Four and a half years ago, I warned that Israel was complicit in the destruction of all evidence of Jewish life on the Temple Mount. This weekend, YNet updated the story.
Israel Netanyahu allowing the Temple Mount to be destroyed
According to specific Antiquities Authority instructions, any digging at the site was not allowed to exceed 60 centimeters (roughly two feet) and was not to be undertaken using mechanical equipment. However, reports drafted by Pasternnack and other sources, exposed for the first time by Yedioth Ahronoth Friday, indicate that workers largely ignored the instructions.Where was YNet four and a half years ago when I reported that? I posted pictures (including the one above) of the destruction of the Temple Mount, including the tractor here. I reported that the destruction of the Temple Mount was carried out with the approval of then-Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert. I even posted a video of the destruction here, which I am re-posting below.
Much of the work was done using a tractor, continued during the night with the help of a flashlight, reached deeper than the permit allowed for. Moreover, the clods of earth removed from the site, which apparently comprised valuable remnants from the two Jewish Temples, were thrown away to an improvised garbage dump by members of the Waqf (the administrative Muslim body in charge of Temple Mount.)
Archeology expert Dr. Gabai Barkai, a world-renowned expert on Temple era excavations, was shocked by the reported work: "How could one dig up such sensitive area at night? How could one dig using mechanical equipment? Every such move is a crime. This is first-rate barbarity."
Let's go to the videotape.
And I wasn't the only one who knew about it. Then Congressman (and now House Majority Leader) Eric Cantor (R-Va) knew enough to protest about it.A Druze policeman (no - the Jewish ones went along with it!) tried to no avail to stop the destruction.
Oh - but wait. YNet's story is about why the Israeli government is trying to cover up the destruction of the Temple Mount. So I'll blog that story below, and leave it to future investigation why Israel's mainstream media has been complicit in that coverup until now.
An investigative report by Yedioth Ahronoth revealed the ongoing failure of various Israeli authorities in safeguarding the rare archeological treasures found on Temple Mount. Information elicited by the newspaper showed that the Waqf is consistently erasing any trace of Jewish history at the site.For those of you who don't speak Israelspeak, allow me to enlighten you. What they're saying is that if they disclosed the truth - that there is ongoing destruction on the Temple Mount - it would prove conclusively that the Muslims (and it's not just the 'Palestinians' here because the Wakf acts in the name of the Arab and Muslim governments) are not even willing to acknowledge a Jewish (and Christian) presence on the Temple Mount and therefore there is no chance - as in "none" "zero" - that they will ever make peace with the existence of a Jewish state on any part of the land of Israel. That's the truth. And if Netanyahu (who didn't start the policy - as noted above - but continued it) were to acknowledge that, what would he say to President Hussein Obama in Washington next week?
Mideastern affairs expert Dr. Mordechai Kedar says these acts are undertaken in the framework of an Arab practice known as "erasing the signs," aimed at eliminating the remnants of any civilization that preceded Islam.
Members of the State Comptroller's Office launched an investigation into the affair four years ago and drafted a report about it. However, the Knesset's State Control Committee decided to impose a gag order on the report for "security reasons."
However, Israeli intelligence officials told Yedioth Ahronoth there is no reason to prevent the report's publication. A senior Shin Bet Security Service official said following the Committee's session on the matter: "I'm ashamed. This is akin to cheapening national security to the lowest point possible."
Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan has also questioned the gag order. "There is no connection whatsoever between the failure to publish the report and national security. As far as I know, both Mossad and Shin Bet said there is no reason not to publish the report…apparently there are other considerations here, pertaining to political motives."
Conversations and interviews held with dozens of officials involved in drafting the State Comptroller's secret report indicate that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is among the senior officials interested in shelving the document. Attorney Yisrael Caspi, who represents a group fighting the destruction on Temple Mount, says the PM is unequivocally responsible for the ongoing failure.
But make no mistake about it: Netanyahu is continuing his predecessor's policy on the Temple Mount:
"One cannot underestimate the prime minister's responsibility for the state of affairs on Temple Mount; one can only refer to it as absolute responsibility," he said. "We know with certainty that nothing happens on Temple Mount without the advance knowledge and permission of the Prime Minister's Office and its head. All the criticism, all the negligence, all the failures, the entire cover-up and the helplessness in dealing with the matter - and therefore all the historical responsibility - are his."Netanyahu is shirking the blame.
Caspi says Netanyahu does not want to be reminded of the "historical scandal" of handing over the holy site known in Judaism as Solomon's Stables to the Waqf during the PM's first term in office, in the 1990s. "This turned Solomon's Stables, an amazing archeological site…into a place that Jews are not allowed to enter and into the largest mosque in the State of Israel," he says.
"These days too, three tractors are being used on Temple Mount," Caspi says. "Construction materials are also continuing to be brought into Temple Mount in violation of police pledges…Temple Mount looks today like a construction materials' warehouse…materials being brought in today will be used for illegal works tomorrow."
The Prime Minister's Office issued the following response to the story: "As opposed to the claims, the body that imposed a gag order on the (State Comptroller's) report was not the government, but rather, the sub-committee of the Knesset's Defense and Foreign Affair's Committee…any argument alleging that the report is not being published as result of irrelevant reasons is baseless and disconnected from reality."Who is the sub-committee? Who is on it? From whom does it take orders? Who is its chairman? Who are its members? Since when can the Prime Minister's office be prevented from publishing something by a 'sub-committee' of the Knesset?
And the Wakf is denying that they're doing anything wrong.
The Waqf issued the following response: "The Waqf's management was sorry to hear the claims made in the story pertaining to the Waqf's policy on Temple Mount. In the Waqf management's view, all these claims are baseless and constitute false charges. Our official policy is to preserve and respect any human heritage. You are invited to visit the mosque and see for yourself well preserved Roman, Byzantine and Crusader artifacts, among other items."But not Jewish ones of course. In the Wakf's world, those never existed.
Read the whole thing. I hope that this won't be the last time the mainstream media discusses this issue.