Arabs deny the bond between Jews and Jerusalem; they sabotage and destroy archaeological evidence, even at the holiest place in Judaism – the Temple Mount.
Arabs continually denied the legitimacy of the Jewish people’s connection to Jerusalem. Arafat and other Arab leaders insisted that there never were Jewish temples on the Temple Mount. They also claimed the Western Wall was really an Islamic holy site to which Muslims have historical rights. Putting rhetoric into action, Islamic clerics who manage the Temple Mount have demonstrated flagrant disrespect and contempt for the archaeological evidence of a Jewish presence.
Between 1999 and 2001, the Muslim Waqf removed and dumped more than 13,000 tons of what it termed rubble from the Mount and its substructure, including archaeological remains from the First and Second Temple periods, which Israelis found at dumping sites. During construction of a new underground mosque in a subterranean hall believed to date back to the time of Herod, and the paving of an “open air” mosque elsewhere on the Temple Mount, the Waqf barred the Israel Antiquities Authority from supervising, or even observing, work. When archaeological finds from any period – Jewish or otherwise – are uncovered in the course of construction work, the Authority is mandated by law to sup rvise and observe everywhere in Israel – legislation that dates back to 1922 and documented in the international accord of the League of Nations – the “Mandate for Palestine.”
Such gross disregard for the pre-Islamic Jewish heritage of Jerusalem – particularly on Judaism’s holiest historic site – is a far more insidious form of the same Islamic intolerance that motivated the Taliban to demolish two gigantic pre-Islamic statues of Buddha carved into a cliff in Afghanistan.