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Under Cover of Conflict:
Al-Aqsa Mosque also at Risk?

Questions and Answers

Question: What is the Al-Aqsa Mosque?

Answer: The Al-Aqsa Mosque is one of a number of religious buildings in Jerusalem known as the Temple Mount to Jews and the Majed Mount or Al-Haram al-Sharif to Muslims.  Al-Aqsa is located in East Jerusalem, a territory seized and occupied by Israel  in 1967. Al-Aqsa is the largest mosque in Jerusalem with a capacity for 5,000 people worshipping both in and around it.

Question:  What makes this a potential flash-point?

Answer:  There are many Jewish and evangelical Christian groups in Israel and abroad dedicated to the destruction of the mosque toward facilitate the "rebuilding" of the "Third Temple" on the very same site.  These and other groups believe the destruction of the mosque and construction of the temple would hasten the appearance of a Jewish messiah who would rule the world from Jerusalem.  In 1990, the Temple Mount Faithful, a Jewish extremist group, tried to lay the cornerstone for the Third Temple.   On September 28, 2000 Ariel Sharon accompanied by a Likud party delegation and 1,000  armed bodyguards visited the mosque compound.   His visit was condemned by the Palestinians as a provocation, the visit triggered the "Al-Aqsa intifada".  Sharon's visit and subsequent violence shored up his political campaign. He won the 2001 elections in a large majority.

Experts believe the actual destruction of the mosque, one of the three holiest Islamic sites, would touch off a regional conflagration that would inevitably drag the US into yet another unnecessary and wholly avoidable Middle East conflict.

  What makes the current violence ideal cover for destruction of the mosque?

Answer: The dedication to destruction of the mosque is high, but so is the desire to have it destroyed by "an act of God" or better yet, by Arabs or Muslims.  Israelis have long been accused of tunneling under the mosque, weakening the foundation and  enabling a future spontaneous "collapse".  Destroying the mosque with explosives and laying the blame on Kassam or Iranian made rockets offers an even better "false flag" cover for groups anxious to build the temple.  The public relations benefit to a false flag operation are incalculable if blame is laid on Arab Islamic "terrorists" destroying a holy site through their wanton and indiscriminate violence.

Question:  Is there any historical record for believing the mosque could be destroyed in a future "false flag" operation?

Answer: The Lavon Affair in which Israel bombed US and British targets but blamed Islamic extremists is one example.  If the destruction of the mosque is seen to critically advance the interests of those who wish to see a wider war in the region, and those  dedicated to "making war by deception" could find it advantageous to stage a false flag operation. 

Question:  Does the Bush administration support replacing the mosque with a temple?

Answer:  That is unclear.  The administration was directly asked about it in a news conference in December, 2004.

Reporter:  "...on the Middle East -- many evangelical Christians in the United States are supporting right-wing Jews in Israel who want to rebuild the temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. They (Evangelical Christians) believe this is a prerequisite for Christ's return to earth.

They believe that when Christ returns to earth -- they call this The Rapture -- He will take back with Him the true believers. And the rest -- the non-believers -- Jews, Muslims -- will be left behind to face a violent death here on earth.

As a born again Christian, does the President support efforts to rebuild the temple on the Temple Mount?"

The presidential press secretary's answer was noncommittal.   Many evangelical Christian activists who are the Bush administration's base in the US would welcome the destruction of the mosque toward the realization of their messianic vision  in the region.