Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The myth of the Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque continues

I mentioned a few months ago that Palestinian Arabs gave Rachel's Tomb the supposedly "ancient" name of the "Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque" in the mid-1990s. The Arabs are desperately trying to claim this indisputably Jewish shrine as their own, just as they claim every other Jewish shrine in the Middle East without exception.

Now that Binyomin Netanyahu decided to place Judaism's second and third-holiest sites in a list of Israeli heritage sites, the lies about the very name of Rachel's Tomb are increasing, both in Arabic and in English (including here and here.)

Another proof of how new these claims are comes from IMPACT-SE, a group that translates Palestinian Arab textbooks. They note:
Even the Jewish holy places in the country are not recognized and are presented as Muslim holy places taken over by the Jews:
… The attempt to Judaize some of the Muslim religious places like the Mosque of Abraham [the Machpelah Sanctuary— Cave of the Patriarchs] and the Mosque of Bilal bin Rabbah [Rachel’s Tomb]

National Education, Grade 7 (2001), p. 55
In the case of Rachel’s Tomb, in fact, we see a myth in the making.

In an experimental book issued by the PA in 1996, this place is still called the “Dome of Rachel, mother of our Lord Joseph and wife of Jacob.”3 In a book published in 2001, it is given the name “Mosque of Bilal bin Rabbah.”4
This is an amazing example where Palestinian Arab history is faked in front of our eyes, yet you will not find a single Arab willing to say publicly that there was never any such mosque.

(There happen to be many mosques in the Arab world with that exact name, including in Tulkarem, in Gaza and elsewhere.)