Jerusalem has been the focus of several major world religions for over 2,000 years…
And people have been fighting over control of this holy city for as long as there have been competing religious ideologies in the region.
What makes Jerusalem so important?
Well, each group has its own reasons.
For Christians, the Bible predicts that the city will play a prominent role in the End Days and the rebuilding of Solomon’s Temple will be a key factor to the Second Coming of Christ.
For Muslims, the Temple Mount has become one of their holy places, as they believe that, before the city of Jerusalem existed, the mountain was a place for people to worship Allah, and it plays an important role in their religious history.
However, if anybody can be said to have the strongest claim to this holy site…
It would the Jews.
Israel is their promised land, given to them by God after they escaped slavery in Egypt and wandered the desert for 40 years. They built the original Temple, then rebuilt it several times throughout their history.
Jerusalem may be the point where the world’s three major religions intersect – but it was the Jewish people who built and populated that city from the very beginning– and if there’s anybody who should be able to call the Temple Mount “theirs”, it should be them.
OURS, Not YOURS
However, they can’t do that…
Control of the Temple Mount belongs to the Jordanians under the Israel-Jordan peace treaty that was signed in 1994 and leaves control of the area to the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf.
However, this agreement may not last much longer.
Israelis are on the move and trying to expand their sovereignty…
But that doesn’t mean that they haven’t been respecting the terms of the treaty signed 25 years ago.
For some reason, there has been some unrest as of late. It seems that “spontaneous” Muslim riots have broken out at the Temple Mount on the day that Jews mourn the destruction of the First and Second Temple.
The Palestinian protestors came to the compound gates armed with stones and other objects while shouting “Allahu Akbar” – all intended to start confrontations with the Jewish worshipers who were being allowed at the site.
This led to a VIOLENT interaction with Israeli police – that ended with 37 injured protestors and 4 injured policemen.
The confrontation isn’t what should be concerning…
What SHOULD be concerning is the fact that this confrontation seems to have been pre-planned, and may reveal that peaceful relations may be deteriorating faster than anticipated.
What has prompted this?
Muslims have been wanting to shut down ALL non-Muslim worship on the Temple Mount, even though the Jewish traditions and claim to the area predates Muhammed’s birth—let alone his ascension to power—by HUNDREDS of years.
A History Of Intolerance
Israel retook control of the Temple Mount during the Six-Day War in 1967 – yet they allow the Waqf to police the area and grant Muslims 24-hour-per-day access to it to worship as they please.
However, even though it’s one of the holiest sites on the planet for both Jews and Christians, they’re only allowed limited access to the site and run the risk of being kicked out if they’re caught worshiping any God but Allah.
This goes DOUBLE for the Jewish holy days – as the Waqf forbids visitation of Jewish sites on Jewish holidays…
And the attack on the Israeli police may have been caused by this practice, specifically orchestrated to pressure the state to shut down tours during those times.
Why would they do this when they KNOW that it would promote peace between the two religions?
Because Palestinian Authority institutions push the false theory that only Muslims find the Temple Mount holy while the denying that the Jewish Temples ever existed.
This doesn’t bode well for Israeli-Palestinian relations…
And if an understanding isn’t found soon – these attacks and retaliations could be ramped up.
Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike find the area holy…
For one group to not allow the other access based on their beliefs is the very basis of the problem.
If this kind of attack can happen once – it can happen again.
Let’s just hope the next one doesn’t turn deadly…
“Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. That he governs the World by his Providence. That he ought to be worshiped. That the most acceptable Service we can render him, is doing good to his other Children. That the Soul of Man is immortal, and will be treated with Justice in another life, respect[ing] its Conduct in this. These I take to be fundamental Principles of all sound Religion, and I regard them as you do, in whatever Sect I meet them.” ― Benjamin Franklin