Temple Mount activists convene in Knesset, urge PM to ‘open gates’ to Jewish prayer


Two years after he was almost assassinated at event calling for right to pray at Judaism’s holiest site, Yehuda Glick is now a Likud MK, and his cause has entered the halls of power

Likud MK Yehuda Glick attends a conference on the topic of strengthening the relationship between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount, held at the Knesset on November 7, 2016. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)





On Monday, the Temple Mount activists ascended to the Knesset. They came by the dozens to attend the Dorshei Zion organization’s annual conference, which coincides with the anniversary of a visit by the Jewish sage Maimonides to the holy site 851 years ago. And they came to celebrate the recovery of former activist Yehuda Glick, who was shot four times by a Palestinian terrorist outside the organization’s convention in Jerusalem two years ago to the day, according to the Hebrew calendar.

Monday’s conference was the first to be held in Israel’s parliament and was organized in coordination with Glick, now an energetic Likud MK, who has arguably done more than anybody else of late to inject the subject of Jewish prayer rights at the volatile, sacred compound into public discourse.

Once a fringe issue, Temple Mount activism has in recent years become increasingly mainstream in Israeli Orthodox circles, even as Palestinians attributed the year-long wave of terror attacks to their public’s anger at ostensible imminent changes by Israel to arrangements on the holy site, which Israel firmly denies planning.

The growing popularity of the movement appeared to be corroborated by the location of Monday’s conference, in the heart of Israel’s political realm, and the appeals issued by ministers from the governing Likud and right-wing Jewish Home parties for greater access to the site. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Glick also used the event to announce the launch of a new Temple Mount lobby in the Knesset.

Two Muslim worshippers seen next to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, on November 07, 2016.(Sebi Berens/Flash90)

Two Muslim worshipers seen next to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, on November 7, 2016.(Sebi Berens/Flash90)

The at-times quirky, at-times emotive event also featured a history lesson from a self-proclaimed “Quranic Zionist” sheikh and awards given to Israel’s public security minister, to the mother of 13-year-old terror victim Hallel Ariel, who was stabbed to death in her bed in June, and to a young activist who was recently detained by police — after attempting to carry out a ritual Passover sacrifice on the Mount.

‘Open the gates’

Formerly a frequent visitor to the compound, before a year-long ban on lawmakers visiting the site was implemented, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) used his address at the Monday gathering to implore Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “open the gates” to the Temple Mount for Jewish worshipers where, under the status quo agreement with its Jordanian custodians, non-Muslims may visit but may not pray.

“Open the gates to the Temple Mount,” urged Ariel. “End the disgrace, end the wretchedness, end the lack of sovereignty.”

The Jewish Home minister also touched on the ongoing ban preventing him and the other legislators from visiting the site, telling audience members he was “jealous” of them.

Minister Uri Ariel on the Temple Mount on March 16, 2014 (photo credit: Uri Ariel's spokesman's office)

Minister Uri Ariel on the Temple Mount on March 16, 2014 (photo credit: Uri Ariel’s spokesman’s office)

“Unfortunately, the prime minister’s advisers and he himself are preventing it, unjustly, wrongly,” he added.

Ariel, who was filmed reciting a prayer on the Mount last October, was preceded on the stage by his fellow party member, Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben Dahan, who also called for the government to change the status quo. In his previous position as deputy minister of religious affairs, Ben Dahan prepared regulations on Jewish prayer at the site, he said. “The government of Israel must adopt the regulations as soon as possible,” he declared.

Deputy Minister of Defense Eli Ben Dahan attends a conference on the topic of strengthening the relationship between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount, held at the Knesset on November 7, 2016. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

Deputy Minister of Defense Eli Ben Dahan attends a conference on the topic of strengthening the relationship between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount, held at the Knesset on November 7, 2016. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

In her remarks, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) said Israel’s Foreign Ministry would begin gifting foreign dignitaries with archaeological finds from the nearby City of David, in the wake of the recent UNESCO resolutions that ignored Jewish ties to the holy site, and in the run-up to the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War in which Israel captured the Old City and the Temple Mount.

“I urge everyone who has not ascended to the Temple Mount to visit the Temple Mount,” said Hotovely.

Her fellow Likud MKs — including Edelstein, Jerusalem Minister Ze’ev Elkin, and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan — were more tempered in their support, lavishing praise on Glick and supporting Jewish prayer at the site, but stopping short of endorsing a change to the status quo.

