‘Political atomic bomb’: The Israelis set for brand new Jewish temple on Al-Aqsa website

‘Political atomic bomb’: The Israelis set for brand new Jewish temple on Al-Aqsa website


JERUSALEM: With imported sacrificial cows, historical hymns and rising help, some nationalist Jews hope to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem’s Previous Metropolis, at a website on the coronary heart of Israeli-Palestinian tensions.

In a suburb of Tel Aviv, a bunch of choristers had been preparing for the second they may rejoice on the reconstruction of the Jewish temple some 2,000 years after its destruction, which they imagine will speed up the arrival of the messiah.

However for others, realising their objective would massively inflame tensions across the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.

Chorister Shmuel Kam stated Jews have been “ready” two millennia for the revival of the temple.

Members of the Orthodox Jewish group declare to be descendants of the biblical Tribe of Levi, which carried out hymns and music on the holy website.

“When the temple might be constructed, we are going to ask the Levites to return sing and so they received’t know. They should be taught,” stated Menahem Rozenthal, director of the men-only choir created just a few months in the past by the Temple Institute.

Based in 1987, the institute goals to rebuild the temple, coaching choirs and clerics and making objects to be used in non secular rites.

Whereas apprentice choristers come from throughout Israel to delve into the gathering of historical hymns, the Temple Institute has made all the objects deemed mandatory for Jewish rites based on rabbinical directions.

These embrace priestly robes, baking moulds for bread, incense burners and musical devices.

– ‘Matter of time’ –

The devoted have their sights set on the massive, tree-dotted compound within the coronary heart of Jerusalem’s Previous Metropolis.

Often known as Temple Mount to Jews and revered as their holiest website, the compound has for hundreds of years housed Al-Aqsa mosque, the third most sacred place in Islam.

These searching for to rebuild the temple recall the previous place of worship, destroyed round 70 AD through the Roman interval.

In keeping with Jewish custom, their first temple was demolished in 586 BC by then ruler Nebuchadnezzar II on the similar location.

For Haim Berkovits, a 50-year-old third temple advocate, “you may say no matter you need (concerning the Muslim presence), this was the place for Jews”.

Jewish worship on the future temple is “solely a matter of time”, he stated.

Berkovits is a part of Boneh Israel (“Constructing Israel”), an organisation which based on its web site works at “bringing the redemption nearer”.

With a view to hasten their sought-after redemption, Boneh Israel imported 5 pink heifers from america final yr.

The plan is to sacrifice them and mix the ashes with water, a mix that might be used to brush anybody deemed impure – for instance those that have had contact with a corpse – earlier than their ascent to the third temple.

The uncommon cows are essential, as a result of the lack to carry out this ritual is a part of Israeli rabbinical authorities’ opposition to Jewish visits to Temple Mount.

The animals’ “return is a messianic signal”, affirmed Berkovits at a farm in northern Israel the place they’re inspected by vets and rabbis to make sure that each single hair is pink.

“We pamper them, we’re maintaining them for the opportune second,” he added.

– Spreading ideology –

Berkovits stated Boneh Israel had already acquired land on the Mount of Olives in east Jerusalem, so the animals might be burned dealing with Temple Mount.

For Yizhar Beer, director of the Keshev Centre for the Safety of Democracy in Israel, these “third temple lovers” are under no circumstances marginal.

From just a few dozen adherents 20 years in the past, their ideology has “unfold to the centre of the political stage – to the parliament, to the federal government”, Beer stated.

Since December, Benjamin Netanyahu has led a authorities alongside extreme-right ministers who advocate imposing Israeli sovereignty on the Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

The compound is run by the Waqf Islamic affairs council of Jordan, whose forces had been routed from east Jerusalem within the 1967 Six-Day Battle.

Defying the ban by high rabbis, some 50,000 Jews “ascended to Temple Mount” final yr, based on a nationalist Israeli organisation that carries the positioning’s Hebrew title, Har Habait.

The Jewish guests embrace firebrand politician Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has additionally visited twice this yr since turning into Israel’s nationwide safety minister.

The United Nations, america and the European Union have all pressed in latest months for the established order to be revered at Jerusalem’s holy websites.

Excursions by Jews of the holy compound, the place solely Muslims are permitted to hope, are denounced by Palestinians as a “risk” and an try to “Judaise” the positioning.

– Political ‘atomic bomb’ –
The compound is a degree of perennial tensions within the Israeli-Palestinian battle, and any Jewish go to has the potential to develop into “an atomic bomb”, warned Beer.

“A mix of faith and politics… it is a nuclear reactor, so an explosion there blows up every part,” he stated.

The worldwide neighborhood has by no means recognised Israel’s annexation of east Jerusalem, and considers it occupied Palestinian territory.

For Yitzchak Reuven, the Temple Institute’s head of communications, “the controversy is stirred up by the Palestinians who use it for nationalistic causes”.

“It’s probably not a Muslim situation,” he stated.

Reuven didn’t specify what would develop into of Al-Aqsa mosque, a notable anomaly in in any other case detailed plans by organisations centered on the third temple.

Nevertheless, such teams do assert that it will be inconceivable to assemble the holy Jewish website anyplace however the mosque compound.

“That’s the place God selected,” stated Reuven. “It’s a dream, however Jews returning to Israel was a dream – after which it turned a actuality.”


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