(Washington, D.C.) — Are Israeli Jews preparing to build the “Third Temple” in Jerusalem in fulfillment of End Times Bible prophecy? If so, who is behind such developments? How are Muslim leaders responding? Could such a move trigger an apocalyptic reaction by the Muslim world against Israel in an already volatile environment?
But now such questions are being raised in an intriguing article in the today’s edition of the Washington Post, of all places.
“A small but growing movement by Jewish activists demanding the right to pray at the site of their destroyed temple, in the heart of this disputed capital’s Old City, is creating a potentially explosive clash with the Muslim world, which considers the spot holy and bans Jews from public worship there,” opens the Post article.
Consider some of the extraordinary quotes that follow in the report:
- “The Temple Mount is ours, and it cannot be argued about or negotiated. . . . It must be open for prayer at every hour, to every Jew,” says Uri Ariel, Israel’s minister of construction and housing.
- “This place belongs to the Muslim people, and no others have the right to pray here,” says Sheik Azzam al-Khatib, “director of the Waqf, the Islamic trust that administers the site” who says ”the mosque is a unifying symbol for the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims.”
- “If they [the Jews] try to take over the mosque, this will be the end of time,” Khatib warned. “This will create rage and anger not only in the West Bank but all over the Islamic world — and only God knows what will happen.”
- “Every citizen of Israel should have the right to pray at their holy sites without harassment or being attacked,” says Miri Regev , a Members of the Israeli Knesset (parliament). “If Jews want to go up to the Temple Mount to pray, they should have that right.”
“A frequent visitor to the site is Rabbi Chaim Richman, a director of the Temple Institute, whose mission is to prepare for the building of the Third Temple where the Dome of the Rock now stands,” reports the Post. “He says he envisions a new temple rising toward the clouds, with underground parking, Internet connectivity, radiant heating for the sanctified floors (the priests, in accordance with Jewish law, will be barefoot), and a return of burnt offerings and animal sacrifice. In April, Richman’s Temple Institute moved to a large, renovated space in the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, overlooking the Western Wall. The project was funded by Henry Swieca, the billionaire American investor, and his wife, Estee.”
“Inside, researchers and artisans have created silver trumpets, wooden lyres and three-pronged forks that would turn over burnt offerings,” the Post noted. “They sewed a priest’s robe with a breastplate of golden thread and 12 precious stones, as described in the Bible and representing the 12 tribes of Israel. There is a golden menorah and an ark for the covenants. And there are architectural plans. Evidence, Muslim leaders say, that proves that the Jews have literal designs on the mount.”
“This is not incitement,” Richman said. “Our mission is to kindle the spark of desire for the time when Jews are a light unto the world, and Muslims will agree it is time to rebuild, and all nations of the world will come to the Jews and ask them to rebuild.”
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