams of traditional Judaism in Israel are those who believe Jews should take the Temple Mount and let the 'chips fall where they may' with the Arab and Muslim world reaction to that--a stance that ignores the high price that would be paid. The 'chips' that would fall would be dead bodies. This is not representative of the beliefs of most of the Messianic Jews who are followers of Yeshua living in Israel. dd

The gate of the Jews
By Nadav Shragai Haaretz 2-8-07

On August 15, 1967, the first Tisha B'Av after the Six-Day War, the chief military chaplain, Rabbi Shlomo Goren, and members of the Chief Rabbinate went through the Mugrabi Gate to the Temple Mount plaza. They took with them a shofar (a ram's horn), an ark, and a portable platform from which to read the Torah, and held a Minha afternoon prayer service. Three days later, on the Sabbath (Shabbat nahamu), Goren planned to bring thousands of Jewish worshippers to the Temple Mount plaza and thereby establish a precedent. His plans and deeds completely contradicted the status quo then-defense minister, Moshe Dayan, had decided upon a week after the war, when he announced that Jews would be able to visit the Temple Mount but would not be able to pray there. Goren's actions drew a strong Muslim protest in their wake alongside a public storm which eventually forced the government to take an official decision, something it had previously tried to avoid: Jews who want to pray on the Temple Mount will be directed to the Western Wall. There will be no Jewish ritual on the mount. The gate is closed

Another excellent historical perspective at both Arab and Israeli attempts to change facts on the ground at the Temple Mount area. Nadav Shragai has provided the best historical overviews in the past several weeks. dd

Archeologists: Waqf damaging Temple Mount remains
Senior archeologist says Waqf wants to turn whole of Temple Mount into exclusive mosque for Muslims
By Yaakov Lappin Yediot Aharonot 2-7-07

"The Waqf has acted terribly, taking thousands of tons of artifacts from the First Temple, the Second Temple, as well as Muslim artifacts, and throwing them away," Dr Eilat Mazor, from the Hebrew University, told Ynetnews. "They want to turn the whole of the Temple Mount into a mosque for Muslims only. They don't care about the artifacts or heritage on the site."

City of David tunnel excavation proceeds without proper permit
By Meron Rapoport Haaretz Correspondent, and Reuters 2-5-07

The excavation of a tunnel under Jerusalem's City of David has gone on for months without a license from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), as required by law.

One must take into consideration that none of the construction conducted by the Waqf, or the Muslim Trust, of the Temple Mount, is done with any archeological oversight or licensing by any Antiquities organization. dd

The Archeological Perspective

Q&A on the Temple Mount with Dr. Eilat Mazar
Jerusalem Post Feb. 14, 2007

Renowned archeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University and the Shalem Center answers readers' questions about the Mughrabi Gate dispute and the status of the Temple Mount in recent years. Of the hundreds of questions received, here are 20 which encompass the major issues at hand.

Opinions and Editorials,
Left, Right and Middle Israel

Digs, lies and the Mugrabi bridge
By Nadav Shragai Haaretz 2-11-07

The people who came up with the plan to build the Mugrabi bridge may soon find out that the unfounded hysterical Muslim campaign "to rescue the endangered al-Aqsa Mosque" is the least of their problems.. . . Still, one good thing did happen. The Mugrabi bridge plan exposes the great Muslim denial - the denial of the Jewish bond to Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the Temple.

Safeguarding Jerusalem
By Yehuda Ben Meir Haaretz 2-21-07

It's become very clear that the clash over the construction work near the Mugrabi Gate is not a struggle against the archaeological excavations or the construction of a bridge, but part of a broader campaign for the control of Jerusalem.. . . In their view, Israel has no sovereignty in the Old City and has no right to carry out any sort of construction work in the Temple Mount environs…. The way to succeed is to show and prove, by means of complete transparency, that the deceiving claims and baseless incitements are nothing more than false propaganda.

Corridors of power: Leading where?
By Peggy Cidor Jerusalem Post Feb. 15, 2007

Last Friday the world - or at least a bunch of foreign reporters and photographers - held their breath. Outraged Palestinians threw stones at the elite police troops, an (almost) war waged upon a tiny bridge, and immediately the local conflict was a leading international news item. The fact was that on the ground, things seemed a little - how should I put it? - staged.

