A small organisation which seeks to liberate the Temple Mount and rebuild the Third Temple in accordance with the words of the Old Testament prophets. They believe that in so doing, they are preparing the way for the Messiah to come. They are also strongly anti-Palestinian and believe that the presence of the Dome of the Rock and the Al Asqa mosque on the Mount is a symbol of Islamic conquest.
According to their website, their primary long-term objectives are as follows:
- Liberating the Temple Mount from Arabic control. They suggest that the aforementioned Dome of the Rock and mosque be removed and rebuilt in Mecca.
- Consecrating the Temple Mount to God in the hope that it will cause Israel to focus on becoming a nation set apart to God and 'a light to the nations' (Isaiah 42:6).
- Rebuilding the Third Temple, and in so doing providing a point of assembly where Israel may meet three times annually at festival times.
- Establishing Jerusalem as the true, undivided capital of Israel.
- Rejecting peace talks which forfeit Israel's territory to the Palestinians.
- Supporting the settlements in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Golan Heights, in accordance with God's command that Israel should settle the land completely.
In the short term, their stated objectives are as follows:
- To strengthen their organisation in Jerusalem to allow them to pursue their long-term goals.
- To educate the people of Israel about their significance in God's plan of redemption through the formation of youth clubs and creation and distribution of educational materials.
- To demonstrate the fulfilment of the Tenakh or Old Testament to the people of Israel.
- To proclaim their message publicly through the media.
- To buy a house in the Old City as an education and exhibition centre for the organisation.
- To organise conferences for the study of the Third Temple and the Temple Mount.
As one can see, these objectives are fairly strong and relevant to current political affairs. As one would expect, they have encountered heavy opposition
to their cause. In October 1997, they intended to place a cornerstone
which had undergone the commanded rituals in the Pool of Siloam
on the Temple Mount. Due to opposition from Arab Muslim
leaders, who feared it would signal the destruction of the Dome of the Rock
, and also from Jewish leaders who disagreed with the Faithful on religious and political grounds, they were prevented from doing so. Instead it stands, inconspicuous and unmarked, near the Damascus
Gate in a circular parkway facing the American Consulate
The Faithful is led by Gershon Salomon. He is a descendant of Rabbi Avraham Solomon Zalman Zoref who, in 1811, after he settled in Jerusalem, set about the work of what he believed was God's plan for redemption by attempting to return the ten lost tribes to Israel. He was later assassinated for his work. As a youth, Gershon was involved in the War of Independence and later joined the Israel Defence Forces. He describes the greatest moment of his life thus far as being part of the liberation of Jerusalem during the Six Day War. In 1967, after Moshe Dayan, Israel's erstwhile defence minister, handed over control of the Temple Mount to the Arabs, Gershon set up the Temple Mount Faithful.
The Faithful believes in Israel's status as an elect nation under God through which he will effect his plan for redemption. They believe that the nation of Israel has been given its land, and that none of it should be given to another nation. They believe that every Jew should return to Israel to participate in God's plan, and if they do not, they will lose this privilege. They are dedicated to fulfilling God's commands laid down in the Tenakh.