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Jerusalem under Palestinian Assault

Itamar Marcus and Noaz Cohen  |
Palestinian Authority's unprecedented campaign
of historical revision and libels about Jerusalem

"Jerusalem is the religious, political and spiritual capital of Palestine -
the Jews have no right to it."
[Dr. Tayseer Al-Tamimi, PA Chief Justice of religious court]

The erasure and denial of 3,000 years of Jewish history in Jerusalem is integral to Palestinian ideology. Accordingly, Israel and Jews are said to have "no rights" to Jerusalem, and any contemporary manifestation of Jewish life and development there is labeled by the Palestinian Authority as "Judaization." Jerusalem is presented as an exclusively Muslim and Christian city, with no regard for historical reality. Beyond this historical revisionism, the PA disseminates the libel that Israel is acting to expel Arabs from Jerusalem in order to further "Judaize" the city. Fabrications include PA accusations of Israeli destruction of Islamic and Christian sites, and repeated use of PA hate language, including references to a "criminal cultural massacre" to chase Arab inhabitants away. The Jerusalem libel is designed to evoke religious hatred by portraying Israel and the Jews as the enemy of, and threat to, Arabs and Islam.

This study by Palestinian Media Watch documents the recent intensification of the Palestinian Authority's campaign of distortion, historical revision and hate incitement about Jerusalem, and denial of its integral attachment to the Jewish nation and history.

This cartoon with the caption "Judaization of Jerusalem" shows, from right to left, a sinister-looking Jew first sharing the chair with an Arab and then shoving him off.
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), official PA daily, Feb. 24, 2009]

The Study:
1. Denial of the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and even of the existence of Solomon's Temple;
2. Hate libels: Israel plans destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Judaization of Jerusalem; PA alarmist campaign to promote fear and hate;
3. Jerusalem and all of Israel are defined as "Ribat" - holy Islamic land - whose "liberation" and defense are mandatory by Islam.

1. Denial of the Jewish Connection to the City of Jerusalem

"The archaeological treasures in Jerusalem emphasize the depth of the city's heritage and history; they emphasize its Arabness and refute the Israeli claims that it is a Jewish city... It is known that perhaps under every stone and in every corner, on every street and at every turn in Jerusalem there are relics. These relics say, 'We are Arab, we are Muslim, we are Christian."
[Dr. Marwan Abu-Khalaf, director of the Archaeological Institute at Al-Quds University - PA TV (Fatah), Feb. 27, 2009]

"They [the Jews] base themselves on myths and invoke the Jewish religion and Jewish faith, despite the fact that the truly religious Jews truly believe - and they have stated this on more than one occasion - that the Temple was never in the Holy City [Jerusalem], and was absolutely never on the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque."
[Mahmoud Al-Habbash, PA Minister of Agriculture and Welfare - PA TV (Fatah), April 16, 2009]

"[The Jews] wept and cried over the western wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque due to the self-delusion and falsification that this was a remnant of a wall of the alleged Temple… They place notes between the stones and dream of the day when they will approach closer, into the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, and plan to build the alleged Temple…
[PA TV (Fatah): "Synagogues Encircling Al-Aqsa" - May 1, 2009]

[Dr. Hasan Sun'-Allah, a scholar at the Center of Modern Research] "criticized the use of the term 'Wailing Wall' instead of 'Western Wall' [of Al-Aqsa], and stated that the occupation falsifies the facts, and has no rights over the walls of Al-Aqsa mosque, to use them as a site for mourning."
[Al-Ayyam, April 28, 2009]

Dr. Tayseer Al-Tamimi, PA Chief Justice of religious court, and Chairman of Supreme Council of Islamic Law:
"Jerusalem is the religious, political and spiritual capital of Palestine - the Jews have no rights to it."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), March 2, 2009]

"We do not agree with the biblical version, according to which [Jerusalem] was a mighty kingdom, or the capital of a mighty kingdom. No palace has been discovered, nor have any remnants of the First Temple - built in Solomon's time - been found, testifying to this greatness... The Hebrews arrived in Jerusalem during the first millennium B.C.E., but their rule in Jerusalem lasted only for a short time... To date one cannot point to any element in Jerusalem that is related, historically speaking, to that period, or any element that is historically related to the Hebrew culture."
[Nazmi Al-Ju'ba, lecturer in history at Bir Zeit University - PA TV (Fatah), Feb. 27, 2009]

"It [Jerusalem] is the meeting point of a number of archaeological sites, by means of which the Israeli establishment is trying to raise an imaginary Hebrew history."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), March 4, 2009]

"[Dr. Yunes Amr, President of the Al-Quds Open University,] who authored a book entitled, 'Jerusalem - City of Allah', has reviewed the Israeli claims concerning the history of the Jewish presence in Palestine and in Jerusalem, and has disproved them historically and linguistically, [exposing] their falsification of the facts. He pointed out the inaccuracy of the widespread view that the Palestinians originated with a group of people who emigrated from the Greek [Isles] and settled in Palestine, affirming instead that the Palestinians are Arab Canaanites indigenous to this land."
[Al-Ayyam, April 7, 2009]

"They dug the Western Wall tunnel... and at the heart of the tunnel they inaugurated a new synagogue, the closest - according to their illusion - to the Holy of Holies of the alleged Temple."
[PA TV (Fatah): "Synagogues Encircle Al-Aqsa" - May 1, 2009]

"Israel seeks to create religious and historical legitimacy for itself in Jerusalem and to justify its acts of judaization, with a clear distortion of history."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), May 14, 2009]

2. Hate libels: Israel plans destruction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Judaization of Jerusalem; PA alarmist campaign to promote fear and hate

Since Jews are said to have no connection to Jerusalem, nor any right to live in the city, any Israeli action in Jerusalem is defined as "Judaization" and an attempt to erase the city's supposedly authentic Islamic Arab character. The PA has launched an incendiary libel campaign which presents as fact the lie that Israel is working to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and to expel Arabs from the city.
The claim that Israel is pursuing a policy of ridding Jerusalem of its Arab inhabitants is blatantly untrue. In fact, according to May 2009 statistics released by the Jerusalem Center for Israel Studies, since the liberation of east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War, Jerusalem's population has increased by 186%, with the Arab population of east Jerusalem growing by 291%, almost twice the growth rate of the Jewish population.

Palestinian Authority Mufti, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein:
"There are [Israeli] plans to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque both directly and indirectly. For instance, use of explosives, aerial or long-distance bombing, digging at the foundations and the walls of the mosque. By means of the tunnels they are trying to cause a natural earthquake."
[PA TV (Fatah), Feb. 3, 2009]

"Nation of Islam: Awaken! The Al-Aqsa mosque is being threatened, a tunnel is being dug underneath, the so-called 'Temple' is being renewed."
[PA TV (Fatah) clip broadcast repeatedly in 2009, recently on April 24, 2009]

Dr. Tayseer Al-Tamimi, PA Chief Justice of religious court, and Chairman of Supreme Council of Islamic Law:
"The occupation government is determined to erase the Arab and Islamic characteristics of the Holy City and to carry out a criminal cultural massacre against the city's human and cultural heritage."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), Feb. 17, 2009]

"This occupation [Israel], which is robbing us of our geography, robbing us of our history, and robbing us of our heritage, is trying to Judaize our city [Jerusalem]."
[Friday sermon, PA TV (Fatah), April 10, 2009]

Dr. Tayseer Al-Tamimi, PA Chief Justice of religious court, and Chairman of Supreme Council of Islamic Law:
"The number of Israeli tunnels and their scope is growing daily under the Al-Aqsa mosque and in its environs and... the constant breakdowns of the roads and the walls emphasize that [Al-Aqsa] is subject to a plot that threatens its structure and its identity, with the aim of destroying it and establishing on its ruins the alleged Jewish Temple."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), March 3, 2009]

