Widespread Anti-Semitic Defamation Attempts to Erase Judaism’s Holiest Place

By Arlene Bridges Samuels 

The Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site. Jerusalem is the ancient and modern Jewish capital, and Israel is the ancestral Jewish homeland. These are verifiable and substantiated facts of history!

Yet Itamar Ben-Gvir’s visit to the Temple Mount last week proves once again that the deepest dogma of anti-Semitism since the Holocaust is against the foundation of Judaism itself. While Ben-Gvir is an extremely divisive and controversial figure, this does not erase the fact that the Temple Mount is still the holiest site for the Jewish people. 

Anti-Semitic attacks wrapped in lies can be likened to another version of an improvised explosive device (IED), as evidenced by how condemnation of Ben-Gvir’s visit to the Temple Mount detonated across the world. Last week, Ben-Gvir—newly appointed as Israel’s National Security Minister—decided to do the unthinkable: he, a Jew, walked up to Judaism’s holiest site. The Temple Mount is permanently inscribed in Jewish biblical history, secular history, and archaeological discoveries. Its walls were built around the summit of Mount Moriah. 

Biblically, this is where Abraham offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice. In Genesis 22:1-2, we read: “Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied. Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.’”

Nevertheless, Ben-Gvir’s visit triggered a worldwide uproar. His decision to visit the Temple Mount was met by worries from Israelis who feared a Third Palestinian Intifada (uprising). It was not an unfounded fear. Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount in 2000 set off an Intifada (uprising) by PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. 

During this Second Intifada, from 2000 to 2005, Palestinian Muslims murdered more than a thousand Israeli civilians on the streets, on buses, and in restaurants. It wasn’t until months later that the Palestinian Authority Communications Minister, Imad Faluji, acknowledged that the uprising after Sharon’s visit had been part of Arafat’s plan to trigger more violence. By then it was far too late. The lies hardened into a counterfeit version of history and still circulate around the globe to this day. 

Earlier history from 1967 describes an unfortunate yet well-meant decision by Moshe Dayan, a respected Israeli general and statesman. (The Israel Defense Forces miraculously changed history and united east and west Jerusalem and recovered their biblical heartland: Judea and Samaria.) In an act of tolerance and religious freedom, General Dayan opened a door after Israel’s victory in the Six-Day War. He allowed the Jordanian Foundation, the Waqf, to remain as the administrator of the Temple Mount. Jordan had ruled over the Temple Mount, east Jerusalem, and the Western Wall (Kotel) for 20 years since Israel’s independence on May 14, 1948. The Jordanians excluded Jews from their holiest site, the Temple Mount, as well as the Western Wall.

Fifty-six years have passed, and the Waqf’s grip remains tight and has produced a mountain of historical forgetfulness teamed with propaganda. Slight improvements have taken place at the site. Nevertheless, atop the 32 acres, which can accommodate more than 400,000 worshippers, Jews are limited in their visitation days, and hours, and they can enter only through the Mughrabi Gate adjacent to the Kotel. Christians are also penalized. Scripture enlightens us that Jesus, our Jewish Messiah, frequented the Temple Mount.

The current media reports about Ben-Gvir’s visit rely on sensationalism, not historic facts. The media parrots the Palestinians’ erroneous narrative of history. Astonishingly, the United Nations declared an emergency meeting last Thursday in protest. Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations rightly commented, “There is absolutely no reason that this emergency session should be held. To hold it on a non-event is truly absurd.” He then asked, “Why are we holding an emergency session for something as simple as a Jew walking to the holiest site in Judaism?”

Indeed! Since 1967, the Jordanian Waqf still governs the Temple Mount with countless uncalled-for actions. Their policies eventually mutated into a United Nations General Assembly vote a few years ago in a Resolution—129 to 11, and 31 abstentions—to refer to Judaism’s holiest site only by its Arabic names: Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and al-Buraq, the Western Wall. What a travesty!

In Hebrew, the Temple Mount is called Har Habayit, the site of the First Temple, which was built in 957 B.C. and destroyed in 587/586 B.C. The Second Temple was completed around 516 B.C. and destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. Jesus visited and worshipped in the Second Temple throughout His life. As mentioned previously, the current location of the Temple Mount was originally known as Mount Moriah, which marks Abraham’s profound moment of obedience when God asked him to sacrifice his son. Antiquity verifies these facts in contrast to the more recent Dome of the Rock (A.D. 691) and the al-Aqsa mosque (A.D. 705). In fact, both Jewish Temples predate Islam’s incursion by 1,700 years! 