A bridge too far
By Meron Rapoport Haaretz 2-17-07

A few months ago, when he was still the minister of science, culture and sports, Ophir Pines-Paz met with the director general of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), Shuka Dorfman.. . . Dorfman wanted to ask the minister for permission to build a bridge at the Mugrabi Gate, near the Western Wall, where part of the dirt ramp leading up to the Temple Mount had collapsed. Today, in retrospect, the request seems strange to Pines-Paz.

"The bridge is, after all, a security issue," says Pines-Paz, who, as the new chairman of the Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee, presided over the session that dealt with the subject this week. "I would have expected that the security forces would have been the ones to take care of the matter. Now it turns out that the IAA took the issue of the bridge upon itself - as if they were the police, the Ministry of the Interior, everything. It's absurd."

Temple Mount dig / Ankara to the rescue
By Nadav Shragai Haaretz 2-16-07

Since the Six-Day War, Israel has waged a religious-political dispute with Islam about the Temple Mount against two "local" players: Jordan and the Palestinians. The entry of an allegedly radical Islamic entity like Turkey into the Mugrabi ascent question signals to those two entities, who have not contributed to calming the crisis, that Israel has options.

Temple Mount wisdom
Arab claims hypocritical, but our own leaders should handle crisis wisely
By Gilad Kariv Yediot Aharonot 2-14-07

Many words can be written about the hypocrisy of Islamic Movement leaders and the group of Arab Knesset members who were quick to tow the line. Anyone with eyes in their head and an honest heart knows that repairing a bridge at the Mugrabi Gate isn't part of an Israeli conspiracy to take over Temple Mount, and that those are indeed renovation works whose time has come.

Same old story in Jerusalem
Experience shows that capitulating in Jerusalem worse than violence

By Uzi Landau Yediot Aharonot 2-15-07

The prime minister's determination in the Mugrabi Gate affair is a positive surprise for me. Only if he continues along this route of not caving in to threats and terror, there's a chance we'll live here in peace. ….The Mugrabi gate is merely a pretext. In order to shape the story in a manner that is favorable to us, we must do what needs to be done for the sake of public welfare at the Mugrabi Gate. The Israel government in its entirety must stop apologizing and ensure that both the letter and spirit of the law are being followed, and never ever capitulate in the face of threats backed by the culture of terror. Only one possibility is worse than violence – capitulation in the face of violence.

Analysis: Secrecy and capital strife
By Anshel Pfeffer Jerusalem Post Feb. 11, 2007

Successive governments might have believed that keeping quiet about plans for disputed areas of Jerusalem would reduce tensions and hostile diplomatic pressure, but a leadership that is confident in its belief that Jerusalem in its entirety is the capital of Israel could achieve more by being open with its plans regarding the city.

Olmert aides chide J'lem mayor over decision to halt work
By Aluf Benn and Nadav Shragai Haaretz 2-13- 07

Since the collapse of the Mugrabi ramp in 2004, experts in security, engineering and antiquities have been called upon to come up with alternatives, in discussions coordinated by the Prime Minister's Office but there was no direct flow of information between the prime minister and defense minister's bureaus. The Prime Minister's Office said it believes the defense minister's bureau was being constantly updated on the discussions by the Mossad and the Shin Bet security service.

Intimidation tactics
Jerusalem Post Editorial Feb. 8, 2007

So how can the Muslim world be awash in violent threats based on an entirely fabricated pretext? Must there not be something to it? The answer is that Muslim indignation is taken as self-justifying, and the more violent it is, the more the Western victims of it tend to question themselves.

The lethal al-Aqsa plot hoax
A century-long campaign of unfounded claims of a Jewish 'plot' against the mosque continues unabated
By Yaakov Lappin Yediot Aharonot 2-6-07

Since the 1920s, Palestinian leaders have used the site as a rallying cry to wage war against the Jewish presence in Israel, and to try and gain support from Muslims abroad. The Palestinian prime minister today is continuing a 90-year tradition of incitement, which began with the Palestinian Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini.

