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Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region



1. At present the Fatah movement is part of the Palestinian Authority.

2. A photo of the letter from December 3, 2000, found at Orient House, which in the 1980s and 1990s served as the PLO’s headquarters in Jerusalem, was 

provided to me by Brig.-Gen. (res.) Shalom Harari, who also translated it. Harari, a senior research scholar at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the 

Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, also served as Arab affairs adviser at the Defense Ministry and in the Judea and Samaria Command of the IDF, and 

served in the Military Intelligence research division in military-research and intelligence-gathering capacities.

3. The decree appears in his handwriting on the back of Abu Samra’s letter.

4. Hillel Cohen, Kikar Hashuk Rekah: Aliyatah v’Nefilatah shel Yerushayim Ha’Aravit, 1967-2007 [The Market Square Is Empty: The Rise and Fall of 

Arab Jerusalem, 1967-2007] (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, 2007), 112.

5. Yitzchak Reiter, “Hashlishi b’Kedushah, Harishon b’Politika” [Third in Holiness, First in Politics], in Yitzchak Reiter, ed., Ribonut Ha’el v’Ha’adam [The Sovereignty of God and Man] (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, 2001), 155.

6. Ibid. To underline the significance, Reiter adds: “Here Muslim pilgrims sit at the first place in holiness in Islam, yet the real emotion grips them at 

the mention of Al-Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem, which is considered the third place in religious importance in Islam.”


1. The term “Temple Mount mosques” refers to the Al-Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, which is not a mosque but is called one. For Muslims, the Temple 

Mount or the Al-Aksa Compound is called Al-Haram al-Sharif.

2. For example, the conversion of the Dome of the Rock to a Christian church called Templum Domini at the time of the Crusader conquest, and the conversion 

of St. Anne’s Church to a madrasa at the time of Saladin’s conquest.

3. Six hundred years of Roman and Byzantine rule and subsequently 1300 years of Muslim rule.

4. Plural in the Hebrew original.

5. Or Commission report, Part 4, para. 180.

6. “Dehamshe: Ehiyeh Hashahid Harishon b’Al-Achtsa” [Dehamshe: I Will Be the First Martyr at Al-Aksa], Ynet, July 11, 2000.

7. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

The Israeli Relinquishment of the Temple Mount

1. From the last sentences of the Shmona Esrei prayer in the Siddur, or Jewish prayer book.

2. Nadav Shragai, Har Hamerivah [The Temple Mount Conflict] (Jerusalem: Keter, 1995), 23. Former Supreme Court president Meir Shamgar, who served 

at that time as military advocate general, confirmed this to me personally.

3. Ibid. Former head of Central Command Uzi Narkiss confirmed this to me personally.

4. Ibid., 28-38.

5. Moshe Dayan, Avnei Derech [Milestones] (Jerusalem: Idanim, 1976), 13.

6. Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 19.

7. In the Machpela Cave, the rooms and the prayer hours were allocated between the Jews and the Muslims and the place serves, up to the present, both as a 

mosque and as a place of prayer and pilgrimage for Jews.

8. Dayan, Avnei Derech, 165, 498.

9. For a detailed discussion of Dayan’s decision, its motivations, and its implications, see Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 22-27.

10. Ruling of the Jerusalem District Court, June 30, 1976, cited in Shmuel Berkovitz, Milchamot Hamekomot Hakedushim [The Wars over the Holy 

Places] (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Institute and Hed Artsi, 2000), 36-37, 266.

11. The Temple Mount Faithful movement was established after the Six-Day War with the aim of realizing the Jewish right of prayer on the mount and 

strengthening the manifestations of Jewish sovereignty there. For many years the movement’s leading figure has been Gershon Salomon.

12. Supreme Court case 3641/03, ruling of April 28, 2003.

13. Quoted in Shmuel Berkovitz, Ma Norah Hamakom Hazeh [How Awesome Is This Place] (Jerusalem: Carta, 2006), 501.

14. According to Halakhah (Jewish law), one who is defiled by the dead is one who has come into contact with dead persons or with people who have been in 

the proximity of dead persons. In the period of the Temple, it was possible to be purified from defilement by the dead by the ashes of a red heifer, 

diluted in special water, which were sprinkled on the defiled persons. Today no such Halakhic possibility exists.

15. According to the Halakhic ruling that forbids the entry of Jews to the Temple Mount, the punishment for transgressing the prohibition is karet 

or divine punishment by untimely death.

16. For example, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, head of the Shas Council of Torah Sages, and Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, regarded as the greatest adjudicator in the 

haredi world.

17. Supreme Court case 4185/90, Piskei Din 47(5) 221, opposite the letters a-b. Cited in Berkovitz, Ma Norah, 119.

18. Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, Shalhevetya: Pirkei Kodesh v’Mikdash [Flames: On Holiness and the Temple] (Jerusalem: Hotsa’at Hamehaber, 1980), 29. Quoted in Berkovitz, ibid., 119.

19. Nadav Shragai, “Ma Rotseh Hashabak m’Gomah” [What Does the Shin Bet Want from Papyrus], Israel Hayom, December 11, 2009.

20. Rabbi Yuval Sherlo, “Hamusar v’Hamikdash” [Morality and the Temple], in Shabbaton: Alon Lamishpachah Hayehudit, no. 73, July 13, 2004.

21. In the past the Wakf guards have also prevented Christians from bringing Christian sacred texts or crosses into the mount.

22. According to the police, this policy stems from the fear that the Muslims will see mass visits by Jews on the mount as a provocation, leading to violent acts.

23. Nimrod Luz, “Al-Charam Al-Sharif Basiach Hatsibur Ha’Aravi Falestini b’Yisrael: Zehut, Zikaron Kolektivi v’Darkei Havniyah” [Al-Haram Al-Sharif in the 

Public Arab Palestinian Discourse in Israel: Identity, Collective Memory and Modes of Construction], Florsheimer Institute for Policy Studies, December 2004, 42-45.

24. For more on this activity against different attempts to cause damage on the mount, see Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 85-133.

25. Protection of Holy Places Law 1967, Book of Laws 1967, no. 499, June 28, 1967, p. 75.

Advocate of the “Al-Aksa Is in Danger” Libel: Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini

1. On the mufti, see Yehoshua Porat, M’Mehumot l’Meridah, 1929-1939 [From Riots to Revolt, 1929-1939] (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 1978); Yehoshua Porat,Tsmichat Hatnuah Haleumit Hafalestinit 1918-1929 [Growth of the Palestinian National Movement 1918-1929] (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 1976); Zvi Elpeleg, Hamufti Hagadol [The Grand Mufti] (Tel Aviv: Misrad Habitachon, 1989); Yael Admoni, “Ashaf Machak Oto” [The PLO Erased Him], report and interview 

with Zvi Elpeleg, Yerushalayim, March 24, 1989; Haviv Canaan, series of articles in Ha’aretz from November 1969 on the Arab aristocracy; 

and also a series of documents that were taken from the state archives, most of them from files that were prepared at the Foreign Ministry as evidence for the Eichmann trial in 1961: bin 3017, files 21-1-alef and 21-2-alef.

2. In Nebi Musa celebrations, thousands of Muslim pilgrims visit the mosque in which, according to Muslim tradition, Moses is buried. Moses, in Islam, is 

one of the prophets who preceded Muhammad. The Nebi Musa Mosque is located in the Judean Desert about 20 kilometers east of Jerusalem.

3. For more, see Elpeleg, Hamufti Hagadol, 12.

4. Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 263, 265-266; Elpeleg, ibid., 20-21.

5. Zvi Elpeleg, M’Nekudat Re’uto shel Hamufti: Ma’amarei Haj Amin al-Husseini Meturgamim v’Mevuarim [From the Mufti’s Standpoint: The Articles of Haj Amin al-Husseini Translated and Annotated] (Tel Aviv: Moshe Dayan Center and Hebrew University, 1995), 157-158.