Accepting an award from the organization for his efforts to improve the situation at the contested site, Erdan said the issue was “very, very complicated, and very explosive.”

Distinguishing between his personal views on the subject and his professional responsibilities, Erdan said, “In my personal view, our right to the Temple Mount is unshakable.”

Public Security Gilad Erdan attends a conference on the Temple Mount, held at the Israeli parliament on November 07, 2016. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

Public Security Gilad Erdan attends a conference on the Temple Mount, held at the Israeli parliament on November 07, 2016. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

The minister, who oversees the police, added that the status quo “is discriminatory toward the Jewish people. What can you do? That’s the truth.”

Still, he emphasized that neither the police nor any single lawmaker can change the status quo, but only “the political leadership” — an apparent reference to Netanyahu — in coordination with Jordan and other countries, can.

Edelstein announced that he had signed up to a new lobby with Glick in the parliament to advance the issue of Temple Mount prayer.

Like many of the other speakers, Edelstein referred to the much-gabbed about UNESCO resolutions, calling them a “joke.” “You can’t argue with a joke,” he said.

A Zionist sheikh, the mother of a terror victim

Sitting in the front row and flanked by his wife and right-wing MKs, Glick got up to shake the hands of each of the speakers. But the US-born Orthodox rabbi saved his warmest greeting — a bear hug — for Likud MK Amir Ohana, the party’s sole openly gay lawmaker, who was Glick’s volunteer bodyguard after the shooting.

Police block off the area where Yehudah Glick was shot in an assassination attempt, October 2014 (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Police block off the area where Yehuda Glick was shot in an assassination attempt, October 2014 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The conference also saw a Zionist sheikh read passages from the Bible (to applause) and the Quran (less applause), arguing passionately in favor of Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.

Several activists received awards from the organization, including bereaved mother Rena Ariel, who was honored by the agriculture minister, a cousin by marriage. A composed and fervent Ariel, a founder of the “Women for the Temple” movement, accepted the recognition to a standing ovation, with a call for more visits to the site, particularly by children.

The mother and a younger sister of Hallel Yaffa Ariel mourning during her funeral ceremony in the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, in the West Bank, on June 30, 2016. Earlier in the day, a 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist broke into their home and stabbed and killed 13-year-old Hallel in her bedroom. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The mother and a younger sister of Hallel Yaffa Ariel mourning during her funeral ceremony in the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, in the West Bank, on June 30, 2016. Earlier in the day, a 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist broke into their home and stabbed and killed 13-year-old Hallel in her bedroom. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

“I’m a little embarrassed that after 50 years, we need to beg to pray on the Temple Mount… We still have an opportunity to fix it, because this year is the year of Jerusalem in the education system — let’s put the Temple Mount at the center, let’s show the Temple Mount to the children and the families, and next year this conference will be on the Temple Mount,” she said.

Also honored was activist Refael Morris, who runs the “Returning to the Mount” movement, and who was detained in April by police en route to the Temple Mount, live goat in tow, to prepare a ritual Passover sacrifice.

Israeli police officers guard at an entrance to Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City, during the Jewish holiday of Passover, on April 24, 2016. (Corinna Kern/Flash90)

Israeli police officers guard at an entrance to Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City, during the Jewish holiday of Passover, on April 24, 2016. (Corinna Kern/Flash90)

In his speech, Morris took an eyebrow-raising departure from the conciliatory tone adopted by most of the conference’s speakers, who urged Jewish prayer alongside Christian and Muslim worship. He called for the building of a third Temple and razing the Muslim sites. “And we will also conquer Jordan and Syria,” he added, and “build a real Jewish state here.”

Times Of Israel

What do the Palestinians want from Israel?

There have been countless attempts to make peace between the Holy Land’s Jews and Arabs with two states living side by side in peace and security.

One of the central facts of history concerning this conflict is that in 1947 the United Nations divided up “Palestine” giving a part to the Jews and a part to the Arabs. Israel accepted. The Arabs rejected.

This fact is completely ignored by the same UN that created the State of Israel! So how does the world look at this neverending conflict as it stands today?

A neutral voice, David Remnick, Editor of The New Yorker, gives a sensible summary of the present issues, including whether or not there should be two states for Jews and Arabs or one state including Jews and Arabs.

