Wednesday, November 2, 2016

840 Jews Wailing at the Wrong wall; outraged at UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem holy sites

Jews Wailing at the Wrong wall; outraged at UNESCO resolution on
Jerusalem holy sites

Newsletter published on 21 July 2016

(1) Israel outraged by UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem Holy sites
(2) UNESCO resolution safeguards Dome of the Rock from Jewish plan to
build Third Temple there
(3) UNESCO resolution condemns Israeli actions in Jerusalem, calls
Israel an "occupying power"
(4) Australian Jewish leaders condemn UNESCO Western Wall resolution
(5) Jews Wailing at the Wrong Wall - Richard Edmondson and Professor
George Wesley Buchanan
(6) Israel forbids Men and Women to pray together at the Wailing Wall
(7) Orthodox and Liberal Jews fight over Wailing Wall
(8) Solomon's Temple was modelled on Ain Dara temple in Syria
(9) Text of the UNESCO Resolution on Jerusalem's Holy Sites

(1) Israel outraged by UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem Holy sites

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/04/outrage-israel-unesco-resolution-jerusalem-160421162641624.html

22 April 2016

Israel outraged by UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem sites

The resolution adopted by 33 countries condemns the Israeli government's
stewardship of Jerusalem.

More than 30 countries voted for the resolution which was passed last
week [EPA]More than 30 countries voted for the resolution which was
passed last week [EPA]

The language of a UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem describing "so-called"
Jewish sites and putting the Western Wall Plaza in quotation marks has
sparked outrage in Israel.

The resolution, adopted by the United Nations cultural agency's
58-nation executive board last week, condemns the Israeli government's
stewardship of Jerusalem and decries the renovation of "so-called Jewish
ritual baths" and the alleged creation of "Jewish fake graves".

Sites are either referred to by their Arabic or English names, or, in
the case of the Western Wall Plaza, the holiest site where Jews can
pray, are put in quotation marks.

The Western Wall is in East Jerusalem's historic Old City, which was
occupied by Israel along with the rest of the West Bank and the Gaza
Strip during the 1967 Middle East war, though Israel's parliament, the
Knesset, passed the Jerusalem Law, which in 1980 declared the city
"complete and united".

However, the vast majority of the international community - including
the United States, the European Union and the UN - do not recognise
Israel's claims to sovereignty over East Jerusalem.

The Israeli government described the resolution, which was voted for by
33 countries, as "hideous" and penned letters to all countries that
signed the resolution, which included France, Russia and China.

"The UNESCO resolution has no practical validity. Nevertheless, we will
not permit international entities to blur the Jewish people’s connection
to its eternal capital," Dore Gold, director general of the country's
foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

The United Kingdom and the US abstained from the vote.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

(2) UNESCO resolution safeguards Dome of the Rock from Jewish plan to
build Third Temple there


http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/65788/unesco-names-western-wall-al-buraq-plaza/

UNESCO Renames Western Wall "Al-Buraq Plaza"

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz April 17, 2016 , 1:22 am

On Friday, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural
Organization’s (UNESCO) Executive Board in Paris adopted a resolution
erasing Israel’s ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall
<http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002443/244378e.pdf>.

The UNESCO resolution referred to the Temple Mount area solely as the
Al-Aqsa Mosque or Al-Haram Al Sharif, ignoring the Jewish claim to the site.

The resolution called Israel "the occupying power" and the Western Wall
as Al-Buraq Plaza. It demanded that Israel not restrict Muslim access to
the Temple Mount, condemning Israel for "illegal measures against the
freedom of worship" at the "Muslim holy site of worship". It demanded a
return to the "status quo". The status quo since Israel conquered the
Temple Mount in 1967 forbids non-Muslim prayer on the Temple Mount and
has remained unchanged.

Blaming "Israel aggression" for the violence at the site, it had no
mention of the role of Muslim rioters.

It also condemned the Israel’s plans to establish an egalitarian,
non-Orthodox prayer section by Robinson’s Arch.

It accused Israel of "planting Jewish fake graves in other spaces of the
Muslim cemeteries" located on Waqf property east and south of the Temple
Mount, and of "the continued conversion of many Islamic and Byzantine
remains into the so-called Jewish ritual baths or into Jewish prayer
places.".

It referred to Hebron and Bethlehem as solely "Palestinian sites".

Authorized by the executive board’s Programme and External Relations
Commission, the resolution was submitted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon,
Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan. The 58-member board approved the
resolution with 33 votes in favor, six against and 17 abstentions. Two
countries, Ghana and Turkmenistan were absent all together. Estonia,
Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the US voted
against the resolution. France, Spain, Slovenia, Sweden, Russia and
Slovenia were among those countries that supported the resolution.

Israeli ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama, released a statement saying,
"Even if UNESCO passes dozens of resolutions, and decides to continue
passing thousands more, Jerusalem will always remain as part of the
capital of Israel and the Jewish people." Shama added, "As you continue
on this path of incitement, lies and terror you will be sending UNESCO
down a path towards irrelevance."

