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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Temple Mount Update

As most of you probably know already, Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski suspended construction of the new bridge to the Temple Mount on Sunday, although the dig underneath the former ramp to the Mughrabi gate is continuing. Lupolianski is legally entitled to suspend construction, because he is the municipal authority with regulatory power over any construction in Jerusalem (All construction in Israel requires approvals from both local and district authorities - Lupolianski represents the local authority). And in light of accsusations that the new ramp never went through the required approval process, it could even be argued that Lupolianski was obligated to suspend its construction. Accusations that Lupolianski is a 'dhimmi' (which I have seen in the blogosphere) are unfounded. As I have noted before, there are plenty of reasons to oppose the new ramp which have nothing to do with cowtowing to Muslims. In the meantime, the archaeological dig continues and (not surprisingly) the finds are both fascinating and significant.

On the other hand, the accusations by the head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Raed Sallah, and other representatives of the Muslim community, that Israel is doing the work at the Mughrabi gate and building a new ramp because it wishes to attack the al-Aqsa Mosque that is located on the Temple Mount, are beyond absurd. Israel doesn't need a ramp to move equipment onto the Temple Mount if it really wanted to - the Lions Gate through which the Old City was conquered in 1967, and which comes up alongside the Temple Mount, is still in place. Sallah and others like him are simply trying to inflame the passions of Muslims around the world to 'defend' 'Islam's holy site'. (For the record, the scare quotes around 'Islam's holy site' are because I question whether the Temple Mount is really holy to Islam except as being the stolen symbol of another religion. Jerusalem and the Temple Mount are not even mentioned in the Koran).

What is clear about the Temple Mount is that one way or the other the ramp leading up to the Mughrabi gate will have to be replaced if the lives of people ascending the Mount are not to be endangered. And in the world's eyes, Israel will always be to blame for everything that happens there. Including - if it were to happen - the ramp's collapse....


At 7:58 AM, Blogger M. Simon said...

May I suggest getting your clock from

Clock Link

The clock you have up now says I need a Flash upgrade.

At 8:00 AM, Blogger M. Simon said...

BTW I think this may be a lead up to renewed war. Sharon II if you like.


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