“The one-state/two-state debate is highly fraught not least because of proximity. Too much history, too little land. This is not India and Pakistan; the map of Ireland is a veritable continent compared with Israel and the Palestinian territories. Gaza is about as close to Herzliya as Concord is to Hanover; the West Bank, as Israelis are quick to point out, is seven miles from Ben Gurion Airport.

Any two-state solution with a chance of working would have to include federal arrangements not only about security but also about water, cell-phone coverage, sewage, and countless other details of a common infrastructure.

Talk of a one-state solution, limited as it is, will never be serious if it is an attempt to mask annexation, expulsion, or population transfer, on one side, or the eradication of an existing nation, on the other. Israel exists; the Palestinian people exist. Neither is provisional.

Within these territorial confines, two nationally distinct groups, who are divided by language, culture, and history, cannot live wholly apart or wholly together.” (http://israelipalestinian.procon.org)

The world knows that Fatah, the PLO, the PA (Palestinian Authority) and Hamas all have one common goal – to extinguish Israel’s light. The world could pressure the Palestinian authorities to accept Israel’s existence or else…the U.S. could threaten the forfeiture of hundreds of millions of dollars they send each year. The reality is, the world pressures Israel to make concessions while demanding of the PA nothing.


The Camp David Accords 2000
Between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Chairman of the PLO Yasser Arafat, mediated by President Bill Clinton.

0316 - Barak and Arafat
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak shakes hands with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat together with U.S. President Bill Clinton, host of Camp David Peace Talks in 2000.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak shakes hands with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat
together with U.S. President Bill Clinton, host of Camp David Peace Talks in 2000.

Barak offered:

– A demilitarized Palestinian state on 92% of West Bank and 100% of Gaza Strip

– Dismantlement of most Jewish settlements

– A Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, sovereignty over half the Old City of Jerusalem

– Religious custodianship over the Temple Mount

– A return of Palestinian refugees

– Encouragement for international assistance to settle refugees

Barak asked for only two concessions:

– An end to violence

– A public declaration that the terms of the final settlement marked an “end of the conflict” with no more Palestinian claims or additional demands on Israel in the future.

RESULT: Arafat walked out of the talks and launched the Second Intifada. Why? Because Arafat had learned that terrorism pays off. His goal was not a Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel. His goal was to destroy Israel. Both President Bill Clinton and Israel publicly blamed Arafat for the failure of the peace agreement.

Michael Oren, Israeli scholar and ambassador wrote, “The peace process collapsed not over land but because of the Palestinians’ refusal to accept Israel’s existence.” (http://www.mythsandfacts.org)


Peace Offer of 2008
By Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, hosted by President George W. Bush..

0316 - Olmert and Abbas
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (left) and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (right) shake hands with U.S. President George W. Bush, host Of 2008 Peace Talks.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (left) and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (right)
shake hands with U.S. President George W. Bush, host Of 2008 Peace Talks.

This peace plan included the basic proposals of Prime Minister Barak at the Camp David Accords in 2000, plus some new offers; most notably, for the first time, designated permanent borders.

– Give 93.7% of West Bank to Palestinians

– Give 5.8% of Israeli territory in exchange, equal to giving Palestinian 99.3% of West Bank area.

– Provide safe passage for Palestinians traveling from West Bank to Gaza via a tunnel.

– Give sovereignty of the Temple Mount to Palestinians

– Religious sites in Jerusalem to be managed by a special committee consisting of representatives from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, the United States and Israel.

– Fixed borders of the future Palestinian State. [Note there has never been “Palestinian– Israeli borders” because Arabs never accepted the existence of Israel and therefore no borders were drawn. No matter how much the UN and the nations talk about borders, they all know that there are none – only cease-fire lines of 1949.]

RESULT: Mahmoud Abbas never replied to the proposal.

Abbas did speak with the media, saying: “I am not in a marketplace or a bazaar. I came to demarcate the borders of Palestine – the June 4, 1967 borders [!] – without detracting a single inch, and without detracting a single stone from Jerusalem, or from the holy Christian and Muslim places. This is why the Palestinian negotiators did not sign.” (www.thetower.org)


The latest public demands by the Palestinian Authority circulated in April, 2014, indicate a hardening of positions by the Palestinians and nothing has come of negotiations over the last two years. Here is a list from Ynet, with my comments:

– A written commitment by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the borders of the Palestinian state will be along the 1967 ‘green-line’ and that its capital will be East Jerusalem.

