by Chuck Missler


Muslim authorities in Jerusalem are digging a 150 meter trench for water pipes and electricity cables on the Temple Mount. Archaeologists are outraged, they say the digging is causing irreparable damage the holy site. Dr. Gabriel Barkai, a prominent Israeli archaeologist, said the area being destroyed was once part of the outer courts of the Second Temple, built by Herod the Great in the First Century BC. According to Barkai, "They are digging in the most crucial and delicate point of the Temple Mount – of the whole country. They should be using a toothbrush, not a bulldozer."

Any archaeological discoveries that appear to substantiate the Biblical account of history undermine the Palestinian cause. This explains why Wakf officials have been known to bulldoze sensitive archaeological sites on the Temple Mount with blatant disregard for the treasures buried there. (The Wakf, sometimes spelled Waqf, is the Islamic Trust that controls the Temple Mount.) Israeli archaeologists and volunteers have sifted through the piles of ruins discarded by the Wakf – rubble taken from the Temple Mount to a city garbage dump. Amidst the rubble they have uncovered numerous history-rich artifacts dating back to the First and Second Temple periods.

Such discoveries underscore Israel’s long and rich history in the Promised Land. It is a legacy that Israel’s enemies would like to erase. They claim that the idea of a historical Jewish homeland is a hoax – invented to justify Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Yet with each passing year, more new discoveries are made which corroborate Jewish claims to the Holy Land.

The oldest archaeological evidence of Jerusalem’s history dates back to the Early Bronze Age (circa 3000 BC). With very little exception, the Jewish People have had a continual presence in the city since King David made it his capital 3,000 years ago. This religious and historical connection has fueled the modern Jewish Zionist movement. Throughout the centuries, Jews have dreamed of returning to Jerusalem and have never ceased to mourn the destruction of the temple and the ancient city.

While the controversy over the Temple Mount rages, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held talks on Palestinian statehood. This week the two leaders met privately to discuss some of the most contentious issues – such as who will control Jerusalem, what will happen to Palestinian refugees, and where the final borders of the Palestinian state will be. President Bush has called for a Mideast peace conference, expected to take place in November, to advance a final Israeli-Palestinian accord. However hopes are not high that an agreement will be reached.

It would seem that both Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas lack the power and influence necessary to make sweeping changes. Abbas has lost control of the Gaza Strip to Hamas and Olmert is facing increasing pressure to resign his post. Polls indicate that approximately 70 percent of Israelis think the prime minister should step down – partly as a result of his disastrous handling of last summer’s conflict with Hezbollah. Meanwhile Israel and its enemies continue to prepare for a war that many experts believe is unavoidable.

To learn more about Biblical archaeology listen to our briefing titled Digging Up The Truth (see link below).

Related Links: • Israeli Anger Over Holy Site Work – BBC
 • Olmert, Arabs Negotiating Over Temple Mount – INN
 • Olmert and Abbas Discuss Core Issues of Contention – IHT
 • Strategic Trends: The Struggle for Jerusalem – Koinonia House
 • The Legacy: Israel In Prophecy – Koinonia House
 • Digging Up The Truth: Biblical Archaeology – MP3 Download – Koinonia House
 • Digging Up The Truth: Biblical Archaeology – Audio CD – Koinonia House