"This is yet another absurd UN decision," Netanyahu said Saturday.
"UNESCO ignores the unique historic connection of Judaism to the Temple
Mount, where the two temples stood for a thousand years and to which
every Jew in the world has prayed for thousands of years. The UN is
rewriting a basic part of human history and has again proven that there
is no low to which it will not stoop."

(3) UNESCO resolution condemns Israeli actions in Jerusalem, calls
Israel an "occupying power"


http://www.jta.org/2016/04/17/news-opinion/israel-middle-east/unesco-resolution-ignores-jewish-ties-to-temple-mount-western-wall

UNESCO resolution ignores Jewish ties to Temple Mount, Western Wall

April 17, 2016 10:08am

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A UNESCO resolution does not recognize a Jewish
connection to the Western Wall and the Temple Mount and calls Israel an
"occupying power."

The resolution was adopted Friday by the executive board of the United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization resolution at
a meeting in Paris.

Six months after the organization decided not to classify the Western
Wall as a solely Muslim site, the measure refers to the Western Wall as
Al-Buraq Plaza and to the Temple Mount as the Al-Aksa Mosque/Al-Haram Al
Sharif.

The resolution, which condemns Israeli actions in eastern Jerusalem, the
West Bank and Gaza Strip, accuses Israel of being an "occupying power,"
of "planting Jewish fake graves in other spaces of the Muslim
cemeteries" and of "the continued conversion of many Islamic and
Byzantine remains into the so-called Jewish ritual baths or into Jewish
prayer places," according to Israeli newspaper reports.

It also criticizes Israel for its decision to build an egalitarian
prayer area in the Western Wall Plaza and for "illegal measures against
the freedom of worship" at the "Muslim holy site of worship." The
resolutions refers to the cities of Hebron and Bethlehem as solely
Muslim, and raps Israeli control over the Tomb of the Patriarchs and
Rachel’s Tomb, both in Hebron.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the resolution.

"This is yet another absurd U.N. decision," Netanyahu said in a
statement issued Saturday night. "UNESCO ignores the unique historic
connection of Judaism to the Temple Mount, where two temples stood for a
thousand years and to which every Jew in the world has prayed for
thousands of years. The U.N. is rewriting a basic part of human history
and has once again proven that there is no low to which it will not stoop."

(4) Australian Jewish leaders condemn UNESCO Western Wall resolution

https://www.jewishnews.net.au/unesco-western-wall-resolution-condemned/50278

UNESCO Western Wall resolution condemned

October 22, 2015

Tags: National News Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, B’nai
B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, Colin Rubenstein, Dvir Abramovich,
Jeremy Jones, Kotel, Palestinian Authority, UNESCO

COMMUNAL leaders have slammed a resolution set to be considered this
week by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organisation (UNESCO) that designates the Kotel as a Muslim holy site.

Making no mention of the Western Wall’s Jewish heritage, let alone its
status as the holiest site in Judaism, the motion describes it as "an
integral part" of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and calls it "Buraq
Plaza", referring to the Islamic tradition that Muhammad’s winged steed
(buraq) was tethered there when he ascended to heaven.

Submitted by Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Kuwait and the United
Arab Emirates on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, the resolution
also describes Jerusalem as "the occupied capital of Palestine", lays
blame for the recent spate of violence solely on Israel and condemns
attacks on the mosque by Jewish extremists, while accusing Israel of
trying to break the status quo of the site.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry decried the motion as "an attempt to redraw
history and blur the connection between the Jewish people and its
holiest place and to create a false reality".

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) executive director
Colin Rubenstein said, "It is ironic that while Israel is falsely
accused of changing the status quo on the Temple Mount, the Palestinian
leadership is actively seeking to change the status quo of the Western
Wall, Judaism’s holiest place of worship. It is also outrageous that
UNESCO, an organisation intended to protect cultural heritage, is
denying the Jewish people’s historical and religious connection to the
site, and further inflaming tensions in Jerusalem."

Stating that UNESCO’s credibility was at stake, AIJAC’s Jeremy Jones –
who spoke at the inaugural UNESCO World Culture Forum in 2013 – added,
"No academic, no scholar, no religious personality and no fundamentally
moral human being should be anything other than outraged at this move."

The sentiment was echoed by B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission
chairman Dvir Abramovich, who labelled the resolution "outrageous and
vile", claiming it "maliciously engages in historical revisionism" and
adding that it "will irreparably harm relations during these volatile
times, and further damage the prospects of dialogue and peace".

AJN STAFF

(5) Jews Wailing at the Wrong Wall - Richard Edmondson and Professor
George Wesley Buchanan

From: Gerald Goldberg <goldberggerald120@yahoo.com> Date: Fri, 8 Jul
2016 14:35:46 +0000 (UTC) Subject:

https://richardedmondson.net/2015/10/18/wailing-at-the-wrong-wall-misunderstandings-about-jerusalems-temple-mount/

Wailing at the Wrong Wall: Misunderstandings About Jerusalem’s Temple Mount

Posted on October 18, 2015

by Richard Edmondson

[ Ed. note – The assumption that the Al Aqsa Mosque occupies a site
where a Jewish temple once stood may well be an erroneous one. This is
not a new theory. The article below was posted in 2011 and its findings
are based upon archaeological discoveries of the last century. Of course
it has profound implications for events that are taking place now as
Palestinians battle to defend the Al Aqsa mosque from Jewish settlers
who claim that it is their right to go there and "pray."

