INTRODUCTION: Adnan al-Husayni, the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs for the Palestinian Authority (PA) government, said on Thursday, August 18, 2016, that Jewish organizations are preparing plans to demolish the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and to build a Jewish Temple in its place. This is one version of the “al-Aqsa Libel” outlined in an previous blog.
The al-Aqsa Libel is the lie that Israel is planning to destroy the al-Aqsa mosque and this lie has been used to incite violence against Israelis since the days of Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization (late 1960’s), and included such false claims that Israel was behind a mosque fire there in 1969. Current renditions of the al-Aqsa libel include that Israel is digging under the mosque in order to topple it, or using chemicals to erode the foundations of the mosque in order to cause it to collapse, as well as the rendition that al-Husayni retold today: that Israel plans to demolish the al-Aqsa mosque and replace it with the 3rd Temple. None of these claims are true.
Since most ‘Palestinians’ identify themselves as practicing Muslims and the al-Aqsa mosque is considered Islam’s 3rd holiest site, this lie is highly inflammatory and is often combined with the call to Palestinians to “defend al-Aqsa” from the Jews.
Since 1967, when Israel regained control of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount after the Six-Day War, there has been a concerted effort on the part of the ‘Palestinian’ authorities to (a) promote the al-Aqsa libel while at the same time (b) creating and promoting a ‘Palestinian’ version of “history” that creates an alleged Arab connection to the Temple Mount that predates the Jewish one. The goal is to stir up religious fervor, with the hope that it will lead to a violent confrontation and the ‘Palestinians’ taking the Temple Mount by force.
In recent years and right up to the present day, Palestinian Authority (PA) propaganda has focused on denying the Jewish link to the Temple Mount and claiming that the entire site, including the Dome of the Rock Mosque and the Kotel (the Western Wall of the 2nd Temple), as well as the al-Aqsa Mosque have “always been Muslim holy sites”. This is what Adnan al-Husayni, the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs for the Palestinian Authority (PA) government tried to do today.
Ironically, a direct challenge to the Palestinian Authority’s version of “history” comes from Muslim documents from Jerusalem, which state that the Temple Mount was the site of Solomon’s Temple, before Islam ever existed.
Al-Aqsa Libel – current rendition
Adnan al-Husayni, the Minister of Jerusalem Affairs for the Palestinian Authority (PA) government, claimed on Thursday, August 18, 2016, that Jewish organizations of preparing plans to demolish the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and to build a Jewish Temple in its place.
Speaking with the Hamas-affiliated “Palestine” newspaper, al-Husayni claimed that while Israel is aware that the “demolition of the Al-Aqsa mosque” will result in violence that would spread to all parts of the country, Israel’s policy “is meant to deliberately expel the “original” inhabitants of Jerusalem“. Al-Husayni called on UNESCO, the UN’s educational and cultural organization, to;
“act immediately against the excavations carried out by Israel in the Old City of Jerusalem”
“Israel is digging tunnels in the area in an attempt to find historical evidence of Jewish existence in the region, but that they failed to do so despite all their attempts to falsify the history and the Palestinian historical sites.”
There it is – (a) the al-Aqsa libel combined with (b) the creating and promoting of a ‘Palestinian’ version of “history” that seeks to create an Arab connection to the Temple Mount that predates the Jewish one.
Even if the ‘Palestinians’ want to discredit archaeological evidence from Solomon’s wall (see a earlier article) or discount the ancient coins that have been found in Israel, irrefutable proof from the Supreme Muslim Council itself documents that they believed that the Temple Mount is the site where Solomon’s Temple once stood, before Islam ever existed.
The Mufti and the Supreme Muslim Council
The Supreme Muslim Council (Arabic المجلس الإسلامي الاعلى) was the highest body in charge of Muslim community affairs for British Mandated Palestine after WWI. The High Commissioner of the British Mandate for Palestine, Herbert Samuel, issued an order in December 1921 establishing the Supreme Muslim Council with authority over all the Muslim waqf and sharia courts in Palestine. It consisted of five members – a president and four members.
Haj Amin al-Husseini had previously been made Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by Samuel following the death of his half-brother Kamil al-Husayni in March 1921. Haj Amin al-Husseini became President of the Supreme Muslim Council.
