I will be visiting there tomorrow and so I'll update.Today, the 17th day of the Jewish month of Tammuz, commemorates the day the walls around Jerusalem were breached, three weeks before the Second Great Temple was destroyed by the Romans on the ninth day of Av. On this day, we have not heard the reaction of any leader, political or religious, to images published last week showing the goings-on at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem...the base of a large scaffold placed on top of the Foundation Stone, which lies at the center of the Dome of the Rock...The picture is worth a thousand words — scaffolds on top of the Foundation Stone!...Imagine a similar photo showing the same scene with the Kaaba in Mecca...or the Stone of Unction at the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem...Think of the volcanic eruption that would have followed... Jews have adopted the Western Wall as a replacement for the mount. After the government and most Halachic (Jewish legal) authorities (the former for political reasons, the latter for religious reasons) prohibited Jews from praying on the mount, the Western Wall, which derives its holiness from its proximity to the Holy of Holies, became the primary holy site for Jews.
...We do not need to pray at the Temple Mount; we can make do with visiting the site. But even visits to the site by Jews have become rare and not only the police, who have limited the number of visits and the amount of time for each visit, are responsible for that. The Jewish public, religious and secular alike, has forsaken the site and this reality has turned its history and antiquities into a political bargaining chip, a negotiation, a carrot and stick approach used by police when dealing with the waqf, the Muslim authority charged with maintaining the site...In relation to this holy site, however, since 1967, Jews have behaved like absentee landlords...They believe we can skip over the Temple Mount and rewrite the Jewish people's genealogy without it. This is a grave mistake.
The photos of scaffolds on the Foundation Stone and other tragic photos of the goings-on at the site over the years, would not have existed if Jews had taken an interest in the mount, not for provocation or protest, but as a true project grounded in our national roots, including awareness tours of the site and studies of ancient maps and historical accounts in the company of archeologists, historians, rabbis, military commanders, educators and academic leaders. The purpose of the tours would be to remind us where the Jewish people's genealogical documents lie in Jerusalem.