Ignoring thousands of years of history and many artifacts attesting to the existence of the Jewish Temples, the Palestinian Authority claims a Jewish Jerusalem never existed.

Jewish Temple Jerusalem

Jews for centuries have been yearning to return to their capital city of Jerusalem and have been mourning its destruction and that of the two Holy Temples for almost 2,000 years.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) denies that there ever was a Temple or a Jewish presence in Jerusalem, consistently referring to the First Temple built by Solomon as “the alleged Temple.” Moreover, the PA claims that any artifacts attesting to such a history are falsified, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reports.

 Worshipers at the Kotel during Sukkot. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The PA claims persistently that Israel has been “Judaizing” Jerusalem by adjusting historical artifacts and destroyingPalestinian and Islamic relics in order to prove a “false” Jewish history in Jerusalem in the city. They also allege that Israel is plotting to take over and destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque in order to rebuild the “alleged Temple” in its stead.

This message is repeatedly conveyed on PA television programs.

PA Deputy Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Salwa Hadib recently declared that “the Palestinian people has been present in it [Jerusalem] for thousands of years…centuries before the Jewish religion.” She also claimed that Israelis “are stealing history and geography.”

“Jerusalem is not only a religious city. Jerusalem is civilization. It has been a Canaanite city for thousands of years. The Palestinian people has been present in it for thousands of years, whether it was in Babylon, Assyria or Canaan, they [the Palestinians] gathered in the area before anything else, centuries before the Jewish religion… An Israeli engineer and an archeologist brought Israeli coins – shekels and agoras – and threw them on the ground before the renovation [of the Al-Karmi neighborhood in Jerusalem] in order to prove, after dozens and hundreds of years, that ‘we (i.e., the Israelis) were present here.’ They are stealing history and geography,” she stated.

Political Islam researcher Muhammad Hijazi, speaking on PA TV in June, asserted

“the vision of the Zionists and the extremist settlers for the holy city: They try to take over and divide the Al-Aqsa Mosque. They want to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque while talking about the Temple of Solomon. For 20 years, Israel has been digging under the foundations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. They have conducted tens of thousands of research projects in order to find the Temple of Solomon under the al-Aqsa Mosque, but they haven’t found even one remnant that verifies this. The political goal is to Judaize the entire city of Jerusalem and expel its Palestinian residents.”

The PA TV host agreed with his false statements, saying that “they [Israelis] hope that tomorrow morning the Al-Aqsa Mosque will be destroyed… As you said, they are trying to actually destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque…”

Many historical documents and archaeological artifacts attest to an Israeli presence for centuries.

Furthermore, the digging on the Temple Mount has been carried out illegally by the Muslim Waqf, undermining the stability of the entire complex. Many Jewish artifacts were found in the rubble after being dumped by the Waqf.

Temple Mount

Official PA TV recently stated that Israeli excavations are “evil projects” to achieve an “evil goal: “full control over the al-Aqsa Mosque” and “building of the alleged Temple in its place.”

In May, a PA TV narrator said that

“the Jews conquered it [Silwan neighborhood] along with Jerusalem [in 1967]. From then on, there have been plans to Judaize and to erase Arab and Muslim antiquitiesthrough tunnel excavations and theft of antiquities, and by fabricating a fake Jewish name, such as the ‘City of David.’ This is Silwan… Through these evil projects, the Israeli occupation seeks to restore the alleged Kingdom of David and to build his palace there, in order to achieve its evil goal: Full control over the Al-Aqsa Mosque and building the alleged Temple in its place.”

In a program aired in May, a PA TV narrator stated : 

“In 1980, the occupation changed it [David’s Citadel] into a Judaizing museum called the ‘David Citadel Museum’ (i.e., Tower of David Museum), which tells the story of the alleged temple. It displays the Talmudic narrative, remains of rocks – that are claimed to be from the period of the Temple, paintings, exhibits, models, signs, and advanced audio systems – that tell an imaginary Hebrew history, especially the Talmudic details about the alleged temples, the first and second ones.”

Yet another PA TV narrator reiterated in March the libel that Israel is erasing Palestinian landmarks, referring to “the Judaization octopus,” which “is spreading [its arms] to devour what is left of the historic sites that left their mark on the city for thousands of years.”

“The occupation authorities are working incessantly to change the character of occupied Jerusalem,” he stated. “The Judaization octopus is spreading [its arms] to devour what is left of the historic sites that left their mark on the city for thousands of years. One of those sites is the Silwan Spring (i.e., Gihon Spring), which the occupation later turned into Talmudic walking trails,”

“We are at the Silwan pool. This is a historic site with definite Arab-Palestinian-Canaanite roots and history,”
he claimed.

The denial of Jewish history in Jerusalem and rejection of the existence of the Temple by the PA and Fatah – both headed by PA Chair Mahmoud Abbas – is a well-documented phenomenon, as is the PA claim of Israeli theft of artifacts and misrepresentation of history.

The PA term “Arab-Palestinian-Canaanite” is an anachronism, PMW points out. Canaan is a biblical name for the land of Israel dating back to the second millennium BCE. The name “Palestine” was only used much later, in the second century CE, after the Romans changed the name of Judea/Israel to Palaestina and Jerusalem to Ilya Capitolina in order to punish the Jewish nation for their revolt. The Arab conquest of the area took place in the seventh century CE. In any case, it has nothing do to with the Arab immigrants who came to Israel and only in recent decades have been calling themselves Palestinians.

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