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Arab Leaders Deny Jewish History on The Temple Mount RULE

Posted: August 06, 2003

The recent statements of Palestinian leaders warning of "grave consequences" of the "provocative" decision by Israel to allow Jews to visit the Temple Mount are only the latest in a history of attempts by Arab leaders to minimize or deny the historical connection between Jews and the Temple Mount. Arab newspapers and speakers consistently refer to Jewish connections to the Temple Mount as "alleged."


The Temple Mount, which Arabs refer to as the Haram al-Sharif and on which today the Al-Aqsa Mosque is located, is the site on which the biblical King Solomon erected his Temple nearly 1000 years before the Common Era (see I Kings 5:15-7:51). This First Temple was destroyed by the armies of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in the sixth century BCE, and was replaced by a Second Temple some seventy years later. The Second Temple was destroyed in the year 70 C.E. by Roman armies, whose victory was immortalized in the Arch of Titus that may be seen in Rome to this day. Jews have venerated the site of the two Temples and have made pilgrimages there for two thousand years. According to some rabbis, Jewish law prohibits Jews from entering the Temple Mount before undergoing rituals of purification that are not currently practiced; partly as a result of this prohibition, Jews for millennia have prayed at the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, outside the Mount proper.

"For 34 years [the Israelis] have dug tunnels [around the Temple Mount]…they found not a single stone proving that the Temple of Solomon was there, because historically the Temple was not in Palestine [at all]. They found only remnants of a shrine of the Roman Herod… They are now trying to put in place a number of stones so that they can say 'We were here.' This is nonsense. I challenge them to bring a single stone from the Temple of Solomon."

Yasser Arafat
Al-Hayat (London), October 5, 2002
[Trans. MEMRI and BBC Worldwide Monitoring]

"The claims being made by the rulers of Israel and its rabbis about the alleged Temple are pure fabrications without any base or foundation."

Statement by the Higher Islamic Authority of Palestine
Al-Quds (PA), December 28, 2001
[Trans. BBC Worldwide Monitoring]

Sabri: There is not [even] the smallest indication of the existence of a Jewish Temple on this place in the past. In the whole city, there is not even a single stone indicating Jewish history. Our right, on the other hand, is very clear. This place belongs to us for 1500 years. Even when it was conquered by the Crusaders, it remained Al-Aqsa, and we got it back soon afterwards. The Jews do not even know exactly where their Temple stood. Therefore, we do not accept that they have any rights, underneath the surface or above it.

Die Welt: It is agreed among archeologists that the Wailing-Wall is part of the foundation of Herod's temple. The Bible and other antique sources report about this place in detail. Why can't you respect the Jewish connection to this place?

Sabri: It is the art of the Jews to deceive the world. But they can't do it to us. There is not a single stone in the Wailing-Wall relating to Jewish History. The Jews cannot legitimately claim this wall, neither religiously nor historically. The Committee of the League of Nations recommended in 1930, to allow the Jews to pray there, in order to keep them quiet. But by no means did it acknowledge that the wall belongs to them.

Die Welt: Why don't you allow Israeli scientists to dig there to look for possible remnants and proofs for or against the existence of the Jewish temple?

Sabri: We categorically reject all excavations under the Al-Aqsa mosque, because they would endanger the historical buildings on the site. Besides, they have already dug everywhere. All they could find were remnants of buildings from the Omayyad-period. Everything they excavated was related to Arabs and Muslims.

Sheikh `Ikrima Sabri
PA-appointed Mufti of Jerusalem
Interviewed by German magazine Die Welt, January17, 2001
[Trans. MEMRI]

"As is known, the Jews have no religious shrines in the Palestinian territories, especially in Jerusalem, except this claim for which there is no religious or historical proof -- the claim that the Temple of Solomon or its ruins are buried under the foundations of the blessed Al-Aqsa mosque!"

Al-Jazirah (Saudi Arabia) editorial
December 29, 2000
[Trans. BBC Worldwide Monitoring]

"President Arafat said that no one can impose anything on us with regard to Jerusalem. He pointed out that there are attempts to usurp parts of Jerusalem, like the Armenian neighborhood. He added: I cannot accept that. I cannot betray the Armenians' property and churches, because these are integral parts of holy Jerusalem. He reiterated that the Wailing Wall [the Western Wall], as they call it, is Al-Buraq Wall which is an Islamic waqf religious endowment since the issuance of Umar's Covenant. He noted that it was the Shore phonetic Committee which allowed the Jews to pray in that place. He said that Al-Buraq Wall is the property of Islamic Awqaf. He added that even chief rabbis prevented prayers there, because it was not proven yet that the temple is located there."

Voice of Palestine (Ramallah)
September 3, 2000
[Trans. BBC Worldwide Monitoring]

"[The Israelis] claim that 2000 years ago they had a Temple [on the Temple Mount]. I challenge the claim that this is so. But even if it is so, we do not accept [current Israeli claims on the Temple Mount]."

Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen)
Kul Al-Arab (Israel), August 25, 2000
[Trans. MEMRI]

"No stone of the Al-Buraq wall [the Western Wall] has any relation to Judaism. The Jews began praying at this wall only in the nineteenth century, when they began to develop [national] aspirations…"

Sheikh `Ikrima Sabri
PA-appointed Mufti of Jerusalem
Kul Al-Arab (Israel), August 18, 2000
[Trans. MEMRI]

"[The Israelis] are insisting on sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa mosque on the pretext that an Israeli Temple is buried beneath it and that, through their continued sovereignty, they can one day unearth it…Their claim was not substantiated by the excavations they carried out around and under the mosque. However, they insisted on their demand to pray in the courtyard of the mosque."

Nabil Sha'ath
PA Minister of Planning and International Cooperation
Voice of Palestine (PA), July 26, 2000
[Trans. BBC Worldwide Monitoring]

"[Sheikh Yusuf Salamah, Undersecretary of the PA Awqaf and Religious Affairs Ministry] warned of the dangerous excavations which the Israeli Antiquities Department is carrying out under the [Al-Aqsa] mosque [on the Temple Mount]. He underscored that the holy city is Arab and Islamic and pointed out the failure of all Israeli attempts and claims with regard to the existence of the Temple."

Al-Quds (PA), July 15, 2000
[Trans. BBC Worldwide Monitoring]

"As to what has been happening inside the Holy City, not only the Moroccan quarter has been seized and demolished, Your Majesty, as the two of us discussed previously, to widen the so-called Wailing Wall [the Western Wall]. To do this, the tombs of the Moroccan Muslim Imams would be affected. They removed them. Not only this, but [the Israelis] have also been trying to take over houses, shops, lanes and streets, either under the pretext of exploration or, as they recently did by closing the major gates of the mosque to conduct the so-called exploration operation of what they called the remains of the Solomon Temple when all the historical evidence, Your Majesty, proved that it was not there at all in another place far away from this spot. This is what historians had been saying."

Yasser Arafat
Addressing the "Jerusalem Committee" in Marrakesh, Morocco
January 25, 1992
[Trans. BBC Worldwide Monitoring]

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