“The fire caused extensive damage to 2000 year old artifacts…silence from the UNESCO, Obama’s State Department, the EU, Betselem, Peace Now, The New York Times…”
Palestinians torch ancient Jewish Archeological site in Jerusalem
by Ezequiel Doiny
On November 14, 2016 Arutz7 reported “An archaeological site from the Second Temple era in Jerusalem was seriously damaged in a suspected arson attack.The fire at the site on the eastern side of the Old City is believed to have been started late Friday afternoon. It caused extensive damage to the artifacts, which are believed to be 2,000 years old.
The Kidron Valley site, near the Mount of Olives, includes the Tomb of Absalom and the Cave of Jehoshaphat, according to reports citing the Israel Police and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority…”
On October 13, 2016 Ynet reported that “The United Nation Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed a draft resolution on Thursday that failed to acknowledge the Jewish people’s ties to the Temple Mount, raising ire in Israel.
The proposal “strongly condemns the Israeli escalating aggressions and illegal measures against the Waqf Department and its personnel, and against the freedom of worship and Muslims’ access to their Holy Site Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al Sharif, and requests Israel, the Occupying Power, to respect the historic Status Quo and to immediately stop these measures.”
It omits the Jewish name for the holy site—the Temple Mount—and instead refers to it only by its Muslim name—Al-Haram Al Sharif.
…The draft resolution, submitted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan, will be referred to UNESCO’s executive board for formal approval next week.
Twenty-four countries voted in favor of the proposal: Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chad, China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan and Vietnam.
…the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has released a pamphlet of the historical Jewish connection to Jerusalem, which has been distributed to all 120 permanent delegates to UNESCO whose countries have diplomatic relations with Israel.
Israel slams draft resolution
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the decision to adopt the resolution, saying “The theatre of the absurd continues with UNESCO and today the organization has made its most bizarre decision by saying the people of Israel have no connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.”
“Obviously they have never read the Bible,” he continued, “but I would advise UNESCO members to visit the Arch of Titus in Rome, where they can see what the Romans brought to Rome after they destroyed and looted the Temple Mount two thousand years ago. One can see engraved on the arch the seven-branched menorah, which is the symbol of the Jewish people as well as the symbol of the Jewish State today.”
Journalist Ilan Ben Zion reported in December 2012: “The Muslim authority managing the Temple Mount on Sunday dumped tons of unexamined earth and stones excavated from the holy site into a municipal dump, in violation of a High Court injunction, Maariv (Hebrew Daily, ed.) reported on Monday.”
Israel’s top court in September 2004 prohibited removal of earth from the Temple Mount and ruled that, should it be necessary [to do so], the Antiquities Authority must be notified a month in advance so it may examine the earth for artifacts.
Jews regard the Temple Mount as their holiest site, where the First and Second Temple were located. Muslims call it the Noble Sanctuary and regard it as their third holiest site after Mecca and Medina. According to the existing arrangement, the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, or trust, administers the Temple Mount complex.
Despite the High Court of Justice’s ruling, the Waqf has reportedly removed large piles of dirt from the Temple Mount in recent years and dumped them in the valley east of the Old City walls, provoking an outcry from biblical archaeologists and Jewish groups.
Tzachi Dvira, the archaeologist managing the team that sifts through soil excavated from the Temple Mount, told Maariv that mounds of earth containing historic relics were carted off and dumped on Sunday without notification and before archaeologists could investigate them.
Police claimed the removal of the soil was coordinated in advance. Dvira, however, said there were no Antiquities Authority officials on site, and the one police officer monitoring the operation had no idea of its significance.
Dvira claimed Waqf workers exploited a permit for removing construction waste from renovations done at the al-Aqsa Mosque on the site, which also contains the Dome of the Rock, in order to cart off artifact-laden earth from the Temple Mount.
He stated that official oversight of earth removal from the Temple Mount has grown lax in recent years, and said that “the fact that no one has succeeded in stopping the Waqf’s destructive actions raises many doubts about the role of the government in this matter.”
Soil from the Temple Mount that had been removed by the Waqf to the Kidron Valley in recent years has yielded “tens of thousands of finds, including signet rings from the First Temple era, painted floor tiles from the Second Temple era, ancient gold coins, and horseshoe nails and arrowheads belonging to the Knights Templar, who stabled their horses in Solomon’s Stables,” Dvira said.
Suzanne Singer, a contributing editor to the Biblical Archeological Review reported about Palestinian destruction of Jewish Archaeological remains in Temple Mount in September 2000: “Large-scale illegal construction on the Temple Mount and wholesale dumping of earth in the nearby Kidron Valley resumed this spring…”
“… The Temple Mount is, of course, sacred to three great Western faiths and is part of the world’s cultural patrimony. Here may lie remnants from the time of the First Temple of Solomon, the Second Temple built by Herod, the Byzantine period and the early Islamic eras. Israeli excavations around the exterior of the Temple Mount since 1967 have found remains from all these periods, but the Mount itself has been terra incognita, protected by an understanding between Israel and the Waqf that says no construction will take place there…
” …Last November, we reported that the Waqf, in the dead of night, had dumped hundreds of truckloads of earth from the Temple Mount into the Kidron Valley and municipal garbage dumps. About 6,000 tons of earth were removed …Despite the flagrant disregard by the Waqf of the requirement for IAA supervision, there was no serious response by Israeli authorities. Today the dumped earth is unprotected and is being covered with garbage, making it unlikely that the IAA will ever act on its announced intention to salvage artifacts by sifting through the piles.”
“…This spring and early summer, trucks and tractors returned to the Temple Mount, bringing building materials in and carting earth away through the Lions’ Gate, just north of the Temple Mount. For 200 yards along the inside of the Temple Mount’s eastern wall, from the al-Marawani Mosque’s new entrance to somewhat south of the Golden Gate, lie stacks of paving stones, scaffolding, wood and iron materials, along with large architectural fragments, such as pieces of ancient columns…
” …The construction on the Temple Mount is only the latest, albeit perhaps the most egregious, example of the Waqf’s disregard for the protection of antiquities. In 1993 Israel’s Supreme Court found that the Waqf had violated the country’s antiquities laws no less than 35 times, with many of the violations causing the irreversible destruction of archaeological remains.
” …Due to Prime Minister Barak’s concern for negotiations with the Palestinians, no effective archaeological oversight is taking place on the Temple Mount. No one halts the work so that potential damage can be assessed and prevented; as a result, heavy equipment is free to move about the Mount for projects that are neither approved nor supervised. The frequently heard view is that a tough stance by Israel will enflame the Palestinians and set back the peace talks…”
While Israel preserves Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock, Arabs have proven that they cannot be trusted to respect Jewish Holy sites.
While Israel preserves Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock, Arabs have proven that they cannot be trusted to respect Jewish Holy sites. In 2000 the Palestinians destroyed Joseph’s tomb.
Sidney Brounstein wrote for the Los Angeles Times “Oct. 8: Where is the outrage? Imagine what would have happened if Jewish police stood by and allowed a Jewish mob to destroy a Muslim holy place! Does the destruction of a Jewish holy place by an Arab mob while Palestinian police stand by (after promising to protect it) deserve no more than inclusion in a list of other damage done by rioters? Is this an acceptance of attacks on Jews and things Jewish as a normal part of life?”
“It makes a mockery of any thought of giving Arabs any control of Jewish holy places. The destruction of dozens of such places in the Old City of Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967, along with the exclusion of Jews entirely from their most holy site, the Western Wall, was clearly of a piece with the current destruction.”