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Op-ed in official PA daily: Hebrew did ‎not exist in the past

Op-ed by Hafez Al-Barghouti, regular ‎columnist for Al-Hayat Al-Jadida
‎“Egyptian author Youssef Ziedan said ‎something that no one before him had ‎said – that Al-Quds (i.e., the Arabic name ‎for Jerusalem) is a Hebrew word, and that ‎the present Al-Aqsa Mosque was built by ‎Abd Al-Malik Ibn Marwan (the 5th ‎Umayyad caliph. –Ed.), and the original ‎mosque is on the road to Ta'if (city in ‎Saudi Arabia –Ed.), and raised doubts ‎about [Prophet] Muhammad’s Night ‎Journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and his ‎Ascent to Heaven. ‎
Of course we are not interested in getting ‎into a religious or linguistic debate with ‎the author, but he knows better than ‎others that a Hebrew language did not ‎exist, and that the language of the Jews ‎was Aramaic, and to this very day it ‎‎[Hebrew] is a mixture of Canaanite, ‎Aramaic, and Arabic…‎
Moreover, the word ‘Quds’ does not exist ‎in today’s Jewish language, but was ‎employed in Arabic later on as a reference ‎to the holy places within it‏ ‏‎[Jerusalem].‎
‎[Jerusalem] was called Aelia [Capitolina] ‎‎(Roman colony built on the ruins of ‎Jerusalem in 136 AD following the Bar ‎Kochba Revolt, and it was conquered by ‎the Persians in 614 AD –Ed.) at the time of ‎the Prophet [Muhammad], peace and ‎blessing be upon him, and before that ‎Ursalim, and the Jews called it Jerusalem, ‎and before that – Jebus.” ‎