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Digging The Temple Mount: Archaeology And The Arab-Israeli Conflict From The British Mandate To The Present

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Chapter Summary

The chapter discusses the concept of political legitimacy, and the role of religion in helping a country's leader to achieve it. Next, it analyzes the conflict over the Temple Mount/Haram during the period when the British controlled Jerusalem (1917-1948), to show how the Mufti used the issue of the Temple Mount/Haram to gain political legitimacy as leader of the Palestinian Arab community, even seeking to get world Moslem support for his position. Third, the chapter demonstrates how Yasser Arafat, following in the footsteps of the Mufti, also sought to use the issue of the Temple Mount/Haram to enhance his political legitimacy, and how his actions inexorably led to the Al-Aksa Intifadah. Finally, the chapter explains how other Middle East actors, including Kings Abdullah I, Hussein and Abdullah II of Jordan and Israeli Arab leaders have sought to use the issue of the Temple Mount/Haram to gain political legitimacy.

Keywords: Arab-Israeli conflict; archaeology; Jerusalem; Palestinian Arab community



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