Tag Archives: Palestinians

The Palestinians Don’t Deserve a State

img_0525

For decades the two-state solution has been repeatedly floated as the preferred goal of peace between Israel and the Arabs (‘Palestinians’). Yet it has never been realized. Accusations have been tossed around by various voices laying blame on both sides for the failure of the two-state solution to be implemented.

In light of the recent summit between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump, it would appear the longstanding positon of the U.S. supporting the two-state solution is fizzling out. In my opinion, this is long overdue.

Simply put, the so-called ‘Palestinians’ don’t deserve a state.

The concept of a two-state solution has already been attempted with the 1947 UN partition of two states, one Arab, one Jewish. It failed. Why? The Arab nations rejected and ignored the resolution, attacking the fledgling Jewish state one day after it declared independence in 1948. Six decades and seven wars later (three with Hamas) what has changed?

A dramatic shift took place in 1967, when Yasser Arafat decided the Arabs who were displaced from the 1948 and 1967 wars deserved to have their own unique identity. So he renamed them “Palestinians.” For the record, before 1967 the term “Palestinians” referred to Jews. Walid Shoebat, an Arab who was living in Jericho during the ’67 war, said “On June 4 I went to sleep as an Arab. The next day, without moving anywhere I am suddenly called a “Palestinian.”

Arafat’s campaign included more than just an identity change for these newly renamed Palestinians. He demanded an independent state, and laid claim to the entire area west of the Jordan River which Israel captured during the 1967 war. As far as Arafat was concerned all this land was ‘Palestinian land.’ In 1964 he founded the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) with a specific goal of liberating “Palestine,” which   included every inch of land of Israel.

International law affirms any land captured during a defensive war belongs to the victor, which was Israel.

After the 1967 war other terror groups sprung up including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (1967), Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (1969), Islamic Jihad (1979), Hizb’allah (1985) Hamas (1987), and several others. For the past 15 years the Fatah Party has been the dominant party in Judea/Samaria, generally referred to as the West Bank. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is the party chairman.

Each of these groups is dedicated to destroying (‘liberating’) the state of Israel.

So why don’t the ‘Palestinians’ deserve a state? First off their claim to the land has no basis in reality. It’s not as though Arabs have no history in the land. They do. However, the greater and more historical association belongs to the Jews. The Bible tells us it is this very land which was given to the Jews as “an everlasting inheritance.” This land, including Jerusalem, is the ancestral home of the Jewish people, superseding Palestinian claims by thousands of years.

However, let’s transition from the legitimate historical connection the Jews have to this land to today’s current events.

Let’s examine today’s Israeli/Palestinian relations a little closer.

Israel has made several attempts to appease the Palestinians, through agreements and offers. In 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak made an unprecedented offer to Yasser Arafat. It included turning over roughly 99% of the demanded land, dividing Jerusalem, and compensation for so-called “refugees.” By any definition, this was a huge compromise on the part of Israel. The offer was rejected and the talks collapsed. President Clinton laid blame squarely where it belonged, on Arafat.

Why was such an incredibly generous offer rejected? Simple, the Muslims refuse to accept the existence of a Jewish state under any circumstances, no matter what the borders are. They are firmly convinced every square inch of the state of Israel is Muslim land. Thus, to accept the existence of a sovereign Jewish state on land which they consider theirs would be viewed as blasphemy. This is punishable by death.

Not only do they refuse to accept the existence of Israel, or peacefully coexist, they have mounted a decade-long campaign to destroy the Jewish state.

For example, look at their founding charters:

Fatah Charter (party of Mahmoud Abbas)

Article 12 – “complete liberation of Palestine, and eradication of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence”

Article 13 – “Establishing an independent democratic state with complete sovereignty on all Palestinian lands, and Jerusalem is its capital city” — Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People’s armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated.

PLO Charter

Article 9 – “armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine”

Article 19 – “The partition of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of the state of Israel are entirely illegal”

Hamas Charter

Preamble: ‘Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.

Article 6 – The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinguished Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.

Article 13 – “…There is no solution for the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility.”

With the addition of Hizb’allah in Lebanon, these three organizations are today’s main players in the conflict. Their charters represent the principles upon which each organization was founded. Based on the quotes from each of their charters it is unquestionable none of them seek a two state solution, or peaceful coexistence with a Jewish state of Israel. They all seek its destruction.

