Eye on the Middle East May/Jun 2001
We have commented often in this space about the issue of revisionist history—the writing of fiction while calling it fact. The most recent blatant example is the Arab contention that the Jewish people have had no ancient associations with the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This assertion is as barefaced a fabrication as is the revisionist idea that the Holocaust did not occur.
Now, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post, a 1930 pamphlet has been discovered that articulates the Arab position held in those days. Published by the Supreme Moslem Council, the pamphlet declares emphatically that the site’s association with the first (Solomon’s) Temple is “beyond dispute.” The pamphlet further states, “The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its sanctity and identity with Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.”
After information from the pamphlet became public, Ikrima Sabri, the mufti of Jerusalem (who was appointed by the Palestinian Authority), denied the validity of the document. He said the report was untrue and taken out of context. The mufti’s denial coincides with the Palestinian Authority’s frantic desecration of areas underneath the Temple Mount in an attempt to destroy the Jewish identity of the site. Furthermore, the Palestinian Authority is now contending that the Jewish people not only have no claim to any history on the Mount but that they also have no right to worship at the Western (Wailing) Wall. That, too, it says, was constructed to buttress the foundations of the Muslim AlAqsa Mosque.
The absurdity of these claims is obvious. However, they are also dangerous. If you have been paying attention, you have noticed that the international news media have not offered any serious rebuttal of the Muslim contentions regarding the Temple Mount.
The idea seems to be that this Muslim claim is just one more evidence of the level of the Arabs’ frustration with the way they allegedly have been treated by Israel. Thus blatant untruths are winked at and tolerated, only to be embraced later as fact. This is a dangerous road to travel, and the ramifications will extend far beyond Israel and the Middle East. The practice of tolerating the fabrication of spurious history for the benefit of unscrupulous, agenda-driven people is on the rise. And, if unchecked, it will destabilize societies and create an everyman-for-himself environment rife with anarchy.
For this reason, what is transpiring at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem should concern everyone who values the truth. Because if the facts of history mean nothing, the rights of every law-abiding human being are in serious jeopardy. And, whether we like thinking about it or not, we may be next in line to have our rights trampled and see the evidence of those rights destroyed.
The mufti is wrong. The Jewish people have indisputable prior claim to the Temple Mount and its environs. And, in a very real sense, the stones are crying out. So should we.