I was in Panel No. 3, activists discussing the past failures and successes.
One of the issues was are we Temple-oriented or Temple Mount-oriented?
I declared that two reasons for relative failure in the first 25 years or so was do to Rabbinical opposition and that Gush Emunim refused to engage in the campaign (because of Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah Kook's stance). Those two obastacles - lack of backing for an issue deemed religious and lack of motivational leadership and organizational infrastructure - was quite problematic.
I also said that in Hebrew, the term is Har Habayit, the Mount of the House/Temple, and that the Mount, that is, the physical, the archaeology, the general historical importance of the site such as the battles of the Zealots and Bar-Kochba's warriors as also those of the Hasmonean Revolt who sacrificed as valuable on offering in their lives as were the animal sacrifices, come first before the Temple and all this is needed so that a common language with the majority of Israelis who, for most, the idea, at best, of a Temple is quaintly tolerated, will be formulated so we can make better inroads.
Yehudah Glick made a not-too-smart remark ("I am happy Yehudah [Etzion] tried to blow up the Dome of the Rock and happy that he ddidn't succeed") and Yosef Elabuam sais the only way he could judge if that conspiracy would have been good is if had the government decided not to rebuild the destroyed building, but he was doubtful that would have happened and more probably, we Israeli's would have had to cough up the money to rebuild the structure.
Rabbi Yaakov Medan revealed (again, actually) that former heads of the GSS implored him to continue to ascend so that a Jewish presence offsets the Wqaf.
(l-r) Arnon Segal, Rav Yaakov Meidan, Rav Davod Stav, Rav Yuval Cherlow
and my panel:
(l-r) David Bruckner, Yehudit Dasberg, Yehudah Glick,
Yisrael Medad and Yosef Elbaum
credit: Tomer Persico
Oh, and for those doubting even the existence of a Temple, etc., etc., try this:
Three complete cooking pots and a small ceramic oil lamp were uncovered inside a small cistern in a drainage channel that runs from the Shiloah Pool in the City of David to Robinson’s Arch, in archaeological excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority is conducting near the Western Wall
...Recently a small cistern belonging to a building was exposed in an archaeological excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority is conducting near the Western Wall, in the vicinity of Robinson’s Arch in the Jerusalem Archaeological Park. Inside the cistern were three intact cooking pots and a small ceramic oil lamp that date to the time of the Great Revolt. The vessels were discovered inside the drainage channel that was exposed in its entirety from the Shiloah Pool in the City of David to the beginning of Robinson’s Arch.
Photograph of the finds in the cistern: Vladimir Naykhin
According to Eli Shukron, excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “This is the first time we are able to connect archaeological finds with the famine that occurred during the siege of Jerusalem at the time of the Great Revolt. The complete cooking pots and ceramic oil lamp indicate that the people went down into the cistern where they secretly ate the food that was contained in the pots, without anyone seeing them, and this is consistent with the account provided by Josephus”.
Rabbi Yaakov Medan of Har Etzion Yeshiva spoke at the Begin Center Conference on the Temple Mount, "The Shin Bet Jewish Division Director told me Jewish presence on the Mount is essential for maintaining our sovereignty. He told me that in order to accommodate this trend he would increase the number of agents and security personnel on the Temple Mount."
Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner said she felt the issue of Jews praying on the Mount was not within the Court's jurisdiction, "We would never rule to prohibit this basic right."
Rabbi David Stav, a candidate for the position of Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi, said that it was the responsibility of the government to ensure a Jewish presence on the Mount, and to allow freedom of religion for Jews at the site. The government also had a responsibility, he said, to ensure that “the Arab enemies of Israels do not destroy the Jewish heritage of the site” by dismantling archaeological finds.