Yet, instead of calling out these organizations, world leaders and the UN continue to blame Israel’s construction of homes as the main obstacle to a peace agreement. Recently the UN made this their official position with the passage ofResolution 2334. They are ignoring the clear requirement for the annihilation of Israel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly said he will never accept Israel as a Jewish state.

He glorifies those who murder innocent Israeli civilians by naming parks and schools after them. When young Arabs stab Israelis or run them over with vehicles, he refuses to condemn such terror. He considers every drop of Muslim blood holy in its pursuit of Palestine’s liberation.

The curriculum in Palestinian schools teaches children that the Jews stole their land. Moreover, they are taught it is holy to be a murder Jews and become a martyr for Allah.

Some might suggest the terrorists don’t represent the Arab-Palestinian population as a whole. If this is true, why has there not been any outcry from the general Palestinian population against the terror? Why has there not been a single demonstration for peace with Israel on the Palestinian street?

If they are committed to peacefully coexist with Israel there would be visible efforts to make that known to the world. Instead, all we see is continued terror and calls for Israel to cease construction. World leaders and the UN need to stop ignoring the Palestinians true agenda.

The reality is the Arab Palestinians need a civilized gut check. Until such time as they renounce all terror, recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, drop all future land claims and amend their charters, they do not deserve their own state.

A civilized world should not reward murderers committed to destroy their presumed peace partner. Such action amounts to sanctioning their destructive anti-Semitic agenda.

To read more of Dan Calic’s articles visit his Facebook page.

Advertisements

Question for the.@UN: Since when did the Palestinians become entitled to a state?

plo-1

As Newt Gingrich said in 2011, “The Palestinians are an invented people.”

In 1964, the Palestine Liberation Organization was formed to liberate Palestine through armed struggle. But it took years for the notion of a Palestinian people to crystalize.  In 1967, they were not recognized as such, nor were they considered a party to the conflict.  Security Council Resolution 242 passed after the ’67 war, made no mention of them.

The US as a matter of policy, promoted the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people and forced Israel to accept them in peace discussions at the Madrid Conference in 1991.

In 1993, Israel signed along with them the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements  (Oslo I)  and in 1995 the Interim Agreement on the West Bank (Oslo II)  but these Accords made no mention of giving them a state.

Surprisingly, President George W. Bush gave it the first official nod for the first time in his vision speech of 2002. This speech came about in response to enormous pressure from Saudi Arabia which was demanding the creation of such a state. Even so, it was conditioned on the Palestinians fighting terror, not aiding it or abetting it. In fact, there were many other pre-conditions to the creation of the state.  But the US and the world quickly forgot about the preconditions and went forward with the idea that the Palestinians were entitled to a state.

Then in 2004, Bush gave a very important letter of assurances to PM Sharon in order to support his plans for disengagement.

“The United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan. Under the roadmap, Palestinians must undertake an immediate cessation of armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere, and all official Palestinian institutions must end incitement against Israel. The Palestinian leadership must act decisively against terror, including sustained, targeted, and effective operations to stop terrorism and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. Palestinians must undertake a comprehensive and fundamental political reform that includes a strong parliamentary democracy and an empowered prime minister.

“Second, there will be no security for Israelis or Palestinians until they and all states, in the region and beyond, join together to fight terrorism and dismantle terrorist organizations. The United States reiterates its steadfast commitment to Israel’s security, including secure, defensible borders, and to preserve and strengthen Israel’s capability to deter and defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats.[..]

“As part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.”

In this letter, which amounted to a contract, Bush committed the US to prevent any other plan being imposed.  He also committed the US to Israel’s security and reiterated Israel’s right to defensible borders. By affirming Res 242, he was affirming that Israel need not vacate 100% of the land.

Within a couple of months of President Obama’s inauguration in 2009, he repudiated this contract. In response to this and other indicators, I wrote thatObama intended to impose a solution on Israel. I explained on these pages in 2009 that he had to repudiate it because the contract if allowed to stand, committed the US to oppose the imposition of any other plan.

Obama then forced Netanyahu to recognize a Palestinian right to a state in his Bar Ilan Speech in June 2009 in which Netanyahu said:

“In my vision of peace, in this small land of ours, two peoples live freely, side-by-side, in amity and mutual respect. Each will have its own flag, its own national anthem, its own government. Neither will threaten the security or survival of the other.”

