The Dome of the Rock and Its False Picture of a “Muslim Jerusalem”: Part 1


UPDATES 8 pm Israel time, Saturday, May 10 2014:

**On a local note, your humble servant would like to offer words of gratitude and praise today to “Cal Aggies for Israel”, Hillel students, members of CUFI-UCD, and other non-affiliated students for the way they fought to stop a BDS proposal brought to the University of California, Davis student senate by anti-Israel students.

That proposal, Resolution 20, sought to have the university divest itself from Israel. Its consideration was an incredibly circuitous process that took place over several weeks and involved four votes (3 within ASUCD committees, and a final one before a primary Senate committee). That final vote took place after 8 hours of intense debate on Thursday and ended up: 5 for, 5 against, and 2 absentions. Because of the tie vote, the Vice President was called upon to break the tie, but he too abstained resulting in the defeat of the resolution.

Here is a quote (her name will remain unrevealed) from one of the leaders of the fight that arrived in my email box yesterday:

“Last night and this morning, my community brought their all. They stood up for themselves and stood their ground despite accusations of being racist, the oppressor and the colonizer. The integrity of our Hillel was brought to question, and we had to defend it. People stood strong as Jews, Zionists, and students with passion for defending our community and our narrative. I am proud of my community.”

Once again, congratulations to the youth of our university for fighting for Israel to the final vote. Even when the situation looked bleak, they refused to give up, and in the end emerged victorious. 

Kol hakovod!

TODAY’S BLOG:

When you picture Jerusalem, dear reader, what image first comes to your mind’s eye?

More than likely, that image involves the Dome of the Rock atop the Temple Mount. It is the picture that is continually disseminated all over the world by every instrument of international media.

The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. The problem is that no one "sees" the Temple Mount, and few know the history of the Dome of the Rock.

The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. The problem is that no one “sees” the Temple Mount, and few know the history of the Dome of the Rock.

Even pictures of the Kotel (Western Wall) are most often used when the Dome of the Rock (with minaret) looms over it.

Most pictures of the Kotel are actually centered on the Dome of the Rock and not on the Western Wall.

Most pictures of the Kotel are actually centered on the Dome of the Rock and not on the Western Wall.

Pictures like these falsely perpetuate the idea of a Muslim Jerusalem.

Pictures like these conceal the fact that the Dome of the Rock is built on the site of the First and Second Jewish Templeswhich stood on the site for a thousand years–and that the Dome of the Rock was built at least partially with stones from those Jewish Temples.

Pictures like these say nothing about the two Christian churches used as a model for the Dome of the Rock which, by the way,  is always presented as a quintessential model of Islamic architecture.

Pictures like these show a Dome of the Rock which extremely few people realize was home to Jewish religious practices in the years after the building was constructed.

Your humble servant hopes that by exploring some of the history implied and stated in the above points we will actually begin to change the way we see the Dome of the Rock, and thereby change the way we see Jerusalem.  But more than this, as we come to the end of the last part of this blog some days from now, other images of Jerusalem will be offered to put the Dome of the Rock into perspective and to help us re-image Jerusalem.

Tomorrow, we will begin at the beginning with “the Rock”. 

 

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