This Could be Huge

If Muslims begin to return more and more to the Al-Aqsa mosque, on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem or the Noble Sanctuary for Muslims, I would think this could be huge — politically and socially — in Jerusalem.

Jews call the raised ground at the eastern edge of Jerusalem’s Old City the Temple Mount, while Muslims know it as the Noble Sanctuary. Both claim sovereignty over it. Muslims have kept up an informal boycott of the walled esplanade since Israel seized East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan in a 1967 war, saying visits would amount to recognition of Jewish occupation of Palestinian territory.

Palestinian and Jordanian officials now want to reverse that. President Mahmoud Abbas urged Muslims last February to resume the journeys to Jerusalem to counter what he called Israel’s attempts to “Judaise” the city and in solidarity with the Palestinians.

 

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Andy Halpin

    I think this is a great idea and should be encouraged – as a positive and peaceful form of resistance to apartheid in Jerusalem. I hope all people of goodwill support Palestinians in this.

  • Richard Worden Wilson

    Well, I’m not sure in what way this might be “huge.” It might be huge for tourism and the Palestinian economy of Jerusalem (and perhaps Jordan). It might on the other hand be huge in the rather blunt sense acknowledged by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who ‘denounced Abbas’s remarks as “a complete fabrication” that “could start a religious war.”‘ This may be the intention of the campaign (not that the previous wars against Israel were ever ended by such nations as Saudi Arabia, Syria, etc.)
    Not sure either what Andy Halpin means by “apartheid in Jerusalem.” Would that be the “separation” by Muslims from Israel and the Jews? In some circles there is such bias on this issue that alternative views can’t quite be imagined. There may not be a more “apartheid-istic” value structure than that held by Muslims in the rejection of Israel’s existence as a nation, or in the rejection of the freedoms and rights of Jews and Christians within the Muslim nations which still deny the validity of the Israel state (which is far more inclusivist that most Muslim nations). It seems more appropriate to see whatever “apartheid” exists in Palestine as the result of Islamic (jihadist) wars against the Jewish occupation of what most Muslims see as properly and perpetually Muslim territory since the Islamic conquest in 691 AD. Not a simple circumstance, and certainly not one that is helped by use of the propagandistic term “apartheid” in reference to the current situation in Jerusalem or Palestine. Support of Muslim Palestinians without seeking equivalent means of supporting Jewish and Christian Palestinians doesn’t seem to me to be a simple thing for people of goodwill to accomplish. The wisdom of Jesus, the rightful ruler in Palestine, is greatly needed here. Let’s seek it together if possible, but not by taking sides in a war for control of disputed territories (at least before his return).
    Grace and peace to all in Christ.

  • Patrick

    Just for accuracy sake, if Josephus and recent excavations are illuminating, that is the site of Fort Antonia, not the old temple.

    I don’t see the big deal. This is a Muslim house of worship, why shouldn’t they invite fellow Muslims? Don’t Christians and Jews have visitors at their spots in Israel?

    I realize Jews and Arabs claim sovereignty over this land, but, if they’re going to tell the Muslims the Jews control Islamic worship sites, they need to be prepared for a return of a lot of warfare. It’s inevitable.


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