My own personal take on all this is that whatever may have stood on the
site in the past, whether it may have been a Jewish temple or simply a
Roman fortress, it is a place of Muslim worship now. Which means it
deserves the same sanctity and respect as any other place of worship. If
a bunch of crazed fanatics showed up at the church I go to–and claimed
they had a right to hold their own worship services and prayers there–I
would tell them to get lost, and I think most people would feel the
same. Likewise if a mob showed up at a Jewish synagogue making the same
demands. It wouldn’t be any different.

But of course, Jewish supremacism being what it is, the Jews who have
been causing all the trouble at the Al Aqsa Mosque, and whose activities
were a main contributing factor to the intifada we are now witnessing,
obviously feel they have a right to go into someone else’s house of
worship and claim it as their own. The Temple Institute is even already
drawing up plans for construction of a temple. But the article below
raises what quite obviously are some serious questions, for if the
conclusions drawn by archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon and historian
Benjamin Mazar are correct, then it would seem Jews have been wailing at
the wrong wall for the past thousand-odd years.]

Misunderstandings About Jerusalem’s Temple Mount

By George Wesley Buchanan

While it has not been widely published, it assuredly has been known for
more than 40 years that the 45-acre, well-fortified place that has been
mistakenly called the "Temple Mount" was really the Roman fortress—the
Antonia—that Herod built. The Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque are
contained within these walls. The area is called the Haram Al-Sharif in
Arabic.

The discovery that this area had once been the great Roman fortress came
as a shock to the scholarly community, which had believed for many years
that this ancient fortress was the place where the temple had been. This
news was preceded by another shock, when the English archaeologist
Kathleen Kenyon discovered in 1962 that the entire City of David in the
past had been only that little rock ridge on the western bank of the
Kidron Valley. Less than 10 years later the historian Benjamin Mazar
learned that the Haram had undoubtedly been the Roman fortress.

In biblical times the Haram was not a sacred place. Instead it was the
place that Orthodox Jews considered defiled and the most despised place
in the world. Within these walls were found no remnants of any of the
earlier temples but rather an image of Mars, the Roman god of war. The
1st century Jewish Roman historian Titus Flavius Josephus said the
Romans always kept a whole legion of soldiers (5,000-6,000) there, and
that there were stones in its walls that were 30 feet long, 15 feet
thick, and 71/2 feet high. While excavating the area, Mazar found these
very stones there in the Haram—not in the temple.

He and the local Muslims also discovered there three inscriptions,
honoring the Roman leaders in the war of A.D. 66-72—Vespasian, Titus,
and Silva—and Hadrian in the war of A.D. 132-135, for their success in
defeating the Jews in the wars. Appropriate inscriptions for a Roman
fortress, but impossible for a temple that had been destroyed in A.D.
70—65 years before the inscriptions had been made. Mazar shared these
insights freely with other participants in the excavation, such as
Herbert Armstrong and Ernest Martin.

Mazar also knew at once that the temple instead was stationed 600 feet
farther south and 200 feet lower in altitude, on Mount Ophel, where the
Spring of Siloam poured tons of water under the threshold of the temple
every minute (Ezek 47:1), after which the water was distributed wherever
it was needed. This marvelous little City of David was unique in having
running water 3,000 years ago. Aristeas, Tacitus and 1 Enoch tell of the
inexhaustible spring water system that was indescribably well developed,
gushing tons of water into the temple area for sacrifices. Hezekiah’s
tunnel directed water under Mount Ophel to the Pool of Siloam.

Herod’s fortress, on the other hand, was unequipped for sacrifices,
because it had only 37 cisterns to provide water in the Haram.

After two violent wars with Rome, the City of David was so completely
destroyed that it could not be recognized as a city. The Roman emperor
Hadrian decreed that it would be used as an area where the Upper City
could dump trash and garbage. It continued in that condition for
hundreds of years. The Upper City developed, and people forgot what a
marvelous little city this had once been. They simply guessed where
strategic locations in the City of David must have been in the Upper
City. Of course, this was a normal mistake.

Now, 50 years after Kenyon’s discovery, scholars like Leen Ritmeyer,
Eilat Mazar and Hershel Shanks have recently written books as if no one
knew that the Haram was the Roman Fortress and that Solomon’s,
Zechariah’s and Herod’s temples all were located near the Spring of
Siloam. Tourists are still mistakenly told that the Haram is the Temple
Mount, that David’s citadel is near the Jaffa Gate, and that Mount Zion
and the place where the Last Supper was held are all in the Upper City.