Analysis: A powder keg left unguarded
By Anshel Pfeffer Jerusalem Post Feb. 7, 2007

There seems little question that the "salvage excavation" conducted around the Mughrabi Gate near the Temple Mount is being carried out professionally by the Israel Antiquities Authority. The fuss kicked up by Arab leaders in Israel and abroad is merely politics and propaganda, as usual. . . . Whether or not the latest developments around the Temple Mount cause another major outbreak of violence, as did the 1996 opening of the Western Wall tunnels and former prime minister Ariel Sharon's visit to the site in 2000, shouldn't somebody high up [in Israel’s government] be making sure that Israel doesn't give the Palestinians any more excuses for terror attacks?

Temple Mount Truths
By Haaretz Editorial 2-8-07

The incitement against the construction of the bridge is a clear attempt to undercut the status quo. Therefore, it must not influence the authorities' decision to replace the temporary bridge. The activity of the security forces, which ensures that the work is carried out, deserves full support. All the same, we must remember that the status quo applies not only to the Western Wall plaza, but also to the Temple Mount. For that reason, those who contemptuously reject the charge that the foundations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque are being damaged must also react with the same derision toward attempts by Jewish zealots to change the situation at the Temple Mount or incite against the Muslim Waqf. The situation in the Temple Mount area must be dealt with with sensitivity and intelligence - but also with resolution, to safeguard crucial Israeli interests that were determined two generations ago and retain their validity to this day.

Over-reaction? You decide.

Muslims clash with police after Salah speech in east J'lem
By Jerusalem Post staff Feb. 16, 2007

Dozens of masked Muslim youths and children clashed with security forces and reporters in east Jerusalem's Wadi Joz on Friday afternoon, throwing rocks, blocking streets and burning garbage bins.. . . The protesters had been listening to a sermon delivered by Islamic Movement head Sheikh Raed Salah at a massive protest rally in the neighborhood, which is north of the Old City. During the sermon, Salah urged supporters to start a third intifada in order to "save al-Aksa Mosque, free Jerusalem and end the occupation."

Sheikh Ra'ed Salah: Mugrabi bridge built for attack on mosque
By Roee Nahmias Yediot Aharonot 2-13-07

"The purpose of the excavations is to build a synagogue in the very location of the Al-Buraq Mosque, and the bridge is meant to enable military vehicles and trucks access to the mosque, for an attack on the Temple Mount," he said. "Israel is conquering the al-Aqsa mosque by force," Salah charged, "and that is why it is our duty to emphasize that no Israeli institute has sovereignty over the al-Aqsa Mosque, or over holy Jerusalem. We stress that if the Israeli establishment moves one particle of the sacred mosque, this will be a crime."

Egyptian MP: Nothing short of nuke will 'work' with Israel
By Jerusalem Post Feb. 12, 2007

"That cursed Israel is trying to destroy al-Aksa mosque," Mohamed el-Katatny of Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP) told the Egyptian Parliament, adding "nothing will work with Israel except for a nuclear bomb that wipes it out of existence."

Jordan’s Abdullah condemns dig near Temple Mount
By Etgar Lefkovits and AP Jerusalem Post Feb. 6, 2007 (story and title updated)

Jordan's King Abdullah II condemned an Israel Antiquities Authority excavation that began Tuesday near a site holy to Muslims and Jews, warning of potential "negative" consequences for the peace process. Abdullah called the Israeli dig "a threat to the foundations of the al-Aksa mosque," according to a statement from the royal palace.

Old City residents are convinced: 'Israel out to destroy Al-Aqsa'
By Avi Issacharoff Haaretz 2-13-07

"Everybody knows it. The bridge you're building will allow you to send jeeps and APCs to the mosque," Mohammed answers confidently. Conspiracy theories abound. At a local cafe, Louis, a Christian, says he is afraid of the future: "Today it's Al-Aqsa, tomorrow the church [of the Holy Sepulcher.]"

Arab League blasts Temple Mount dig for 'altering features' of Jerusalem
By Jonathan LisHaaretz Correspondent, Haaretz Service and Agencies 2/11/2007

"There are plans to change the features of the city, Amr Moussa said in a statement distributed to the Arab representatives at an emergency League meeting in Cairo.. . . Moussa, the Arab League secretary-general, said he also sent letters to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UNESCO, warning of repercussions the Israeli work could have on peace in the region.

These collections of news stories are not just for the sake of information, opinion
or commentary but rather are meant to help Christians and Messianic Jews
pray more effectively
for the things that God has declared He is going to do.

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