Op-ed in official PA daily: “Religious, historical, and even biblical facts deny any connection between the Jews and Jerusalem” or to “historic Palestine”
Official PA daily, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida - Dec. 13, 2015

 
Headline: “Ziedan’s irrational teleology”
Op-ed by Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, columnist for official PA daily
     “[Egyptian author] Dr. Youssef Ziedan dropped a heavy bomb with his rational approach to the status of Jerusalem when he rejected its Arab identity, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the First Direction of Prayer and the third ‘Sanctuary’ , its Islamic value, and considered it a ‘myth’ with no connection to reality. He relied on the history of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which was built by Abd Al-Malik Ibn Marwan (the 5th Umayyad caliph. –Ed.) in 65 AH, in other words after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, thus giving the Jews the right to Palestine...First, the religious, historical, and even biblical facts deny any connection between the Jews and Jerusalem. Anyone turning to Jewish historians and archaeologists will understand this truth, as some of them, such as Israel Finkelstein, Neil Asher Silberman (i.e., Israeli archeologists), and Shlomo Sand (i.e., a history professor at Tel Aviv University), have confirmed that there is no such connection. In addition, Israel is already in existence for seven long decades in historic Palestine, and its archeologists are searching for any evidence that will connect them to Jerusalem or the Palestinian land, but they have not found even a small piece of evidence to confirm the Zionist assumption. Second, a large number of Arab and foreign historians have confirmed that the locations noted in the bible have no connection to Palestine, and they are all to be found in Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula. Third, the fact that the [Al-Aqsa] Mosque was not built in its present form does not rule out its presence there in its original form and the fact that Caliph Abd Al-Malik Ibn Marwan built it here, where it stands until today, only reinforces the words of the Quran. Fourth, Dr. Youssef knows well that the Zionist narrative is a fundamentally false narrative, that it has no connection to religion, and that it uses religion in order to fulfill its settlement goals. Fifth, the bible has been distorted dozens of times, and anyone who turns to anthropological experts and religious scholars will find things to substantiate this.”