Israel’s antiquities authority has been digging a tunnel from under
homes in the Arab East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan to the Western
Wall Plaza. According to a recent "60 Minutes" interview, Jerusalem
Mayor Nir Barkat wants to create King’s Garden, a Bible-themed tourist
park "adjacent to the City of David," which requires demolishing 22 Arab
homes in Silwan. The purpose of archeology is to provide archeological
insights, of course, but excavations between the City of David and the
old Roman fortress (the Haram) also have an anti-Arab political agenda.

It is not likely that a fourth temple will ever be constructed, either
in the City of David or in theHaram. Israel already has diverted the
water formerly used for sacrifices away from the former temple area and
is making the City of David into a park. Orthodox Jews would oppose
having a temple in Herod’s hated fortress. Jews had no interest in the
Haram until after the Crusades, when they misunderstood that it was the
Temple Mount. If the temple were ever built, it would have to be placed
somewhere in the Upper City or a suburb of Jerusalem—not in its former
site or in the old Roman Fortress.

Because innocent Evangelical Christians in America, under the guidance
of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and John Hagee, have not been informed
of these facts, they have thought there was some biblical or religious
reason why it was necessary to destroy Islam’s third most sacred
building in the world, together with the al-Aqsa mosque. It is my hope
that, once Christians learn of this mistake, they will stop following
Mars and Phineas (Num 25; Ps 106:30-31) and work as zealously for peace,
following the teachings of Abraham, the 8th century prophets (Mica 6:8),
Jesus, and Paul, as they once worked to promote war in the Middle East.
This would make a tremendous difference to Jerusalem—and to the world.

George Wesley Buchanan has been a United Methodist minister since 1944
and a professor at a theological seminary since 1960, emeritus since he
retired in 1991.

(6) Israel forbids Men and Women to pray together at the Wailing Wall

http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=34815

Newsletter Thursday July 7, 2016

AG forbids mixed-gender prayer service at Western Wall

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit bases decision on 2013 directive
issued by Western Wall rabbi that prohibits prayer services in Western
Wall's upper plaza

Yair Altman and Israel Hayom Staff

The Western Wall in Jerusalem

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit decided on Wednesday to forbid the
Reform and Conservative movements from holding a mixed-gender,
egalitarian prayer service in the Western Wall's upper plaza that had
been scheduled for Thursday morning.

Mendelblit based his decision on a 2013 directive issued by Western Wall
Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz that prohibited prayer services in the upper
plaza, which is located behind the separate prayer areas for men and
women that are adjacent to the Western Wall.

However, mixed-gender, egalitarian prayer services had been held
recently in the upper plaza with the attorney general's consent.

Mendelblit's office explained on Wednesday that the upper plaza is
designated for state ceremonies and other nonreligious events. It
suggested that the mixed-gender, egalitarian prayer service be held at
Robinson's Arch, south of the main Western Wall plaza.

(7) Orthodox and Liberal Jews fight over Wailing Wall

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/07/western-wall-ultra-orthodox-progressive-judaism-gilad-kariv.html

Will Western Wall dispute topple Israeli government?

The dispute over the Western Wall could evolve from a local controversy
between ultra-Orthodox and liberal Jewish organizations (the Reform and
Conservative streams of Judaism known as Progressive Judaism and Women
of the Wall) into an unprecedented head-on confrontation between the
various religious factions in Israel and could even culminate in the
overthrow of the government.

Author Mordechai Goldman

Posted July 14, 2016

Translator Hanni Manor

Here's a summary of events: In January, the government made a historic
decision to grant liberal Jewish organizations a recognized status at
the Western Wall. The plan calls for the appointment of representatives
on behalf of liberal Jews to the public council to be set up to manage
the Western Wall prayer space, and for the establishment of a special
prayer compound next to Robinson's Arch to serve this population.

The ultra-Orthodox, who were not happy with the decision, to say the
least, warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that they would leave
the coalition (thus toppling the government) unless the plan is
significantly modified and restricted under the law. Meanwhile, Reform
organizations appealed to the Supreme Court to enforce the decision.
However, in view of the ultra-Orthodox objections, the state appealed to
the Supreme Court no less than eight times to put off the implementation
of the plan and allow time to reach a compromise. Alas, no such deal
seems to be in the offing.

Before the most recent deferral on July 5, the representatives of the
religious parties in the Knesset met with Netanyahu and Attorney General
Avichai Mandelblit. Following the meeting, the ultra-Orthodox made it
clear that they would by no means agree to give the Reform Jews a
foothold at the Western Wall. At the same time, the Reform organizations
continue to stand firm and declare that they have no intention of
compromising.

"I think that the ultra-Orthodox would not agree to settle for anything
less than two specific principles," said Pinchas Tenenbaum, the
spokesman for Chief Rabbi David Lau, who is involved in the negotiations
on a compromise. He told Al-Monitor, "The first principle is a
distinctly separate entrance to the prayer compound allocated to the
Reform Jews, well before the entrance to the present prayer space. The
second principle is the cancellation of their representation in the
public council."

