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July 26, 2015 8:25 pm

As Jews Mourn Destruction of Temples, Palestinian Authority Denies They Ever Existed

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The Palestinian Authority once again denied the Jewish historical and religious connection to the Temple Mount. PHOTO: NRG.

The Palestinian Authority once again denied the Jewish historical and religious connection to the Temple Mount. PHOTO: NRG.

As Jews around the world mourned the destruction of the ancient Jewish temples on Sunday with the observance of Tisha B’Av, Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash told Israel’s NRG that an Israelite temple never stood atop the Temple Mount.

“The Al-Aqsa Mosque is located atop the Temple Mount, and not the Temple. Look for your Holy Temple in another place,” said Al-Habbash.

Al-Habbash also assailed Jewish visitors who visited the holy site on Sunday, saying that “there is no room for religious pluralism” on the Temple Mount.

Al-Habbash added that, “this is a holy site for Islam, and only for Islam. Al-Aqsa Mosque is a Muslim site, and we do not recognize [as legitimate] any of the stories about the Temple.”

In fact, the entire platform, known as the Temple Mount, atop which the Al-Aqsa Mosque now stands was built by Herod the Great and previously housed two Jewish Temples: the First Temple built by Solomon in 957 BCE, and the Second Temple built by the prophet Ezra in 538 BCE and improved by King Herod.

Al-Habbash claimed that the PA’s rejection of Jewish history on the Temple Mount was political and not religious. “We reject the Israeli claim that once there stood a Holy Temple in the place of the Aqsa Mosque,” he said. “If you open up the question of the Temple, you are opening up a religious war, ” he added.

“We do not look at this issue as a religious issue, but only as a political conflict,” he said. “The historical claims are not the issue. The occupation is the problem. We are speaking of a situation where one state has occupied another state.”

He added that the Palestinian Authority “will not allow any Israeli presence in the Holy Mosque. This is taboo for us… Not a single Israeli has the right to pray atop the Aqsa Mosque grounds. This is a mosque and we do not recognize [anyone else’s] rule over this place.”

Al-Habbash’s assertions were by no means novel or unique for the Palestinian Authority. Their long-held position, repeated by numerous officials, has been that Judaism has no historical or religious claim to the Temple Mount and that the history of the Jewish temples is mythical.


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  • Charles Martel

    Fiction from a people who are a FICTION! What a joke, Islam is like cancer that hijacks the bodies immune system.They believe that Moses was a Muslim and that even Jesus was a Muslim.

    Islam believes that both Jews and Christians are in error of the correct teachings. They are taught that Islam is perfection! What pompous fools. They are perfect in their lies and hatred.When will the world put an end to their misguided lies?

  • Joseph Feld

    There is a bit of confusion here. Herod enlarged the Temple Mount to allow for the hundreds of thousands of Jewish pilgrims who came on Passover and other Pilgrim Festivals. This enlargement does not have the same sanctity as the place where the Temple stood. Al Aqsa is probably NOT on the site of the Temple, but there is a good chance that the Dome of the Rock is. Prior to the invention of Arafat’s ‘Palestinian narrative’ of Pals being the Canaanites etc. Arabs were fully aware that the Temple Mount had been the site of the Temples of Solmon and Ezra, and later the site of a Roman Temple to Jupiter and then a Christian church and then a Mosque, and then a Crusader cathedral, . . . .The reason for the Mosque and the Dome was to signify the triumph of Islam over Judaism and Christianity. Christians turned pagan temples into churches to signify their triumph over paganism. Muslims and Christians fought for centuries over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Just to note, Jews and Muslims ‘share’ the Cave [Machpela] of the Patriarchs in Hebron, so there’s nothing new about sharing a holy place.

  • Vivienne Havalant (Leijonhufvud)

    Another example of so called palestinan violence and denial and still the world suggests Israel should be a two state country. There is no palestine never was and all this rubbish did not arise until the rise of Arafat and his cronies. The arab islamic nations have conspired since before WWII against Israel, including Jordan who attacked Israel just after her founding. I am pretty fed up with all the bad PR Israel has had and is suffering from a bunch of politicians who have no knowledge of contemporary history which incidentally dates roughly from the Crimean war! As for Saudi arabia begging Israel to defend them this is absolutely beyond the pail. As soon as Iran has been disciplined Saudi will put a knife in Israel’s back and we will be back to square one with the damnable so called palestinians who now deny there were never two Temples one of which was rebuilt with the help of IRAN/Persia. Incredible, today to see this motley bunch of islamic arabs who have assaulted the whole of the Christian and Jewish middle eastern world since the warlord mohammed came out of Medina with his bunch of tribesman killing and looting along the way. Wahhabi Islam is about as brutal as it gets. These damn idle tribal lords with too much money have been allowed to dominate world politics and power far too long. We could pray for a blow out of all the Oil wells! Yes and I know when to use upper case – I show my contempt by deliberately using lower case!

  • yaakov

    Actually kinda funny in a way…just shows how crazy these people are and how they teach their children lies and hate against us…it should be noted that that catholic church built st Helena s under al assque mosque also and admitted its on site of Solomons temple. Reads like a warped batman comic book..evil lunatics.We should say they built Medina and mecca on a rock worshipping cult site (true)…they don’t even know their own history about that.Shalom

  • zadimel

    Some Muslims enjoy spreading venomous lies and intentional ignorance regarding the Temple Mount’s history and religious significance. There are much earlier historical discussions by Muslim figures which clearly describe the first and second Temples of the Jewish civilizations.