Haj Amin al-Husseini’s name should be very familiar. As covered in previous posts, al-Husseini met with with Adolf Hitler in Berlin in November 1941 to discuss their shared goal to exterminate the Jews and who went on to form the Hanzar Division of Nazi Muslim Soldiers in Bosnia, one of the largest divisions of the Third Reich military force, through which he gained the moniker “the Arab Fuhrer“.
[for more information, please read “The Mufti and the Fuhrer”: http://www.morehasbara.com/2015/10/22/the-mufti-and-the-fuhrer-background-to-nazi-influence-in-the-middle-east/ and “Nazi Influence in the Middle East” http://www.morehasbara.com/2015/10/24/nazi-influence-in-the-middle-east-haj-amin-al-husseini/]
The Mufti and the Temple Mount
“A brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif – Jerusalem” was published by the Supreme Muslim Council headed by Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and was available for purchase by visitors to the Temple Mount. From its first edition published in 1924 until 1953, the content remained unchanged, however in 1954, the documentation for the link between the Temple Mount and Solomon’s First Temple was removed and replaced with a reference to Herod’s Temple (the Second Temple), instead.
The guide helped direct visitors around the site, and served as a souvenir of their visit.
For the Supreme Muslim Council’s accounting purposes, the upper left-hand corner of the back cover of the guide would be marked with the official Supreme Muslim Council stamp and then torn off and the guide returned to the visitor who purchased it.
Three References to the Jewishness of the Temple Mount
In “A brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif – Jerusalem”, there are three irrefutable references to the Jewishness of the Temple Mount, which are outlined below, but let’s walk through the entire booklet, page by page.
Page 1 is the cover (above) and page 2 is a picture of the Temple Mount from north to west. Page 3 of the guide contains a notice that the area is considered a sacred site to Muslims;
“IMPORTANT NOTICE – Visitors should bear in mind that the whole of the Haram Area, and not only it’s edifices, is scared to Muslims; and that they will be expected to pay due regard to its sanctity. In particular, they must abstain from smoking anywhere in the Area, and from bringing dogs with them. The visiting-hours are from 7.30 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. daily, (Fridays excepted) and visitors are particularly requested to leave punctually at 11.30 so as not to hinder the observance of the midday-prayer.”
Page 4 contains a “historical sketch” of the Temple Mount, referred to by its Arabic name “al-Haram al-Sharif”. The 1925 guide mentions the two mosques but nothing related to either the al-Aqsa Mosque (silver domed structure on the southwest corner of the complex) or the Dome of the Rock Mosque (gold domed structure built over the site of the First and Second Temple) having any place of prominence in Islam;
“The two principal edifices are the Dome of the Rock, on a raised platform in the middle, and the mosque of al-Aqsa against the south wall.”
On Page 4 of the guide is the first of three clear acknowledgements that the Temple Mount site was where Solomon’s Temple once stood and that this fact “is beyond dispute”;
“The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.“
Page 5 of the guide contains a photo of the fountain on the Temple Mount site and page 6 provides some history as to when the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque were built;
“With the reign of Abdul-Malek ibn Marwan, the Umayyad, 685-705 A.D., the history of the present buildings begins. He collected large sums of money, amounting (say the Arab historians) to “seven times the revenue of Egypt”; and with that he built the Dome (691 A.D.) and the mosque of al-Aqsa (693 A.D.), both of which, according to medieval Arab travelers and chroniclers, were of unsurpassed magnificence.”
Page 7 has a photo of the southern Arcades and page 8 contains a description of the Dome of the Rock;
“The Dome of the Rock stands on an irregular platform whose
level is some 12 feet above that of the Area. It is approached
from every side by flights of broad steps surmounted at the landing by graceful arcades (Fig. 3) known as Mawazin, that is to say ‘scales’, because of the traditional belief that on the Day of Judgment the scales of good and evil will be suspended there. Having ascended the steps on the raised platform, you should, before entering the edifice, walk around it and examine it from the outside first. Its plan is that of a regular octagon inscribed in a circle of 177 ft. diameter. It has four entrances, each of which faces one of the points of the compass: on the West…”
Page 8 – 12 of the guide are dedicated to the detailed description of the Dome of the Rock, with page 9 containing a photo of it and page 11 containing a photo of the rock on which the mosque is built.
[One can see how much the site had been restored from the neglect and disrepair that had occurred during the (Muslim) Ottoman Empire. It is apparent that the Temple Mount was not viewed by the Muslim Ottoman Turks as the holy site it is today.]
