Last year, $8 million of Palestinian stone was shipped across the ocean to Brazil, imported for the construction of a replica in downtown São Paulo of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. The replica now takes the form of a pentecostal mega-church covering an entire city block. In the course of its controversial construction Bishop Edir Macedo’s comment that the reason for using such stones was their sacred connection to the holy as “witnesses to the powers of God 2,000 year ago”. The stones were imported tax free due to the argument that something so sacred should be exempt from normal commercial enterprise. The Temple of Solomon in São Paulo is an example of how Palestine is used as a connection to the sacred, yet never seen to embody the sacred itself. The sacralization of Palestinian stone is now global and exploited, echoing the ongoing struggle for the land itself.
Temple of Solomon, Brazil