Sep 21, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

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  • The destruction of the Jewish Temple is a “myth” – PA TV’s “Israeli affairs expert”

  • Jewish history in Jerusalem “has no basis other than in their heads that are full of legends and fantasies” – PA TV

  • “No archaeological existence of their alleged Temple has been proven” – PA TV

  • “The Israel Antiquities Authority… put together a story and invented a narrative that suits their lies” – PA TV

  • “[Jews have] no religious, historical, or legal right over any inch of occupied Jerusalem,” – Abbas’ advisor on Islam

  • “[Jews’ visiting the Temple Mount] is dragging the region into a religious war that will burn the entire region,” – Abbas’ spokesman

Tisha B’Av is a Jewish day of mourning commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem (586 BCE and 70 CE) and the forced exile of most of the Jewish people from the land of Israel.

On and around Tisha B’Av this year, (July 18), PA leaders and officials were busy yet again denying that those temples ever existed, despite countless of written sources, archaeological finds, and historical evidence documenting their existence. The Arch of Titus in Rome, for example, depicts Judean slaves carrying away the candelabra and other artifacts of the Temple after it was destroyed by Titus in 70 CE, and this Second Temple period coin from approximately 40 BCE also depicts the Temple’s candelabra.

Palestinian Media Watch has documented that the PA routinely denies the existence of any Jewish history in Israel in general and of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in particular, consistently  referring to it as “the alleged Temple.” In addition, the PA falsely claims that the Al-Aqsa Mosque is in danger of destruction by Israel as Israel seeks to “Judaize” Jerusalem and rebuild the “alleged” Temple.

When a massive public building built by Jews in 20 CE near the Western Wall of the Temple Mount was recently discovered, the PA used its official TV station to deny its relation to Jewish history, claiming it part of Israel’s “false narrative,” which is “full of legends and fantasies.” PA TV further used the opportunity to repeat the PA’s denial of the existence of the temples:

Official PA TV newsreader: “The video that the Israeli media published revealed the extent of the Israeli excavations in the depths of the holy city [Jerusalem], which the occupation is planning to include in the so-called “Western Wall Tunnel Path” in order to present tourists with their false narratives.”

Official PA TV reporter: “These are pictures… of the Israeli excavations [in Jerusalem]… in which no archaeological existence of their alleged Temple has been proven (sic.). This propaganda video… is meant to attract tourists and to teach them the Israeli narrative, which has no basis other than in their heads that are full of legends and fantasies. The so-called Israel Antiquities Authority… revealed that this structure, for which they put together a story and invented a narrative that suits their lies, will be included in the Western Wall Tunnel Path … [Jerusalem] is experiencing a fierce war underground and aboveground [whose purpose is] to Judaize a place that speaks nothing but its Palestinian language.”

[Official PA TV News, July 9, 2021]

This distortion of history and the imagined threat to Al-Aqsa was repeated by the PA’s highest religious authority the Grand Mufti and one of PA Chairman Abbas’ advisors, who even warned that Israel’s conduct will lead to “religious war”:

PA Mufti Muhammad Hussein: “There is an attack [by Israel] against the existence of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. There are calls to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and establish the alleged Temple in its place. This became clear on the anniversary of what they call the memorial day of the so-called destruction of the alleged Temple (i.e., Tisha B’Av).”

PA Presidential Office Advisor Ahmed Al-Ruweidi: “They think that this is the best time for establishing the alleged Temple that they speak about … Our position is clear: This is our land, this is our mosque, the Al-Aqsa Mosque with its entire territory of 144 dunams (i.e., all of the Temple Mount and the Western Wall), and it is an exclusive right of the Muslims and no one shares this with them… In conversations with diplomatic representatives here in Jerusalem, we told them clearly: “What is happening at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque is laying the groundwork for a religious war that will reach you, your countries.”

[Facebook page of the Fatah Commission of Information and Culture, July 18, 2021]

Official PA TV’s so-called “Israeli affairs expert” Fayez Abbas also disseminates the PA’s distortion of history. He recently stated that the Temple and its destruction is “a myth”:

PA TV “Israeli affairs expert” Fayez Abbas: “Today is a [day of] fast and mourning for the destruction of the Temple (i.e., Tisha B’av)… They [the Jews] are attempting to invade the Al-Aqsa Mosque today because of the fast and this anniversary of what they call- or the myth of the destruction of the Temple.”

[Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, July 18, 2021]

The PA and its leaders misrepresent all of the Temple Mount as an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in order to vilify the presence of any Jews on the Mount as an “invasion.” It should be noted that Jews who visit the Temple Mount only enter some sections of the open areas, and do not enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock. Israeli police ban Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount because of threats of violence by Palestinians.

Reporting on Jews’ visits to the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av, PA TV referred to these visits as “settlers’ aggression” and “break-ins” [Official PA TV News, July 18, 2021] Several Arab states echoed the PA’s accusations. (See below.)

Already in advance of Tisha B’Av, PA Chairman Abbas’ advisor on religious affairs and PA Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash did his best to inflame the Palestinian public, stating that Jews – “the thieving occupiers, the foreigners from all ends of the earth” – would “invade” the Al-Aqsa Mosque:

“Next Monday [July 19, 2021], there are threats by the thieving occupiers, the foreigners from all ends of the earth, that they will invade the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque in large numbers (refers to Temple Mount visits for Tisha B’Av –Ed.). [This is] provocation, aggression.”

[Official PA TV, July 16, 2021]

Al-Habbash described the Jewish visits to the Temple Mount as a desecration of the Muslim holy site:

“Before the eyes of the entire world, and before the eyes of the Muslims, Allah’s holy sites are being desecrated.”

[Official PA TV, July 16, 2021]

After Jews had visited the Temple Mount, Al-Habbash stressed that Jews have no religious rights in all of Jerusalem in general and on the Temple Mount specifically:

“Supreme Shari’ah Judge of Palestine and [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas’] Advisor on Religious Affairs and Islamic Relations Mahmoud Al-Habbash said that our people is determined to defend the Jerusalem Noble Sanctuary (i.e., the Temple Mount), and that the Palestinian Ribat (i.e., religious conflict over land claimed to be Islamic) in Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque will continue and increase, because we are realizing our legitimate right to defend our land, our holy sites, and ourselves.

Al-Habbash emphasized that the occupation state has no religious, historical, or legal right over any inch of occupied Jerusalem and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque… and that our people will not agree to any attempts to change the historical status of the Noble Sanctuary, regardless of the price.

Al-Habbash congratulated those carrying out Ribat, who are defending the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque’s sanctity and taking the place of the Islamic nation in this sacred duty.”

[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 19, 2021]

As one of Abbas’ advisors threatened that “what is happening at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque is laying the groundwork for a religious war,” so did another of his aides. Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh threatened that visiting Jews at the Temple Mount – “the incursion by Israeli occupation forces and settler fanatics into the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound” in PA terminology – will lead to “a religious war that will burn the entire region”:

“Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas, said today that the Israeli government is tampering with the security and stability of the region, and is dragging the region into a religious war that will burn the entire region.

Abu Rudeineh’s comments came in response to the incursion by Israeli occupation forces and settler fanatics into the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound early today morning, which saw police officers attacking worshipers at the holy site and detaining many of them.”

[WAFA, English edition, Official PA news agency, July 18, 2021]

PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh similarly called “the incursions carried out by hundreds of settlers into the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque” “a serious violation.” He added that the “violations” pose a “threat” in that they are “provoking Muslim feelings,” and “threatening security, peace, and stability in the region.” [WAFA, English edition, Official PA news agency, July 18, 2021]

The following are longer excerpts of the above statements and additional statements denying Jewish history:

PA Supreme Shari’ah Judge Mahmoud Al-Habbash: “On the Day of Arafah (i.e., a Muslim holiday preceding Eid Al-Adha, “the Sacrifice Feast” holiday) we will fast, Allah willing… And on the same exact day, just imagine, next Monday [July 19, 2021], there are threats by the thieving occupiers, the foreigners from all ends of the earth, that they will invade the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque in large numbers (refers to Temple Mount visits for Tisha B’Av commemorating the destruction of the Temple; see note below -Ed.). [It is anticipated there will be] provocations, aggression, whatever you want. But before the eyes of the entire world, and before the eyes of the Muslims, Allah’s holy sites are being desecrated, and aside from Allah [these sites] have no one other than the people of this land [who will defend them] – [no one] other than the people of Palestine who are holding on with their resolve.”