Al-Monitor has learned that a new compromise proposal is quietly under
discussion whereby no official status would be granted to the Reform
movement on the site, and the Jewish Agency would be given authority
there in its place. In addition, a separate entrance leading to the
section allocated to the Reform Jews would be set up to the satisfaction
of all the parties concerned. Talking with Al-Monitor, senior
ultra-Orthodox figures expressed approval of the proposed plan, and said
that the ultra-Orthodox leadership would most likely support it.

On the other hand, right-wing organizations with Merkaz Liba leading the
battle have already made it clear that they would oppose the proposed
plan regardless of the support emerging among ultra-Orthodox
politicians. "We will go from one rabbi to another and convince them
that the plan is a sham," Liba leader Yehuda Wald told Al-Monitor. "We
have researched the issue and found that the Jewish Agency is a notably
pro-Reform body; and allowing it a foothold in the Western Wall compound
would be the same as allowing the Reform Jews themselves a foothold in
the site. The politicians are hiding this information from the rabbis,
and we will expose it."

The list of those opposing the proposed compromise includes the Reform
movement itself. Talking with Al-Monitor, Reform movement Rabbi Gilad
Kariv clarified that he would not compromise on the issues of
representation in the council and joint entrance to the site. "They are
trying to drive us out," he said, "but we are not going to give up our
demand for an entry to our section from within the Western Wall compound
and we will not give up our representation in the public council. We
will not agree to a situation where the ultra-Orthodox have a monopoly
on running the Western Wall compound." Still, Kariv also implied that he
would agree to certain compromises, provided that all the parties
seriously discuss it together.

Meanwhile, tempers are flaring at the Western Wall. On July 7, prayers
on the site by Reform Jews and Women of the Wall led to a violent
incident when ultra-Orthodox worshipers jeered at them and blew whistles.

Reuven B., who asked that his full name not be divulged, one of the
self-described leading activists in the "fight against the liberals" who
prays daily at the Western Wall, described his own actions to
Al-Monitor. "There is no organization behind us," he was quick to
clarify. "I have 20 whistles in my pocket and in the women's section
there are also women with whistles. Last week, Women of the Wall arrived
to the site with the intention of reading the Torah. I mobilized a
number of young Americans who happened to be at the Western Wall and
they were excited about the idea. We started making noise and disturbing
them. The police could do nothing to us, as we did not use violence.
It's our right to sing and whistle. There is no law against it."

"The failure of the police to intervene is very serious in my eyes,
since once the Supreme Court has approved prayers [by Reform Jews] at
the site, the police must assist," said Kariv. "Anyway, we will not give
up and we'll continue to send the women to pray in the public plaza. We
are not deterred by those hooligans. If the police fail to protect us,
we will appeal to the Supreme Court to force the police to perform their
duty." Kariv added that if no fair compromise is reached soon, they
would petition the Supreme Court and ask to establish a mixed-gender
prayer compound inside the central prayer space.

"We will go all the way on this issue," said Kariv. Noting that about 2
million Jews are registered members of progressive Jewish communities
worldwide (and another 2 million Jews define themselves as progressive
without being registered, according to a Pew survey), Kariv added, "We
are a huge group in the Jewish people and we are not going to let anyone
to exclude us. If we are prevented from praying at the Western Wall,
neither will the ultra-Orthodox be able to pray at the Western Wall."

Ongoing negotiations notwithstanding, the parties are still far from
reaching an agreement. Both the liberals and ultra-Orthodox face
opposition from within to any compromise. Thus, for instance, there were
quite a few in the liberal community who opposed the government-approved
Western Wall plan, while disagreements on the issue have led to a split
in Women of the Wall. Likewise, there are various elements in the
ultra-Orthodox community who are deliberately acting against any
compromise on ideological grounds, although many in the leadership are
willing to make a deal. No compromise on this sensitive issue may be
reached or sustained as long as there is no unified position acceptable
to all within the two opposing streams.

(8) Solomon's Temple was modelled on Ain Dara temple in Syria

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-sites-places/temple-at-jerusalem/searching-for-the-temple-of-king-solomon/

Searching for the Temple of King Solomon

How the ’Ain Dara temple in Syria sheds light on King Solomon in the
Bible and his famous temple

08/10/2015 Biblical Archaeology Society Staff

This Bible History Daily article was originally published in October
2013. It has been updated.—Ed.

For centuries, scholars have searched in vain for any remnant of
Solomon’s Temple. The fabled Jerusalem sanctuary, described in such
exacting detail in 1 Kings 6, was no doubt one the most stunning
achievements of King Solomon in the Bible, yet nothing of the building
itself has been found because excavation on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount,
site of the Temple of King Solomon, is impossible.

Fortunately, several Iron Age temples discovered throughout the Levant
bear a striking resemblance to the Temple of King Solomon in the Bible.
Through these remains, we gain extraordinary insight  into the
architectural grandeur of the building that stood atop Jerusalem’s
Temple Mount nearly 3,000 years ago.