He went on to stipulate two demands or preconditions: namely the new state must be demilitarized and must recognize Israel as the State of the Jewish people. This was the first time Netanyahu or his party embraced the two state solution. Obama was satisfied even with all the pre-conditions and stipulations. He got what he wanted. He would ignore the stipulations. And this resolution does just that.

Next, he backed the Arab Peace Initiative, which called for 100% withdrawal, contrary to Res 242, albeit with mutually agreed swaps.

Then he demanded a complete building freeze, even in Jerusalem. Even so he could not get any concessions from either the Arab League or from the PA as compensation. Having no other choice, he backed the PA’s demand that, as the price of the PA entering negotiations, Israel should release over 100 Arab prisoners with blood on their hands. Israel agreed, though no one had any expectations that the PA would compromise. This prisoner release was in effect another freebie for them.

After strenuous efforts to achieve an agreement, Obama backed off but demanded that there be a continued freeze and nothing be done to make untenable the two-state solution.

But he hadn’t given up. By engineering the passage of Security Council Resolution 2334 declaring “the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity” and demanding 100% withdrawal, he, in effect, was getting the Security Council to back his parameters for a peace agreement, namely ’67 lines plus swaps, with a divided Jerusalem.

This, in other words, is a demand by the international community that all lands east of the ’67 lines be free of Jews (judenrein, as the Nazis used to put it).  That would include the Jewish neighborhoods in the eastern part of Jerusalem.  Thus, the lands east of the ’67 lines must be ethnically cleansed of the 900,000 Jews that live there. A majority of which Jews were born there.

The Security Council underlined  “that it will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations….”  Thus the Jews were denied the Temple Mount, the Old City, including the Jewish Quarter, the Holy Basin and the Western Wall, otherwise known as the Kotel.

This resolution completely overturned Res 242, which was passed 50 years ago and which was the cornerstone of all subsequent initiatives like the Oslo Accords, the Roadmap and the Bush letter of ’04. Throughout this entire period, all US presidents stressed the need for direct negotiations to settle all disputes. Any concessions that Israel made along the way were conditioned on the basis of direct negotiations to come.

This resolution removed from such negotiations, the ultimate borders, the fate of the settlements, the requirement that the borders be defensible and whether to create a state.

In the Oslo Accords, Israel made major concessions to the Palestine Liberation Organization representing the Arabs by inviting them into the territories and granting them autonomy in Areas A and B as demarcated by the Accords, believing that all Israeli safeguards in the Accords would protect her. Keep in mind that the Accords did not promise the Arabs a state nor did they proscribe settlement activity.

Prior to signing these Accords, Israel insisted that the PLO accept Res 242 as binding. This was important to Israel because it stipulated that Israel need only withdraw to “recognized and secure” borders. This new resolution negates all Israeli safeguards but not the concessions made by Israel. To do so is unconscionable.

On the one hand, the UN continually accuses Israel of violating international law and declares the settlements illegal by international law; yet, on the other hand, it ignores salient facts and binding contracts. The resolution thus violates the international legal order itself. The UN should be governed by law not by caprice.

Another example of invoking a law that doesn’t exist is the clause which cites “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force”.  Howard Adelmanmakes short shrift of this proposition. There is no such law.

This resolution is built upon the proposition that the settlements are illegal by international law. But what if they aren’t?  The UN holds that the lands in question are subject to the Fourth Geneva Convention, which applies whenever a High Contracting Party (HCP)  i.e., a country which signed the convention, belligerently occupies the land of another HCP. But in this case the lands in question were not the land of a HCP but were unallocated land under the Palestine Mandate.

PM Netanyahu appointed a commission consisting of one retired High Court Judge and two senior lawyers to study the matter. In 2014, it issued the Levy Report, which concluded that the FGC does not apply. But even if it does apply, it doesn’t prevent Jews from voluntarily settling on the lands. And keep in mind that the Palestine Mandate gave Jews the right of close settlement on these lands, which right has never been terminated, nor can it be.

This matter has never been determined by a court of competent jurisdiction and thus the UN has no right to treat it as settled law.

To use the vernacular, Israel is being railroaded into creating a Palestinian state on all the territories captured 50 years ago, contrary to law, the facts, and existing agreements. Everything is twisted to label Israel a violator of law, when in fact it is the UN that is the violator. All this on behalf of an invented people who didn’t exist 50 years ago.