[In other words there will be no exchange of land allowing most of the 300,000 Israelis living in villages and towns in Judea and Samaria to continue living there. Secondly, the 200,000 Jews living in East Jerusalem would either have to evacuate their homes, or live under a Muslim Palestinian dictatorship.]

– The release of 1,200 Palestinian prisoners, including political heavyweights Marwan Barghouti, Ahmed Saadat and Fuad Shubkhi.

[These 1200 prisoners are terrorists, some who have killed or supervised mass murders. In other words, there will be no further penalty for the thousands of Israeli deaths from offensive wars and terrorist attacks against the Jewish nation.]

– An end to the Egyptian-Israeli blockade on Gaza, and the formulation of a deal allowing the flow of goods into Gaza.

[Palestinian demand would allow Hamas to transfer massive shipments of arms to Gaza for use against Israel. Hamas’ charter verbalizes Hamas’ sole purpose for existence – to destroy Israel.]

– A halt of construction in East Jerusalem.

[Jewish suburbs all around the north, east and south of Jerusalem could not build one more home or store.]

– The IDF would not be allowed to enter most of the West Bank, even to arrest terrorists.

[Hamas, ISIS or any other Islamist cells could form and carry out terrorist acts from the West Bank or Gaza with no obstruction.] (www.ynetnews.com)


Palestinians have learned from much experience that violence is a very effective tool against Israel. They believe that through terrorist attacks they receive more concessions from Israel. Even more importantly the United Nations and Europe strengthen their pressure on Israel. The working formula goes like this: riots and intifadas are initiated, then Palestinian leadership goes to the UN demanding protection from Israeli “violence” and asks for more financial aid. This strategy works. Really well.

In this game of diplomatic warfare, the Palestinians can count on automatic support from the 22 members of the Arab League and the 57 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference as well as most of the rest of the developing nations. The Jewish state stands alone.

During the latest wave of Palestinian terrorism—randomly knifing men, women and children on the streets of Israel, the PA has demanded an end to Israel’s “terrorism, incitement and summary executions” against Palestinian civilians, especially women and children. They create numerous fictitious tales, like claiming IDF soldiers shot a Palestinian and then placed a knife near his body to make it look like the soldier acted in self-defense.

Every day now, as I write, there are stabbings across the nation. No place is safe from these lone wolf terrorists. Teenage Arab boys and girls walk out the door of their homes with a knife, find a random person, and begin to stab and stab until they are themselves wounded, killed or hunted down by the police.

PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has urged the U.S., Russia, EU and the UN to intervene to “stop all Israeli crimes and assaults” against Palestinians. He then called for the resumption of the peace process in order to “end occupation and create a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

Europe and the mainstream media come to their rescue and lend their support. For example, when three Palestinians lunged at two Israeli policemen with knives, the alert police were able to shoot them before being stabbed to death themselves. CBS’ headline read “Three Palestinians killed as daily violence grinds on.”

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom told the Swedish parliament that Israel was conducting extrajudicial executions of Palestinian stabbers! When Swedish parliamentarians challenged the foreign minister with being biased against Israel, she cited the fact that more Palestinians were being killed than Israelis.

In fact, she also said that the terrorist attack in Paris last November when 130 people were murdered, “was rooted in the frustration of Muslims in the Middle East, including that of Palestinians.”

Sweden was the first European country to recognize “Palestine” as a state.

Now, with all the terrorist attacks continuing month after month in Israel, the Palestinians have caught France’s attention. Its foreign minister has recently announced that he wants Israel and the Palestinians to attend an international conference which he will host in order that the two will sign a peace treaty. And France warns that if that doesn’t happen, then France will simply recognize Palestine’s sovereignty.

Think about this “deal!” Why would the PA move a single finger to make peace with Israel? Knowing that the PA leadership will not have to compromise on any issue or agree to any conditions – it would be simply stupid not to just wait until France grants it recognition without conditions.

Everywhere Israel looks, she sees herself surrounded with ever greater perils.

(Have you seen the pictures of the Iranian nuclear site at the Parchin military complex where, from all appearances, Iranian scientists are at this moment building a nuclear bomb?) (www.dailymail.co.uk)

I am constantly amazed that Israel exists with nearly the entire world against her. Really, if a person wants a sign from heaven that there is a God and He calls Himself the God of Israel, this is it! There is no other rational explanation for Israel’s continued existence and success except God.