  • we need to understand that this is a propaganda war and relate to it accordingly. Israeli and Zionist activists must play the Palestinians and their acolytes at their game. Islamist imperialism is central to the Arab desire for conquest and is as old as the religion itself. Therefore this is simply one more example of the rape of Jewish and pillage of Israeli history. Start every dialogue with that last sentence and see how fast Al-Habbash and others begin to shut their mouths.

  • David

    This is an old story. Arafat insisted to Clinton that the Temple never existed. Finally on Arafat’s 14th? visit, Clinton finally stood up and told him that this was the last time that he was going to tolerate such garbage! Not until they embrace emes, the truth, can there be any chance of ever achieving any detente.

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    Israel was created as a safe haven for the Jewish people. This long-held hateful, preposterous nonsense that Mahmoud Al-Habbash purports belongs with the ideology of the Waqf, PLO, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad–in the trash bin. I doubt that the reality of the Third temple will come in our time because the division among the Jewish people continues to face and perpetrate among its own populace; notwithstanding, someday the truth will face the Waqf, like a magnificent ball of truthful fire and ice in the implosion of those two eidolons referred to as the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque and their fairytale claim to this particular site as the very place their prophet ascended to Heaven; and the Third Temple will stand in its just majesty in their stead. The truth be told, no one knows exactly where Muhammad might have ascended to Heaven because the reference in the Qur’an is to the “north.” Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Qur’an, not even once.

  • Gabrielle Grossman

    For thousands of years, the Jewish people have always associated Mount Moriah as the place where God’s presence can be felt more intensely than any other place on earth. That is why, for the Jewish people, the Temple Mount is the single holiest place.
    This connection is still very much alive and well in contemporary Jewish practice:
    When religious Jews pray three times a day, they always turn toward Jerusalem. (Someone praying in Jerusalem faces the direction of the Temple Mount.)
    Jerusalem is mentioned numerous times in Jewish daily prayers and in the “Grace After Meals.”
    Jews close the Passover Seder with the words “Next Year in Jerusalem.” These same words are invoked to conclude the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur.
    The Jewish national day of mourning, Tisha B’Av, commemorates the destruction of the First and Second Temples.
    During a Jewish wedding ceremony, the groom breaks a glass as a sign of mourning to commemorate the destruction of the two Temples which stood on Mount Moriah. The breaking of the glass is accompanied by the recitation of part of Psalm 137: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest Joy.”
    Religious Jews often keep a small section of one wall in their house unplastered and unpainted, as a sign of mourning for the destruction of the Temple.

  • Julian Clovelley

    There may well be grounds for doubting the existence and nature of previous Temples but there can be no doubt concerning Herod’s Temple of which there are visible remains and excellent contemporary records including Josephus

    So what’s all the fuss about?

  • Michael

    When President Obama wants to make a point and sarcastically says, “You can’t make this stuff up,” he obviously is not listening to the Palestinian Authority.

  • Michael

    Mental illness is an insidious disease and blind ignorance is not worthy of a response.

  • West Coast educated man

    This is almost comical. Except that the PA and their associated comrades have repeated these falsehoods enough to believe them. This is part of our problem, the more they repeat blatant inaccuracies, the more they and others believe them. Perhaps we should keep repeating the truth that while Islam appeared in Jerusalem +/- 1200 years ago that the alleged Palestinians were only arrived 200-300 years ago max. Or that they were expelled from their real land of Jordan, or the fact that their state was taken by their dear Arab supporters and friends from Egypt, Jordan and Syria. We need to up our PR game and combats these lies by repeating the truth over and over louder and louder.

  • wm.j. levy

    We all know that Gobbels got the world to believe any lie he wanted so was is this Arab any different from Gobbels.

    Certainly all the Muslims believe it add that to the Jew haters and the Holocaust deniers and you have the vast majority of the world believing the Big Lie.

    We all know that the Arab authorities have been for decades destroying any artifact found while they were intent on wiping away the truth and the Temple, first and second.

    Sharon was right and if Israel doesn’t do something forceful to expose their lies there will be worse trouble in Israel.

  • Mr. Al-Habbash’s comments prove the Arab-Israeli conflict continues, until Arabs genuinely accept Jewish Israel.

  • Bruce Rubin

    Make it a site for all religions to pray.

  • David Goshen

    Extreme Islam behaves no differently to all religions which came before Islam.There is no difference n its attitude to the Jewish Temples on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem or other
    historical shrines all around the world which are being primitavely destroyed ,Extreme Islamis naively belives that by destroying the shrines of other religions Islam will bring about the conversion of the whole world to Islam a very primitave faith not at all suited to our modern world which
    demands of its believers a very low non questioning behavior.No enlightment can never be achieved from such a violent intolerent religion.It is a blessing that our world will never accept such a faith on the same level as other faiths and in due courseit will be a faith delegated to the sidelines .
    In the same way that Hitler thought he would supress the whole world so will be the fate of the Islamic faith because of its violence intollerance and blood thirsty character!