Monday, November 03, 2008

Today's lie masquerading as news

Ma'an once again shows its propensity towards falsehood (even though it remains better than most Palestinian Arab media) with this absurd article:
Disturbing long range plans from the Israeli Antiquities Authority outline strategies for the construction of a Jewish Temple on the site where the Al-Aqsa Mosque now stands, a Jerusalem researcher says.

The plans were obtained by Palestinian archaeologist and researcher Dr Ibrahim Al-Fanni, who revealed the drafts and drawings to Ma’an’s Jerusalem correspondent.

The papers showed sketches outlining the demolition of the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Marwani mosque (Solomon’s stables) beneath the building.

The series of designs is titled the “Comprehensive Strategic Plan,” and is divided into two possible routes.

“Plan A” outlines the architectural and archaeological plans in the eventuality that Israel fails to demolish the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The plan involves opening up the Fatimi Halls, which are located under the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The halls would be turned into a Jewish Temple, and construction would gradually move to the upper part of the compound, taking over space in Al-Aqsa.

“Plan B” would see the demolition of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the construction of a Jewish “Royal Palace” on the same site, which Muslims believe was the spot from which the Prophet Muhammad started his journey into the heavens.

Asked why Israel would choose to target the Dome of the Rock, which is not a holy site in Judaism, Dr Al-Fanni explained that “under the spot where the golden dome stands, according to Judaism, there is an exposed piece of bedrock of what they call Mount Moriah- metaphysically known as Even Ishtiah which is a Hebrew term meaning “drinking stone.” [sic] Judaism says that the world is spiritually nourished from this spot…the stone is the center of the Universe.”
I'm sure that there are some Jews who draw up plans on destroying the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock and replacing it with the third Temple. Heck, I would love to see those continuous Muslim desecrations of Judaism relocated to Ramallah or Jordan (it would be a shame to destroy what is certainly some impressive architecture.)

But it is ridiculous to think that the Israel Antiquities Authority would draw up such plans. It will be recalled that the IAA refused to stop the Waqf from destroying priceless Jewish artifacts as the Muslims attempt to get rid of any evidence Jewish temples at that spot. Far from being complicit in any plot to destroy the mosques, the IAA is complicit in the continuing destruction of the Temple.

Ma'an claims that this archaeologist showed them these documents, yet there are no pictures or drawings shown. The article is illustrated with a file photo of ancient Jerusalem. Surely if Ma'an really was shown these purported documents, they would have taken copious photocopies and plastered them all over the article.

The most ancient and second-holiest place in Judaism, the Cave of Machpela, was placed off-limits to Jews and Christians by the Muslims until 1967. This is attested to in many diaries of Jews and Christians who visited there, and exceptions were very rare (the Prince of Wales famously visited in 1862 after getting a waiver from the Ottoman Sultan.) Now it is at least partially accessible to Jews. The Temple Mount should be treated similarly - at the very least. But the IAA is certainly not going to be the ones who do it.