Podcast

‘It Could Have Led to a Nuclear War in the Middle East’

On the podcast: When Israeli extremists plotted to blow up the Dome of the Rock.

The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem on June 28. (Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)
The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem on June 28. (Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images)

In the early 1980s, a group of Israeli settlers plotted to blow up Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock—that iconic shrine with the golden dome that’s holy to Muslims everywhere. The people involved were religious Jews who felt that by getting rid of the shrine and rebuilding the ancient Jewish Temple in its place, they would hasten the coming of the Messiah.

The group plotted for years—and also staged bloody attacks on Palestinian civilians. But Israeli security officials arrested the perpetrators before they managed to destroy the shrine.

In a new documentary that has stirred controversy in Israel, filmmaker Shai Gal revisits the episode and describes how some of the plotters now hold positions of power in Israel. Gal is our guest on the podcast.

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