ASK Commentary
August 1, 2000 

ASK Commentary on the Temple Mount

After a week of intense negotiations, the peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians broke down — and what was the crucial item on the agenda that caused the break down? It was a final argument over whether the Temple was ever located within the confines of the Haram esh-Sharif. The Palestinians insisted there was absolutely NO PROOF that the former Jewish Temples were ever located within the Haram esh-Sharif (that is, over the Dome of the Rock), while the Israelis picked a historical book off the shelf in President Clinton’s library which had pictures and maps (and an article) stating that the Temple was indeed once located over the area of the Dome of the Rock. That ended the conference for peace. Note what Newsweek magazine had to say on this final incident on page 59 of the August 9th, 2000 issue. It is most revealing. All should read the whole article in which the following quote is found. The quote appears below:

"NEWSWEEK has learned. ‘It was a secret Camp David within Camp David,’ one knowledgeable source said. It nearly worked. Two participants, Sher [an Israeli delegate] and Erekat [a Palestinian delegate] actually began drafting a peace accord. And contrary to perceptions that only Barak moved on Jerusalem, both sides made concessions. Barak crossed the third rail of Israeli politics by accepting Palestinian sovereignty in some Arab neighborhoods—thus permitting what he had said he never would, a division of Jerusalem. The Palestinians, meanwhile, drew up maps that accepted an Israeli demand to incorporate some nearby Jewish settlements into Jerusalem. ‘They lost their virginity,’ gibed one U.S. negotiator.

"In the end, however, emotions overcame politics, ambition, even rationality. Arafat, fearful that other Arabs would condemn him—perhaps kill him—for any concessions on Jerusalem, was even less flexible than his negotiators. The summit’s final moments degenerated into rage and frustration. Late Monday, Clinton invited Erekat [the Palestinian delegate] and Ben-Ami [another Israeli delegate] to his cabin, where the latter told him that Israel could not give up its sovereignty over East Jerusalem’s Ternple Mount. This was the site of Judaism’s holiest place, the Western Wall, a remnant of the outer wall of the Roman-era Second Temple. Erekat snippily asked Ben-Ami how he knew the temple stood on that site. Ben-Ami, in a fit of anger, pulled a reference book on religion from Clinton’s shelf. He looked up Temple Mount and pointed out that the entry was almost exclusively about the Jewish Temple. With that petty exchange, the summit ended."

What a remarkable conclusion to the week-long peace talks. Had President Clinton had on his library shelf at Camp David my new book "The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot" and the delegates would have read it, the Palestinians could easily have shown their statement to be true, that there IS NO EVIDENCE WHATEVER that the Temples of God were ever located within the Haram esh-Sharif (that is, over the Dome of the Rock). In fact, the Temples were all situated about 1000 feet south over the Gihon Spring. Had my book been read by the negotiators (including President Clinton), the potential to resolve the question over the sovereignty of Jerusalem and over the Haram esh-Sharif in particular could have understood historical truths that could have formed the basis for a true peace treaty between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Sadly, they did not have my book to guide them in this important historical and biblical question.

This News Flash is given to show just how important the information in my new book on the Temples really is. All people in the Middle East (Jews, Arabs, Muslims and Christians — and all politicians interested in solving the problem of Jerusalem should immediately read the historical and biblical evidence in my book. It has the potential of clearing the air for a renewed geographical thinking on this most significant area of the world. I hope the negotiators will read it soon. 

Ernest L. Martin

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