6. For more, see Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 263-267.

7. Elpeleg, M’Nekudat Re’uto shel Hamufti, 101.

8. Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 263-267.

9. The Pilgrim of Bordeaux who visited the Land of Israel in 333 CE indeed speaks of a “perforated stone” beside which the Jews prayed and lamented, but 

its location is not clear. Whereas some say it was the Western Wall, others disagree and point to the southeastern corner of the walls of the Temple Mount 

as seen from the Mount of Olives, which Jews visited for many generations. See Meir Ben-Dov, Mordechai Naor, and Zeev Aner, Hakotel [The Western Wall] (Tel Aviv: Misrad Habitachon, 1981), 61. Midrash Shemot Rabba states in the name of Rabbi Acha in the fourth century: “The Shekhinah never leaves the 

Western Wall” (2:2). Rabbi Acha meant the western wall of the Temple itself; because this, however, was destroyed whereas the western retaining wall 

remained in place, over the years the tradition of sanctifying the Western Wall as holy to Jews came to be accepted. See Ben-Dov, Naor, and Aner, ibid., 61-62.

10. Ibid., 62.

11. Berkovitz, Milchamot, 109; Ben-Dov, Naor, and Aner, Hakotel, 33, 56-57, 62.

12. Berkovitz, ibid., 109.

13. Ben-Dov, Naor, and Aner, 58. Ben-Dov bases his claim on Muslim sources.

14. Yitzchak Reiter believes that the place of the tethering of Al-Buraq moved from the south to the west because of a lack of clarity in the Muslim

tradition that describes this act. The tradition tells that the Angel Gabriel tethered Al-Buraq “at the gate of the mosque,” that is, at the gate of the mount, but it is not clear where this gate was, and in the past the mount could be entered from both the south and the west.

15. Ben-Zion Dinur et al., Sefer Toldot Hahaganah [Book of the History of the Haganah] (Tel Aviv: Maarchot-Misrad Habitachon, 1971), Part 1, 305-306.

16. “Mishpat Hakotel” [Ruling on the Western Wall], report of the International Committee on the Western Wall, Tel Aviv, 1931, p. 61; Uzi Benziman, Ir l’lo Chomah [A City without a Wall] (Jerusalem and Tel Aviv: Schocken, 1973), 37-38; Berkovitz, Milchamot, 110. My grandfather Rabbi 

Shlomo Zalman Shragai, who lived at that time, told me the same.

17. Dinur et al., Sefer Toldot Hahaganah, 306; Berkovitz, Milchamot, 110.

18. For a detailed account, see Dinur et al., ibid., 302-315.

19. Zichronot David Ben-Gurion [Memoirs of David Ben-Gurion] (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 1971), Part alef, 341-362; Dinur et al., ibid., 302-315.

20. Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 226.

21. Elpeleg, M’Nekudat Re’uto shel Hamufti, 159-161.

22. Translated from Hebrew.

23. Elpeleg, 160. Quoted from David Ben-Gurion, Pegishot im Manhigim Arvi’im [Meetings with Arab Leaders] (Tel Aviv: Am Oved and Schocken, 1975), 34.

24. Ibid., 161.

25. Yigal Eyal, Ha’Intifada Harishonah [The First Intifada] (Tel Aviv: Maarchot, 1998), 323; Haviv Canaan, “Hahusseinim – Shavit sh’Hitnapets” [The Husseinis: A Comet that Shattered], Ha’aretz, November 16, 1969.

26. Eyal, ibid., 323.

27. Canaan, “Hahusseinim.”

28. State Archives, bin 3017, file 2-alef: from the mufti’s diary, November 9, 1944, translation of document 1306 by the Israel Police in the framework of 

Bureau 06.

29. State Archives, bin 3149, file 16-alef: from the words of Hitler in a meeting with Husseini in Berlin, November 28, 1941.

30. State Archives, bin 3017, file 1-alef: a page from Husseini’s diary, March 25, 1944, translation of document 1305.

31. Second letter from April 28, 1942 (translation of document 1302 by Bureau 06 of the Israel Police), State Archives, bin 3017, file 1-alef..

32. Elpeleg, Hamufti Hagadol, 171.

33. Haviv Canaan, “Hamufti Tichnen Misrafot l’Yehudim b’Emek Dotan” [The Mufti Planned Crematoriums for Jews in the Dotan Valley], Ha’aretz, March 2, 1970.

The Muslims Rewrite the History of Jerusalem

1. Reiter, “Hashlishi b’Kedushah,” 163.

2. Emmanuel Sivan, Mitosim Politi’im Aravi’im [Arab Political Myths] (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 1988), 102-103.

3. Ibid., 90.

4. Ibid., 97.

5. Ibid., 102.

6. For greater detail, see Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 43-44.

7. Ibid., 261-271.

8. Ibid., 320-321.

9. Ibid., 320.

10. This was manifested in the October 2000 riots, in which both Muslim and Christian Israeli Arabs took part. See also ibid., 325.

11. Ibid., 321.

12. Yitzchak Reiter, M’Yerushalayim l’Meka v’Chazarah [From Jerusalem to Mecca and Back] (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, 2005), 18-20.

13. Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 263.

14. Meron Benvenisti, Mul Hachomah Hasgurah [Facing the Closed Wall] (Jerusalem: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1973), 239-240 (quoted from there and from archival material that was left by David Farhi, adviser to Defense Minister Moshe Dayan at that time, who advised Dayan regarding the status quo on the Temple Mount).

15. For an in-depth treatment of Jerusalem’s holiness in the Islamic tradition, see Sivan, Mitosim Politi’im Aravi’im, 89-90; Chava Lazarus Jaffe, “Kedushat Yerushalayim b’Masoret Ha’Islam” [The Holiness of Jerusalem in the Islamic Tradition], in Eli Shaltiel, ed., Perakim b’Toldot Yerushalayim Bazman Hehadash [Chapters of Jerusalem’s History in the New Era], memorial volume for Yaakov Herzog (Jerusalem: Yad Ben Zvi and Misrad Habitachon, 1981).

16. Bernard Lewis, Ha’Aravim Bahistoria [The Arabs in History] (Tel Aviv: Dvir, 1995), 46.

17. Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ahmad Wasiti, Fada’il al-Bayt al-Muqadass [A Book Pertaining to the Merits of Jerusalem], ed. and intro. by Isaac Hasson (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1979), 25. Cited in Reiter, M’Yerushalayim l’Meka, 27, n. 74.

18. R. J. Z. Werblowsky, “Jerusalem: Holy City of Three Religions,” Annual (Jaarbericht) of the Dutch Orientalist Society, Ex Oriente Lux, no. 23 (1973-1974), Leiden, 1975, 423-439.

19. Lazarus Jaffe, “Kedushat Yerushalayim,” 120.

20. Amikam Elad, “Har Habayit Batekufah Hamuslimit Hakedumah” [The Temple Mount in the Ancient Muslim Period], in Reiter, Ribonut, 73-77; Lazarus Jaffe, ibid., 120-121.

21. Lazarus Jaffe, ibid., 120-122.

22. Ibid., 122.

23. Dore Gold, Hamaarchah al Yerushalayim [The Fight for Jerusalem] (Jerusalem: Yediot Sfarim, 2008), 96 (quotations from Gold’s book are translations from the Hebrew edition). See also (cited by Gold) Mohammed Abdul Hameed Al-Khateeb, Al-Quds: The Place of Jerusalem in Classical Judaic and Islamic Traditions (London: Ta-Ha, 1998), 120.

