The big game which can save the world or waste it
Currently, the world resembles a powder keg with a long combustible cord, which starts and ends with the church on Jerusalem’s Hill, just above the Wailing Wall. Someone could toss a cigarette and the entire international Muslim community would explode, a community with 1.5 billion believers, at least 10 percent of whom feel explosively on edge and who believe in jihad. However, as soon as Trump became president, ardent Israelis rejoiced that they would finally be able to build the third temple on the site of Solomon’s Temple, which was originally built in the 10th century B.C., then destroyed, then rebuilt, and destroyed again by the Romans in 70 A.D. The Israelis believed that at last there was a global leader determined to begin building the third temple.
But construction of the temple will not be possible without disturbing the Muslim “House of Holiness,” the other name of the hill, on which the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque is erected today. This is Islam's third holiest site, and some believers even give it silver status after Mecca and before Medina. For the Jewish people, however, this is the first and perhaps the single most sacred place, because from this place, God created the world; here God created Adam; here in the temple was the ark of the covenant, the portable “House of God,” which the Nazis tried to pilfer in the “Indiana Jones” movie. Imagine the grief Israelis must be feeling, knowing that they conquered all of Israel again and yet, those most sacred 146 decares (approximately 36 acres) are in the hands of their enemies.
For Christians, this is also a holy place, although, thank God, they are not demanding they be allowed to build on top of it, other than perhaps a small stand for wax candles — one would not want to raise the devil. Most importantly for Christians, this is the place where Jesus expelled the merchants, preached love of one’s neighbor and finally prophesied that the temple would be destroyed and not a single stone left. The prophecy came true, despite the fact that some godless historians recently claimed that the date was changed retroactively centuries later by followers of Jesus’s disciples.
As you can see, the status of this property is very complicated. Jewish property records begin in the 10th century B.C., while Muslim property claims did not begin until the seventh century, when Muhammad ascended to the sky in the middle of the night carried by a magical horse called “Buraq” on this very spot. Former President Barack Obama was named after the horse, and seemed to be predestined by his name to reconcile the friendship between Uncle Sam and the Muslims. In the beginning, Muslims found him to be extremely amiable, but he subsequently managed to disappoint them, and in the end he apologized through his secretary of state, a hawk called Hillary.
The battle for the holiest and most volatile property on the planet is quickly gaining momentum. This summer, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu engaged in serious disagreements with UNESCO, American Reform and Conservative Jewish organizations, Palestinian Muslims and surrounding Arab countries because of his effort to transform all of Jerusalem into a sacred center reflecting the Jewish past, “the heart of the people, the place where everyone has turned to, gone to and prayed toward.”
And Jerusalem's status de jure is still international. This year marks the 60th anniversary of Israel winning the territories along the Jordan River, and it is still not able to take ownership. East Jerusalem, the location of the Temple Mount, is considered occupied territory under international law. The mount itself is under the jurisdiction of the Jordanian council of Waqf and only those who pray to Allah and his prophet are invited.*
This was the reason that relations cooled off between Netanyahu and Obama, who wanted to restore the rights of Palestinians and to divide Jerusalem between the two nations and religions, as this is the actual status under all United Nations resolutions. If this remains unchanged, the third temple will only be a dream. Donald Trump took a sharp turn in comparison to his predecessor. In order to captivate Jewish voters in the United States last year, he promised to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In fact, Jerusalem has long been Israel’s capital, but the world hasn’t recognized this yet, and foreign countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv. If the U.S. is to lead by example, all NATO members will follow suit, perhaps, with the exception of Turkey. Alas, Trump’s pledge didn’t pay off, because American Jews voted for Hillary Clinton by a ratio of 70 to 25.
However, Trump’s popularity rating in Israel rose dramatically. It is very important to note that Trump's favorite son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is an observant Jew. As befits an observant Jew, Kushner is also a great real estate speculator. He is now heavily in debt and the only thing that can save him is his international position. Kushner is a special adviser to the president and has various tasks, one of which is to do the job of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. One of Kushner's main objectives is to personally negotiate with Netanyahu.
Trump is very optimistic that his son-in-law will achieve what dozens of world leaders haven’t been able to for many decades. After meeting Netanyahu several times, the president's son-in-law seems pessimistic, but nobody knows exactly what they have been negotiating. Israel's religious figures are also hopeful. At the beginning of the year, the Sanhedrin issued an emotional call for Trump and Putin to join forces and create the necessary conditions to rebuild the temple.** The mere fact that there has been a Sanhedrin in Israel for 20 years means that old religious practices are being revived from before the period when Roman Emperor Titus Flavius destroyed Jerusalem, set it on fire and slaughtered the rebellious Jews, forcing survivors to scatter all around the world.
*Editor’s note: The author may be referring to the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, an Islamic religious trust best known for controlling and managing the current Islamic building on and around the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
**Editor’s note: The Sanhedrin is an attempt to renew the great court of the same name during the last Jewish kingdom some 2,000 years ago.