A Jewish group representing hundreds of U.S. synagogues says it is “incomprehensible” that Israel is allowing a Muslim dig on the Temple Mount. The group has demanded that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert immediately halt the blasting of a massive trench at the site and allow archaeologists to inspect the area.
“It is incomprehensible that the State of Israel would allow for a non-Jewish religious entity that denies the very existence of the two Temples to be entrusted with digging on the Temple Mount. Such inconsistent and distorted principles signify a lack of sensitivity towards our own land and history,” stated a letter to Olmert from the National Council of Young Israel.
NCYI, which represents more than 150 community synagogues in the United States and Canada, is one of only a few Jewish groups in the U.S. to protest the reported Jewish Temple artifact destruction on the Mount – the holiest site in Judaism.
By contrast, in 2001, when the Taliban in Afghanistan destroyed Buddhist statues, many mainstream American Jewish groups protested.
Members of the Wakf, the Islamic custodians of the Mount, have been using bulldozers to carve a massive trench that reportedly is destroying antiquities from what archaeologists believe is a wall from the Second Temple.
Israel has barred archaeologists from inspecting the artifacts, believed to be from the outer courtyard of the Second Temple. If verified, the wall would be the most significant Jewish Temple find in history.
Israel has information that terrorists granted amnesty in July by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert have been coordinating activities with and receiving funding from the Lebanese Hizbullah terror organization, according to security sources speaking to WorldNetDaily.
In a gesture to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Olmert granted official amnesty to 178 West Bank-based members of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah’s declared military wing.
The Brigades has taken responsibility, along with Islamic Jihad, for every suicide bombing in Israel during the past two years.
The amnesty agreement required the terrorists to disarm, refrain from terror activities, and restrict their movements for three months to the area in which they reside.
But according to security sources, Israel’s Shin Bet Security Services passed information to Abed al-Razeq El-Yehia, the PA’s Minister of Internal Security, allegedly showing that Brigades members who were granted amnesty have been communicating with Hizbullah and receiving instructions and funds from the Lebanese group.
The information is the latest in a string of reported violations by the Brigades since the amnesty agreement was signed. In the past few weeks, according to Brigades sources, Brigades members (including those on Olmert’s amnesty list) have carried out a series of attacks against the IDF. The attacks included shooting at Israeli residents of the West Bank and lobbing grenades at IDF patrols.
Free Pass For Terrorists in West Bank
Meanwhile, according to Palestinian officials, Olmert has quietly granted amnesty to a list of about 100 more Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades terrorists, and is strongly considering offering official amnesty to an additional 206 Brigades gunmen as a further gesture to bolster Abbas.
Olmert is also considering allowing the return to Bethlehem of 26 Brigades leaders who were exiled after they seized the city’s Church of the Nativity in 2002.
Fatah’s militias have long been accused of leading campaigns against Bethlehem’s dwindling Christian population.
Whether additional amnesty is granted, according to Palestinian officials, the Israeli prime minister already has given de facto immunity to the entire Brigades terror group and to all Fatah fighters in the West Bank.
“We were directly told Fatah fighters will not be targeted regardless of official amnesty,” the Palestinian official said, speaking on condition his name be withheld.
One senior Palestinian diplomat close to Abbas said officials from Olmert’s office pledged to Palestinian leaders that the Jewish state would not “look with a microscope” at whether Brigades members keep their end of the agreement.
Knicks/Maccabis to Face Off in NY
An elite Israeli basketball team is slated to be the first-ever international team to play an exhibition game against the New York Knicks in Manhattan’s Madison Square Garden next month.
Israel’s Maccabi Elite Tel Aviv will face off Oct. 11 against the Knicks in a private game to raise money for American Friends of Migdal Ohr, representing the Jewish state’s largest youth village. The village provides crucial support and housing to more than 6,500 orphaned, abused and underprivileged children and is widely credited with transforming the lives of thousands of Jews.
Migdal Ohr is running an entire week’s worth of festivities centering around the Israel-New York game, for which over 12,000 tickets already have been sold. The organization’s “Hoops and Dreams Week” is geared toward the New York-area Jewish community and includes receptions to honor the players and a special on-court ceremony celebrating the memory of former Knicks coach and New York Jewish basketball icon Red Holzman.
Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs.