The Temple Mount has been the Holiest Site of the Jewish people for more than 3,000 years. But what is less known is that it was also the site of the Jewish Temple for more than 800 years. That is the reason why so many archaeological finds underneath the Temple continue to prove the attachment of the Jewish people to the Holy Site.
But what about the Arab connection to the Temple Mount? Is that also an ancient connection? The answer is yes – it is also a genuine connection that goes back nearly 1,500 years. Was it a connection that mirrors the Jewish bond with the spot? No. More than 1,500 years before Muhammad was born, the Jewish people were serving God in a magnificent Temple on the exact spot that the Arabs now commit acts of terror against Jewish worshipers below.
For many tourists that visit the State of Israel, they think that the Jewish connection is to the Western Wall. This is a mistake. The reason why it is called the Western Wall is because it is the Western Wall of the former Jewish Temple. It is a wall that is more than 2,000 years old, and it brings a person who prays next to it to recall the grandeur of the world when the Temple stood and the Jewish people could serve God in the Holiest place on earth. But today, the Israeli government continues the same policies of discrimination against Jews that former governments have, and does not allow free Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount. This is indeed a thorny issue even within the Jewish people, with many leading religious authorities supporting a ban on Jewish prayer on the mountain until the Third Temple is built. But what all religious Jews all over the world do agree on is that one day, the exact location of the Temple Mount will be the site of the 3rd Temple of the Jewish people.