24. Ibid.

25. Moshe Sharon, “Haktovet Ha’Aravit Mizman Bniat Kipat Haselah b’Yerushalayim” [The Arabic Inscription from the Time of the Building of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem], Moreshet Derech, January 1996, 62.

26. Menashe Harel, Shalosh Hadatot v’Trumatan l’Yerushalayim [The Three Religions and Their Contribution to Jerusalem] (Sharei Tikvah, Israel: Ariel Center for Policy Research, 2005), 67.

27. Elad, “Har Habayit,” 62.

28. Harel, Shalosh Hadatot, 66.

29. Reiter, M’Yerushalayim l’Meka, 21-23.

30. Ibid., 19. The Muslims claim that the Jebusites were ancient Arabs. For example, members of the Saudi royal house, Palestinian archeologists (such as Dr. Dimitri Baramki), Sheikh Qaradawi (the Sunni Muslim Egyptian leader, considered one of the most important Muslim jurists of his generation), Syrian religious figures, and others all identify the Jebusites as an ancient Arab tribe, which migrated from the Arab Peninsula together with the Canaanites some 3,000 years BCE and thus reached the Land of Israel before the Israelites.

31. Ibid.

32. Reiter, M’Yerushalayim l’Meka.

33. Ibid.

34. Ibid.

35. The statements were made in an October 2002 interview. Cited in Luz, “Al-Charam al-Sharif,” 28.

36. He said this to me in an unofficial meeting with him during the years I worked as a Ha’aretz journalist.

37. From a diary that cabinet minister Dan Meridor wrote during the conference. In the author’s possession.

38. Reiter, M’Yerushalayim l’Meka, 31.

39. Ibid.

40. Ari Shavit, “Hayom sh’bo Met Hashalom” [The Day Peace Died], interview with then-foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami, Ha’aretz, September 14, 2001. The information appeared in other publications during that period.

41. Yossi Alpher, “Hahar Kadosh l’Yisraelim Chiloni’im” [The Mount Is Holy to Secular Israelis],, no. 20, June 5, 2002.

42. Reiter, M’Yerushalayim l’Meka; Berkovitz, Milchamot; Shragai, Har Hamerivah and many publications in Ha’aretz.

43. Reiter, ibid., 33.

44. Fatwa from April 28, 2002, (cited in Reiter, ibid., 40).

45. Cited in Reiter, ibid., 36-37.

46. Ibid.

47. Eilat Mazar, Hamadrich Hashalem l’Chafirot Har Habayit [The Complete Guide to the Temple Mount Excavations] (Jerusalem: Shoham, 2000); see, e.g., her statements in the Introduction, 14.

48. Ibid., 39. Mazar told this to Reiter in a conversation.

49. See Nadav Shragai, “B’Mlei’at 4000 Shanah l’Hakamat Al-Aksa” [A Full Four Thousand Years since the Establishment of Al-Aksa], Ha’aretz, May 11, 2004; Nadav Shragai, “B’Reshit Hayah Al-Aksa” [In the Beginning There Was Al-Aksa], Ha’aretz, November 27, 2005. These two articles were written in connection to the publication of Yitzchak Reiter’s studies.

50. Reiter, M’Yerushalayim l’Meka, 35.

51. Wasiti, Fada’il, quoted from Luz, “Al-Charam al-Sharif,” 61.

52. Cited in Berkovitz, Ma Norah, 257.

53. Ibid., 36.

54. Berkovitz, Milchamot, 110.

55. Encyclopaedia of Islam (London, 1971). Cited in ibid., 420.

56. Berkovitz, ibid., 110.

57. Quoted in Berkovitz, Ma Norah, 258, based on the first edition of Arf al-Arf’s book published in Arabic in 1961 in Amman.

58. In his books: Kadmoniot Hayehudim [Antiquities of the Jews], A. Shalit, ed. (Jerusalem: Mossad Bialik, 1944) and Josephus, Toldot Milchemet Hayehudim [The Jewish War], L. Ulman, ed. (Jerusalem: Carmel, 2009).

59. See, e.g., Matthew 21.

60. Ktovot Mesaprot [Inscriptions Speak] (Catalog no. 100) (Jerusalem: Israel Museum, 1973), 166-167.

61. Josephus, Toldot Milchemet Hayehudim, 5, 5, 2, 193-194.

62. Mazar, Hamadrich Hashalem, 34; for a survey of further evidence of the existence of the Temple, see Berkovitz, Milchamot, 256-261.

63. “L’Rishonah Nechsafah b’Mitcham Har Habayit Sridim Arkiologi’im m’Tekufat Bayit Harishon” [For the First Time Archeological Relics from the First Temple Period Have Been Discovered on the Temple Mount], official announcement of the Antiquities Authority, October 2007.

64. Ibid.

65. Ibid.

66. Dr. Yuval Baruch in a conversation with the author, March 2011.

67. The statements were made to me in the course of my work at Ha’aretz.

68. A rescue dig is an archeological dig at an antiquities site that has been harmed, or is likely to be, during development work (paving, building, etc.). The dig is aimed at uncovering the archeological and historical information existing at the site and at salvaging the ancient relics contained therein.

69. An announcement of the Antiquities Authority on September 23, 2009: “L’Rishonah Nechsafah Machtsavah sh’Sipkah Avnei Anak l’Bniat Har Habayit” [For the First Time a Quarry Has Been Discovered That Provided Giant Stones for the Building of the Temple Mount]. The authority’s excavation was conducted by Irena Zilberbod. See also Nadav Shragai, “Nechsafah Machtsavah sh’Sipkah Kanireh Avanim l’Bniat Beit Hamikdash Hasheini” [A Quarry Has Been Discovered that Apparently Provided Stones for the Building of the Second Temple], Ha’aretz online, September 23, 2007.

70. A common description, used, for example, by Sheikh Akrama Sabri and Sheikh Raed Salah at media events I attended during 2007-2010.

Forms of the Libel: Identifying a Country with the Extremism It Fights Against

1. Itamar Marcus and Yaara Piron, “Tamulat Fatach v’Chamas: ‘Misgad al-Achtsa b’Sakanah'” [Fatah and Hamas Propaganda: “The Al-Aksa Mosque Is in Danger”], September 9, 2008, Palestinian Media Watch, at:

2. Research report of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) on the Muslim Brotherhood movement, March 22, 2011, at: a class=”DT” href=”” target=”_blank”>

3. Akef ended his tenure in 2010.

4. Jonathan Dahoah Halevi, “Ha’Achim Hamuslimim Korim l’Jihad” [The Muslim Brotherhood Calls for Jihad], Machlakah Rishonah website (, August 20, 2006.

5. Gold, Hamaarchah al Yerushalayim, 19.

6. Report of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, “Tasiat Hasinah: Bitui’im Antishemi’im Batikshoret Hayardenit” [The Hate Industry: Anti-Semitic Expressions in the Jordanian Media], April 2005, at:

7. Al-Dustour, July 4, 2010; see “Cartoons,” at:

8. This cartoon was published in the UAE newspaper Al Bayan on July 6, 2010; see “Cartoons,” at:

9. The quotation is taken from a report by MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute), which translated the statements from the Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram Al Arabi,, October 28, 2000.

