Israel’s Supreme Court this week rejected a petition by the Israel Law Center to stop the wanton destruction of millennia of Jewish artifacts at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount by the Muslim authorities that currently control the site.
The Israel Law Center sought to file suit against the Islamic Authority, or Waqf, for its unauthorized excavation and construction projects at the Temple Mount. In those projects, the Waqf uses heavy machinery that archeologists say are destroying priceless Jewish historical artifacts. The smashed pieces of such artifacts are regularly sifted out of post-excavation rubbish piles by Israeli archeologists.
Acting in line with Israel’s attorney-general, the court ruled that private citizens could not file suit in a matter of public interest. The court also rejected an Israel Law Center petition demanding that the attorney-general investigate the Waqf’s activity.
In a statement issued after the ruling, Israel Law Center director Nitzana Darshan-Leitner lamented that Israel’s highest court “gave the Islamic Wakf a free pass to continue its destruction of Israel’s sacred heritage sites.”
The Palestinians and the wider Muslim world claim that the Jews have no historical ties to the land, and so destroying the evidence that exists of such a relationship is of paramount importance. Israel, meanwhile, is too concerned about provoking an explosion in the Islamic world to do anything about it.