The Jerusalem case

“Perhaps with the stubbornness of good will…the US does not comprehend the real issues concerning the Israeli-Palestinian dilemma.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry before his departure at Ben Gurion Airport, December 6, 2013.

US Secretary of State John Kerry before his departure at Ben Gurion Airport, December 6, 2013. Photo: REUTERS/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool
The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, is in Jerusalem again, trying to square the circle of bringing the Israeli Palestinian negotiations to an agreement. A few weeks ago, Mr. Obama reiterated his signature on the order to postpone the moving the US embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. These acts show again how the US gets the Middle East wrong with eyes wide open. Perhaps with the stubbornness of good will but surely with naiveté approach and stupid policy, the US does not comprehend the real issues concerning the Israeli-Palestinian dilemma.Now John Kerry tries again with the clumsiness of an elephant in a porcelain shop to bring the parties to conclude an agreement, while the issues raised for the “solution” are not the real issues. The US continues to see the subject matter with its wrong mistaken mirror image, as if the “occupation” of the 1967 territories, and the Palestinian refugee issue of 1948, and the Issue of Jerusalem as the capital of the newborn Palestinian state, are the main obstacles to conclude the peace agreement. The US continues to stumble as if she has the formula that brings the parties not only to the negotiation table, not only to a peace agreement, but to peace relations between Israel and the Palestinians. Moreover, the US continues to believe that by reaching this end, most of the issues in the Middle East are solved, and harmony and tranquility reigns over the region.

Well, the US should learn the lessons of its past failures which are implanted all over the Middle East. The first lesson is to internalize Albert Einstein’s eloquence: “if you give me a problem to solve in an hour, I would spend 55 minutes to understand the essence and characteristics of the problem, and only 5 minutes to solve it.” It is crucially important that the US follow these lines: first to understand the issues and only then to try to bring solutions. In a short: from the Palestinians’ perspective, the issue was never the 1967 “occupation” but the 1948 “occupation.” It is not living in peace with Israel but live in peace without Israel. it is not solving the refugees issue, but how to flood Israel with millions of Palestinians as and bring its demise. It is not “two states solution, one Jewish one Palestinian,” but “two state solution, one Palestinian and one non-Jewish state” that resembles the 1970’s Palestinian idea of a “secular democratic state in Palestine,“ in which Muslims, Christians and Jews live together in an Arab state. All these and many more ideas are all intended to the same objective: demolishing the State of Israel as a Jewish Zionist state and establishing a Palestinian state “from the sea to the desert” (including Jordan).

The US must understand who the negotiators, the Israeli partners from the Palestinian side are. Abu Mazan is one of the more extreme leaders among the Palestinians, no less, perhaps more than Arafat himself. Though he dresses Western suits and sometimes talks gently (unlike Arafat in the military uniform), and though he pretends to be weak and needs protégé among wolves around him, this is indeed a mask, a silver ribbon cloak that hides a fanatic harsh anti-Semite and Holocaust denier person. Just read his Ph.D. from the University of Patrice Lumumba in Moscow, published in Arabic in 1982 (“The Other Face: the Secret Negotiations of the Zionist Movement and the Nazis”). Two themes were highlighted: there was no Holocaust in Europe, and the Zionist Movement in what he calls Palestine collaborated with the Nazis to butcher the Jews of Europe in order that the Zionist Movement gets the compassion and the legitimization to establish a Zionist state on the Palestinian land.

On many occasions, including in English, Abu Mazen has clearly declared he does not recognize the state of Israel as a Jewish Zionist state in any borders. This is something everyone must recall. Never in history of diplomacy, had one side come to the negotiation table with the declaration that he does not recognize the rights of the other side. Never in history of diplomacy, had one side clearly declared that his aim is to eliminate the other side, and the negotiation table is only a means, a façade to facilitate the achievement of the target. This is in the spirit of the PLO National Council decision from the 1970’s of the Phased Doctrine. The irony of this situation that it the dubious side, the one without proven rights, the scoundrel newcomer wants it all and acts with all means to dispossess and impoverish the side with proven historical and religious rights. Abu Mazen leads this atrocious hideous and outrageous policy.

If this is not enough, the US should read the book of Denis Ross, who was its representative in Camp David II, who was the man in Arafat’s camp that again and again convinced him to reject all Israeli Prime Minister, Barak’s proposals. The US must learn the lesson of the Israeli Prime Minister, Olmert, with his licentious outrageous proposals, and still Abu Mazen refused to consider.