10. Ibid.

11. “Dilegitimatsia shel Yisrael b’Shiluv Mesarim Antishemi’im Basifron sh’Chiber Hasheich Akrama Sabri” [The Delegitimization of Israel in the Various Anti-Semitic Messages in the Booklet Written by Sheikh Akrama Sabri], report of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, November 2003, at: a class=”DT” href=”” target=”_blank”>

12. Al-Balad, July 31, 1997; Al Shav, October 11, 1996 (from a MEMRI report, “Emdot Hafalestinim b’Noseh Hesder Hakeva (1), She’elat Yerushalayim, Merts 1996-Merts 1998” [The Palestinians’ Positions on the Issue of the Permanent Settlement (1), the Question of Jerusalem, March 1996-March 1998]), at:

13. MEMRI report, ibid. From the BBC weekly in English: Al-Mashhad Al-Siyasi, January 4-10, 1997.

14. Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 22, 2010, from the report “Hachhashat Kiumo shel Beit Hamikdash v’Hazikah Hayehudit l’Yerushalayim” [Denial of the Existence of the Temple and the Jewish Link to Jerusalem], at:

15. Al-Hayat al-Jadida, June 26, 2010, from the report “Hachhashat Kiumo shel Beit Hamikdash v’Hazikah Hayehudit l’Yerushalayim” [Denial of the Existence of the Temple and the Jewish Link to Jerusalem], at:

16. Interview, July 27, 1997, from a MEMRI report, at:

17. Only once, in January 1976, did a judge in the Shalom Court in Jerusalem, Ruth Ohr, rule in a different spirit when a group of Jews who had prayed on the mount won; however, the District Court invalidated the ruling. For more, see Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 281ff.

18. Voice of Palestine Radio, January 2, 1998, from a MEMRI report, at:

19. Palestinian TV, August 18, 1997, from a MEMRI report, ibid.

20. Al-Hayat al-Jadida, November 27, 1997, from a MEMRI report, ibid.

21. These three are neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

22. Voice of Palestine Radio, November 26, 1997, from a MEMRI report, at:

23. Itamar Marcus and Yaara Piron, special study for Palestinian Media Watch on the terror attacks in Jerusalem, September 25, 2008, at:

24. Al-Hayat al-Jadida, July 18, 2008.

25. Ibid., August 20, 2008.

26. Ibid., September 1, 2008.

27. See Nadav Shragai, “Cholim al Yerushalayim” [Sick over Jerusalem], Israel Hayom, “Israel Hashavua” supplement, December 31, 2010. In the article a former Israel Police commander, retired commissioner Arie Amit, talks about the matter.

28. Al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 30, 2008, cited in Marcus and Piron, “Tamulat Fatach v’Chamas.”

29. Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 29-30; Nadav Shragai, “Rabi Tafsik” [Stop, Rabbi], Ha’aretz, December 31, 1997, and also based on a conversation with Rabbi Shlomo Goren.

30. For more, see Shragai, Har Hamerivah, Part ג.

31. Shragai, Cholim al Yerushalayim.

32. Ibid.

33. Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 39-46.

34. Ibid., 46.

35. Quoted in Tsvi Zinger, “Har Habayit biyadei Mi?” [The Temple Mount Is in Whose Hands?], Yediot Acharonot, “Seven Days,” May 20, 1983.

36. Shragai, Har Hamerivah. For more on the Goodman affair, see 161-169.

37. That is what, for example, members of the Ateret Cohanim yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem did when a disturbed young Jew came to their beit midrash (place of Torah study) and there was a concern that he was planning to attack the mosques. See Shragai, “Cholim al Yerushalayim.”

38. See, e.g., statements by Member of Knesset Abd Al-Malik Dehamshe in September 2002, quoted in Luz, “Al-Charam al-Sharif,” 43. See also statements of the supreme mufti of the Palestinian Authority, Muhammad Hussein, in an announcement to the media from February 7, 2011 (in the author’s possession). Hussein accuses the “Israeli occupation authorities” of “granting patronage to the extremist groups” that want to attack the Al-Aksa Mosque.

39. The interview was conducted on January 24, 2001. See Reiter, M’Yerushalayim l’Meka, 97.

40. Al-Asra’a is the Arabic term for Muhammad’s Night Journey to Jerusalem.

41. Reiter, M’Yerushalayim l’Meka.

42. Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 335.

43. Reiter, M’Yerushalayim l’Meka, 102.

44. Ibid., 103. The booklet was published within Yerushalayim Shelanu: Kovets Hafalot Hinuchiot b’Noseh Yerushalayim [Our Jerusalem: A Collection of Educational Activities on the Subject of Jerusalem], Society and Youth Administration, Ministry of Education and Culture and Institutes for Jewish Zionist Education (no place, no date), 39.

45. “Emdot Hafalestinim,” 23.

46. Reiter, M’Yerushalayim l’Meka, 71. The book was written by Dr. Abd al-Salam Mantsur.

47. Statements by Palazzi to the author in one of his visits to Israel.

48. Article by Sari Nusseibeh, in O. Grabar and B. Z. Kedar, Where Heaven and Earth Meet (Jerusalem: Yad Ben Zvi, 2010); Shalom Yerushalmi, “Sari Nusseibeh Isher Kium Zikah Yehudit l’Har Habayit” [Sari Nusseibeh Confirmed the Existence of a Jewish Link to the Temple Mount], nrg-Maariv, November 27, 2009.

Sheikh Raed Salah as Successor of the Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini

1. For more, see Shragai, Har Hamerivah, Parts Zayin and Tet.

2. Nadav Shragai, “Hatochnit: L’havi Mi’im Kedushim m’Meka Lahar” [The Plan: To Bring Holy Water from Mecca to the Mount], Ha’aretz, November 27, 2001.

3. On the growing ties between the Israeli Arabs and the Arabs of the West Bank, see Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 338-339. The Al-Aksa Association for Defense of the Holy Places raises funds and recruits volunteers to protect the Islamic holy places, particularly in Jerusalem, though its official offices are located in Nazareth.

4. Gold, Hamaarchah al Yerushalayim, 212.

5. At the time Salah was mayor of Umm al-Fahm.

6. Yediot Acharonot, September 21, 1997.

7. Berkovitz, Ma Norah, 27.

8. Member of Knesset Abd al-Malik Dehamshe, as quoted in Ha’aretz, October 3, 2000.

9. Voice of Israel, March 6, 2001; al-Paluji later denied the assertion, apparently under pressure from Arafat.

10. The commission’s official name was the Investigatory Commission on the Clashes between the Security Forces and Israeli Citizens in October 2000.

11. Or Commission report, Part 1, para. 102.

12. Ibid., Part 4, para. 192.

13. Demonstrations against the expansion of IDF training grounds near Arab villages in the Wadi Ara area.

14. Or Commission report, Part 4, para. 179.

15. Plural in the Hebrew original.

16. Or Commission report, Part 4, para. 180.

17. For many years the police station on the mount has stood not far from the Ha-Shalshelet Gate.

18. Or Commission report, Part 4, para. 180. Note that in August 1984 the Wakf demanded the removal of a small Israeli flag the size of a wall picture that hung beside the picture of then-Israeli president Chaim Herzog, in the room of the commander of the police station on the Temple Mount.

19. Or Commission report, Part 4, para. 181.

20. Ibid., para. 182.

21. The commission notes that different speakers defended these calls with explanations expressing profound sentiments of devotion and no intentions whatsoever of bloodshed, but it also notes that “these calls inflame spirits to a level that is not far from mass hysteria,” ibid.

22. Or Commission report, Part 4, para. 183. Also based on the “Al-Aksa Is in Danger” supplement of Tsut al-Chak v’al-Huriya, September 15, 2000 (no. 3562).

23. In an interview with Al-Hayat al-Jadida, August 19, 2000.

24. This is an old structure that, according to activists of the Islamic Movement, served in the past as a mosque. The court rejected this claim.

25. Or Commission report, Part 4, paras. 186-187.

26. Ibid., para. 187.

27. Yoav Stern, Yonatan Lis, and Yuval Yoaz, “Hapraklitut Tivdok im Salah Hesit l’Alimut” [The Prosecution Will Look into whether Salah Incited to Violence], Ha’aretz online, February 18, 2007.