The facts were not always distorted. In 1924, an Islamic guidebook written by the Supreme Muslim Council recognized the Temple Mount’s Jewishness. “Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to the universal belief, on which ‘David built there an altar unto the LORD and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings’” (2 Samuel 24:25). Almost 100 years later, the massive amounts of propaganda have attempted to erase these facts. 

As part of our discussion, let us acknowledge Islam’s foremost sacred place, Mecca, and its second most holy site, Medina, both of which are in Saudi Arabia. A pilgrimage, the Hajj, takes place in Mecca annually—where upwards of 2.5 million Muslims circle and pray around the Kaaba, a cube-shaped structure, the holiest shrine in Islam. All Muslims are required to visit Mecca at least once in their lifetime if financially and physically feasible. 

Muslim pilgrims walk a path they believe to have been taken by the Prophet Muhammad 1,400 years ago and spend five days performing rituals said to bring them closer to God. Hajj occurs in the last month (Dhul-Hijjah) of the Islamic calendar. In 2023 it takes place June 27–July 1 on Islam’s lunar calendar. Non-Muslims are not allowed at the Hajj. Saudi government bans non-Muslims from Mecca itself. 

Do world leaders ever condemn Saudi Arabia over such restrictions at the Hajj? Does the global mainstream media ever report negatively on these matters? Are Muslims ever condemned for holding to their religious traditions? 

The United States, Jordan, and nations in Europe and beyond quickly lined up against Israel minutes after Ben-Gvir walked back down to the Western Wall Plaza. The Crown Prince of United Arab Emirates accused Ben-Gvir of “storming the al-Aqsa mosque.” Yet however controversial or provocative the National Security Minister is deemed to be, Ben-Gvir went to the Temple Mount at 7 a.m.—a prescribed hour for Jews. In fact, as CBN News recently reported: “Ben-Gvir consulted with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before his visit, and also met with Israeli police and internal security officials. His time on the Temple Mount lasted about 15 minutes and ended without incident.”

This truth must be strongly restated because of the barrage of attacks against it. As I said at the beginning of this article, these truths are substantiated facts of history and cannot be disputed: The Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site. Jerusalem is both the ancient and modern Jewish capital, and Israel is the ancestral Jewish homeland. And even so, Israel remains dedicated to sharing its most sacred site with the three monotheistic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Proverbs 12:22 tells us that “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are His delight.”

Join us at CBN Israel in praying for truth to prevail when it comes to Israel:

  • Pray for the Christian community to increasingly share truths about Israel. 
  • Pray for Ben-Givr and all in Netanyahu’s government to act and speak wisely.
  • Pray that Palestinians will not explode into a Third Intifada. 
  • Pray that God’s “will be done on earth as it is in heaven” and for the peace of Jerusalem. 

Arlene Bridges Samuels
pioneered Christian outreach for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). After she served nine years on AIPAC’s staff, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem USA engaged her as Outreach Director part-time for their project, American Christian Leaders for Israel. Arlene is an author at The Blogs-Times of Israel, a guest columnist at All Israel News, and has frequently traveled to Israel since 1990. She co-edited The Auschwitz Album Revisited and is a volunteer on the board of Violins of Hope South Carolina. Arlene has attended Israel’s Government Press Office Christian Media Summit three times and hosts her devotionals, The Eclectic Evangelical, on Facebook.


  1. REPLY
    Paul Fausnight says

    Everyone should take the chance to visit the lands of the Bible, including Israel. I greatly admire Benjamin Netanyahu. And I do not disagree with the content of this article.
    However, as Christians of the new covenant, we need to continually remember that God treats all persons alike and has no favorites. In the new covenant of the New Testament, the true Jew, the true Israel, the true Jerusalem and true Zion are not of literal but of spiritual meaning. Paul makes this so very clear in Galatians 3 and 4. God’s Church of the truly redeemed is the only true Jerusalem / Zion / Israel, and only those who are redeemed in Christ are heirs of God’s promises and become his chosen people.

    Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman, the other by a free woman. His son by the slave woman was born in the usual way, but his son by the free woman was born as a result of God’s promise. These things can be understood as a figure: the two women represent two covenants. The one whose children are born in slavery is Hagar, and she represents the covenant made at Mount Sinai. Hagar, who stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia, is a figure of the PRESENT CITY OF JERUSALEM, in slavery with all its people. But the heavenly [spiritual] Jerusalem is free, and she [THE CHURCH OF GOD] is our mother. …Now, you, my friends, [Paul is writing to many non-Jews as well as some Jews receiving and obeying Jesus Christ] are God’s children as a result of his promise, just as Isaac was. At that time the son who was born in the usual way persecuted the one who was born because of God’s Spirit; and it is the same now. {Jews persecuting Christians} But what does the scripture say? It says, “Send the slave woman and her son away; for the son of the slave woman (Jews who reject Christ Jesus–those who, according to John Hagee “do not need to repent because already they are God’s chosen people”) WILL NOT HAVE ANY PART of the father’s property along with the son of the free woman.” (spiritual Zion, which is God’s CHURCH of all the redeemed, who obey Christ) So then, my friends, we are not the children of a slave woman but of a free woman.
    (Galatians 4:22ff)
    The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.
    (Galatians 3:16)

