Posted: 27 Jun 2013 07:49 PM PDT
The Al Aqsa Foundation issued a statement today saying that every piece of evidence that points to the existence of any Jewish Temple - first or second - on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is a lie.
The group says that it rejects these myths and confirma the Islamic and Arab character of the area.
According to the statement, they say that all the experts in the Israel Antiquities Authority who claim they found stones and jewelry and seals in the area of the Al Aqsa Mosque, claiming they are archaeological discoveries of Jewish objects dating from the time of the First and Second Temples, are lying, since there were no Temples. The group said "these lies and myths are a figment of the imagination," and said that international and even Israeli archaeologists have confirmed through research and vigorous exploration that was scientific and objective that there were no structures in the area that were Jewish temples.
They stressed that Arabs Canaanites were the first residents who built Jerusalem, with Jebusites and Amorites living there for thousands of years, while "the Jews" were there for only a short time.
The Al-Aqsa Foundation says that the Israel Antiquities Authority and other groups are trying desperately to fabricate history of Hebrew presence in Jerusalem, through the myths and legends of the alleged phantom structure in the place of or under the Al Aqsa Mosque, to the point of wanting to demolish the mosque. The groups asserted that the real history is clear and it has proved beyond a doubt that the al-Aqsa mosque is for Muslims alone,
The foundation even says that relics found by sifting through the tons of debris that were criminally excavated from the site by the Islamic Waqf and dumped outside Jerusalem were really not from the Temple area at all.
They even illustrate the article with some of these lying relics.
It is true that there is only fragmentary yet intriguing archaeological evidence so far of the First Temple, because it was replaced by the Second Temple and no one is allowed to dig underneath the Temple Mount to look for it. But lots of the Second Temple is still there, as Wikipedia summarizes:
After 1967, archaeologists found that the wall extended all the way around the Temple Mount and is part of the city wall near the Lion's Gate. Thus, the Western Wall is not the only remaining part of the Temple Mount. Currently, Robinson's Arch (named after American Edward Robinson) remains as the beginning of an arch that spanned the gap between the top of the platform and the higher ground farther away. This had been used by the priests as an entrance. Commoners had entered through the still-extant, but now plugged, gates on the southern side which led through beautiful colonnades to the top of the platform. One of these colonnades is still extant and reachable through the Temple Mount. The Southern wall was designed as a grand entrance. Recent archeological digs have found thousands of mikvehs (ceremonial bathtubs) for the ritual purification of the worshipers, as well as a grand stairway leading to the now blocked entrance. Inside the walls, the platform was supported by a series of vaulted archways, now called Solomon's Stables, which still exist and whose current renovation by the Waqf is extremely controversial. The temple itself was constructed of imported white marble that gleamed in the daylight.
On September 25, 2007 Yuval Baruch, archaeologist with the Israeli Antiquities Authority announced the discovery of a quarry compound which may have provided King Herod with the stones to build his Temple on the Temple Mount. Coins, pottery and an iron stake found proved the date of the quarrying to be about 19 BCE. Archaeologist Ehud Netzer confirmed that the large outlines of the stone cuts is evidence that it was a massive public project worked by hundreds of slaves.
Moreover, there is a significant and growing collection of artifacts that verify specific parts of the Biblical narrative.
But I guess they are all fake too.
Also, as I learned during my tour of the Temple Mount earlier this year, the Al Aqsa Mosque itself was constructed on top of the Herodian extensions of the Mount, meaning that the Temple was not underneath it - the Temple was where the Dome of the Rock is.