28. “Raed Salah: Al-Quds Tihiyeh Bira shel Chalifut Islamit Olamit” [Raed Salah: Jerusalem Will Be the Capital of a World Islamic Caliphate], MEMRI, November 10, 2009, at:

29. “Haver Knesset Aravi: L’hakim Chalifut Islamit Gedolah sh’Tichlol et Yisrael” [Arab Member of Knesset: Let Us Establish a Great Islamic Caliphate that Will Include Israel], MEMRI, May 9, 2010, at:

30. Or Commission report, Part 4, para. 172.

31. Ayyam al-Arab, July 24, 2000, quoted in ibid.

32. Ibid.; “Dehamshe: Ehiyeh Hashahid Harishon b’Al-Achtsa” [Dehamshe: I Will Be the First Martyr at Al-Aksa], Ynet, July 11, 2000.

33. “Dehamshe: Ehiyeh Hashahid Harishon.”

34. See Chapter 7.

35. The first direction of prayer in Islam, i.e., Jerusalem.

36. Muhammad al-Dura was the twelve-year-old Palestinian boy whose alleged death from gunfire, as shown in a few seconds of film footage, became a symbol of the Al-Aksa Intifada. Initially various media claimed that he was killed by fire from IDF soldiers, but investigations carried out sometime later revealed that he was shot by Palestinians.

37. Tsut al-Chak v’al-Huriya, special supplement published by the northern branch of the Israeli Islamic Movement on January 25, 2000. Quoted in Luz, Al-Charam al-Sharif, 33.

Raed Salah and the Vision of a Global Islamic Caliphate: A Danger to Peace and the Western World

1. The London-based weekly of the Muslim Brotherhood, Risalat al-Ikhwan [The Message of Brotherhood], already included in its logo in 2001 the statement: “Our mission: to rule the world.” (See Gold, Hamaarchah al Yerushalayim, 249.)

2. As summarized by Jonathan Dahoah Halevi, senior researcher and fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. See, e.g., his article “Le’an Choter Salach?” [What Is Salah Aiming For?], Ynet, October 11, 2009.

3. From a series of articles that Salah published at the site Islamic-aqsa. Quoted by Jonathan Dahoah Halevi in an article from September 17, 2006, on the website of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Already in 2006, during the Islamic Movement’s annual rally in Umm al-Fahm, Salah promised that Al-Aksa and Jerusalem would soon be freed from the hands of the Jews, and Jerusalem would become the capital of the Islamic caliphate.

4. Ibid.

5. L. Barkan, a researcher on Palestinian affairs at MEMRI: “Hatnuah Ha’Islamit b’Yisrael: m’Isuk b’Yerushalayim l’Isuk b’Chlal Hanoseh Hafalestini” [The Islamic Movement in Israel: Shifting the Focus from Jerusalem to the Palestinian Issue as a Whole], August 1, 2010, at:

6. The shahada is the Muslim proclamation of faith, which includes proclaiming the exclusivity of the lord known as Allah and of the divine calling of Muhammad: “There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God.” Memorizing and reciting the shahada is one of the five pillars of Islam – the five basic commandments that are incumbent on every Muslim.

7. Barkan, “Hatnuah Ha’Islamit.”

8. See a detailed picture on the New Islamic Empire site,, a compendium of data, analyses, and commentaries on this subject.

9. A detailed description of the Islamization trend on the continent was given in a speech by the chairman of the Freedom Party of the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, in New York at the end of December 2010. (A full text in Hebrew appears at the site Quoted in the news sections of major websites in Israel and abroad.

10. Ibid.

11. The quotes from Ganaim are from an interview with the weekly Kul al-Arab at the beginning of May 2010. See a summary on Ynet, May 10, 2010: “Chaver Haknesset Ganaim: L’hakim Chalifut Islamit b’Yisrael” [Member of Knesset Ganaim: An Islamic Caliphate Should Be Set Up in Israel].

12. As he did, for example, in December 2007 when he said his country’s policy was part of the Muslim struggle against American hegemony, with the larger aim of establishing a worldwide Islamic caliphate as required by Muhammad. Based on an intelligence investigation by an official source, December 2007. In the author’s possession.

13. These statements were made on the Al Jazeera network on November 7, 2000, and are quoted here from MEMRI’s translation of November 11, 2000: “Bachir Chechni Matria: Anu Ne’archim l’Peulot neged Hayehudim” [A Senior Chechen Figure Warns: We Are Prepared to Act against the Jews], at:

14. Jonathan Dahoah Halevi, “Pe’ilutah shel Hatnuah Ha’Islamit l’Chisul Medinat Yisrael” [The Islamic Movement’s Push to Destroy the State of Israel], website of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, August 24, 2008,

15. For example, the words of Yunis al-Astal, one of the Hamas leaders, on March 15, 2008, from an intelligence investigation by a security official, March 2008. In the author’s possession.

16. Al-Aqsa channel, April 11, 2008. Quoted in a report of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center from March 1, 2009, “Shimush Bamisgadim l’Tsrachim Tsvai’im v’Politi’im al-yadei Chamas v’Irgunei Teror Acherim” [Use of the Mosques for Military and Political Purposes by Hamas and Other Terror Organizations], at:

17. Meirav Londner, “Yesh Derech Chazarah: Pe’il Hateror sh’Metif l’Shalom” [There Is a Way Back: The Terrorist Who Preaches Peace], nrg-Maariv, September 13, 2010.

18. Nasrallah in an interview with the Al-Manar television network, April 1, 2010. From an investigation by an intelligence official, April 2010, in the author’s possession.

19. Gold, Hamaarchah al Yerushalayim, 221.

20. An interview with the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida, June 9, 2008, quoted by Jonathan Dehoah Halevi in an article on the website of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, June 11, 2008,

21. Nadav Shragai, “Hatra’ot: Miflegah Islamit Metifah m’Yerushalayim l’Hakamat Chalifut” [Warnings: An Islamic Party Is Preaching from Jerusalem on the Establishment of a Caliphate], Ha’aretz, November 20, 2006.

22. Gold, Hamaarchah al Yerushalayim, 221-223.

23. Ibid., 222-223.

Terror from the Temple Mount Mosques

1. “Shimush Bamisgadim.”

2. Ibid., 36.

3. Ibid., 32-33.

4. Ibid., and see at length in “Shimush Bamisgadim.”

5. A report in the evening edition of Ha’aretz, July 15, 1938. Quoted in Dotan Goren, “Hazavit Hahistorit l’Tofa’at Hashimush Bamisgadim l’Tsarchim Tsvai’im al-yadai Irgunei Hateror Hafalestini’im” [The Historical Background of the Use of the Mosques for Military Purposes by the Palestinian Terror Organizations], March 16, 2009, Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, at:; Rafi Kitron, Eretz Yisrael Hanisteret: Sipuram shel Haslikim v’Toldoteihem [The Hidden Land of Israel: The Story of the Secret Weapons Caches and Their History] (Jerusalem: Hotsa’at Ariel, 2010), 77.

6. From a report in the Times in those days, quoted in ibid., 79.

7. Archive of the history of the Haganah, 105/152, cited in ibid., 79.

8. Ibid.

9. Nadav Shragai, “Diukano shel Tah Chablani” [Portrait of a Terror Cell], Ha’aretz supplement, February 6, 1987.

10. Avinoam Bar-Yosef, “Hachokrim Hufta’u: b’Har Habayit Hukmah Chuliah shel HaJihad Ha’Islami” [The Investigators Were Surprised: On the Temple Mount an Islamic Jihad Gang Was Set Up], Maariv, October 24, 1986.

11. Shmuel Mittelman, “Arba’at Chavrei Chamas…” [Four Hamas Members…], Maariv, August 11, 1993, 10.

12. Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 334-335.