We all know the Bible clearly foretells that the nations of the world will come against Israel in the last days. And we are seeing this being fulfilled before our very eyes. But what the Bible does not state is that believers in Yeshua will come against Israel. In fact the Bible makes it clear we the believers are to sound the trumpet for the nations to stand with Israel’s return to her land of promise under God’s protection, and to warn the nations concerning the fate of those who hate her and work to destroy her.

Jeremiah the prophet cries out:

Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, And declare it in the isles far off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, And keep him as a shepherd does his flock.’ For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, And ransomed him from the hand of one stronger than he. (Jeremiah 31:10-11)

We who understand God’s purposes for Israel and an end-time revival can make an impact on world events as we share the facts and pray for God’s people to cry out for Israel’s salvation and protection.


This article originally appeared in Maoz Israel Report, March 2016.


An Italian doctor explains “Syndrome K,” the fake disease he invented to save Jews from the Nazis

Rhonda Ballance News Editor. E-mail: Rhonda.Ballance@Scofieldinstitute.org

Rhonda Ballance News Editor. E-mail: Rhonda.Ballance@Scofieldinstitute.org





In the fall of 1943, German soldiers in Italy began rounding up Italian Jews and deporting them—10,000 people were sent to concentration camps during the nearly two-year Nazi occupation. Most never returned. But in Rome, a group of doctors saved at least 20 Jews from a similar fate, by diagnosing them with Syndrome K, a deadly, disfiguring, and contagiosissima disease.

The 450-year-old Fatebenefratelli Hospital is nestled on a tiny island in the middle of Rome’s Tiber River, just across from the Jewish Ghetto. When Nazis raided the area on Oct. 16, 1943, a handful of Jews fled to the Catholic hospital, where they were quickly given case files reading “Syndrome K.”

The disease did not exist in any medical textbook or physician’s chart. In fact, it didn’t exist at all. It was a codename invented by doctor and anti-fascist activist Adriano Ossicini, to help distinguish between real patients and healthy hideaways. (Political dissidents and a revolutionary underground radio station were also sheltered there from Italy’s Fascist regime.)

The fake illness was vividly imagined: Rooms holding “Syndrome K” sufferers were designated as dangerously infectious—dissuading Nazi inspectors from entering—and Jewish children were instructed to cough, in imitation of tuberculosis, when soldiers passed through the hospital.

“The Nazis thought it was cancer or tuberculosis, and they fled like rabbits,” Vittorio Sacerdoti, a Jewish doctor working at the hospital under a false name, told the BBC in 2004. Another doctor orchestrating the life-saving lie was surgeon Giovani Borromeo, later recognized by Israeli Holocaust remembrance organization Yad Vashem as “righteous among nations.”

On June 21, Fatebenefratelli was honored as a “House of Life,” by the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, a US organization dedicated to honoring heroic acts during the Holocaust. For the occasion, 96-year-old Ossicinigranted an interview to Italian newspaper La Stampa (video in Italian) about the invention of the disease:

“Syndrome K was put on patient papers to indicate that the sick person wasn’t sick at all, but Jewish. We created those papers for Jewish people as if they were ordinary patients, and in the moment when we had to say what disease they suffered? It was Syndrome K, meaning ‘I am admitting a Jew,’ as if he or she were ill, but they were all healthy.

The idea to call it Syndrome K, like Kesserling or Kappler, was mine.”

Albert Kesserling was the German commander overseeing Rome’s occupation. SS chief Herbert Kappler had been installed as city police chief, and would later mastermind the Ardeatine massacre, a mass killing of Italian Jews and political prisoners in 1944.

“The lesson of my experience was that we have to act not for the sake of self-interest, but for principles,” said Ossicini. “Anything else is a shame.”

Accounts of how many Italian Jews were saved by Fatebenefratelli Hospital vary from dozens to hundreds, but survivor testimonies gathered by Yad Vashem confirm that at least a few more lives were saved after Oct. 16. Several families with small children sheltered there through the winter, until German forces swept through the hospital again in May 1944. One attendant at the Wallenberg ceremony, 83-year-old Luciana Tedesco, was safely hidden in the hospital as a small child during the last raid.

Italy’s Jewish community is one of oldest in Europe, and Syndrome K is one of many WWII-era anecdotes of ordinary Italians taking extraordinary action to save the lives of fellow citizens, made even more striking against the historical backdrop of Italy’s own anti-Semitic laws. Nearly 9,000 Roman Jews, of a community of 10,000, ultimately managed to evade arrest, a feat sadly dwarfed by the Third Reich’s genocidal mania in the last years of the war.


