A recent video that is gaining attention on social media features an Arab woman making the absurd claim that London’s iconic Big Ben clock tower is, in fact, Palestinian property. A bit of research reveals that this claim is actually a mainstream belief in Palestinian culture.
VIDEO: Big Ben is Palestinian
The Palestinian claim to Big Ben.
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“Today I want to tell you about the Big Ben clock that is in Britain,” the woman said in Arabic. “Now, everyone who goes to London goes to see the Big Ben clock. That Big Ben clock belongs to us in Palestine, the Palestinians. It used to be in Jerusalem at the Hebron [Jaffa] Gate, and every hour when it chimed, all of Jerusalem could hear it. Unfortunately, the British Mandate came to Palestine, and in 1922, started to dismantle it, piece by piece. And they took the whole thing. And only the stairs on which the clock stood were left.”
“The Jews came and ordered to remove them and then nothing was left of it. And Everyone knows that Big Ben belongs to the English. But it belongs to us. And, God willing, the day will come and our land will return to us and all our things will return to us.”
Palestinian Narrative: Rewriting History
As bizarre as this claim is, it is a longstanding narrative that regularly appears in Palestinisn sources. Fateh News, the official news site of the Palestinian Liberation Movement in Egypt, published the account in September 2019.
The accurate historical account of the clock tower that once stood at Jaffa Gate was published on This Week in Palestine: