On July 23, 2012, in a scathing attack against the Islamic Waqf (lliterally translated to "Endowment"), the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) opinion piece’s opening paragraph stated: “This year, as Israel observes the traditional period of national mourning for the destruction of the Holy Temple on Tisha b’Av (which starts at sundown on Saturday), it has again been revealed that the Islamic Wakf is carrying out unsupervised work at the Temple Mount, potentially causing irrevocable damage to Judaism’s holiest site”.i
A December 2011 al-Akhbar article fully elaborates on the Israeli attacks against the Islamic Waqf (see link ii) for the purpose of land grabs which include homes, shops, and even Muslim cemeteries.
But there is another dimension to these attacks – a messianic aspect which is far more alarming than just stealing land from their rightful owners. The inherent danger from the Israeli obsession over the Temple Mount was first elaborated in an article dated June 2010 called “Nukes And Temples” – highlights of which is as follows.
Evidently, American presidents wish to continue to guard Israel 's nuclear "secret". Today, the secrecy continues, as does the aid -- perhaps towards a messianic return - the building of the Third Temple .
As the United States protects Israel and pushes for more sanctions on Iran , thereby distracting the international community from the more pressing problem at hand, rabbis are being tailored for the special kind of garments they will be wearing in a "rebuilt temple". These rabbis believe that the return of Jews to Jerusalem are the obvious signs - "Less obvious are the more subtle realities that add up - the rebuilding of the Jewish Quarter, Jews steadily moving into the Old City , even the Temple Mount tunnel excavations. But alas, those big mosques are still situated on the Temple Mount . For now."iii
Attempts to fulfill the prophecy are not new. In 1990, there was another attempt by the ' Temple Mount Faithful' to bring a cornerstone for a reconstructed Third Temple to the site. In 1996, the opening of an archaeological tunnel adjacent to the Mount led to the first outbreak of widespread violence across the territories between Israelis and Palestinians since the signing of the Oslo accords. In 2000, Ariel Sharon staged a provocative visit to the Temple Mount and said: "The Temple Mount is in our hands and will remain in our hands. It is the holiest site in Judaism and it is the right of every Jew to visit the Temple Mount,".
It took four years to complete the work on Hurva. When presidential candidate, Barack Obama promised AIPAC an undivided Jerusalem in 2008, the building of the Hurva synagogue was well on the way -- which signaled continued future attacks on the al-Aqsa Mosque to make way for construction of the Third Temple . Past wars and future was waged against other countries based on unfounded accusations has distracted the international community from the reality of this construction and its implications - the messianic era. As importantly, Israel 's stockpile of nuclear weapons - a nation more likely than any other to use their nuclear weapons based on their deep religious ideology. Of particular concern is the Gush Emunim, a right-wing religious organization, or others, hijacking a nuclear device to ‘liberate’ the Temple Mount for the building of the Third Temple . The completion of the Hurva synagogue has increased these chances. On April 6, JTA reported that "Our Land of Israel" party had put posters on 200 city buses in Jerusalem showing an artist's rendition of the Third Temple on the site now occupied by the al-Aqsa Mosque with the slogan, "May the Temple be built in our lifetime."
Equally disturbing, a 1997 article reviewing the Israeli Defence Force repeatedly stressed the possibilities of, and the need to guard against, a religious, right-wing military coup, especially as the proportion of religious in the military increases iv. The warming was not unfounded. The once secular army now has combat units filling with those who believe Israel's wars are "God's wars".
This small nation with unimaginable influence in the Western world, enabled by the United States continues to commit crimes against humanity, instigates conflicts and unleashes terrorists in the region and beyond, while it distracts the global community with Iran and its non-existent nuclear program, presenting it as a threat while the zealots prepare for the Messiah's Temple - unhindered. Heaven must be hell.
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich is a Public Diplomacy Scholar, independent researcher and blogger with a focus on U.S. foreign policy and the role of lobby groups.