13. The event was held on November 15, 1988. See details in ibid., 336-337.

14. Ibid., 334.

15. For details on the gang members and their arrest, see the report by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center from July 20, 2008, at: a class=”DT” href=”http://www.terrorism-info-org” target=”_blank”> http://www.terrorism-info-org. It relies, in turn, on a report of the Shin Bet.

16. From the revised indictment that was served against the two in the Jerusalem District Court on January 16, 2011 (file 1459-01-11).

17. Revised indictment for the determination of a plea bargain against Majid Jubeh in the Jerusalem District Court, January 1, 2011.

18. “Chasifat Tashtiot Teror Tsvai’ot shel Chamas b’Yehudah v’Shomron v’Sikul Pigua Hitabdut b’Yerushalayim” [The Uncovering of Military Terror Infrastructures of Hamas in Judea and Samaria and the Thwarting of a Suicide Attack in Jerusalem], briefing for military correspondents, September 2011, from the website of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet-Shabak),

19. The PLO organ Filastin al-Thawra, May 8, 1988.

20. Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 337-338.

21. Ibid., 323.

22. “Shimush Bamisgadim,” 16.

23. From an interview with the German news agency, Al-Quds online, February 15, 2009. Quoted in ibid., 17.

24. Ynet, February 24, 2009.

25. “Shimush Bamisgadim,” 25.

26. Ibid., 26.

27. Ibid., 35, reference 43.

28. Ibid., 8, 27.

29. Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 297, 349.

30. Kollek’s letter to the heads of the Wakf, April 10, 1989.

The Archeological Digs: Near the Temple Mount and Not Under It

1. Amos Elon, Yerushalayim: Shiga’on Ladavar [Jerusalem: An Obsession] (Jerusalem: Domino, 1989), 188-189.

2. Ibid.

3. Conversations with Wakf leaders in the 1980s and 1990s. See also Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 223.

4. From a conversation with an archeologist who was a witness to this phenomenon a few years ago.

5. Although the Muslim Wakf is convinced to this day that Getz had institutional backing, the fact that the government appointed an internal investigatory commission on the matter shows otherwise. For a detailed treatment of this complex incident, see Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 214-222.

6. Only the group of Reform women known as Women of the Wall prays there, after the Supreme Court rejected their request to pray at the recognized prayer plaza. For more on this topic, see Berkovitz, Ma Norah, 504-511.

7. Nir Hasson, “Rashut Ha’atikot Chasfah Edut Arkeologit sh’Me’asheshet et Tiur Yerushalayim b’Mapat Madabah” [The Antiquities Authority Has Found Archeological Evidence that Validates the Portrayal of Jerusalem in the Madaba Map], Ha’aretz online, February 10, 2010.

8. Announcement of the Israel Antiquities Authority, February 19, 2010, accompanied by photographs.

9. Announcement to the press by the Israel Antiquities Authority, the City of Jerusalem, and the Moriah Society, November 22, 2010, including an assessment of the finding by Jerusalem district archeologist Yuval Baruch.

10. Announcement of the Israel Antiquities Authority, August 13, 2008, accompanied by photographs.

11. For more, see Benziman, Ir l’lo Chomah, 158-167.

12. The information was given to me by an archeologist who worked at the site while Prof. Benjamin Mazar was conducting an excavation there, and was confirmed at the time by an official from the Jerusalem municipality.

13. For more on this affair, see Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 142-144.

14. Benvenisti, Mul Hachomah, 259. In his book Ir l’lo Chomah, Uzi Benziman writes that the Israeli archeological team tried to cover up an alarming report on the perceived danger to the stability of the Southern Wall, but the heads of the team, Mazar and Ben-Dov, convinced the Ministerial Committee on the Holy Places that they were acting responsibly.

15. Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 230-231.

16. Ibid.

17. Ibid.

18. The details are drawn from Ronny Reich, Gideon Avni, and Tamar Winter, Yerushalayim: Madrich l’Gan Ha’arkeologi (Jerusalem: A Guide to the Archeological Garden) (Jerusalem: Rashut Ha’atikot and Yad Ben Zvi, 1998), 20-35, and also from personal familiarity with the findings as a journalist and from often having examined the site with the excavators.

19. Josephus, Toldot Milchemet Hayehudim, 4, 9, 12; Mishnah Sukkah 5:5.

20. The second half of the seventh century and first half of the eighth century CE.

21. Shemot Rabbah 2:2 (in Judaism the Shekhinah is the presence of God, especially in the Temple). Yalkut Shimoni (Kings 1:8, section 195) offers a similar statement but calls it the Western Wall “of the Temple.” The archeologist Meir Ben-Dov notes that it is because the western wall of the Temple was destroyed, while the western retaining wall was left standing, that over the years the tradition of sanctifying the familiar Western Wall emerged; see Ben-Dov, Naor, and Aner, Hakotel, 61.

22. Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 227-229.

23. The details are drawn from Reich, Avni, and Winter, Yerushalayim, 20-35; Dan Bahat, Minharot Hakotel Hamaravi [The Western Wall Tunnel] (Jerusalem: Hakeren l’Moreshet Hakotel Hamaravi, 2003); and also from my personal familiarity with the findings as a journalist and from often having examined the site with the excavators.

24. Bahat, ibid., 29-30.

25. Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 233-236.

26. Ibid., 232-236.

27. This information is based on talks with engineers of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation and with other professionals, including members of the Antiquities Authority; visits to the recesses of the Western Wall Tunnel over the years; and study of the files of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.

28. Summary of the meeting of the Directors-General Forum for Jerusalem Holy Places Affairs, March 10, 1989.

29. Protocol recorded by Ovadia Danon, one of those who took part in the tour; and a conversation with another participant.

30. Conversation with Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, winter 2010.

31. The information is mainly based on Bahat, Minharot, with updates for findings from new excavations (2010) at the site.

32. For many years Bahat was the Antiquities Authority official in charge of work carried out by the Religious Affairs Ministry at the Western Wall Tunnel.

33. From a visit to the site in August 2011.

34. Data of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.

35. Information is from Ha’aretz, September 25-26, 1996. For example, Sami Sokol, “Arafat Koreh…” [Arafat Calls…], September 25, 1996.

36. Guy Bechor, “Nasi Mitsri’im Doresh…” [The Egyptian President Demands…], Ha’aretz, September 27, 1996.

37. Berkovitz, Milchamot, 77-78.

38. Bahat, Minharot, 42.

39. Ibid., 80.

40. Shragai, Har Hamerivah, 239; Dan Bahat, “Ta’alat Hami’im Hachashmona’it liyad Har Habayit” [The Hasmonean Aqueduct beside the Temple Mount], Ariel (57-58), 1988, 140; Bahat, Minharot, 138-157.

41. “Ohel Yitzchak: Choveret Meidah v’Netunim” [Ohel Yitzchak: Information and Data Booklet], Western Wall Heritage Foundation, 2008.

42. Quoted in Ro’i Nachmias and Anat Shalev, “Chafirot Machshidot b’Har Habayit” [Suspicious Excavations on the Temple Mount], Ynet, January 21, 2007.

43. Information is based on technical specifications from March 31, 2009, submitted by engineers of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation to their supervisors.

44. Based on a visit to the area as well as explanations from the Antiquities Authority; also on Chaim Baraba and Tawfik Da’adla, “Yerushalayim, Beit Haknesset Ohel Yitzchak” [Jerusalem: The Ohel Yitzchak Synagogue], Chadashot Arkeologiot 119, 2007.