As reported by archaeologist John Monson in the pages of BAR, the
closest known parallel to the Temple of King Solomon is the ’Ain Dara
temple in northern Syria. Nearly every aspect of the ’Ain Dara
temple—its age, its size, its plan, its decoration—parallels the vivid
description of the Temple of King Solomon in the Bible. In fact, Monson
identified more than 30 architectural and decorative elements shared by
the ’Ain Dara structure and the Jerusalem Temple described by the
Biblical writers.

The similarities between the ’Ain Dara temple and the temple described
in the Bible are indeed striking. Both buildings were erected on huge
artificial platforms built on the highest point in their respective
cities. The buildings likewise have similar tripartite plans: an entry
porch supported by two columns, a main sanctuary hall (the hall of the
’Ain Dara temple is divided between an antechamber and a main chamber)
and then, behind a partition, an elevated shrine, or Holy of Holies.
They were also both flanked on three of their sides by a series of
multistoried rooms and chambers that served various functions.

Even the decorative schemes of ’Ain Dara temple and the temple described
in the Bible are similar: Nearly every surface, both interior and
exterior, of the ’Ain Dara temple was carved with lions, mythical
animals (cherubim and sphinxes), and floral and geometric patterns, the
same imagery that, according to 1 Kings 6:29, adorned the Temple of King
Solomon in the Bible.

Where did Solomon’s wealth come from? Biblical texts suggest that the
seafaring Phoenicians brought Solomon silver from the land of Tarshish.
A new study points to Spain and Sardinia as the Biblical world’s source
of silver in the 10th century B.C.E., substantiating associations
between Biblical Tarshish and modern Sardinia. Learn more >>

It is the date of the ’Ain Dara temple, however, that offers the most
compelling evidence for the authenticity of the Biblical Temple of King
Solomon. The ’Ain Dara temple was originally built around 1300 B.C. and
remained in use for more than 550 years, until 740 B.C. The plan and
decoration of such majestic temples no doubt inspired the Phoenician
engineers and craftsmen who built Solomon’s grand edifice in the tenth
century B.C. As noted by Lawrence Stager of Harvard University, the
existence of the ’Ain Dara temple proves that the Biblical description
of Solomon’s Temple was "neither an anachronistic account based on later
temple archetypes nor a literary creation. The plan, size, date and
architectural details fit squarely into the tradition of sacred
architecture from north Syria (and probably Phoenicia) from the tenth to
eighth centuries B.C."

Certain features of the ’Ain Dara temple also provide dramatic insight
into ancient Near Eastern conceptions of gods and the temples in which
they were thought to reside. Carved side-by-side in the threshold of the
’Ain Dara temple are two gigantic footprints. As one enters the
antechamber of the sanctuary, there is another carving of a right foot,
followed 30 feet away (at the threshold between the antechamber and the
main chamber) by a carving of a left foot. The footprints, each of which
measures 3 feet in length, were intended to show the presence (and
enormity) of the resident deity as he or she entered the temple and
approached his or her throne in the Holy of Holies. Indeed, the 30-foot
stride between the oversize footprints indicates a god who would have
stood 65 feet tall! In Solomon’s Temple, the presence of a massive
throne formed by the wings of two giant cherubim with 17-foot wingspans
(1 Kings 6:23–26) may indicate that some Israelites envisaged their God,
Yahweh, in a similar manner.

(9) Text of the UNESCO Resolution on Jerusalem's Holy Sites

http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002443/244378e.pdf

PROGRAMME AND EXTERNAL RELATIONS COMMISSION (PX) OCCUPIED PALESTINE

DRAFT DECISION

Submitted by: Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan

Executive Board Hundred and ninety-ninth session

199 EX/PX/DR.19.1 Rev. PARIS, 11 April 2016 Original: English

The Executive Board,

1. Having examined document 199 EX/19,

2. Recalling the provisions of the four Geneva Conventions (1949) and
their additional Protocols (1977), the 1907 Hague Regulations on Land
Warfare, the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in
the Event of Armed Conflict (1954) and its additional Protocols, the
Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit
Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970) and
the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural
Heritage (1972), the inscription of the Old City of Jerusalem and its
Walls at the request of Jordan on the World Heritage List (1981) and on
the List of World Heritage in Danger (1982), and the recommendations,
resolutions and decisions of UNESCO on the protection of cultural
heritage, as well as resolutions and decisions of UNESCO relating to
Jerusalem, also recalling previous UNESCO decisions related to the
reconstruction and development of Gaza as well as UNESCO decisions on
the two Palestinian sites in Al-Khalil/Hebron and in Bethlehem,

3. Affirming that nothing in the present decision, which aims, inter
alia, at the safeguarding of the cultural heritage of Palestine and the
distinctive character of East Jerusalem, shall in any way affect the
relevant Security Council and United Nations resolutions and decisions
on the legal status of Palestine and Jerusalem,

4. Deeply regrets the Israeli refusal to implement UNESCO previous
Decisions concerning Jerusalem particularly 185 EX/Decision 14 and notes
that its request to the Director-General to appoint, as soon as
possible, a permanent representative to be stationed in East Jerusalem
to report on a regular basis about all the aspects covering the fields
of competence of UNESCO in East Jerusalem,has not been fulfilled and
reiterates its request to the Director-General to appoint the
abovementioned representative;