[Official PA TV, July 16, 2021]

Mahmoud Al-Habbash also serves as Chairman of the Supreme Council for Shari’ah Justice. In August 2019 PA Chairman Abbas dismissed all his advisors by Presidential decree. It is unclear what their status is today.

Headline: “Presidential spokesman: Israel is tampering with security & stability”

“Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas, said today that the Israeli government is tampering with the security and stability of the region, and is dragging the region into a religious war that will burn the entire region.
Abu Rudeineh’s comments came in response to the incursion by Israeli occupation forces and settler fanatics into the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound early today morning, which saw police officers attacking worshipers at the holy site and detaining many of them.

“By continuing its policy of incursions into religious places, as is happening today in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Israel is defying the Palestinian people and disregarding international positions, especially the American position which demanded [Israel] to adhere to the status quo in Jerusalem.”

He said that the attacks on Jerusalem come in the context of the ongoing suspicious attack on the Palestinian national project. “But the national project will not be defeated, and Jerusalem, the independent national decision and the steadfastness of the Palestinian people will preserve the [Palestinian] identity and protect the holy sites.”

[WAFA, English edition, Official PA news agency, July 18, 2021]

Headline: “Presidency blames Israel for escalation in Jerusalem”

“The Presidency of Palestine held the Israeli occupation government fully responsible today for the escalation resulting from the Israeli incursion into the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied Jerusalem on Sunday early morning.

The Presidency said attacks by Israeli occupation forces and settlers on Al-Aqsa Mosque and worshipers there are a grave danger to the stability and security of the region, and that these attacks provoke the sentiments of the Palestinian people.
‘These Israeli provocations pose a challenge to the American demands that have called for preserving the historical status quo in Jerusalem,’ said the Presidency in a statement.”

[WAFA, English edition, Official PA news agency, July 18, 2021]

Headline: “Shtayyeh: Settlers’ incursions into al-Aqsa mosque a serious violation that aims to impose the temporal and spatial division of the mosque”

“Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh considered the incursions carried out by hundreds of settlers into the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque today, as a serious violation that aims to impose the temporal and spatial division of the mosque.

He called on the international community to urgently intervene to stop these violations given the threat they pose in provoking Muslims feelings, in threatening security, peace, and stability in the region, and in violating established protocols in force at the mosque since the occupation of the Palestinian territories by Israel in 1967.

Shtayyeh warned of the dangerous repercussions of the recurrence of such incursions, at a time when Israel continues its policy of persecution, racism, and ethnic cleansing against the original inhabitants of the occupied city, in favor of replacing them with settlers.”

[WAFA, English edition, Official PA news agency, July 18, 2021]

Headline: “Palestine calls for decisive international position against Israel’s aggression on Al-Aqsa”

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates urged today the international community to take a decisive stance against the ongoing Israeli aggression on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied capital Jerusalem.
The call came as Israeli occupation forces and scores of Israeli settler fanatics broke into the courtyards of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound early today morning, attacking worshipers at the holy site and detaining many of them.

“This [Israeli] attack falls within the framework of an official Israeli decision to perpetuate the temporal division of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque. It also comes within the framework of Israelization and Judaization of Jerusalem aimed at emptying the city of its Palestinian citizens,” said MoFA in a press release.

The Foreign Ministry held the Israeli government fully responsible for this ongoing attack on Jerusalem with all its neighborhoods and characters, and in particular the Al-Aqsa Mosque, saying that this aggression will have dire consequences the overall political situation.

MoFA stressed that Israeli attempts to change the historical and legal status quo in Al-Aqsa Mosque will not pass, thanks to steadfastness of the Palestinian people of Jerusalem who have been keen on defending their city on behalf of the Arab and Islamic nations.

The ministry said it was following up on the ongoing Israeli aggression on Al-Aqsa Mosque through all legal and diplomatic frameworks in an effort to garner an international position that can press Israel to stop its attack.”

[WAFA, English edition, Official PA news agency, July 18, 2021]

Headline: “Presidency of Palestine denounces Israeli premier’s statements on Jewish worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque”
“The presidency of Palestine strongly denounced and categorical rejected statements by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, in which he said that freedom of worship of Jews and Muslims must be preserved at Al-Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites located in occupied Jerusalem.