Page 10 of the 1925 guide to the Temple Mount (al-Haram al-Sharif) contains the second of three clear references to the Temple Mount (al-Haram al-Sharif) having been the site of Solomon’s Temple!
“On the east side of the Dome of the Rock, facing the Bab Daub or gate of David, stands an elegant little edifice, also surmounted by a dome, which look at first sight like a miniature representation of its larger brother…The edifice is variously known as Mahkamat Daud (i.e. Tribunal of David)…it was the practice in Solomon’s time to appeal in cases of conflicting evidence.“
On page 12 of the guide begins the description of the al-Asqa mosque and that it was built in commemoration of the prophet’s ascension;
Leaving the Dome of the Rock by the west gate, the visitor will notice, some 50 yards away on the right, a small octagonal domed edifice of semi-oriental and semi-Gothic appearance. This is the Qubbal al-Mi’raj or Dome of the Ascension. It was originally built in commemoration of the Prophet’s miraculous ascension, and rebuilt in its present form about the year 1200 A.D., that is to say some thirteen years after the capture of the Holy City by Saladin and at a time when Gothic influence in building, which had been imported by the Crusaders, was still at its height.
Page 12 is a photo of the al-Aqsa Mosque from the front and then on page 14, there is a very telling reference to the disrepair the al-Aqsa mosque that had occurred under the Ottoman Turks. While the Ottomans were Muslim, it is evident that neither the Temple Mount site nor the al-Aqsa mosque (claimed now to be Islam’s 3rd holiest site) were viewed as such by the Ottomans;
“The interior of the mosque is unfortunately only partly accessible to visitors at the present time, on account of the considerable repairs which have to be carried out to that part of the buildings which supports the dome.”
The guide describes the porch of al-Aqsa mosque (pg. 13), the interior (pg 14) and page 15 contains a photo of the interior of the al-Aqsa mosque.
Page 16 of the guide contains descriptions of The Substructures around the al-Aqsa mosque (pg. 16) and contains the third clear reference to the Temple Mount (al-Haram al-Sharif) having been the site of Solomon’s Temple;
“In the west wall of the chamber, a door opens into a staircase descending to Solomon’s Stables. This is a vast subterranean chamber, of roughly rectangular shape, of which the chief feature is the imposing size of the piers. Of these, there are fifteen rows of varying size and height supporting the vaults on which rests the roof. Little is known for certain of the early history of the chamber itself. It dates probably as far back as the construction of Solomon’s Temple. According to Josephus, it was in existence and was used as a place of refuge by the Jews at the time of the conquest of Jerusalem by Titus in the year 70 A.D.”
From 1924 until the 1953 edition of the “A brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif – Jerusalem”, the Supreme Muslim Council and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj amin al-Husseini clearly acknowledge that the Temple Mount was the site of Solomon’s First Temple. That the ‘Palestinians’ continue to claim that the site was never the location of the Jewish Temples is ludicrous – and that the UN and UNESCO continue to support such claims, is nothing short of reprehensible.
It is only since 1967, when Israel regained control of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount for the first time in 2000 years that the the promotion of the ‘Palestinians’ as the alleged ‘indigenous people’ of the Land who have been “occupied” by the Israelis since 1948, began. This movement began with Yasser Arafat (the Egyptian-born self-proclaimed leader of the ‘Palestinian Liberation Organization’) who was also the first to begin recirculating the al-Aqsa Libel – claiming in 1969 that the Israelis were behind the fire at the al-Aqsa mosque.
To this day, the ‘Palestinians” seek to (1) create an Arab connection to the Temple Mount which predates the Jewish one and (2) incite violence with the goal of forcibly removing the Temple Mount from Israeli control.
The ‘Palestinian’s’ claims that there never was a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount (al-Haram al-Sharif) is not only ludicrous, it is entirely contradictory to documentation from the supreme Arab-Muslim source from 1924-1953.
Promotion of a pseudo “Palestinian history” that creates an alleged Arab connection to the Temple Mount that predates the Jewish one, is the means by which the ‘Palestinians’ seek to garner public sympathy – however such a connection does not exist.
‘Palestinian’ claims are not rooted in history or archaeological evidence, nor are they religious in nature, but political.
The goal is to incite violence so as to forcibly remove the Temple Mount from Israeli control.