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Monday, November 22, 2010

PA Ministry of Information: Kotel not Jewish

From the Jerusalem Post:
The Western Wall belongs to Muslims and is an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Haram al-Sharif [the Noble Sanctuary], according to an official paper published on Monday by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Information in Ramallah.

The paper, which has been presented as a “study,” was prepared by Al-Mutawakel Taha, a senior official with the PA Ministry of Information to “refute” Jews’ claim to the Western Wall.

“The Zionist occupation falsely and unjustly claims that it owns this wall which it calls the Western Wall or Kotel,” Taha, who is also a renowned Palestinian poet and writer, wrote in his project. “The Al-Buraq Wall is in fact the western wall of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

He added that the Jews had never used the site for worship until the Balfour Declaration of 1917. “This wall was never part of the so-called Temple Mount, but Muslim tolerance allowed the Jews to stand in front of it and weep over its destruction,” he wrote.

“During the British mandate in Palestine, the number of Jews who visited the wall increased to a point where the Muslims felt threatened and then there was the Al-Buraq Revolution on August 23, 1929, where dozens of Muslims were martyred and a large number of Jews were killed.”

The author, who is affiliated with PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction, emphasizes that over the past few decades Jews had failed to prove that the wall had any connection to their religion.
Just in case you think that there is the slightest possibility that the author of this "study" actually believes what he is writing, rather than knowingly and willfully lying, here is the proof.

The "study" is on the PA Ministry of Information website (only the Arabic version.) One of its claims is:
According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, published in 1917, the Western Wall became part of the Jewish religious tradition around the year 1520 AD, as a result of Jewish immigration from Spain, after the Ottoman conquest the year 1517
It just so happens that the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1917 says no such thing. Its entry on Jerusalem says:
Certain customs peculiar to Jerusalem are mentioned in the rabbinical writings....In writing deeds in Jerusalem it was customary to state not only the day but also the hour of execution (Ket. 94b). A man approaching the city recited, "Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation" (Isa. lxiv. 10), and made a rent in his garment (M. Ḳ. 26 and parallels)—a custom observed to this day. As a congregation, the Jews of Jerusalem are called specifically (Ber. 9b) and (Yer. Ma'as. Sh. ii. 10).

The Rabbis further held that the western wall, the Gate of the Priests, and the Huldah Gate were not and never will be destroyed (Cant. R. § 2), and that whether the Temple was standing or not the Shekinah was not removed from it; it still dwelt near the western wall (Tan., Shemot, x.; Cant. R. ii. 9). God will bring back all the former joy to Jerusalem; and every one that on earth bewails its destruction will in the future world rejoice at its restoration (Pes. 28 and parallels).
The very source that Taha uses to "prove" that Jews had no interest in the Kotel shows that this interest pre-dates Islam and Mohammed's night journey on his magical flying horse.

Now that we have proven that an official Palestinian Authority ministry is willing to knowingly publish lies, why exactly should anyone trust any agreement made with that same entity?