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Friday, June 8, 2001
By Paul Ford
The Al Aqsa mosque, the Western Wall, an archeological dig
The Temple in panorama.
Boxes, from the left: a Holocaust memorial, 6 flames placed illegally on a rooftop; the Western wall of the Kotel plaza; the Dome of the Rock; a security checkpoint; the terminal point of Robinson's Arch, which connected to a stairway that led from the main street of Lower Jerusalem; the Al Aqsa mosque; an ancient Arab "apartment complex" near the Temple, unearthed in an archeological dig; the Seven Arches Hotel (on the summit), where the PLO first met; the Mount of Olives, where the dead will first be resurrected.
Palestinian women delayed at a security checkpoint before they can walk to the Al Aqsa mosque or the Dome of the Rock. “Take a picture, it's racism,” said my friend. Shy and afraid, I shot this through a piece of glass. My steel-toed shoes set off the metal detector and I had to remove them and hand them to the guard.
View from the steps of the Temple. For those with a little Sunday School, the "Temple" is where Christ ran out the moneylenders. If he had turned around while he was running into the Temple, this is what he would have seen. The town across the road is Palestinian. The Al Aqsa mosque is directly above and behind me.
The Mount of Olives. At the summit is the 7 Arches Hotel, where the PLO held its first Palestinian National Council conference in 1964.
Stones used to build Herod's Temple. Knocked to the ground by Roman soldiers in AD 70.
The dent made when those stones were shoved off.
The Al Aqsa Mosque, built on the site of the old Jewish Temple. The ground level is an archeological dig which has revealed the old Temple stairs, many stones pushed off the top of the Temple by the Romans, and an ancient Arab "apartment" complex.
The dome of the Al Aqsa Mosque, looking up from the Temple mount.
The Dome of the Rock above the Western Wall. To the right is the fenced path taken by Muslims on their way to worship. To understand the scale: the Temple was once much higher, before the sack by the Romans, and there are 17 unexcavated layers of stone below-ground.