Netanyahu: Palestinian distortion of historical hurts Mideast peace drive

A Palestinian Authority report claiming the Western Wall was not a Jewish holy site and was, in fact, sacred to Muslims poses a serious question as to the Palestinian's desire to reach
a peace deal, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday.

Benjamin Netanyahu AP 21.11.2010

Benjamin Netanyahu during weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Nov. 21, 2010.

Photo by: AP

The prime minister's rebuke came in the wake of a report released by a senior PA official on Wednesday which said the Western Wall had no religious significance to Jews and is in fact, holy Muslim

Al-Mutawakil Taha, deputy minister of information in the Western-backed Palestinian Authority that rules the West Bank, told The Associated Press that his
five-page study published on a Palestinian government website reflected
the official Palestinian position.

In a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office on Thursday, Netanyahu severely criticized the PA-sponsored study, saying that "denying the link binding the Jewish
people and the Western Wall by the Palestinian information office is a

"When the Palestinians Authority denies the connection between the Jewish people and the Western Wall it raises serious questions as to its intentions to reach a peace deal founded on
coexistence and mutual recognition," the statement said, adding that the
PA must cease its "distortion of historical facts and encourage a
bridge to peace that would lead to a historical reconciliation between
the two peoples.

Part of the report released by the Palestinians on Wednesday disputes that the Western Wall was a retaining wall of the Temple compound, discarding centuries of documentation and

"This wall has never been a part of what is called the Jewish Temple," the report claimed. "However, it was Islamic tolerance which allowed the Jews to stand before it and cry over its

The report concludes that since Jews have no claim to the area, it is holy Muslim territory and must be part of Palestinian Jerusalem.

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I have toured the wall with the top historians both Jewish and non-Jewish, I never heard such a ridiculous claim. Have u ever looked at the extension of the wall, the Southern wall under al aksa? There are the gates to enter the temple mount from the south .... Or the remnants of the Robinson bridge over the western wall - the bridge to get to the temple mount from the upper level of the city? This is all Jewish and built almost 700 years before the Islam invaded and conquered the land...
Forget proof - it has to do with undermining others believes. Show me proof that Mohammad was on the temple mount or even step foot in Jerusalem, a place not even mentioned in the Koran. Reports like this are not trying to find the truth - they are finding a way to deligitimize the Jewish connection to their holy sites..... This will not help bring peace.

By the way the temple once stood on the place of the dome of teh rock - the cave of the patriarks was turned into a mosque and so was Rachels tomb - not to mention the destruction of ancient synagogues in the old city of Jerusalem... Talk about having your past erased...
Firstly "not to mention the destruction of ancient synagogues in the old city of Jerusalem..." - this was done 60 years ago.... There was a very prominent magnificent Synagogue that was build over 500 years earlier and in 1948 it was destroyed - it was recently rebuilt and opened (strangely enough only to receive condemnation by the arabs who destroyed it years earlier... By the way Josephs tomb was turn into a mosque 10 years ago by Palestinians"

I don't agree with the idea of the report, but I am not saying the person who wrote is completely wrong - agree or not agree, the PA backed the report and put it on its official website. Imagine if Israel put up a report that Al Aksa has had almost no significance to the Moslem's until the zionist got there, till then was just a place to pray like every other mosque...ther would be riots.
FYI: The PA’s official news agency Wafa - added this information to their website....
Dan--Could you provide a link for this? I crept over the PA website, but could not locate the report.

It was removed from the government website and put on teh offical wafa news agency site :  I dont read Arabic so....


Basil - I agree completely about freedom of worship.  You must understand that for Jews, giving Arab control to holy sites is very risky.  Jews were forbidden to visit the western wall or cave of the patriarchs in Hebron when the Arabs recieved control over the land....  Even today the Wakf does not allow Jews to pray on the temple mount - this should be condemned, do you agree?



It is a great pity that the PA is trying to refute historical facts. There is much archeological evidence proving the Jewish connection to Jerusalem over the centuries prior to the Common Era. History is history and rewriting history to suit one's political aims does not alter its course. It has nothing to do with the occupation or illegal settlements. There is no point in refuting the archeological truth for whatever cause. It is not constructive. This is akin to Holocaust denial.

This is not related to the issue of denying a nations history.  Remember there has been a Jewish presents in Israel for 3,000 years,  Cities like Tiberias, Tzfat, Jerusalem and Hebron had Jewish population throughout the years.  You can see the sign of where the Muzzaza (Jewish symbol but on the doorway of their homes) stood in the doors of some Arab homes in places like Hebron that was "clensed" of their Jewish population in the first half of of the 20th century All on top of the ground.


The point is to deny the Jewish history in the land is to deny it's legitimacy.  this is not a very good way to make peace. Jews simply claim we are not new to this land and have a right to live here as well.



Dan I would encourage you to read the following perspective.

It presents the history of the conflict through Palestinian eyes. Many people are quite adept at seeing the conflict through Jewish nationalist eyes due to widespread sympathy for the Jewish community post-Holocaust.  However, there is much misunderstood about the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.  The perspective linked above tries to address some of this.

But Jews have every right to pray at the temple mount, the holiest site for Jews. Are you saying that you can profile and discriminate against people because "People have tried to destroy the Aqsa Mosque before". I think you would be going down a dangerous path.... You can say Arabs have Mecca why do they need Aqsa....but that is not fair reasoning.


I understand what you are saying but Arabs are allowed to pray on the Sepulchre Church and the Aqsa Mosque.  It is open for all religions completely.  what it is limited to is those who live in the west bank for security arrangements, not because they are Arabs.  It is not a religous issue... If you were so say that certain people should not be allowed there due to security issues that would be fine.  But no jews are allowed to pray, that is just racist.


Regarding the digs, the ONLY people who did on the temple mount are the Wakf, they have done so much damage by expanding what is referred to as Solomons Stables under the Mosque, which has considerable weaken the southern wall.  Regrading the west wall tunnles and the digs being done there, the reason violence broke out in 1996, that is a pur blood libel.  Anyone who walks through the tunnles can see that is no where near  Aqsa Mosque, just an excuse for violence.

By the way Jews are allowed on the mount today, they are simply not allowed to pray, not sure how prayer can be a security concern.....


For the record places like Mecca dont allow any infidels to even visit...


i just took a break from some work I've been doing. I do believe there were Jews in Saudi Arabia during the time of Mohammed. I don't know if there were any in Mecca--that I would have to look up--but there were, I believe, Jews in Medina. I'm not sure when the expulsion of the Jews occurred, but to this day, Jews cannot touch Saudi soil, which is why when Kissinger went there, he walked on carpeting the whole time.

As for the temple mount--I believe Jews should have access. But pragmatically, political tensions are so high that the site would only be desecrated. Better the status quo until some peace accord has been reached.



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