UNESCO to vote on Jewish connection with the Temple Mount

Rhonda Ballance News Editor. E-mail: Rhonda.Ballance@Scofieldinstitute.org

Rhonda Ballance News Editor. E-mail: Rhonda.Ballance@Scofieldinstitute.org


A joint Jordanian-Palestinian draft decision denying Jewish affinity with the Temple Mount, including the Wailing Wall, set to be voted on during annual UNESCO meeting: Draft accuses Israel of misconduct on the mount including deliberate vandalism: Foreign Ministry says document is ‘malicious and dishonest.’

The subject of the Jewish connection with the Temple Mount has once again been returned to the UN as Palestinians and Jordanians seek to repudiate Jewish affinity with any part of the compound.

The Israeli foreign ministry and Israeli embassies around the world are currently dedicating significant efforts to undermine the acceptance of the draft decision in UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) which also accuses Israel of causing damage to holy Islamic sites.

The draft decision is supposed to be voted upon by the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO which meets once a year and consists of 21 representatives from the affiliate states.

Israel is seeking to exert greater pressure on the member states in an effort to prevent a recurrence of what took place in April when the committeeunilaterally condemned “Israeli aggression on the Temple Mount,” and disregarded all Israeli or Jewish claims over the area, including the Wailing Wall.


Photo: AP

Photo: AP

The draft decision presented by the Palestinians and Jordanians includes a number of problematic points in relation to Israel. Firstly, the draft calls on Israel to return the Temple Mount and the al-Aqsa mosque to “the historic status quo,” a new phrase implying that the sites should be returned to their pre-1967 status.

The recommendations constitute another attempt to remove any Jewish presence from the Temple Mount. Moreover, the text repeatedly refers to the entire compound as an exclusively holy Muslim site and makes no exception on the issue of the Wailing wall. In October 2015, a similar attempt failed when brought before UNESCO.

Throughout the entire document, Israel is repeatedly alluded to as an occupying force on the Temple Mount while being accused of breaching international treaties such as the Geneva Convention and the Hague Convention. According to the claims, Israel is causing damage to historic buildings on the mount, to gates, windows and to ceramics while simultaneously preventing repair and renovation projects initiated by the Jordanians.

According to Israeli officials, there is also an attempt to compose an indictment against Israel vis-a-vis its activities on the Temple Mount which will be presented to the Criminal Court of Justice in the Hague.

The Israeli ambassador at UNESCO, Carmel Shama Hacohen, said in response, “Anyone who thought that after the criticism voiced by Israeli and international Jewry against this decision and the recanting of the heads of state and foreign ministers around the world following the last decision that Palestinians would come to their senses need to come to their senses and internalize this complicated reality.”

“We have made a concerted diplomatic but the voting will be conducted by a secret ballot and the rules of the game are well known: Palestinians almost always have a majority.”

The foreign ministry released a statement slamming the Jordanian-Palestinian initiative: “The document that was presented to UNESCO is an another malicious and dishonest attempt to harm Israel’s affinity with its capital,” the statement read. “This is a tendentious text and we hope that it is does not receive support from the member states. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the nation of Israel and of Israel’s alone.”



How Ancient Jews Dated Years

Rhonda Ballance News Editor. E-mail: Rhonda.Ballance@Scofieldinstitute.org

Rhonda Ballance News Editor. E-mail: Rhonda.Ballance@Scofieldinstitute.org



As published in Strata in the January/February 2012 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review

This Bible History Daily feature was originally published in September 2013. It has been updated.—Ed.

During the First Jewish Revolt against Rome (66–70 C.E.), which ended with the destruction of the Temple, Jews minted their own coins dated to the first, second, third, fourth and, more rarely, even fifth year of the revolt. Zev Radovan/www.biblelandpictures.com

During the First Jewish Revolt against Rome(66–70 C.E.), which ended with the destruction of the Temple, Jews minted their own coins dated to the first, second, third, fourth and, more rarely, even fifth year of the revolt. In other words, dating began with the beginning of the revolt. Many of the coins also bore legends like “Jerusalem the Holy” or “Freedom of Zion.”The Romans crushed the Jewish revolt in 70 C.E. (except for the holdouts at Masada, among other places), but the Jews managed to revolt again a little more than 60 years later. This revolt, the so-called Bar-Kokhba Revolt (132–135 C.E.),a lasted only two-and-a-half years. And the coins from this revolt are much rarer. As in the first revolt, however, coins are dated beginning with the start of the revolt. An example is a coin inscribed, “Year 1 of the Redemption of Israel,” or another inscribed, “Year 2 of the Freedom of Israel.” Rarely, a coin bears the legend “Year 3 of the Redemption of Israel.”

