Lonely Man of Cake

February 8, 2007

The Truth About the Temple Mount Excavations

Filed under: Archaeology,Better Hasbarah,Israel,Religion,Temple Mount — lonelymanofcake @ 10:28 pm

Everyone is up in arms about Israel’s purported excavations “on” the Temple Mount (see, e.g., here, here, here, and here). There have been calls for a new Intifada, catalyzed apparently by Israel’s construction project.

So what, exactly, are the Israelis doing? Take a look at the below image:
Temple Mount Diagram

GREEN represents the Temple Mount and surrounding area under complete control of the Waqf.
ORANGE represents the Western Wall.
RED represents the Mugrabi Bridge which is under complete Israeli control as stipulated in the post Six Day War provisions with the Waqf.

Moshe Dayan, having decided to cede control of the Temple Mount to the Waqf, despite Israel’s having secured its territory in 1967, nonetheless wished to maintain an entrance on the Israeli side, be it for security reasons or for non-Muslim worshippers who wished to access the Temple Mount from Israel. This entrance was by way of a bridge (RED) to the Mugrabi Gate. This bridge is completely outside of the premises of the Temple Mount.

Why is Israel excavating under the site of the bridge? In order to make sure that no antiquities will be harmed when laying the infrastructure for the new, more structurally sound, Mugrabi Bridge. The original bridge had been damaged in an earthquake and subsequent snowstorm and was declared unsafe by engineers. The new temporary bridge impinged on the women’s section at the Western Wall, significantly reducing it in size.

Is there reason for controversy? Israeli archaeologists are up in arms as the pylons which support the bridge are being built in what it apparently an archaeology “rich” area. The pre-construction excavations currently underway are meant to uncover and remove artifacts which might have otherwise been destroyed by the building. But it is the Israelis who have the right to protest the digging, as it is taking place on Israeli sovereign soil, albeit with the intention of the preservation of priceless antiquities.

This is to be contrasted with continued unmonitored excavations by the Waqf at the Temple Mount which have rendered untold damage to both invaluable antiquities and evidence of the Jewish temples. Israel did not use this violation of the 1967 Protection of Holy Places laws as an excuse for violence, nor was the religious outcry against this desecration anything close to the recent protests against the fabrication of Israel’s damage.

A small group of dedicated archaeologists and volunteers founded the Committee for the Prevention of Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount to protest the Waqf’s ongoing excavations and to sift through the truckloads of rubble generated for items of archaeological significance (pictures here).

So what can you do?
1. Tell the truth to as many people as you can.
2. Check out this page from the Committee for the Prevention of Destruction of Antiquities on the Temple Mount’s website.



  1. thanks for the info. i agree with you about the ridiculous nature of the muslim arguments. i am a gentile american and very interested in israel and judaism however. i am curious, why does the state of israel allow muslims to desecrate the temple mount? why did israel give the mount back to muslims after 1967?


    Comment by PB and J — February 9, 2007 @ 1:36 am | Reply

  2. Peter,

    I’ll start with your second question, and direct you to this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_mount#Management_of_the_site. Israel gained a tremendous amount of respect in the aftermath of the Six Day War; I think that a large part of that is due to the sensitive way in which they handled the Temple Mount situation. As it is, most mainstream Orthodox rabbis forbid ascending to the Temple Mount because of concerns over ritual purity.
    I don’t really have an answer for your first question. I think that the archaeologist who heads the Committee which I mention in the post would like some answers as well.

    Comment by lonelymanofcake — February 9, 2007 @ 9:58 am | Reply

  3. thanks for the response.

    may the shalom of G-d be with you

    Comment by PB and J — February 9, 2007 @ 8:08 pm | Reply

  4. […] First of all, let’s just understand the basic layout of the area. This map comes courtesy of Lonely Man of Cake. […]

    Pingback by Jewlicious » Blog Archive » Understanding a little of the Temple Mount Controversy — February 10, 2007 @ 10:10 pm | Reply

  5. More on the bridge

    This is a really interesting new blog with a clever name that appears to be a play on the title of this auspicious book. While…

    Trackback by In Context — February 12, 2007 @ 8:55 pm | Reply

  6. […] lonelymanofcake @ 5:58 pm Turns out that I completely overlooked the fact that my post, “The Truth About the Temple Mount Excavations,” was both nominated for a JIB in the “Best Jewish News Post” category and […]

    Pingback by JIB Award Surprise « Lonely Man of Cake — May 10, 2007 @ 5:58 pm | Reply

  7. Well written, I think there is so much more that needs to be written on the destruction of antiquities by the enemies of Israel.

    Shalom Aaron
    Visit: Mr Bagel

    Comment by Mr bagel — May 16, 2007 @ 4:59 pm | Reply

  8. Thank-you for this site.

    Comment by Adam Neira — January 19, 2010 @ 10:49 pm | Reply

  9. Ashwin
    This website gives more info about the Temple Mount.What is the status towards the rebuilding of the Temple? Has the work been planned?

    Comment by Ashwin — November 4, 2010 @ 6:38 pm | Reply

  10. for all the jewish people that read this Jesus Christ is the Messiah the risen Son of God whom you have been seeking,His message is simple for anyone of any faith Jesus died for your sins if you trust Him and beilive you shall be saved if you trust in Jesus as your saviour and admit your a sinner in need of a saviour He will answer that call

    Comment by william — February 1, 2011 @ 5:33 am | Reply

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