    There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
    (Galatians 3:28-29)

    I support Israel as a friendly ally in the region, but the notion that the land of Israel belongs to the Jews for biblical reasons is entirely contrary to the scriptures. Read the Old Testament prophets. By far, most of their writings are warnings and condemnations of the Jewish people for their unfaithfulness to God and his covenant, warning them that God would scatter them among their enemies. The greatest prophet, Isaiah, plainly stated that even though those who claim to be descendants of Jacob and Abraham were to become as numerous as the sands of the sea shores, only a very few would be saved. The false teaching so common among Evangelicals and false teachers like John Hagee, who even claims that Jews do not need to repent because they are already God’s chosen people, reflect ignorance of the New Testament teachings of Christ’s apostles. Read them, for example in Galatians chapters 3 and 4, especially Galatians 3:16 and 3:29. Paul writes that literal Jerusalem corresponds to Abraham’s slave Hagar and is in spiritual slavery with all her people, as all those not redeemed in Christ are slaves to sin–while only those who are in Christ, regardless of any physical ancestry, are the true Israel and Zion and children of Abraham. Paul writes that the promise was not made to Abraham as to his descendants (plural) but as to his descendant, singular, meaning Christ. He is the one on David’s throne ruling forever, and his kingdom is right here and now as a spiritual Kingdom in his church composed of all the redeemed in whom God’s will is done, a kingdom NOT OF THIS WORLD, as Jesus described it, but a present reality–not some pretended literal millennial kingdom yet to come in some future age!

    The REAL “Replacement Theology”:

    Replace resurrection WITH RAPTURE
    Replace one second coming WITH TWO
    Replace one plan of redemption WITH TWO
    Replace living, spiritual temple WITH PHYSICAL
    Replace current reign of Christ in spiritual Zion, God’s church, WITH KING-ON-HOLD
    Replace centrality of Jesus Christ WITH CENTRALITY OF ‘ISRAEL’
    It is the Bible which is “Left Behind”!

  2. REPLY
    Janet Lee Hansen says

    May God protect his Jewish children as they righteously worship Him in their temple.

    • REPLY
      Milton Lopez says

      Bringing to remembrance the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus the Messiah made known to herself. She then related her confusion as to where to worship. Our fathers say here others say there is the true place to worship. My Lord where shall I worship thee. My child I come not to destroy the laws and the Prophet, but to fulfill the laws and the Prophets. The time will come that they that worship me shall worship me in Spirit and in truth. In the presents of two or more, there will I be in the midst of them. For you will not meet with Temples made with hands anymore. For you become the temple of God for He now dwells in you. For the vale that the high priest entered into the holiest of holies was torn from top to bottom by the sacrificial Lamb of God the Lamb with out blemish that takes away the sins of the world. For without the sheed blood of Christ we have no remission of sin. For now we can come boldly to the throne of God. Jesus has become our mediator before God the Father and man. Abraham, the father of faith, for without it, faith, it is impossible to please God. For they that come to God must believe that He is and is a rewarder to them that diligently seek Him. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Jesus is the Word. I stand with the Apostle who says, I am not ashame of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power of God unto salvation first to the Jew than to the Greek, the Gentile. For God is no respecter of persons, Jews alike need salvation. For all have sin and fall short of the Glory of God. For there is not one righteous, except for the rags of a self-righteous man. For there is no difference between the Jew and Gentile for we become one in Christ. If you not be in Christ and received him as your Messiah, the true one that has come to his own but his own received him not. Remember Jesus said His Kingdom is not of this earth. Moving him, if you the king of the Jews take yourself down from the cross. He was the sacrificial Lamb. If you are the Jew that waits for that other Messiah to rein on earth than beware of that one that comes as the deceiver, the god of this world, Lucifer, the devil, the father of lies, the Antichrist the imposter acting messiah for you to receive him as your messiah. The true resurrected Messiah will return in all His glory to receive the believer that has put their trust in Him. The God of Abraham the God of Isaac and the God Jacob, the God of Israel. Know the significance of your Messiah. The Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world.

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