Final Destination

Final Destination

In this series, the author addresses the real-life scenario of Jerusalem being hit by a powerful earthquake in the near future that destroys the Al-Aksa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, large parts of the Old City and the border walls. The geopolitical consequences of such a spectacular event are incalculable, and nothing less than world peace would be at stake.


We build a house on a 30-million-year-old rift valley and declare it sacred. In doing so, we place world peace on a few piled-up stones and hang our destiny by a silken thread. Only one species is capable of such a thing – man. One could almost think that the smarter, the dumber. While religion and science do not consort with each other, science and ideology go to bed with each other again and again, despite recurring freaks. Nothing is more dangerous than religious and ideological vanity. Well then, let’s take a look at it.

The Jordan Rift

A significant earthquake zone stretches from Syria to the Gulf of Aqaba. The Dead Sea Fault or the Jordan Rift is a rift valley that is about 30 million years old. Here, the boundary between the Arabian and African continental plates runs for about a thousand kilometers. The Arabian plate moves to the northeast and scrapes along the Eurasian plate, so that tensions repeatedly build up in the fault and are subsequently discharged as earthquakes.

Here is the counterpart to the summit of Mount Everest. At this prominent fault, parts of the earth’s crust have collapsed and lie up to 420 meters below sea level. This makes it the lowest point of the earth’s solid land surface. The Jordan River has sought its bed in the deep gorge. The Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee also lie in the Jordan Rift Valley. The Dead Sea is the deepest gathering point on earth, its water level is 420 meters below sea level – making the shore of the Dead Sea the deepest place on earth not covered by water. This tectonic fault, in lowering the trench, also created the Sikh, the massive entrance canyon to Petra in Jordan.

On the west bank of the Jordan River, in the middle of the Jordan Rift Valley, lies the lowest city in the world; Jericho, one of the oldest cities in the world. First traces of settlement date back to 10`000 years BC.

Jerusalem

On the left side, at the northern end of the Dead Sea, on a hill lies one of the oldest and holiest sites of mankind. The Jews call the city “ir HaKodesh”, the Christians “Terra Sancta” and the Muslims “al-Quds”: Jerusalem. No other city is so much in the world’s focus. Jews as well as Muslims and Christians lay claim to the navel of the world.

Only recently, the coexistence, which has always been fragile, was once again shaken by unrest. The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court upheld a rabbi’s complaint and allowed Jewish prayers on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The terrorist organization Hamas called this decision a declaration of war.

Historical overview

The Temple Mount is a hill in the southeastern part of the Old City of Jerusalem, above the Kidron Valley. On its summit is an artificial plateau. Originally, the Temple of Solomon and the subsequent Herodian Temple stood here. Today, the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqṣā Mosque are located there. The Temple Mount is the most controversial holy site in the world.

On this site the Israelites built the first temple 3000 years ago – construction began in 957 B.C. The temple housed the main sanctuary of Judaism, the Mishkan “God’s home on earth”. In the Holy of Holies, which could be entered only once a year by the High Priest, the Ark of the Covenant was kept.

When Nebuchadnezzar II conquered Jerusalem, he had the Temple destroyed in 586 BC. After their return from the Babylonian exile, the Jews built the Second Temple on the same site – completion in 516 BC.

Monumentally expanded by Herod the Great, the Second Temple was again destroyed by the Romans during the Jewish-Roman War in 70 AD. The destruction of both temples 655 years apart, which according to Jewish tradition both took place on the 9th of Av, are central points in Jewish history (Av is the fifth month of the religious Jewish calendar and in the Gregorian calendar usually falls in the period of July and August).

The hoped-for rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem and the longed-for dawning of the messianic times is the final destiny of the Jewish faith. The Western or Wailing Wall is a remnant of the walls that supported the original, artificially expanded Temple plateau. Many Jews form prayers there and many people leave prayer notes/petitions in the crevices of the wall.

After the destruction of the Second Temple and the expulsion of the Jewish population from Jerusalem, a Roman temple to Jupiter was built on the Temple Mount, and later a Christian church.

In Islam, the Temple Mount is considered the third holiest site after Mecca and Medina. It is from here that the Prophet Muhammad is said to have made his night journey (Sura 17, verse 1) to the “farthest mosque”. However, the Al Aksa mosque was not built until 90 years after the event described in the Koran.

In 638 CE, Caliph Umar ibn al-Chattab conquered Jerusalem and had the first wooden mosque building constructed on the site of today’s al-Aqsa Mosque. The construction of the Dome of the Rock was carried out by Caliph ʿAbd al- Malik ibn Marwān and his son and successor al-Walīd ibn ʿAbd al-Malik from 687 – 691 CE.

After Caliph Abd al-Malik completed the Dome of the Rock around 692, he also ordered the demolition of its wooden predecessor and the construction of the stone al-Aqsa Mosque in its place.

During the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099, the army of the First Crusade killed here many people who had sought shelter in the mosque. The Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem temporarily used the building as a royal palace from 1104, before a new complex was completed near the Tower of David. During this time, the foundation walls were demolished to make room for stables and storage.