The presidency considered such statements as an escalation that leads towards a dangerous religious strife for which the Israeli government, which puts obstacles in the way of international efforts, bears full responsibility and particularly since the statements were made on the eve of the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Adha holiday.

The presidency called for preserving the historical status quo at Al-Haram Al-Sharif (Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock), considering this statement as a defiance of the international community, including the official US position that was conveyed to the Palestinian presidency and which calls for preserving the historical status quo at Al-Haram Al-Sharif.
The Palestinian leadership is taking all the required and necessary measures to preserve the Palestinian people’s inalienable historical rights in Jerusalem and the Islamic and Christian holy sites, said the presidency.”

[WAFA, English edition, Official PA news agency, July 19, 2021]

Israeli PM Bennett said Muslims and Jews have freedom of worship at the site, but the following morning his office backtracked and said he misspoke and did not mean Jews would have freedom of worship, but rather would have freedom to visit.

Official PA TV newsreader: “The Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned the ongoing violations at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israel (apparently refers to Jews singing the Israeli national anthem while visiting the Temple Mount on Tisha B’Av, July 18, 2021; see note below -Ed.). The ministry’s official spokesperson, Ambassador Deifallah Al-Fayez, said that Israel’s behavior regarding the mosque is unacceptable, worthy of condemnation, and reflects a violation of the historical and legal status quo, international law, and Israel’s commitments as an occupying power in East Jerusalem. Al-Fayez explained that the ministry sent an official letter of protest today [July 18, 2021], in which it demanded that Israel stop its violations and provocations and honor the historical and legal status quo, the mosque’s Noble Sanctuary (i.e., the Temple Mount), and the freedom of the [Muslim] worshippers.

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the occupation forces’ aggression at the Noble Sanctuary of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the arrest of a number of civilians, including children and women, in a manner that harms human dignity (refers to arrest of violent rioters at the Temple Mount -Ed.). The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphasized that the occupation forces again desecrated the sanctity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and used stun grenades, and they noted that the occupation forces’ aggression towards the civilians during the [Muslim fasting] month of Ramadan is still etched in memory (refers to Israeli Arab confrontations following widespread violent Arab riots; see note below -Ed.). It emphasized that continued provocations of this sort are very dangerous and called on the government of Israel to stop the provocations and aggression…

The Palestinian National Council (i.e., the legislative body of the PLO) came out with an urgent call to the Arab and Islamic parliaments to bear their responsibility towards what is happening in Jerusalem and at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, such as the settlers’ aggression and treating [the mosque] as they please with the full partnership of the Israeli settlement government, whose Prime Minister Naftali Bennett gave an order to continue the break-ins into it, the attacking of the worshippers, and the desecration of the site’s sanctity. The national council noted in its statement that the occupation forces turning the sanctity of the site into a battleground in these blessed days before Eid Al-Adha (“the Sacrifice Feast” holiday -Ed.), and their wild attack [against the worshippers] and removal of them from the Al-Aqsa Mosque by force of weapons is a complete crime and a blatant provocation against all the international values and conventions that ban harming prayer sites.

The council held the occupation fully responsible for the severe consequences of these outbursts…

Egypt condemned the violations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque by the Israeli extremists under the auspices of the occupation forces…
The Arab League held the occupation authorities fully responsible for the escalation that is occurring, which is expressed by settlers bursting into the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza and the consequences stemming from this. The league emphasized the importance of providing the required guarantees for the protection of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinian Islamic and Christian holy sites, and for the protection of the historical and legal status quo in Jerusalem. In its statement, the league’s general secretariat called on the international community and the [UN] Security Council to intervene immediately and to bear their responsibility to stop the current escalation and put an end to these Israeli policies and violations.”

[Official PA TV News, July 18, 2021]

Official PA TV newsreader: “The Palestinian Supreme Fatwa Council warned against the ominous consequences of the calls by groups of [Jewish] settlers to invade the Al-Aqsa Mosque in large numbers next Sunday [July 18, 2021] and to wave the occupation’s flag in its plazas for the so-called ‘anniversary of the destruction of the Temple’ (i.e., Tisha B’Av; see note below). The council exhorted on the need to fight this campaign and to act to thwart it by going to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, staying there for an extended time, and having an intensive presence in its plazas in order to push back this aggression.”

[Official PA TV News, July 15, 2021]