The free eBook Life in the Ancient World guides you through craft centers in ancient Jerusalem, family structure across Israel and articles on ancient practices—from dining to makeup—across the Mediterranean world.

During the Byzantine period (fourth–seventh centuries), a different dating system developed, beginning not with the start of a revolt, but rather the disasters that ended them. For example, synagogue inscriptions and tombstones are sometimes dated as so many years after the destruction of the Temple that effectively ended the first revolt.At just about the time the second revolt ended with the defeat of the Jews, the Romans made Jerusalem into a Roman colony and renamed the city Aelia Capitolina.b Jews were not even allowed to live there. The bitter taste of defeat grew even stronger.

The newly discovered document is dated to “Year 4 of the Destruction of the House of Israel.”Courtesy Yad Ben-Zvi Institute.

Now a document has been discovered with a date based on the end of the Bar-Kokhba Revolt in 135 C.E. The newly discovered document is dated to “Year 4 of the Destruction of the House of Israel.” This is the first time this dating formula has been attested.1

The document was discovered and looted, as is so often the case, by Bedouin in the Judean Desert, near where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. It seems there are still more documents to be found in the Judean Desert. How this one was acquired by the scholarly community, we are not told, probably because in the past when a leading scholar purchased such a fragment from the Bedouin, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) had the scholar arrested!c All the IAA will say this time is that the document was “confiscated.”

The document, dated paleographically to the second century C.E., is remarkably well preserved and well written. The scribe records his name at the end of the document: “Joseph, son of Jac[ob the scribe].” The document was given by a certain widow named Miriam to her husband’s brother Absalom. The document attests that she had received from her deceased husband all that he had promised in their marriage contract (ketuba) and that she had no other claim to the family property of Absalom. The language is a mixture of Aramaic and Hebrew. The document is dated four years after the end of the Bar-Kokhba Revolt.


“Strata: How Ancient Jews Dated Years” originally appeared in the January/February 2012 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review.


1. First published (in Hebrew) by Hanan Eshel, Esther Eshel and Ada Yardeni in Cathedra132 (2009), pp. 5–24.

a. See Werner Eck, “Hadrian’s Hard-Won Victory,” BAR 33:05

b. See Hanan Eshel, “Aelia Capitolina: Jerusalem No More,” BAR 23:06.

c. See Update: Finds or Fakes? “Major Scholars Protest Eshel Arrest,” BAR 32:02.

Learn more about ancient coins in Bible History Daily:

Roman Emperor Nerva’s Reform of the Jewish Tax by Nathan T. Elkins

Rare Roman Gold Coin Minted by Trajan Found

Judaea Capta Coin Uncovered in Bethsaida Excavations

Ancient Coins and Looting

Coins Celebrating the Great Revolt Against the Romans Unearthed near Jerusalem



When Jew Hatred Trumps European National Security

Rhonda Ballance News Editor. E-mail: Rhonda.Ballance@Scofieldinstitute.org

Rhonda Ballance News Editor. E-mail: Rhonda.Ballance@Scofieldinstitute.org





What is perhaps most conspicuous about the growth of anti-Semitism on the European Left, as exemplified by the current crisis in the British Labour Party, is that it is rising at a time when Europe should be busy with much more pressing issues, such as national security — particularly in London, where the terrorist threat keeps growing and security officials can barely keep up.

It has been less than two months since Islamic terrorists successfully targeted the Brussels airport and the Maelbeek metro station, killing 32 people and wounding many more. And it has been only half a year since the Paris attacks, in which Islamic terrorists killed 130 people and wounded nearly 400. These were groundbreaking, shocking events in the history of Islamic terrorism on European soil, so one would naturally assume that Israel and Jews in general, who make up such a marginal demographic group, constituting less than half a percent of the population of the EU, would be the last thing on European politicians’ minds. Another enormous immigration crisis looms, as 800,000 migrants, according to French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, are currently in Libyan territory waiting to cross the Mediterranean Sea. This means that Europe will most likely be facing even more chaos than it did last summer.