After the dissolution of the royal palace, King Balduin II of Jerusalem left a wing of the building as headquarters to the newly founded Order of the “Poor Knights of Christ” under Hugh of Payns and Gottfried of Saint-Omer in 1119/1120, who soon called themselves the Order of the Knights Templar after this place and developed the building for their purposes.

After the reconquest of Jerusalem by Saladin, the building was converted back into a mosque. On October 9, 1187, Saladin participated in a great thanksgiving service. After the Peace of Jaffa of 1229 between Frederick II and al-Kamil, when the Crusaders reconquered Jerusalem, the mosque remained in Muslim custody, as did the entire Temple Quarter with the Dome of the Rock.

Jerusalem is a powder keg and the Temple Mount the fuse

Although Mecca with the Kaaba is still considered the spiritual center of Islam, Jerusalem with the Haram al-Sharif has become the most explosive place in the Muslim world in terms of religious politics.

The Islamic legal title to the Temple Mount is considered immutable and inalienable – from the beginning of the world to its end. Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, director of the Al-Aksa Mosque, told Jewish journalist Gershom Gorenberg: “Al-Aksa is a holy place of Islam. This has never belonged to anything else. It was named Al-Aksa by God himself.”

When Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and U.S. President Bill Clinton proposed to the Palestinians (in 2000) to build a synagogue on the northeast side of the Temple Mount, Yasser Arafat rejected it, saying: “Such arguments are highly explosive and will unleash a massive fire in the region […] Are you asking me to throw the region into a new era of religious wars?” It was not least Arafat who repeatedly emphasized the Muslim significance of the Haram. “Show me one Arab who would betray Jerusalem, one single Palestinian who would betray the holy places of Muslims,” – argued the Palestinian leader.

Waves ran high when the Israeli government refused in 2004 to allow the late Palestinian leader to be buried at Haram al-Sharif. Tommy Lapid, Israel’s justice minister said at the time, “We don’t know where he will be buried. They have to choose where to bury him. But he will not be buried in Jerusalem because Jerusalem is the city where Jewish kings were buried, not Arab terrorists.”

Other senior Palestinian politicians, such as Jeries Soudah, also consider the Temple Mount non-negotiable. “Principles of negotiation over this piece of property, are not acceptable in the Arab world. You can negotiate about East and West Jerusalem. But when the language comes to the Temple Mount, there is no such negotiation – even if it would push us into World War III.” It is more than wisdom, he said, to leave the Jerusalem and Temple Mount issues out of the equation in the Middle East peace negotiations that are brewing again. “Jerusalem is a fireball, and if this fireball explodes, it will burn all other things.” – Ahmed Abdel Rahman, Secretary General of the Palestinian Cabinet, warns.

All politicians know the global importance of the Middle East conflict for world peace. “If there is peace between us [Israelis and Palestinians], then there will be peace in the whole region and peace in the world, because the whole world sees the Palestine problem as the cause of the conflict.” – Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas declared after the Israelis withdrew from Gaza. That’s a nice phrase, but in the same interview Abbas lets slip the unfortunate words, “Any division of ownership and state control over the Temple Mount we rule out.”

Mahmoud Abbas is a Palestinian leader of the Fatah movement. He was chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 2004, president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in 2005, and president of the State of Palestine in 2008. Abbas has been in office without democratic legitimacy since January 10, 2009.

Oil and gas production equals earthquake risk

Oil and gas production trigger more and more earthquakes. Man-made earthquakes threaten millions of people. Wastewater from oil and gas production pumped deep into the ground is causing previously earthquake- free areas to shake with increasing frequency. The extraction of oil and gas shrinks the reservoir, so to speak, and this also creates stresses in the surrounding area that can lead to earthquakes. The frequency of earthquakes in Israel has increased sharply in the last 18 years.

MagnitudeQuakes from 1900 to 2004Quakes from 2004 to 2022
> 61
5-6101
4-56735
3-44793
2-31234
<219
Total 137Total 182

From the USA, to the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, to Israel, everywhere there are earth tremors caused by oil and gas production. The safety of millions of people is endangered by greed for profit and one-sided safety thinking.

For a long time, Israel was dependent on imports for natural gas. Only with offshore production in the Mediterranean Sea did it become independent of these imports and began exporting in 2017. While Israel is a global leader in the hazard areas of society and technology, the hazard area of nature leads a shadowy existence.

This eye-popping neglect will cost dearly not only Israel, but the entire Middle East and the entire world. The State of Israel and the Waqf Authority Jerusalem (the Islamic foundation that oversees the holy Islamic sites on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem) have a very special responsibility as custodians of the holiest and most controversial site in the world, and they are not fulfilling it adequately.

Under the name “Truaa”, which means “trumpet blast”, Israel introduced a new earthquake warning system at the beginning of 2022. The system alerts the population via cell phone and is designed to give affected regions a few seconds to get out into the open. How this will be implemented at night or in hospitals and senior citizens’ homes is more than questionable. It is an alibi solution that could not be more typical for politicians. The real danger, the “apocalypse called Temple Mount” is in no way defused by this. For there is one thing that people have not understood until the 21st century: There is no security without social justice.

Many thanks for your interest and attention.

To be continued…

Jack Kabey

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