Abu Mazen is not the man of compromise, and he cannot deliver the goods. He cannot, and does not want to bring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to an end. The only end that is still acceptable among the Palestinians is “peace of the entire Palestine;” no less. Everything is temporary and changeable according to the situation and circumstances. The heinous Oslo accords, remembered as a dreadful disgrace forever, are the example: you sign peace and you make a war of terror. All the ceremonies so important and sanctified in Western political culture are just an empty thing in the Arab-Islamic political culture; a useless symbol in the wondering sands of the Arab deserts.

John Kerry, if he is serious, should sit in a closed room alone with Abu Mazen, look directly at his eyes, never let them go down, and ask him what does he really want? He will get the answer if he continues to insist: the Palestinians do not want peace with Israel but peace without Israel. If Kerry continues his investigation and tries to understand who is the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Ereqat, and what are his targets, he, Kerry, should read his declarations through the years, to find out that Ereqat utter the same poisonous hatred as his teachers, Arafat and Abu Mazen, and even has elevated them in deceiving and lying. In the future, in every dictionary written in English or in Hebrew, even in Arabic, under the word “liar,” the sample will be Ereqat. He has a long history of cheating and inflating to high exaggeration things and definitions.

Still, the question is, does the US understand what the ingredients that can bring a comprised solution in the Israeli-Palestinian issues are? Let’s take the Jerusalem issue. Here is the example in which the Palestinians have nothing, but absolutely nothing there, from any historical, political, cultural, religious and other perspectives. Yet, outrageously and in much obscene impudence the Palestinians totally deny Israel’s 3500 years of historical, political, cultural, and religious rights. Therefore, Kerry and the US Administration must learn: Not only the Palestinians have no record and any traces in Jerusalem, the Islamic is dubious and baseless. First and foremost, Jerusalem is not mentioned, not in the Qur’an, not in the Hadith, and not in the Syrah. That is, there is no mentioning of Jerusalem in the entire Shari`ah. Moreover, Jerusalem was not an important city during the entire Islamic history, compared to Damascus, Cairo, and Istanbul. Jerusalem was much less important than Andalusia, and other regions.

Contrary to this, Muslims continue to remark falsely that it is the first direction of prayer (Qiblah) and the third holy place (Haram). These must be explained properly. As for the Qiblah, Jerusalem became the direction of prayer for only 16 or 17 months from the order of Muhammad to follow the Jewish religious traditions. These included praying three times a day and even fasting on Yom Kippur (`Ashura). Hence, the order to pray in the direction of Jerusalem had nothing to do with the Islamic religion and all to do with the Jewish religion. There was no Islamic ritual place of prayer at that time, and the order was given as homage to the Jews, rather than as a religious ritual. Even by doing this, the Muslim believers did not mention Jerusalem or make any other traditional symbols concerning Jerusalem.

This was just a convenient act, to get the support of the Jews in his wars with the people of Mecca. When the circumstances changed and the Jews refused to recognize him as the seal of all prophets, he just ordered his believers to change the direction to Mecca. These were just a routine and bureaucratic order and reorder. Jerusalem was just there. If not the Jews, one can deduce there would be no Jerusalem in Islam, perhaps even no direction of prayer as a religious tradition. The fact is that by turning the direction to Mecca, not only the Muslim believers denied any importance of Jerusalem, but also show its importance in turning their back to it. There is only one important thing: the change of order from Jerusalem to Mecca symbolized the total separation of Islam from Judaism; and the denial of Judaism as a legitimate religion; and the disappearance of Jerusalem as an important city, let alone an Islamic holy place.

As for Jerusalem is the third Haram, there was only one short period of time in the entire Islamic history that Jerusalem was mentioned and eulogized as an important city under the Umayyad Caliphate (661-750), and for political reasons. This period was during the revolt of Ibn al-Zubayr (680-692) in Mecca, and the Damascus-based Umayyad Caliphs could not perform the Hajj. As their rivals were blocking access to Mecca, the Caliphs decided to establish an alternative holy site. Jerusalem was chosen not because its holiness for Islam or any other religious reasons, but just because it was there, on the road to Mecca, bordering the desert. That is why the Umayyads decided to exalt and to glorify Jerusalem, just as an alternative to Mecca. During that time, the Umayyad dynasty sponsored the publication of literature, the Praises of Jerusalem (Fadā’il al-Quds).

