Perhaps officials from the Islamic Wakf should read their own literature. After months of denying any Jewish connection to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, a little tourist booklet—written by the Supreme Moslem Council 70 years ago—undermines the Wakf’s campaign.
“A Brief Guide To al-Haram al-Sharif,” published in English, states, “The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute.” However, the guide centers on the Temple Mount’s Arab history, saying, “For the purposes of this Guide, which confines itself to the Moslem period, the starting point is the year 637 A.D.”
The guidebook also refers in passing to a Christian presence in an area of the Temple Mount known as Solomon’s Stables.
The Supreme Moslem Council wasn’t just an organization trying to drum up tourism. Dr. Eli Reches, an Arab affairs expert at Tel Aviv University explained in an interview with the Jerusalem Post that the Supreme Moslem Council was appointed by the British government during the Mandate period to administer Islamic affairs in Palestine.
By denying historical Jewish ties to the Temple Mount, the Islamic leaders deny Jewish claims to the adjacent Western Wall as well.
The guidebook’s history contradicts later comments by current Wakf leaders about the Temple Mount’s Jewish history. For example, Sheikh Ismail Jamal, one of the PLO’s Directors of the Islamic Wakf, once said, “The people of Israel realize perfectly well that they have no temples or ruins near Al Aksa Mosque. According to the Koran, the people of Israel lived somewhere to the west of Bethlehem…they were living in Bethlehem and not in Jerusalem.”
And more recently, Ikrima Sabri, the Palestinian Authority-appointed Mufti, told the German newspaper Die Welt, “There is not the smallest indication of a Jewish Temple on this place in the past. In the whole city, there is not even a single stone indicating Jewish history.”