Wednesday, August 28, 2002

This could end in a terrible, terrible disaster
I’m very worried about the warnings that the southern wall of the Temple Mount is in very serious danger of collapsing, possibly as a result of renovations that have been going on in "Solomon's Stables" for a few years now, in order to turn the stables into a mosque. According to the Israeli Antiquities Authority, it’s not a matter of if it will collapse, but of when. They say it just won’t hold. The renovations are actually illegal, and have been going on without the required archeological and engineering supervision, for political reasons.

I have this mental image of it all coming down and bringing tens of thousands of Ramadan prayers with it (like the walls of Jericho or the Philistines in the Samson story).

Also scary is why the Waqf, the Muslim religious trust that has defacto control of the Temple Mount, and has been conducting the renovations, is so adamant that everything is all right and refuses to let any experts in to make sure. If someone told me my house was about to fall down, I’d have someone in to check it double quick, even if I thought it was nonsense. The Waqf is insisting that there has been no change in the size of what’s being called a growing "bulge". But how can they know this, when they can only see one side? Not only are they refusing to let experts check their side of the bulge, they are even going so far as to blame Israel for endangering the Temple Mount by encircling it with the army, and with archeological excavations and contend that Israel is actually planning the destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

I dislike conspiracy theories, and usually try to refrain from linking to articles about Islam’s inherent evil, and that sort of stuff, which make me feel very uncomfortable. But something very fishy is going on here, which demands attention. It seems very likely, given their extremely suspicious behavior, that the Waqf is busy purposefully doing serious damage to antiquities from biblical times, so as to disprove the Jews’ rights to the area. The claims to this effect are nothing new, but now it looks like it could very well cause a calamity. It's quite logical that the Waqf can’t allow anyone in to witness what they’ve been up too, under the circumstances, even if it will cost thousands of lives. In preparation, they are brainwashing the people, so if it does happen, Israel and the Jews will automatically be blamed. That must have been why they had that big rally there, a few days ago. Besides the cost in lives, in the event of a collapse, which could be horrific, the effect on the masses all over the Muslim world, will probably be unprecedented.

Update: Nadav Shragai says in Haaretz that Jerusalem District archaeologist Gon Zeligman, does not believe the renovations of the "Solomon Stables" are connected to the current problem, but thinks it is the result of faulty construction. The wall is part of shoddy building additions from the 19th century. In this respect his view differs from that of Dr. Eilat Mazar from the Committee for the Prevention of the Destruction of Antiquities. Another possibility cited in Haaretz' printed edition but not in the online translation, suggests that the Waqf works changed the way the (rain?) water trickles into the mountain, causing the bulge.