Iyar 27, 5769, 21 May 09
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Israel may find Iran as one of the administrators of the Temple Mount, according to a new Palestinian Authority plan reported Thursday by the Hebrew-language newspaper Haaretz.
PA sources said giving up claims to the Temple Mount and handing over control to the 57-member Saudi-based Islamic Conference Organization is conditional on Israel's agreeing to a final status agreement.
Iran, which is classified as Persian and not an Arab country, is part of the Islamic group.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has opposed agreeing to a new PA state without knowing ahead of time what it would entail.
The PA recently has escalated its propaganda campaign that disassociates the holy site from any connection with Judaism and claims it is solely a Muslim site.
A group of Arabs demonstrated at Shechem Gate in the Old City Thursday morning, shouting anti-Israeli slogans as Jews began celebrating Jerusalem Reunification Day.
Sovereignty over the Temple Mount, based in Jerusalem, has been one of the foundations for a new Arab country that the PA wants following the proposed expulsion of more than half a million Jews from Judea and Samaria, as well as from Jerusalem neighborhoods that were established after the 1967 Six-Day War.
The PA's official website as far back as 2005 rejected the Jewish connection with the Western Wall (Kotel), the remains of the wall that surrounded the Holy Temple area. Muslim legend claims that Mohammed tied his horse to the wall before ascending to heaven, even though the city of Jerusalem is not even mentioned in the Koran.
Writer Daniel Pipes several years offered one million dollars to anyone who can find the name "Jerusalem" explicitly written in the Koran.
The Israeli government initially ignored the PA propaganda campaign, but Rabbi Chaim Richman, director of the International Department of the of the Temple Institute in Jerusalem, warned in 2005 that the PA claims have "far reaching implications” for Israel.
Rabbi Richman said that the PA's denial of the Jewish Temple's existence "is part of a campaign to totally eradicate, erase, and destroy all Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, Jerusalem and the land of Israel.”
The PA incitement against Israel, which violates the American Roadmap plan, also attributes the 1929 Arab pogrom to Jewish efforts to claim ownership of the Western Wall.
The Islam Online website Wednesday re-asserted long-standing accusations that archaeological excavations at the Temple Mount are designed to cause a "real and immediate” danger to the Al Aqsa mosque. The latest charges were attributed to Sheikh Ra'ad Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement's Galilee branch and who has been arrested several times for incitement against Israel.
Sheikh Salah told the website he is certain Israel has a ”diabolical plan” to destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque "in a way that would appear as is happening as a result of natural causes, such as an earthquake."
According to Islam Online, "The Israeli government, in coordination with powerful settler groups, began digging an extensive tunnel network throughout the Old City. Israel describes the tunnels as "tourist projects" that pose no threat to Islamic holy places, [but] Palestinians and some Israeli organizations, including the Israeli Committee against House Demolition, believe that the ultimate goal is to create a subterranean access route to attack Al-Aqsa and other Islamic shrines in the area.”