During the Second Intifada Yasser Arafat ordered that a letter he received accusing Israel of creating an artificial earthquake, colliding sound waves, and artificial lightning storms in order to destroy the mosques on the Temple Mount, and to build the Third Temple be conveyed to central figures in East Jerusalem.
Arafat, his successor, Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas, Iran, Hizbullah, Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Israeli Islamic Movement, and many others Islamist figures and Arab leaders have been spreading this libel for many years. Internet site, cartoons, and books are depicting Jews as rats and snakes that are eating away the earth under the mosques to bring them down.
The libel is so hallucinatory and baseless that addressing it might seem unnecessary. Yet, now that it has caused bloodshed and come to be regarded as unalloyed truth by millions in the Muslim world,it is in fact urgent to address it.
The “Al-Aksa is in Danger” Libel: The History of a Lie systematically and factually refutes this lie, which resembles a blood libel. The book displays in detail tens and hundreds of its manifestations, and investigates its origins.
Some of the books findings:
- The roots of the calumny go back to the days of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, ally of Hitler.
- Meticulous research of eight excavations sites around the Temple Mount, where Israel was accused of endangering the Al-Aksa Mosque, has shown that in each case the accusations are baseless and false.
- In certain cases, secretly and informally, Muslim religious leaders even praised the Israeli excavations, the book shows. According to the books findings, Israel is not digging under the Temple Mount complex.
- On the other hand, in fact Muslim building activity on the Temple Mount at the Solomon’s Stables constitute a real danger to the stability of the Al-Aksa Mosque and to the Southern and Eastern Walls of the Temple Mount. Engineering reports confirming this are presented in the book. Yet, the representatives of the Wakf raised real obstacles for Israel, when it tried to look after this dangerous situation.
- A chapter in the book explores how terrorist gangs have organized on the Temple Mount. One group had looked into the possibility of shooting down the helicopter of U.S. president George Bush during his January 2008 visit to Jerusalem, while another hatched the plot to fire a missile at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem in the spring of 2010, during a soccer game when crowds of people would be there.
- Another chapter examines how the “Al-Aksa in Danger” libel has become one of the tools to advance the vision of a Global Islamic Caliphate.
- The book also looks at Israel’s de facto relinquishment of the Temple Mount, which fact is concealed from the believers of the Muslim narrative. Israel placed the site under the authority of the Wakf, and Jews were forbidden to pray there. There is no precedent in the world for a similar concession: The State of Israel, the nation-state of the Jewish people, placed the Temple Mount, the holiest site of the Jewish people in the hands of the representatives of the Muslim faith, making the greatest concession ever made by one religion to another.
The book was initiated and published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. The author, Nadav Shragai, is a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center, has served as a journalist and commentator at Ha’aretz between 1983 and 2009, is currently a journalist and commentator at Israel Hayom, and has documented the dispute over Jerusalem for thirty years.