“This just never ceases to amaze me, and yet you find all of history is full of proof that this land, and the whole of the Temple Mount has always been Jewish. But this also was fortold in prophecy. In Daniel 7:25 Speaking of the anti-christ and his kingdom, it says this: ” He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws.” This is exactly what they are trying to do, trying to change history. God has sent us numerous warnings regarding this.”
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
The Palestinian Authority Minister of Religious Affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, said recently that all of Jerusalem and the Western Wall are “the sole right of Palestinians.” To back this up, he falsely claimed that “no person besides Muslims ever used it [the Western Wall] as a place of worship, throughout all of history, until the ominous Balfour Declaration was issued in 1917.” This denial of the Jewish nation’s history by the PA minister came in response to a statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Israel’s 3,000 year history in Jerusalem, as he lit the eighth candle of the Chanukah holiday last month at the Western Wall. The PA minister said Netanyahu’s statements were “nothing but nonsense and an attempt to manipulate both history and geography, and are worthless from a religious, historical, or legal point of view.” His statements were reported by WAFA, the official PA news agency.
Al-Habbash’s statement that Jews did not pray at the Western Wall in the past is historically unfounded. Both Jewish and non-Jewish sources document that the Western Wall was used for Jewish worship and prayer. For example, US President Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State William H. Seward visited Jerusalem in 1871 and described his experience in his bookTravels Around the World. He wrote in detail about the intense devotion of Jews in prayer at the Western Wall, which he called the “Jews’ Wailing-Place.” (See below a long quote from his book describing Jews’ devotion at the Western Wall.) The above illustration of Jews in prayer at the Western Wall is from his book.
Palestinian Media Watch has documented that this ongoing PA denial of Jewish history in Israel and especially Jerusalem is a fundamental component of the PA’s political program to deny Israel’s right to exist. (See below.)
The following is the PA minister’s statement denying a Jewish connection to the Western Wall:
Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Dec. 18, 2012]
The following is the statement by PM Netanyahu at the Western Wall, as he lit the eighth candle of Chanukah, which prompted the PA minister’s statement:
Below are excerpts from Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State William H. Seward’s book Travels Around the World describing Jewish worship at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. (Cited at http://lennybendavid.com/2012/08/president-lincolns-secretary-of-state.html)
“June 13, 1871… Jerusalem is now divided according to its different classes of population. The Mohammedans are four thousand, and occupy the northeast quarter, including the whole area of the Mosque of Omar. The Jews are eight thousand, and have the southeast quarter… The Armenians number eighteen hundred, and have the southwest quarter; and the other Christians, amounting to twenty-two hundred, have the northwest quarter…
The Jewish Sabbath being on Saturday, and beginning at sunset on Friday, the weekly wail of the Jews under the wall takes place on Friday, and is a preparation for the rest and worship of the day which they are commanded to “keep holy.” The small rectangular oblong area, without roof or canopy, (i.e., the Western Wall) serves for the gathering of the whole remnant of the Jewish nation in Jerusalem. Here, whether it rains or shines, they come together at an early hour, old and young, men, women, and little children–the poor and the rich, in their best costumes, discordant as the diverse nations from which they come. They are attended by their rabbis, each bringing the carefully-preserved and elaborately-bound text of the book of the Lamentations of Jeremiah, either in their respective languages, or in the original Hebrew. For many hours they pour forth their complaints, reading and reciting the poetic language of the prophet, beating their hands against the wall, and bathing the stones with their kisses and tears. It is no mere formal ceremony. During the several hours while we were spectators of it, there was not one act of irreverence or indifference. Only those who have seen the solemn prayer-meeting of a religious revival, held by some evangelical denomination at home, can have a true idea of the solemnity and depth of the profound grief and pious feeling exhibited by this strange assembly on so strange an occasion, although no ritual in the Catholic, Greek, or Episcopal Church is conducted with more solemnity and propriety.”
[Travels Around the World, William H. Seward, quoted at
The PA’s denial of Jewish history in Israel is an integral part of the PA’s political program. This denial is used as the basis for the PA’s denial of Israel’s right to exist. This was expressed explicitly in a recent article by a PA daily columnist who argued that Zionists have no connection to the Biblical Hebrews and therefore Israel has “no historical or legal basis” to exist:
The Western Wall is a small section of the Temple Mount that has remained standing since Rome’s destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE. The PA teaches that there never was a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem nor was there a Jewish presence. This distortion of history is the basis for the PA stance that Jews/Israel have no right to Jerusalem and no right to pray at the Western Wall.
In keeping with this policy, PA TV broadcast a documentary in 2010 and 2011 that described Jews praying at the Western Wall as “sin and filth.”
Click to see more examples of PA denial of Jewish history in Jerusalem.