45. The cardo was a north-south oriented street in Roman cities and other communities.

46. Nadav Shragai, “Herzl Biker Bo, Harav Kook Hitpalel Bo, Hayardenim Potsetsu Oto” [Herzl Visited It, Rabbi Kook Prayed at It, the Jordanians Blew It Up], Ha’aretz, December 19, 2005; “Shichzur v’Bniat Churvat Rabi Yehuda Chasid” [Reconstruction and Building of the Hurva Synagogue of Rabbi Yehuda Chasid], booklet published by the Society for Renovation and Development of the Jewish Quarter, Jerusalem, December 2001; Reuven Gafni, Arie Morgenstern, and David Cassuto, eds., Hachurvah: Shesh Meot Shanah shel Hityashvut Yehudit b’Yerushalayim [The Hurva Synagogue: Six Hundred Years of Jewish Settlement in Jerusalem] (Jerusalem: Yad Ben Zvi and the Society for Renovation and Development of the Jewish Quarter, 2010).

47. Mordechai Naor, ed., Harova Hayehudi ba’Ir Ha’Atikah shel Yerushalayim [The Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem] (Jerusalem: Yediot Acharonot, 1987), 262.

48. The statements were made on the program “With the Events” (Ma al-Hadat), Palestinian television, March 14, 2010; from a translation by Palestinian Media Watch, at:

49. The documentary film Batei Knesset Makifim et Al-Aksa [Synagogues Surround Al-Aksa], Palestinian television, March 16, 2010; from a translation by Palestinian Media Watch, at:

50. The statements were made on the Boker Tov Yerushalayim [Good Morning Jerusalem] program on Palestinian television, March 14, 2010; from a report of Palestinian Media Watch, at:

51. Al-Hayat al-Jadida, March 28, 2010, 13; from a report of Palestinian Media Watch, at:

52. “Chadashot Hateror v’Hasichsuch Ha’Yisraeli-Falestini” [News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict], March 1-16, 2010, Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, at:

53. Ibid.

54. Hearsay evidence made available to me.

55. Arie Morgenstern, “Binian Hachurvah: Ethaltah d’Geulah” [The Building of Hurva: The Beginning of Redemption], in Gafni, Morgenstern, and Cassuto, Hachurvah, 84-88.

56. Yair Paz, “Hachevrah bi’Tkufat Hamandat: Chevrah Zikaron v’Semel” [The Society in the Mandate Period: Society, Memory, and Symbol], in Gafni, Morgenstern, and Cassuto, Hachurvah, 167-168. The article considers, among other things, why the Jordanian regime destroyed the Hurva.

57. A report of Palestinian Media Watch from March 2010, which includes a photograph of the cartoon, at:

58. Ibid.

59. Until the Mughrabi Quarter was evacuated, the Western Wall plaza was no more than a narrow alley 28 meters long and only 3.60 meters wide. The website of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation notes that he crowding was extreme and for the Shavuot holiday, a few days after the liberation of Jerusalem, there was fear lest the plaza be too narrow to contain the masses of Jews who would come to visit Jerusalem. Col. Shlomo “Cheech” Lahat, governor of Jerusalem and later mayor of Tel Aviv, and his deputy Lt. Col. Albek proposed to the civil authorities that the Mughrabi Quarter be destroyed to make way for a large prayer plaza. Teddy Kollek, mayor of Jerusalem, convinced the contractors organization to do the job, and on a voluntary basis Jerusalem contractors destroyed the houses of the Mughrabi Quarter (their residents were evacuated with their consent to alternative housing) and prepared a plaza to accommodate the worshippers. The evacuation endeavor was supervised by the engineering commander Capt. Eitan Ben Moshe. or further details on the destruction and evacuation of the Mughrabi Quarter, see Benziman, Ir l’lo Chomah, 37-44.

60. The details are drawn from information that was obtained from the Israel Police and the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, and from following what has been happening at the site for many years.

61. The description is drawn from a visit to the place the next day as part of my work as a Ha’aretz journalist at that time.

62. The organization’s declared purpose is “stability, equality and a political future in Jerusalem.” It is identified with the Israeli left and favors a division of the city.

63. The description of this episode is taken from a letter by architect Eli Eilan to Mordechai Eliav, director-general of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, dated June 11, 2009, and also is based on following the different stages of this affair.

64. According to a source in the Prime Minister’s Office.

65. The permit was issued on March 1, 2011.

66. Al Jazeera television network, February 4, 2007. From a report of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, February 7, 2007, at: a class=”DT” href=”” target=”_blank”>

67. Report of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, at:

68. Ibid.

69. Ibid.

70. Ibid.

71. Ibid.

72. Ibid., February 15, 2007. The report surveys the “hate industry” in the Syrian media at that time.

73. Lilach Shuval, “Hamecha’ah b’Yerushalayim: Meot Mafginim mul Sha’ar Shechem” [The Protest in Jerusalem: Hundreds Demonstrate at the Nablus Gate], Ynet, February 8, 2007.

74. Ibid.

75. The discovery of this gate was publicized in 1858 by the missionary Dr. James Thomas Berkeley.

76. Masechet Midot, Part 1, Mishnah 3.

77. As he observed in a report on February 11, 2007, which was prepared by the Knesset’s Information and Research Center on the work at Maaleh Hamughrabim, for a discussion of the issue in the Knesset Interior Committee.

78. Yuval Baruch, “Maaleh Hamughrabim – Hasipur Ha’amiti” [Maaleh Hamughrabim: The Real Story], an article on the website of the Antiquities Authority, a class=”DT” href=”” target=”_blank”> Baruch writes further there: he first link between Al-Buraq and this vicinity can be credited to Mujir al-Din, a Jerusalem judge of the fifteenth century whose work on “The History of Jerusalem and Hebron” is an important, unique contribution to the knowledge of Jerusalem. Among the structures that he describes in the Temple Mount vicinity is also the mosque known as the Western Mosque: “in the courtyard of the Temple Mount, west of the Al-Aksa Mosque, is a building covered by domes that is known by the name ‘the Western Mosque.’ This is a place that arouses awe and many come to it to pray.” This description shows clearly that at least in the fifteenth century the mosque was located within the Temple Mount plaza and certainly was not part of the area where the Mughrabi Quarter, which also is mentioned by Mujir al-Din, was built.

79. In the author’s possession.

80., cited in “The Struggle over the Mughrabi Bridge,” an opinion submitted to the government during the crisis by attorney Dr. Shmuel Berkovitz.

81. Ibid. For more, see Nadav Shragai, “The Mughrabi Gate to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem: The Urgent Need for a Permanent Access Bridge,” website of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs,

82. Ibid., p. 7 of the opinion.

83. A similar readiness to position cameras, which would refute the Muslims’ suspicions, was expressed by Reuven Pinski, director of development of the Old City Basin for the Jerusalem Development Authority, in the context of a comprehensive program for renovation and preservation of the Old City. See Pinksi’s statements in Eli Oshorov, “Harova Hamuslimi: Ha’iriah Rotsah Lachpor, Hatoshavim Choshashim m’Konspiratsia” [The Muslim Quarter: The Municipality Wants to Excavate, the Residents Fear a Conspiracy], nrg-Maariv, May 12, 2010.

84. Conversation in June 2011 with retired commissioner Mickey Levy, former commander of the Jerusalem Police, and with attorney Dr. Shmuel Berkovitz.

85. Eshkol’s letter to the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, May 22, 2011, in the author’s possession; Shalom Yerushalmi, “Gesher Hagehenom: Hakrav al Haderech l’Har Habayit” [The Bridge of Hell: The Battle over Access to the Temple Mount], nrg-Maariv, March 11, 2011.

86. Chaim Baraba, Penny Vito, and John Zeligman, “Chafirat Maaleh Sha’ar Hamughrabim” [The Excavation of the Maaleh Hamughrabim Gate], archeological report, January-July 2007. Courtesy of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation.

