Islamic Texts Provide Evidence That Belies Palestinian Propaganda about the Temple Mount

In the past few years, Palestinian leaders have added to their familiar, scurrilous claim that Israel plans to seize or destroy the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock the assertion that there never was a Jewish Temple there, and that the site had no significance to Jews before modern times. Nadav Shragai argues that, to counteract this effort to rewrite history, it is not sufficient to turn to the wealth of archaeological evidence, which might not prove persuasive to a Muslim audience. Instead, he urges Israel and its defenders to build their case on Islamic sources:

More and more academic ‎studies are showing that the Muslims, from the first time they visited the Mount, used Jews to find ‎their way around and that the Jews were the ones who taught Muslims about the Mount and where ‎its borders lie, as well as the boundaries of the “foundation stone” [the traditional Jewish name for the sacred rock around which the eponymous dome was built], and that the first Muslim ‎ceremonies at the Dome of the Rock bore a striking resemblance to Jewish ceremonies at the very ‎Temple whose existence Muslims now deny. ‎

These studies demonstrate that the original reason why the Temple Mount was sacred to Islam and ‎why the mosques were built there in the first place was to return to the place where the Temple had ‎stood with the goal of replacing Judaism and Christianity with Islam. . . . ‎Mohammad, it turns out, was influenced by his Jewish neighbors in Medina more than we thought. ‎The similarity between Islamic customs and the customs of Judaism, which directly inspired Islam in its ‎early days, is not coincidental at all. ‎

The most convincing sources that argue for the existence of the Temple and the Mount having ‎belonged to the Jews first are Islamic texts from the period in which the Dome of the Rock was ‎constructed. These indicate that the Jews sort of mentored the Muslims, helping them get to know ‎the holy compound, shortly after their joint enemy—the Byzantines—were defeated.

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Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Jerusalem, Muslim-Jewish relations, Temple Mount

Why Is Iran Acquiring Property in Venezuela?

In June Tehran and Caracas concluded a major twenty-year cooperation treaty. One of its many provisions—kept secret until recently—was the transfer of 4,000 square miles of Venezuelan land to Iranian control. Although the territory is ostensibly for agricultural use, Lawrence Franklin suspects the Islamic Republic might have other plans:

Hizballah already runs paramilitary training centers in restricted sections of Venezuela’s Margarita Island, a tourist area northeast of the country’s mainland. The terrorist group has considerable support from some of Venezuela’s prominent Lebanese clans such as the Nasr al-Din family, who reportedly facilitated Iran’s penetration of Margarita Island. . . . The Maduro regime has apparently been so welcoming to Iranian intelligence agents that some of Hizballah’s long-established Latin American network at the tri-border nexus of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay has been overtaken by Hizballah activities on Venezuela’s Margarita Island.

Iran’s alliance with Venezuela most importantly provides Tehran with opportunities to target U.S. interests in Latin America and potentially the southern United States. Iran, along with the Chinese Communist Party, is in the process of strengthening Venezuela’s military against the U.S., for instance by deliveries of military drones, which are also considered a threat by Colombia.

While air and seaborne arms deliveries are high-profile evidence of Iran’s ties with Venezuela, Tehran’s cooperation with Venezuelan intelligence agencies, although less visible, is also intense. The Islamic Republic’s support for Hizballah terrorist operations is pervasive throughout Latin America. Hizballah recruits from Venezuela’s ten-million-strong Lebanese diaspora. Iran and Hizballah cooperate in training of intelligence agents and in developing sources who reside in Venezuela and Colombia, as well as in the tri-border region of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.

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Read more at Gatestone

More about: Iran, Latin America, Venezuela