Facts and fiction about Jerusalem - whose capital is it?

What Jewish ties to the Holy City? [Excerpts]

Increasingly, Muslims are being indoctrinated with bizarre history. While easily laughed-off, the calculated move diminishes the chances of resolving the Jerusalem question Historically, the religious standing of Jerusalem for Muslims waxed and waned with political circumstances; in a consistent and predictable cycle repeated six times through fourteen centuries, Muslims focused on the city when it served their needs and ignored it when it did not.

This contrast was especially obvious during the past century. British rule over the city, 1917-48, galvanized a passion for Jerusalem that had been absent during the four hundred years of Ottoman control. Throughout the Jordanian control of the walled city, 1948-67, however, Arabs largely ignored it.

For example, Jordan's radio broadcast Friday prayers not from Al-Aqsa mosque but from a minor mosque in Amman. The PLO's founding document dating from 1964, the Palestinian National Covenant, mentioned Jerusalem not once. Muslim interest in the city revived only with the Israeli conquest of Jerusalem in 1967.

Jerusalem then became the focal point of Arab politics, serving to unify fractious elements. In 1968, the PLO amended its covenant to call Jerusalem "the seat of the Palestine Liberation Organization." The king of Saudi Arabia himself declared the city religiously "just like" Mecca -- a novel, if not a blasphemous idea.

By 1990, the Islamic focus on Jerusalem reached such surreal intensity that Palestinians evolved from celebrating Jerusalem to denying the city's sacred and historical importance to Jews. The Palestinian establishment -- scholars, clerics, and politicians -- promoted this unlikely claim by constructing a revisionist edifice made up in equal parts of fabrication, falsehood, fiction, and fraud. It erases all Jewish connections to the Land of Israel, replacing them with a specious Palestinian-Arab connection.

Palestinians now claim that Canaanites built Solomon's Temple, that the ancient Hebrews were Bedouin tribesmen, the Bible came from Arabia, the Jewish Temple "was in Nablus or perhaps Bethlehem," the Jewish presence in Palestine ended in C.E. 70, and today's Jews are descendants from the Khazar Turks.

Yasir Arafat himself created a non-existent Canaanite king, Salem, out of thin air, speaking movingly about this fantasy Palestinian "forefather." Palestinian Media Watch sums up this process: By turning Canaanites and Israelites into Arabs and the Judaism of ancient Israel into Islam, the Palestinian Authority "takes authentic Jewish history, documented by thousands of years of continuous literature, and crosses out the word 'Jewish' and replaces it with the word 'Arab'." The political implication is clear: Jews lack any rights to Jerusalem. As a street banner puts it: "Jerusalem is Arab." Jews are unwelcome. http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0606/pipes2006_06_21.php3 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------------------------------


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