For that, Ibn Malik built the Dome of the Rock mosque (Qubat al-Sakhra) in 688-691, right on the spot of the Jewish Temple. In 715, his son, al-Walīd, constructed the al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount. However, even for these political reasons concerning Jerusalem “there was strong resistance among many theologians and jurists” (Bernard Lewis). Jerusalem remained insignificant as far as Islam was concerned. Jerusalem has no Islamic name: its first was: Ilya Madina Bayt al-Maqdis (Ilya, the Roman name, the city of the Temple. Bayt al-Maqdis = the Jewish Beit Ha- Miqdash). From 985 it was called al-Quds, again from the Jewish Kodesh).

In all the history of Islamic rule, Jerusalem was not even a capital. The first, chosen by Umar bin al-Khattab, was Caesarea. Then, Suleiman 705-715), chose al-Ramlah as the regional capital. The Praises of Jerusalem literature disappeared, and reappeared for a while during the Crusaders’ invasion, only to vanish again during the Mamluk and the Ottoman Empire eras. Most symbolically, the Dome of the Rock collapsed in 1016, and no one bothered to restore it as a holy site of worship. Thus, in practice, Jerusalem held no importance from any perspective during the entire course of Islamic history until the 1920’s.

Another source the Muslims propagators mention is concerned with Surat Bani Isrāīl (17:1), as if Muhammad’s Night Journey was a miraculous journey to Jerusalem, establishing it as one of the foundations of Islam: “Praise be to him who took his servant by night from the al-Haram Mosque to the al-Aqsa [literally ‘the most distant’] Mosque…” This interpretation maintains that Muhammad literally visited Jerusalem and built there a mosque, but this position advanced only from the times of the Mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, in the 1920’s. From that time on, he insisted that his title is “the Mufti of Jerusalem.” However, there are no religious sources that support this view, which was a pure political claim to sanctify his leadership.

Al-Tabari (838–923), the prominent historian and exegetes of the Qur’an, and one of Muhammad’s most important and influential biographers, found out after a thorough research and analysis of all Islamic religious sources and commentators, that this verse has nothing to do with Jerusalem. Muhammad’s aim was spiritual, namely, to reach Allāh’s house located in the uppermost heaven. Tabari indicates that Muhammad did not get off his horse and did not pray in any mosque. Rather, he pursued his journey to heaven to see Allāh, and returned to Mecca the same night.

Flying horses, flying dragons, and flying gods were common myths centuries before Muhammad, and these were copied in Islam. The whole story probably has been influenced by the story of the Prophet Elijah, who flew into heaven in a burning chariot pulled by horses. Long before Elijah story, Moses ascended Mount Sinai and received the two tablets of the Ten Commandments. In other words, the story of Muhammad has its source again in Jewish traditions.

Still the Palestinians, in order to establish an identity by creating a religious center decided to elevate Jerusalem as an Islamic holy place. However, their strategy is again by the total denial of the Jewish traditions. Now, the theme claimed is an old historical Palestinian Jerusalem that belongs solely to the old historically Palestinian people. They do not care this theme is based on mythical legendary propaganda, of pure lies, of total fabrications and factual distortions.

According to this legend, Israel forges and falsifies the basic facts and history of Jerusalem which belongs solely to Islam and the Palestinians. Israel is said to steal the original Palestinian identity of Jerusalem and its cultural heritage. This theme is reiterated in the Palestinian media which claims Jerusalem to be the religious, political, and spiritual capital of the Palestinians, being the oldest people on this land for 7000 years. They even celebrated in 2010 the 10,000 years of Palestinian Jericho. As such, Israel has no rights to Jerusalem — not religiously, not legally, not politically, and not historically. Everything in Jerusalem is Palestinian in its purest origin. Jerusalem is the capital of the Palestinians from time immemorial, and the focus of world civilization.

There is the common saying: “a grain of truth is needed to make a mountain of lies believable.” However, in the Palestinian case of Jerusalem there is not even a grain of truth. Perhaps this fact helps them to sell the absolute fabrications and distortions concerning Jerusalem as much as their historical myths. Indeed, it is hard for common people, international media, world public opinion and states’ leadership to grasp and internalize the totality of nothing relating the Palestinians’ claims and pretensions of Jerusalem.

David Bukay (Ph.D.) teaches at the University of Haifa in School of Political Sciences.