Temple Denial

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Temple Denial refers to the assertion that the Temple in Jerusalem never existed or was not located on the Temple Mount.

History[edit]

Sack of the Second Temple depicted on the inside wall of the Arch of Titus in Rome.

The term "Temple Denial" was used by Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and former Israel Ambassador to the United Nations, in his 2007 book, The Fight for Jerusalem: Radical Islam, the West, and the Future of the Holy City. Israeli writer David Hazony has described the phenomenon as "a campaign of intellectual erasure [by Palestinian leaders, writers, and scholars] ... aimed at undermining the Jewish claim to any part of the land," and compared the phenomenon to Holocaust denial.[1][2]

According to Gold and Dennis Ross, at the 2000 Camp David Summit, Yasser Arafat insisted that the Jewish Temple existed in Nablus, not on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.[3][4][5] Gold describes Arafat's assertion as part of "A campaign by Arafat to completely delegitimize the Israeli claim to the city."[3] He wrote that Temple denial has become a "new Palestinian dogma."[3] Others[who?] have described Temple denial as part of an Islamic strategy to rule "all of Jerusalem minus the Jews."[6]

According to Dore Gold, in the wake of Arafat's remark at Camp David, Temple denial "spread across the Middle East like wildfire," and even "subtly slipped into the writing of Middle-East based western reporters." Gold cites Time Magazine and its reporter Romesh Rotnesar as an example.[7]

Dore Gold argues that the removal by the Waqf of archaeological material from the Temple Mount without archaeological supervision is a "physical form of Temple denial".[8][9][10] Such material was being sifted for significant artifacts by Gabriel Barkay in the Temple Mount Sifting Project.[10]

Daniel Levin calls Temple denial a "relatively new phenomenon" that "has become a central tenet of Palestinian nationalism."[11] According to Levin, "The Islamic land trust is destroying Judeo-Christian ruins beneath the Temple Mount so as to deny any connection between Judaism and Christianity and Jerusalem."[12]

In 2009 James R. Davila, Professor of Jewish Studies and Principal of St Mary's College, St Andrews criticized the increasing practice among journalists of writing as though the existence of the ancient Jewish temples on the Temple Mount was a disputable question with two legitimate "competing narratives." According to Professor Davila, "reporters need to get it straight that there is no debate among specialists in specialist literature about the existence of the Iron Age II Judean Temple and the Second and Herodian Temples in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount platform. Again, narratives to the contrary are propaganda, not scholarship."[13]

In 2005, in a book entitled From Jerusalem to Mecca and Back; The Islamic Consolidation of Jerusalem, Yitzhak Reiter describes the growing tendency of Islamic authorities to deny the existence of the Jewish Temples on the Temple Mount, characterizing it as part of a campaign to increase the status of Jerusalem and the Temple mount in Islam as part of the effort to make Jerusalem a Muslim city under Arab governance. According to Reiter, this narrative "reflects the mainstream in many Islamic communities around the world," and is promoted by "religious figures, politicians, academics and journalists."[14][15]

This position is not universally accepted among Islamic scholars. Imam Abdul Hadi Palazzi, leader of Italian Muslim Assembly and a co-founder and a co-chairman of the Islam-Israel Fellowship, quotes the Qur'an to support Judaism's special connection to the Temple Mount. According to Palazzi, "The most authoritative Islamic sources affirm the Temples,". He adds that Jerusalem is sacred to Muslims because of its prior holiness to Jews and its standing as home to the biblical prophets and kings David and Solomon, all of whom he says are sacred figures also in Islam. He claims that the Qur'an "expressly recognizes that Jerusalem plays the same role for Jews that Mecca has for Muslims".[16]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Hazony, David. "Temple Denial In the Holy City", The New York Sun, March 7, 2007.
  2. ^ Gold, pp. 10 ff.
  3. ^ a b c Gold, p. 11
  4. ^ Camp David: An Exchange - The New York Review of Books, September 20, 2001
  5. ^ Dennis Ross interview on Fox News Sunday, April 21, 2002
  6. ^ Doyle, Tom, Two Nations Under God: Why You Should Care about Israel, B&H Publishing Group, 2008, p. 6. ISBN 9780805447712.
  7. ^ Gold, p. 12
  8. ^ Court temporarily halts removal of soil from Temple Mount - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
  9. ^ Artifacts from Temple Mount Saved from Garbage
  10. ^ a b Gold, p. 16.
  11. ^ Daniel Levin, Denial on the Temple Mount, The Forward, Oct. 23, 2009
  12. ^ [1]'EMBERS' OF TRUTH IN NEW THRILLER... Chicago Jewish Newa. (08/14/2009).
  13. ^ "TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: The BBC is taking Jewish-Temple denial in Palestinian circles rather more seriously than it deserves," James R. Davila, Paleojudaica.com, June 2, 2009, [2]
  14. ^ "From Jerusalem to Mecca and Back; The Islamic Consolidation of Jerusalem," Yitzhak Reiter, Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, 2005.
  15. ^ In the beginning was Al-Aqsa; A new study exposes the systematic Muslim denial of the existence of Solomon's Temple by clergymen, historians and statesmen. Some claim that the mosque was built in the times of Adam, Nadav Shragai, Haaretz, Nov. 27, 2005, [3]
  16. ^ Margolis, David (February 23, 2001). "The Muslim Zionist". Los Angeles Jewish Journal. 

References[edit]