UPDATE: It is now being reported that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has withdrawn its resolution that the UN designate the Western Wall a Muslim holy site. It is being called a rare victory for Israel at the UN. Apparently the public backlash against this claim forced the Palestinian group to change its mind.
The organization still wants the UN to designate Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs as Muslim sites. Israel said it will continue to aggressively fight these ludicrous claims.
The Palestinian Authority put forward a motion via UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, to have the UN declare Jerusalem’s Western Wall a Muslim religious site earlier this week. It was expected to go to a vote on October 21, 2015.
PA claims it is part of an old wall surrounding the al-Aqsa mosque built on the Temple Mount.
The Jews have prayed at the Western Wall for centuries believing it is the last remains of the outer wall of the Jewish Temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
The motion was introduced by six executive board members of UNESCO — Egypt, Kuwait, Tunisia, Unite Arab Emirates, Algeria and Morocco. The 58-member UNESCO has traditionally rubber-stamped Palestinian motions.
However, there is concern that the motion was not laughed out of the room and instead is progressing forward to an official vote in typical UN fashion.
A number of groups issued official protests to the UN opposing the Palestinian motion.
The Temple Mount, where the Jewish Temple stood, now has two Muslim buildings — the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Muslims consider the latter as the third holiest site in Islam. Some believe a rock located at the Dome is the spot where the arch angel Gabriel carried Muhammad to visit heaven.
Many Orthodox Jews believe the Dome is built on the original site of the Jewish Temple.
In a blatant attempt to rewrite history, Muslims now claim that the Jews never had a temple on the mount and never controlled Jerusalem.
However, the biggest problem with this theory is that Islam only came into being 15 centuries ago, when Muhammad (570 AD June 632 AD) wrote the Qur’an. Oddly, the Muslim holy book does not even mention Jerusalem once, much less the Temple Mount.
The Muslims took control of Jerusalem in 638 AD and did not build the Dome of the Rock until 691 AD and the al-Aqsa mosque until 711 AD.
In fact, the first historical mention of what is now called the “Wailing Wall” was several hundred years before Islam was created.
Nevertheless, Muslims control the top of the Temple Mount. Though Muslims allow limited visits to the mount, they will not allow Jews to pray on top forcing the Jews to pray at the wall below.
Now it seems the Palestinians were maneuvering to have this stopped as well.
The Jewish claim to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount trace back 3,500 years. The Bible mentions Jerusalem, the Temple and the Temple Mount hundreds of times. It additionally refers to Jerusalem as Zion and the hill in Jerusalem where Solomon built the Temple as Mount Zion.
Let Mount Zion be glad,
Let the daughters of Judah rejoice
Because of Your judgments.
12 Walk about Zion and go around her;
Count her towers; (Psalm 48:11-12 NASV)
There has also been extensive archaeological discoveries confirming Israel’s historical claim to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
Though there is no doubt that the Jews had a temple at this spot for centuries, some are not convinced the wailing wall is the remains of the Temple. There is evidence that it may be the wall of Fort Antonia, the home of the Roman garrison in Jerusalem during the time of the New Testament.
The interesting thing about this theory is that those proposing it say the temple was located at a different spot on the Temple Mount where there is room to build a temple today.
A group has been set up in Jerusalem to rebuild the Jewish Temple. The Jews have built two temples at the site — the first one was destroyed in 167 BC and the second in 70 AD. There are hints in Scripture that there may be a third, yet unbuilt, Jewish Temple.