More myths of the Middle East
© 2000 WorldNetDaily.com
by Joseph Farah
Joseph Farah, an Arab-American journalist, is the editor
and chief executive officer of WorldNetDaily.com, a leading independent
news site. See more articles by Joseph Farah
My recent commentaries on the Middle East
have touched off a virtual international firestorm on the Internet.
Since writing "Myths of the Middle East"
less than two weeks ago, I have been inundated with e-mail from all over
the world -- at least 5,000 letters from Israel alone! The article has
been translated into a dozen languages. It has been the subject of network
television debates. It has been read on Israeli national radio. And, while
most of the reaction has been passionately favorable, there have been threats
on my life and the lives of my family members. There have been vicious,
obscene, vulgar and profane denunciations.
The reaction illustrates just how far apart
the Arabs and Israelis are in the so-called "peace process."
There has clearly been no progress since
In fact, there is ample evidence that some
Arab leaders are right now attempting to revise history in new ways that
strongly suggest there is nothing Israel can ever do to appease the violence
in their hearts.
In an interview with Italian newspaper
La Republica, March 24 of this year, Sheik Ikrama Sabri, the Palestine
Authority's top Muslim figure in Jerusalem, decreed that the Western Wall,
the last remnant of the Jewish Temple, has no religious significance to
"Let it be clear: the Wailing Wall is not
a holy place of the Jews, it is an integral part of the mosque (grounds).
We call it al-Buraq, the name of the horse with which Muhammad ascended
to heaven from Jerusalem," he said.
In fact, the Temple Mount area and the
Western Wall are, according to Jewish scholars, the only truly holy sites
Yasser Arafat himself has made similar
statements recently, claiming the city of Jerusalem has no real significance
On Al-Jezira television, June 28, 1998,
he said, "Let me tell you something. The issue of Jerusalem is not just
a Palestinian issue. It is a Palestinian, Arab, Islamic and Christian issue."
Asked by the interviewer if one could also
say it is a Jewish issue, he replied, "No. Allow me to be precise -- they
consider Hebron to be holier than Jerusalem."
Arafat is among those Arab leaders making
the incredible suggestion that there was never a Jewish Temple at the site.
"Until now, all the excavations that have
been carried out have failed to prove the location of the Temple," he claims.
"It is 30 years since they captured the city and they have not succeeded
in giving even one proof as the location of the Temple."
Do you really think there can be compromise
with people this delusional?
This was no casual remark by Arafat. In
an earlier speech broadcast on Voice of Palestine Oct. 10, 1996, he said,
"Let us begin from the holy Buraq wall. It is called the holy Buraq wall,
not the Wailing Wall. We do not say this. After the holy Buraq revolution
in 1929 ... the Shaw International Committee said this is a holy wall for
Muslims. This wall ends at the Via Dolorosa. These are our Christian and
Muslim holy places."
Now, perhaps you understand why even today
the Muslim police known as the Waqf attempt to deny Jews and other non-Muslims
access to these sites. Now, perhaps you understand why, during times when
Jerusalem has been occupied by Muslims, Christian churches and Jewish synagogues
were destroyed or desecrated.
This alone should demonstrate conclusively
to any non-biased observer that the troubles in the Middle East today will
not be solved by the creation of a "Palestinian state." It's time to point
out to those who do not yet know that the leader of this movement -- Arafat
-- is not a "Palestinian" at all. Indeed, he was born in Egypt.
But his family does have some history in
the area -- though he's not likely to acknowledge it on ABC's "Nightline"
You see, it was Arafat's uncle who served
as the grand mufti of Jerusalem in the 1920s and 1930s. It was his uncle
who concluded, for the first time, that Mohammed had ascended into heaven
from the site known as the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. And it
was his uncle who, in an unholy alliance with Adolf Hitler, condemned the
Jews and their designs on their eternal capital city.
The truth is that Jerusalem has a unique
importance to Jews. It has always been a place described and revered in
Jewish law. For centuries since the Diaspora, Jews around the world have
prayed toward Jerusalem, mourned the destruction of their Temple and hopefully
repeated the phrase, "Next year in Jerusalem."
Again, I say, until all the parties to
war and peace in the Middle East acknowledge basic history and archaeology,
there is little point in pretending that peripheral land concessions can
Farah is editor and chief executive officer of WorldNetDaily.com and
writes a daily column.
This page was produced by Joseph
Middle Eastern Political and Religious
Brooklyn, New York
to a friend