However, European politicians, instead of busying themselves with protecting their citizens from future terrorist attacks — as well as preventing another chaotic summer of migration chaos — incredibly find time to get mired in sordid squabbles about insane ideas of transferring Israeli Jews to the United States and claiming Hitler was a Zionist — as we saw in the U.K. — or composing elaborate peace conference initiatives to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — as we saw in France. If I were a European citizen, I would wonder why my government was occupying itself with these issues, which have no vital meaning to any Europeans, at a time when Europe is facing unprecedented security threats.

As I mentioned in a past column, one example of this preposterous mindset was France’s rejection of Israeli terrorism tracking technology, which might have possibly prevented the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels — a clear example of Jew hatred trumping national security concerns, especially at a time when national security should be the top priority of every single European government.

In the wake of the anti-Semitism debacle in the British Labour Party, the obligatory inquiries will be made, solemn reports will be written and the culprits will be reprimanded, rebuked or excluded, upon which all will be forgotten and everyone will carry on as usual. It will change nothing, least of all the influence of the radical Left on mainstream leftist parties.

While the sordid ideas that are entertained by some in the European Left came out in the open in Britain on this occasion, this is most certainly not the last time we will see such a “crisis” revolving around the airing of some of these ideas, as the radical Left’s influence becomes more and more apparent, not only in Britain, but across the European Union. No one should harbor any doubts as to whether this is a British phenomenon — it most certainly is not, as anyone who follows Scandinavian politics can ascertain.

At any rate, whatever the outcome, for British Jews it is all too little and too late and the Labour debacle is only a political symptom of what has already become an undeniable fact on the street: Hate crimes against British Jews are at an all-time high. A report released on Sunday showed that there has been an increase of 50 percent in violent crimes against British Jews in the past two years and 1,000 anti-Semitic incidents in 2015 compared to 938 in 2014. Violent crimes constituted 196 incidents in 2015 compared to 126 incidents in 2014.

In other parts of the U.K., Jews are not faring any better. Almost 20 percent of Jews in Scotland have said that they have been victims of hate crimes. In Glasgow, home to the majority of Scottish Jews, more Jews are leaving or fearing to identify as Jews in a city, which has become increasingly hostile, something that culminated in 2014, when the Glasgow City Council decided to fly the Palestinian flag in what it said was a show of solidarity with the people of Gaza.

Just as elsewhere in Europe, these developments are more likely than not to result in an even greater exodus of Jews from the European continent. Israel will be the richer for that and Europe the poorer. This leaves the Europeans with nowhere to escape from their irresponsible politicians. But they should ask why Israel and the Jews continue to be an almost clinical obsession to the point where Jew-hatred trumps national security. It would be very interesting to hear the answer.



Israel Rising

Star of David found engraved into an ancient Temple arouses bustle in Egypt

Rhonda Ballance News Editor. E-mail: Rhonda.Ballance@Scofieldinstitute.org

Rhonda Ballance News Editor. E-mail: Rhonda.Ballance@Scofieldinstitute.org


The Roman Temple, which dates back to the 3rd century B.C, is located in the Elephantine Island in Aswan.
Dr. Mahmoud Afifi, the head of the Egyptian Antiquities branch in the Antiquities Ministry, said that he noticed a stone with two Star of David engravings in the Roman temple.
Afifi accused the delegation of German archaeologists that has been working on the site’s reconstruction of engraving the Stars of David into the Shrine’s stone.

Afifi ordered the archaeologists to immediately remove the stone with the Star of David’s engraving from the temple, threatening to take all legal measures against them if they would ever repeat such a move.

An Egyptian news site, Suezbalady, went even further, claiming that the two Star of David engravings that were found were drawn by a Jewish member of the German delegation, who wanted to vandalize Egyptian culture and provoke Egyptians.
The newly-appointed Egyptian Antiquities Minister, Khaled Anani, released a press statement Saturday following his visit to the Aswan shrine.
Anani stated that he had instructed the joint Egyptian-German group to submit him a scientific report about the two engravings found on one of the temple’s walls. “The report will include a picture of the stone under discussion from the time it was discovered, to explore its archaeological repercussions without the two Star of David engravings, “Anani said.

“We will be aided by an expert of Islamic antiquities to understand whether the Sign of David was common in that early period”, Anani announced.