Oct 01, 2022
Share this article

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas demanded as one of the conditions of any ceasefire with Israel that Jews be banned from the Temple Mount. Abbas made the demand during separate meetings with Foreign Minister of Egypt Sameh Shoukry and Foreign Minister of Jordan Ayman Safadi, who both visited Ramallah. Abbas stated that he will not call for Israeli Arabs to stop their civil unrest and violent crimes in Israeli cities until Israel enacts laws “stopping attacks and incursions by extremist settlers, backed by the Israeli occupation forces, on al-Aqsa Mosque and on our people in the West Bank.”

Speaking to reporters in Ramallah after meeting with PA Foreign Minister Riyad Malki, Safadi noted “escalation in Palestine won’t stop unless Israel halted its illegal measures and assaults on al-Aqsa Mosque,” adding that the attitude of the Biden administration toward the Palestinian position was “positive.”

The ‘West Bank’ is a term used to describe the territory that was under illegal Jordanian occupation from 1948-1967 which would more accurately be called Judea and Samaria.

Muslim access to the Temple Mount has been unimpeded throughout the crisis despite the site being used as a center for Arab violence. Jews were restricted from visiting the site for 21 days due to the Arab violence.

Though some media claim that the site has relevance to Islam, this claim is actually inaccurate and deeply insulting to most Sunni who maintain that Al Aqsa Mosque (the furthest mosque) is located in Al Ju’ranah (also referred to as Jeharna), near Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The claim that the Temple Mount has religious significance to Islma is also deeply insulting to all Shia. In the Koran, a story is told in which Muhammad makes a “Night Journey” from Mecca to pray at the “furthest mosque.” The name ‘Jerusalem’ does not appear in the Koran however ‘Ilya’, a Greek name given to Jerusalem, appears in some Hadith. The Arabic name for the city of Jerusalem is al Quds, the short form of “Beit al-Quds” (the holy house), a reference to the Jewis temples which stood on the Temple Mount.

In an article first published in 2016, Dr. Kedar, a senior lecturer in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University, is a long-time advocate for a more precise and accurate understanding of the significance of Jerusalem for some Muslims by dispelling some clear lies perpetuated about the Temple Mount. Dr. Kedar explained that Al-Aqsa is mentioned once in the Koran, and Jerusalem is never named even once.

In 682 CE, Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr rebelled against the Islamic rulers in Damascus, conquered Mecca and prevented pilgrims from reaching Mecca for the Hajj. Since the Haj pilgrimage is one of the five basic Islamic commandments, the Umayads were forced to choose Jerusalem as their alternative for a pilgrimage site. In order to justify choosing Jerusalem, the Umayyads rewrote the story told in the Koran, moving the al Aqsa mosque to Jerusalem, and adding, for good measure, the myth of the night-time journey of Mohammed to al Aqsa. This is the reason the Sunnis now consider Jerusalem their third holiest city.

Shia Islam, mercilessly persecuted by the Umayya Caliphate, did not accept the holy Jerusalem canard, which is the reason the second holiest city to Shiites is Najif in Iraq, the burial place of Shiite founder Ali bin Abi Talib. Many of the Shiite elders – Iranian and Hezbollah – only began to call Jerusalem holy after the Khomeni rebellion in 1979 so as to keep the Sunnis from accusing them of being soft on Zionism.”

“The whole Palestinian story is based on the appropriation of stories of others. They have nothing Palestinian in their narrative. The land is stolen, the history is stolen, even Islam is not particularly Palestinians. There is no Palestinian heritage at all. There are Jewish, Christian, and Muslim antiquities in Israel. But there are no Palestinian antiquities.”

“This is why Al Aqsa is so central to them. Without a claim to Al Aqsa, they have no connection to the land. And the claim that Al Aqsa is in Jerusalem is fake news, a fake account by the Umayads. To claim that Al Aqsa is holy to Islam is hugely insulting to most Sunni Muslims since it would raise the mosque on the Temple Mount to a level of importance that could contest the centrality of Mecca in Islam. But the Palestinians make this claim anyway.”

“Palestinian names testify that they are not really Palestinian. Many names identify their trues origins in Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and other places in the Middle East. Claiming that Jesus is Palestinian is another attempt by Palestinians to claim to have roots here. But it is just another case of them appropriating something they have no connection to.”