This article explores the role of the Temple Mount in the
Israeli visual sphere before and after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, whose fiftieth
anniversary will be commemorated this June. Each of the four sections
examines the dominant patterns of representation at key moments
of Zionism, from the emergence of photography in the Middle East in
the nineteenth century, to current representations of the Temple Mount.
Analysis of the four periods demonstrates that the visual characteristics
used to depict the Temple Mount were neither natural nor neutral, but
rather charged with political agendas. The photographs expose the deep-seated
conflict inherent in Israel’s self-definition as a modern secular
state that is based on a religious, biblical, and messianic ethos.