Mahmoud Abbas’ ‘bag of fibs’ (ISRAEL HAYOM) Nadav Shragai 02/27/12)
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Over the course of the last two decades, the Palestinians have been
revising the history of Jerusalem and dating the Al-Aqsa Mosque back
to the era of Kind David, King Solomon and the Temple, in contrast to
what they have to documented in their own writings. On Sunday,
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas added another chapter
to the Palestinian “Bag of Fibs” (a reference to an Israeli
collection of tall tales by Haim Hefer and Dan Ben-Amotz from 1956).
He accused Israel of “employing the basest methods to remove any
trace of Arab, Muslim and Christian characteristics from East
You can’t sink any lower than that. Abbas is apparently relying on
the world’s short memory – so here is a reminder: The kind of freedom
of religion that thrives in Jerusalem today is unprecedented. Before
1967, things were different. The Arabs had vowed in writing (Article
8 of the 1949 Armistice Agreement with Jordan) to allow the Jews
access to holy sites beyond the border, but in practice they
prevented the Jews from visiting the Western Wall, Rachel’s Tomb and
the Mount of Olives.
The ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives was unrecognizable
in 1967: About 50,000 of the 70,000 gravestones had been smashed.
Many of them were used to build fences, roads and public toilets. The
Arabs had soiled the Western Wall alley with manure and human feces.
Even after 1967 the Palestinians made sure to blur the Jews’
connection to Jerusalem and its holy sites – not only in words but
also through actions.
They vandalized and damaged antiquities on the Temple Mount. When I
accompanied a group of students seeking to salvage some of the
antiquities that the Palestinians had destroyed and scattered outside
the compound like manure in a field, a Waqf official scolded us: “You
have no business here, just like there was nothing here for the
Crusaders. Jerusalem is Muslim.”
Incidentally, Bethlehem, which, in contrast to Jerusalem, was handed
over to the Palestinians, did in fact become “Muslim.” The Christian
majority there was severely oppressed by the Palestinian Authority
and eventually became a minority.
The myth that the “Al-Aqsa Mosque is in danger,” which Abbas and his
followers repeat like a mantra, isn’t only a despicable lie, it is
also the direct opposite of the truth. It is precisely with the
Temple Mount that Israel made an unthinkable concession -- it
essentially handed the Muslims the holiest Jewish site, even though
it is only the third-holiest site in Islam. Archaeological
excavations that supposedly attempt to “Judaize” Jerusalem have
actually uncovered entire chapters of Muslim history alongside the
Jewish and Christian findings. The archaeological park on the south
side of the wall is just one example of this.
And this too: The Jerusalem neighborhoods that today house some
200,000 Jews were originally built on primarily unused and
unpopulated land, while the integrated areas include more Arabs
living in Jewish neighborhoods than Jews living in Arab
neighborhoods. (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 02/27/12)
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