Jim’s Question: Who owns the Temple Mount?
A question came up in our Thursday meeting concerning who owns the temple mount. This was a great question to which I could only give a partial answer because it would have required a lot more time than we had. My own personal believe is that the Jews have the legal ownership as given by God several thousand years ago. However, to fully understand this hot topic one must work through the following to understand the temple mount’s history, which many today are attempting to change. One must study history to get to the truth and which many today are not willing to accept. The following outline will be extensive and we do not have room to put it all in this E-mail so I will just give you hightlights:
The periods of study:
+THE ISRAELITE PERIOD:
The hill is believed to have been inhabited since the 4th millennium BCE. David having bought the property from araunah for 50 pieces of silver and erected an altar. YHWH instructed David to build a sanctuary on the site, outside the walls on the northern edge of the hill. The building was to replace Tabernacle, and serve as the Temple of the Israelites in Jerusalem.
+THE ACHAMENID PERSIAN, HASMONEAN PERIODS, AND HEROD’S EXPLANSION.
+THE MIDDLE ROMAN PERIOD.
+THE LATER ROMAN PERIOD.
+THE BYZANTINE PERIOD.
+THE SASSANID VASSAL STATE PERIOD.
+THE ARAB PERIOD.
+THE CRUSADER PERIOD.
+THE OTTOMAN PERIOD.
+THE JORDANIAN PERIOD.
+THE ISRAELI PERIOD – which I will assume the question was based on. And so I will give a limited look at that time-frame:
During the 1967 six-day war Israel captured the Temple mount together with all of East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan, who had controlled it since 1948. The chief rabbi of the Israeli Defense Forces, Shlomo Goren, led the soldiers in religious celebrations on the Temple Mount at the Western Wall. Several interesting events happened in conjunction with the capture of the Temple Mount.
An Islamic Waqf has managed the Temple Mount continuously since the Muslim reconquest of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1187. On June 7, 1967, soon after Israel had taken control of the area during the Six day war, Prime Minister Levi Eshol assure that “no harm whatsoever shall come to the places of sacred to all religions.” Together with the extension of Israeli jurisdiction and administration over east Jerusalem, the Knesset passed the Preservation of the Holy Places Law,” ensuring protection of the Holy Places against desecration, as well as freedom of access thereto. Israel agreed to leave administration of the site in the hands of the Waqf.
Although freedom of access was enshrined in the law, as a security measure the Israeli government currently enforces a ban on non-Muslin prayer on the site. Non-Muslims who are observed praying on the site are subject to expulsion by the police. Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, which because of Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem, hold Israeli permanent residency cards, and Israeli Arabs, are permitted unrestricted access to the Temple Mount.
1947 The British mandate ends and a civil war begins in Palestine lasting until 1948 when it escalates to the Arab-Israeli war after Israelites declare their independence. It is almost instantly recognized by the US, Iran, the Soviet Union, Iraq, Egypt and Syria. Lebanon and Jordan declare war on Israel. Jordan troops aided by Saudi Arabia, Libya and Yemen surround Jerusalem.
1949 – Armistice Agreements are signed. Jerusalem is split down the middle with Jordan controlling the east where the Temple Mount is located. Israelites were denied access to the Temple Mount and other sites.
1967 – The six Day War is fought. Israel takes over the eastern section of Jerusalem. The defense of theTemple Mount becomes a major part of the conflict from the Arab perspective. Jewish access is restored and the Moroccan section is destroyed to provide parking space for visitors to the Western Wall. Israel archeologists begin digging under the Temple Mount to the outcry of Arabs.
Israel then passes the Jerusalem Laws which says it is now the capital city and all holy places will be defended against desecration. The actual Temple Mount with its islamic holy places is allowed to be run by a Islamic group called Waqf. The UN passes a resolution declaring the action a violation of internation law.
Trust this will help with understanding the ongoing conflict over the Temple Mount. If not, fire away. The information in this E-mail was taken from various sources and historical documents.
In other words this is not all original with me. For myself, inasmuch as all of creation belongs to God, He has a right to give His land to whom He wants. He gave the Jerusalem area, including the Temple Mount, to the Jews and so they hold legal title to the entire area as far as I am concerned and man cannot change that.