87. Gabriel Barkai, “Ir David – Milon Musagim” [The City of David: A Primer], in Eyal Meron, ed., Mechkarei Ir David v’Yerushalayim Hakedumah [Studies on the City of David and Ancient Jerusalem], proceedings of the seventh conference of the Megalim Institute, Jerusalem, 2006.

88. Ibid.

89. Eyal Meron, in the introduction to Aharon Hurvitz, Megalim et Ir David [Discovering the City of David] (Jerusalem: Megalim Institute, 2009).

90. Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron, “Toldot Hachafirot Ha’arkiologiot b’Ir David (1867-2007)” [The History of Archeological Excavations in the City of David (1867-2007)], in Eyal Meron, ed., Mechkarei Ir David v’Yerushalayim Hakedumah [Studies on the City of David and Ancient Jerusalem], proceedings of the ninth conference of the Megalim Institute, Jerusalem, 2008.

91. See below, and also in Aharon Hurvitz, Ir David – Sipurah shel Yerushalayim Hakedumah [The City of David: The Story of Ancient Jerusalem], ed. Eyal Meron (Jerusalem: Megalim Institute, 2010), 206-211.

92. Al-Ayyam, May 19, 2009, in a report of Palestinian Media Watch: “Hachchashat Kiumo shel Beit Hamikdash v’Hazikah Hayehudit l’Yerushalayim” [Denial of the Existence of the Temple and the Jewish Link to Jerusalem], at:

93. Reich and Shukron, “Toldot Hachafirot,” 30.

94. Supreme Court case 1308/08 and Supreme Court case 9253/08.

95. The petition concerning the Herodian drainage channel was submitted against the Antiquities Authority, the National Parks Authority, and the Society for the Development of East Jerusalem. The petition against the project at the Givati parking lot was also submitted against the City of Jerusalem, Elad, and two entrepreneurs who were involved.

96. Also written in the name of Judges Edmund Levy and Yochanan Meltzer.

97. Supreme Court case: Al-Aksa Society for the Development of the Muslim Wakf Properties Ltd. v. Kerem Maharal Moshav Ovdim l’Hityashvut Shitufit Ltd. (not published, June 17, 2009), and see para. 34.

98. The judge further gained the impression that “the sides…sought to drag the court into the morass of their dispute, which is much wider and more complex than the matter of the Givati parking lot and is not an issue for the court to respond to.”

99. Also party to this ruling were the deputy-president of the Supreme Court, Judge Eliezer Rivlin, and Judge Edmund Eliyahu Levy.

100. Finkelstein addressed the issue in his article on the City of David in the Jewish Daily Forward, April 26, 2011, at:

101. Ibid.

102. For an exhaustive compilation of the findings from all of the periods, see Reich and Shukron, “Toldot Hachafirot.” The overview of the main findings of the excavations in the City of David and its vicinity is derived from Hurvitz, Ir David; background material for guides in the City of David; Reich, Avni, and Winter, Yerushalayim, 44-84; and from Eilat Mazar, Armon Hamelech David – Pirsum Onot 2005-7 [King David’s Palace: Findings for 2005-2007] (Jerusalem: Shoham, 2009).

103. Hurvitz, Ir David, 28-30; Mazar, ibid.

104. These were impressions made on silt that served as signatures for documents.

105. Mazar, Armon Hamelech David, back cover of the book.

106. Hurvitz, Ir David, 34.

107. Ibid., 38; Reich, Avni, and Winter, Yerushalayim, 53.

108. Hurvitz, Ir David, 37.

109. Josephus, Toldot Milchemet Hayehudim, 6, 9, 4.

The Danger to Al-Aksa from Muslim Building Activity in Solomon’s Stables

1. Dan Bahat (with Chaim Rubinstein), Atlas Carta Hagadol l’Toldot Yerushalayim [The Great Carta Atlas of Jerusalem History] (Jerusalem: Carta, 2000), 91; Eilat Mazar, Hamadrich Hashalem l’Chafirot Har Habayit [The Complete Guide to the Temple Mount Excavations] (Jerusalem: Shoham, 2000), 90; visits to the place over the years in the context of journalistic and research work, and conversations with researchers on the significance of the new findings contained in the Wakf excavations on the Temple Mount.

2. Berkovitz, Milchamot, 103. Berkovitz notes there the prevailing view that the chambers served as storerooms until the Crusader period. They then also served as stables, and subsequently were not used at all; see ibid., 451, reference 245. Also Luz, in “Al-Charam al-Sharif,” points out that there is no mention of this name in the ancient Muslim sources and that “its choice suggests more than anything else the desire of persons in the Islamic Movement to find a sufficient legitimate and historical basis for the new reality that was created at the compound” (15).

3. For elaboration, see Berkovitz, ibid., 74-77. Berkovitz reaches the conclusion that there was no deal.

4. An Israeli public committee with members from across the political spectrum such as former Supreme Court president Meir Shamgar, former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, former Jerusalem mayor Teddy Kollek, the writers A. B. Yehoshua, Amos Oz, and S. Yizhar, and well-known archeologists.

5. From a source who participated in a meeting where these statements were made.

6. Ibid.

7. Online version of a background document on the excavations on the Temple Mount, Knesset Research and Information Center, November 19, 2001, p. 2, para. 1.7.

8. Many other areas of the compound were paved at the time as well.

9. In Supreme Court case 8666/99, which addressed the Temple Mount Faithful’s petition against the state to halt the excavations, destruction, and building on the mount, the Jerusalem police commander stated that “given past experience and the special status of the Temple Mount, unilateral acts by the authorities at the present time [January 2000] that will restore the situation to what it was…are liable to lead – at a level of near-certainty – to bloodshed, outbreaks, and agitation that will boil over from the Temple Mount to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the State of Israel as a whole.” The Supreme Court accepted this assessment.

10. For more on the findings of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, see Gabriel Barkai and Yitzchak Zweig, “Proyekt Sinun Afar m’Har Habayit – Doch Rishoni” [The Temple Mount Sifting Project: A Preliminary Report], Hidushim b’Cheker Yerushalayim 11, 2009, 213-217; Nadav Shragai, “Sinun Afar Chasaf Mimtsa’im m’Tkufat Bayit Rishon” [The Sifting of Earth Has Revealed Findings from the First Temple Period], Ha’aretz, October 19, 2006.

11. Nadav Shragai, “Rashut Ha’atikot Me’asheret: Sakanah Miyadit l’Hitmotetut Hakotel Hadromi” [The Antiquities Authority Confirms: An Immediate Danger of the Southern Wall’s Collapse], Ha’aretz, August, 28, 2002.

12. Sheikh Sabri in a speech he gave on August 24, 2001. It was broadcast on the Mabat program of Israel’s Channel 1 television.

13. Reports of the Israel Antiquities Authority from 2001-2003, reports of the Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount from the same period, and details of the report of the Jordanian team that visited the site were made available to me.

14. The process is described in reports of the Antiquities Authority that I have seen.

15. Ibid.

16. According to a police source.

17. Itamar Eichner, “Hakotel Hamizrachi b’Sakanat Hitmotetut” [The Eastern Wall Is in Danger of Collapse], Yediot Acharonot, April 1, 2004.

18. Berkovitz, Ma Norah, 413.

19. Ibid.

20. Ha’aretz, September 27, 2004, quoted in ibid.

21. Ibid., 403.

22. Itamar Fleishman, “Yihiyu Krisot b’Har Habayit” [There Will Be Collapses on the Temple Mount], Yediot Acharonot, December 3, 2010.

23. Based on my unofficial conversations with relevant officials in March 2011.


1. David Flusser, “Motzeh Alilot Hadam” [The Origin of the Blood Libels], Mahani’im 109, 1967.