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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Latest "outrage" - the "Umayyad" stone

As I mentioned in my morning update, some Palestinian Arabs are up in arms over a supposed Israeli desecration of yet another important Muslim shrine.

From Ma'an (Arabic):
Mohamed Awad, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, denounced the capture of the Israeli occupation of one of the stones of the Umayyad palaces in the city of Jerusalem.

Awad said in a statement to Ma'an, "This action is a form of erasing Islamic history to change the parameters of the Holy City and the eradication of the Islamic and Arab identity and that the occupation authorities aimed at bringing about demographic change in the holy city and the deportation of Palestinians and the confiscation of their property ".
Also from Ma'an:
Tayseer Rajab al-Tamimi, Chief Justice of Palestine, accused Israel of the [destruction of] Islamic sanctities and the massacre of Christian civilization, blurring the historical landmarks, on the second day of the Forum on the Alliance of Civilizations of the United Nations in Istanbul.

He stressed that there is an unprecedented acceleration of the Government of the occupation and the Jewish religious extremist groups to Judaize the city of Jerusalem, the latest of which was the so-called "Israel Antiquities Authority," the theft of a precious archaeological sites in the Islamic Umayyad palaces in the south-east corner of the Masjid al-Aqsa mosque and placed in front of the Israeli Knesset, saying it has done as one of the greatest crimes of the times and in defiance of all the resolutions of UNESCO, the United Nations and a clear violation of the charters and resolutions, international conventions, "which states that Jerusalem is an occupied city laws do not apply for the Israeli and classified by UNESCO and is Amairha premises."
Another article in PalToday calls it a "Rosetta Stone" and also accuses Israel of placing it in front of the Knesset.

So what are they talking about?

I finally found a picture of this "Umayyad palace" stone, at Al-Quds.

And the Al-Quds article sheds light on what should be obvious about this stone for anyone who ever visited the tunnels under the Western Wall: that this stone is from the Second Temple, not an Umayyad palace that was built over a millennium later.
The stone was taken to the Israeli Knesset and the public put in front of the building at the site to see both within the Israeli Knesset has allocated a small platform and the subject of concrete, according to Israeli claims of the institution, this stone structure is one of the stones of the alleged second temple.
Compare how this stone looks with the stones on the lowest level over the Temple tunnels, way beneath any Umayyad structure:

These borders and dimensions show that stone to be Herodian, not Umayyad. I know that Israel has started a project to protect the stones fo the Kotel from damage andI am not sure if this particular stone was moved as part of that project - that doesn't seem likely - but to say that this stone is Islamic is, simply, to lie.