"The Israeli leadership is hastening its steps to Judaize Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Palestinian state, with the aim of abolishing the city's Arab identity and changing its characteristic landmarks."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), Feb. 24, 2009]

"The Popular Fighting Front in the Jerusalem region emphasized that the plans of the occupation government, which aspires to double the number of settlers in Jerusalem and in the West Bank... This is one of the fruits of the new fanaticism, racism and Nazism."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), March 4, 2009]

"When we look at the Palestinian map these days, we cannot avoid turning our gaze directly towards Jerusalem and the suffering that this city is experiencing: the attempts at Judaization, with the aim of blurring its characteristics, changing its identity."
[Friday sermon, PA TV (Fatah) Feb. 20, 2009]

[In his lecture, Dr. Yunes Amr, president of Al-Quds University] "addressed the subject of 'Jerusalem, capital of Arab culture', the characteristics of the Jews - their lies and their sadism."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), March 25, 2009]

"It is possible that there will be an artificial earthquake. Some time ago the Israelis had the idea of carrying out a nuclear test in the Dead Sea. That would be an artificial earthquake [that would bring about the collapse of the Al-Aqsa mosque]."
[PA TV (Fatah), Feb. 27, 2009]

3. Jerusalem and all of Israel are defined as land of "Ribat"

A Palestinian Authority schoolbook defines Ribat:
"The Ribat for Allah is one of the actions related to Jihad ...The persistence of Palestine's people on their land in these days [i.e., Israel], and their persistence against the damage and the aggression they endure - is one of the greatest of the Ribat [fighting for Islamic land], and they are worthy of a great reward from Allah.... they are found in Ribat until Resurrection. "
[Islamic Education, grade 12, p. 86-87]

In recent months, Palestinian leaders have frequently defined all of Israel, and particularly Jerusalem, as land of "Ribat" - i.e., areas which Muslims have a religious obligation to defend and liberate for Islam. In the past, it was specifically Hamas that defined the conflict with Israel as a religious war. Now, the PA - Fatah leadership likewise openly presents its war against Israel as a religious battle for Islam.

"Ribat unites us as Muslims and as Palestinian Arabs with Jerusalem, and with its holy [places] and with the Al-Aqsa Mosque. It is ongoing Ribat which cannot be halted even for a second."
[Sheikh Raed Salah, head of branch of The Islamic Movement - Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), March 25, 2009]

Sheikh Ali Abu-Shaykha, member of the Jerusalem People's Council for "Jerusalem, Capital of Arab Culture 2009" events:
"The purpose of the festival is for our children to depict the suffering of the Al-Aqsa mosque... In addition, this activity is an activity of Ribat and protection of the Al-Aqsa mosque, in the shadow of the campaign of Judaization and the invasion of the Al-Aqsa mosque that are being undertaken by Jewish associations and organizations."
["First Drawing Competition of Lovers of Al-Aqsa" - Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), April 21, 2009]

"Our fundamental task - and this must be clear to all - is the continuation of Ribat upon the land of Jerusalem, upon the land of Palestine; a continuation of Ribat, striking roots in this land."
[Mahmoud Al-Habbash, former PA Minister of Agriculture and Welfare - PA TV (Fatah), April 16, 2009]

"This nation is a nation of Murabitun [Ribat people], whose fundamental obligation is to protect the [land of] Ribat [i.e., land of Israel]."
[Friday sermon, PA TV (Fatah), March 3, 2009]

Naseen Arabi speaks in the name of the Al-Aqsa Youth:
"The Al-Aqsa mosque has been placed at the center of the Israeli target, with all its plazas and domes and walls. The names and the sites have been falsified, such that the 'Al-Burak [western] Wall' has forcibly and falsely become the 'Wall of Tears' [Wailing Wall], and the Al-Aqsa plazas have become a pilgrimage site for tourists. Under it there is an empty space, and above it an empty space, and a voice is heard there - the voice of the Murabitin [Ribat people] who hold onto it day and night, to protect it."
["First Drawing Competition of Lovers of Al-Aqsa" - Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (Fatah), April 21, 2009]

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