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 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
It was removed from the government website and put on teh offical wafa news agency site :http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=198471. 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?
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.
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.