5. Deeply deplores the failure of Israel, the Occupying Power, to cease
the persistent excavations and works in East Jerusalem particularly in
and around the Old City, and reiterates its request to Israel, the
Occupying Power, to prohibit all such works in conformity with its
obligations under the provisions of the relevant UNESCO conventions,
resolutions and decisions;

6. Thanks the Director-General for her efforts to implement previous
UNESCO decisions on Jerusalem and asks her to maintain and reinvigorate
such efforts;

7. Calls on Israel, the Occupying Power, to allow for the restoration of
the historic Status Quo, that prevailed until September 2000, under
which the Jordanian Awqaf (Religious Foundation) Department exercised
exclusive authority on Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al Sharif, and its
mandate extended to all affairs relating to the unimpeded administration
of Al- Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al Sharif, including maintenance,
restoration, and regulating access;

8. Strongly condemns the Israeli aggressions and illegal measures
against the freedom of worship and Muslims’ access to their Holy Site
Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al Sharif, and requests Israel, the Occupying
Power, to respect the historic Status Quo and to immediately stop these
measures;

9. Firmly deplores the continuous storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram
Al-Sharif by the Israeli right-wing extremists and uniformed forces, and
urges Israel, the Occupying Power, to take necessary measures to prevent
provocative abuses that violate the sanctity and integrity of Al-Aqsa
Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif;

10. Deeply decries the continuous Israeli aggressions against civilians
including sheikhs, and priests, further decries the large number of
arrests and injuries among Muslim worshippers and Jordanian Awqaf guards
in Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif by the Israeli forces and also
urges Israel, the Occupying Power, to end these aggressions and abuses
which inflame the tension on the ground and between faiths;

11. Disapproves the Israeli restriction of access to Al-Aqsa
Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif during the Eid Al-Adha 2015 and the subsequent
violence and calls on Israel, the Occupying Power, to stop all
violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif;

12. Deeply regrets the refusal of Israel to grant visas to UNESCO
experts in charge of the UNESCO project at the Centre of Islamic
Manuscripts in Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif and requests Israel to
deliver visas to UNESCO experts without restrictions;

13. Also regrets the damage caused by the Israeli Forces, especially
since 23 August 2015, to the historic gates and windows of the Qibli
Mosque inside Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al- Sharif, and reaffirms, in this
regard, the obligation of Israel to respect the integrity, authenticity
and cultural heritage of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif, as reflected
in the historic status quo, as a Muslim Holy Site of worship and as an
integral part of a World Cultural Heritage Site;

14. Calls on Israel, the Occupying Power, to stop violations against the
Waqf properties east and south of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif,
such as the recent confiscations of parts of Al- Youssefeyah cemetery
and Al-Sawanah area by banning Muslims from burying their dead in some
spaces and by planting Jewish fake graves in other spaces of the Muslim
cemeteries, in addition to the dramatic change of the status and
distinctive character of the Umayyad Palaces, in particular the
violation of the continued conversion of many Islamic and Byzantine
remains into the so-called Jewish ritual baths or into Jewish prayer places;

15. Expresses its deep concern over the Israeli closure and ban of the
renovation of the Al- Rahma Gate building, one of Al-Aqsa
Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif gates, and urges Israel, the Occupying Power,
to reopen the Gate, and stop obstruction of the necessary restoration
works, in order to repair the damage caused by the weather conditions,
especially the water leakage into the rooms of the building;

16. Calls on Israel, the Occupying Power, to stop the obstruction of the
immediate execution of all the 18 Hashemite restoration projects in and
around Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif;

17. Further deplores the Israeli decision to approve a plan to build a
two-line cable car system in East Jerusalem and the so called "Liba
House" project in the Old City of Jerusalem as well as the construction
of the so called "Kedem Center", a visitor centre near the southern wall
of the Mosque, the construction of the Strauss Building and the project
of the elevator in Al- Buraq Plaza "Western Wall Plaza" and urges
Israel, the Occupying Power, to renounce the above-mentioned projects
and to stop the construction works in conformity with its obligations
under the relevant UNESCO conventions, resolutions and decisions;

19. Takes note of the 15th Reinforced Monitoring Report and all previous
reports, together with their addenda prepared by the World Heritage
Centre as well as the State of Conservation reports submitted to the
World Heritage Centre by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the State
of Palestine;

20. Deprecates the persisting Israeli unilateral measures and decisions
regarding the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate, including the latest works
conducted at the Mughrabi Gate entrance in February 2015, the instalment
of an umbrella at that entrance as well as the enforced creation of a
new Jewish prayer platform south of the Mughrabi Ascent in Al-Buraq
Plaza "Western Wall Plaza", and the removal of the Islamic remains at
the site and reaffirms that no Israeli unilateral measures, shall be
taken in conformity with its status and obligations under the Hague
Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed
Conflict of 1954;

