Israeli archaeologist Gabriel Barkay

Israeli archaeologist Gabriel Barkay

It has happened again.

WND reported in November of the forced removal of WND founder Joseph Farah and 406 Christian pilgrims from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem when guards from the Waqf – the Islamic authority that oversees the site Muslims call Haram al-Sharif, or Nobel Sanctuary – overheard messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn refer to the “Temple.”

Now it’s one of Israel’s most famous archaeologists who’s in trouble for saying “Temple.”

Gabriel Barkay was leading a multi-faith group of students from UCLA on the site Sunday, reported the Times of Israel. While Barkay was explaining the archaeological significance of what the students were seeing, two Waqf guards shadowing the group overheard his reference to the Temple Mount. They stopped the presentation and took Barkay to Israeli police officers.

Barkay is best known for his 1979 discovery of small silver scroll amulets in a cave in Jerusalem’s Hinnom Valley containing the priestly benediction from Numbers 6:24-26: “The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”

The amulets contain the oldest surviving biblical inscription discovered to date, dating back to 600 B.C., and the blessing is still used in synagogues and churches today.

The police informed the Waqf guards Barkay had broken no law and there was no legal reason to eject him. But on the advice of the officers, Barkay refrained from referring to “Temple Mount” for the remainder of the tour, instead calling it “the TM.”

Other tour guides have reported similar confrontations, reported Israel National News.

In November’s eviction of Farah and his group, Cahn, the New York Times bestselling author of “The Harbinger,” “The Mystery of the Shemitah” and “The Book of Mysteries,” had simply referenced the Temple when his talk was interrupted.

Cahn was told it was unacceptable for anyone to discuss the Temple on the Temple Mount. Muslims contend the site is famous and holy not because of the Temple, which some of them even dispute ever existed, but because Muhammad claims to have ascended to the site from the Arabian desert in a miraculous “Night Journey” on the back of a winged horse.

“While I was speaking, they pulled me aside and told me I had mentioned that there was a Temple on the Temple Mount – which I did – and said I was not allowed to mention the Temple,” explained Cahn. “They also accused me of mentioning America and someone clapped, which was also true. I mentioned one of the mysteries in ‘The Book of Mysteries,’ The Tenth of Av Mystery, that contains the secret of America’s existence. They also accused me of speaking of 1948, the birth of Israel, which I never did.”

Initially, just one representative of the Waqf approached Cahn during his talk – calling him away from the group for a meeting, which was soon joined by several other Waqf members, as well as two Jewish members of WND’s Israeli tour company and Farah.

“As I spoke, more of the Muslim authorities converged on me, and told me that I and the group had to leave the Temple Mount immediately,” Cahn recalled. “I went back to the group and told them that this was exactly the kind of warfare on the mount I had just told them about – but that nothing stops the purposes of God.”

The crackdown comes at a time when the Palestinians have seen successful passage of resolutions by committees of the United Nations that deny any Jewish connection to the site of the First and Second Temples, in spite of extensive archaeological, historical and biblical proof to the contrary. Like the Waqf, the U.N. resolutions refer to the site by its Islamic name, even though Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Quran.

The Obama administration’s refusal to veto a Dec. 23 U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel has paved the way for the Palestinians to argue the case that even the Western Wall, where Jews have prayed for centuries, is occupied territory and should be denied to Israel as well.

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