21. Further expresses its deep concern regarding the illegal demolitions
of Ummayyad, Ottoman and Mamluk remains as well as other intrusive works
and excavations in and around the Mughrabi Gate Pathway, and also
requests Israel, the Occupying Power, to halt such demolitions,
excavations and works and to abide by its obligations under the
provisions of the UNESCO conventions mentioned in para 2;

22. Reiterates its thanks to Jordan for its cooperation and further
urges Israel, the Occupying Power, to cooperate with Jordanian Awqaf
Department, in conformity with its obligations under the provisions of
the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the
Event of Armed Conflict of 1954, to facilitate access of Jordanian Awqaf
experts with their tools and material to the site in order to enable the
execution of the Jordanian design of the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate in
accordance with UNESCO and World Heritage Committee decisions
particularly 37 COM/7A.26, 38 COM/7A.4 and 39 COM/7A.27

23. Thanks the Director-General for her attention to the sensitive
situation of this matter and asks her to take the necessary measures in
order to enable the execution of the Jordanian design of the Ascent to
the Mughrabi Gate;

24. Stresses yet again the urgent need of the implementation of the
UNESCO Reactive Monitoring Mission to the Old City of Jerusalem and its
Walls;

25. Recalls, in this regard, 196 EX/Decision 24 that requests, in case
of non-implementation, to consider, in conformity with the International
Law, other means to ensure its implementation;

26. Notes with deep concern that Israel, the Occupying Power, did not
comply with any of the 11* decisions of the Executive Board as well as
the six** resolutions of the World Heritage Committee that request the
implementation of the Reactive Monitoring Mission to the Old City of
Jerusalem and its Walls;

27. Regrets the continued Israeli refusal to act in accordance with
UNESCO and World Heritage Committee decisions that request a UNESCO
experts meeting on the Mughrabi Ascent and the dispatch of a Reactive
Monitoring Mission to the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls;

28. Invites the Director-General to take necessary measures to implement
the above-mentioned Mission in accordance with World Heritage Committee
decision 34 COM/7A.20, prior to the next session of the Executive Board,
also invites all concerned parties to facilitate the implementation of
that mission and experts meeting;

29. Requests that the report and recommendations of the mission as well
as the report of the technical meeting on the Mughrabi Ascent, be
presented to the concerned parties;

30. Thanks the Director-General for her continuous efforts to implement
the above-mentioned UNESCO joint Reactive Monitoring Mission and all
related UNESCO decisions and resolutions;

31. Deplores the military confrontations in and around the Gaza Strip
and the civilian casualties caused, including the killing and injury of
thousands of Palestinian civilians, including children, as well as the
continuous negative impact in the fields of competence of UNESCO, the
attacks on schools and other educational and cultural facilities,
including breaches of inviolability of UNRWA schools;

32. Strongly deplores the continuous Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip,
which harmfully affects the free and sustained movement of personnel and
humanitarian relief items as well as the intolerable number of
casualties among Palestinian children, the attacks on schools and other
educational and cultural facilities and the denial of access to
education, and requests Israel, the occupying Power, to immediately ease
this blockade;

33. Reiterates its request to the Director-General to upgrade, as soon
as possible, the UNESCO Antenna in Gaza in order to ensure the prompt
reconstruction of schools, universities, cultural heritage sites,
cultural institutions, media centres and places of worship that have
been destroyed or damaged by the consecutive wars on Gaza;

34. Thanks the Director-General for the information meeting held on
March 2015 on the current situation in Gaza in the fields of competence
of UNESCO and on the outcome of the projects conducted by UNESCO in the
Gaza Strip-Palestine, and invites her to organize another information
meeting on the same matter;

35. Also thanks the Director-General for initiatives that have already
been implemented in Gaza in the fields of education, culture and youth
and for the safety of media professionals, and calls upon her to
continue her active involvement in the reconstruction of Gaza’s damaged
educational and cultural components;

36. Reaffirms that the two concerned sites located in Al-Khali¯l/Hebron
and in Bethlehem are an integral part of Palestine;

37. Disapproves the ongoing Israeli illegal excavations, works,
construction of private roads for settlers and a separation wall inside
the Old City of Al-Khali¯l/Hebron, that harmfully affect the integrity
of the site, and the subsequent denial of freedom of movement and
freedom of access to places of worship, and urges Israel, the occupying
Power, to end these violations in compliance with provisions of relevant
UNESCO conventions, resolutions and decisions;

38. Deeply deplores the new cycle of violence, since October 2015, in
the context of the constant aggressions by the Israeli settlers and
other extremist groups against Palestinian residents including
schoolchildren, and asks Israel, the Israeli authorities to prevent such
aggressions;

39. Deeply regrets the Israeli refusal to comply with 185 EX/Decision 15
which requested the Israeli authorities to remove the two Palestinian
sites from its national heritage list and calls on the Israeli
authorities to act in accordance with that decision;

40. Decides to include these matters under the item entitled "Occupied
Palestine" in the agenda of the Executive Board at its 200th session,
and invites the Director-General to submit to it a progress report on
these matters.




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