JERUSALEM – The Jewish Temples never existed and Israel has been working to "invent" a Jewish historical connection to Jerusalem, the chief Palestinian negotiator asserted.
Ahmed Qurei, the Palestinian Authority official leading all peace talks with the Jewish state, made the controversial statements in a small media briefing Wednesday attended by WND as well as by a Palestinian media outlet and an Arab affairs correspondent for a major Israeli newspaper.
But the Israeli publication decided not to print Qurei's comments, while the Palestinian publication, the Al-Ayam daily newspaper, made news of the remarks.
Qurei said "Israeli occupation authorities are trying to find a so-called Jewish historical connection" between Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, "but all these attempts will fail. The [Temple Mount] is 100 percent Muslim."
"The world must be mobilized against all these Israeli attempts to change the symbols and signs of Jerusalem," he said. "There is nothing Jewish about the Al Aqsa Mosque. There was no so-called Jewish Temple. It's imaginary. Jerusalem is 100 percent Muslim."
Continued Qurei: "The Arab world is called to interfere to stop the Israeli plans in Jerusalem, to stop the Israeli attempts to create a Jewish character to Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa mosque. Also to the Old City, which is the first step in the war to defend Jerusalem and Al Aqsa.
"They are competing against time in order to create facts on ground in the surrounding the imaginary Temple," Qurei added.
The chief Palestinian negotiator was reacting to the reopening last month of a long-closed synagogue just 100 meters from the Temple Mount. The holy structure, located in what is now known as the Muslim Quarter, was abandoned in 1938 in the wake of extreme Arab violence targeting Jews. At the time, thousands of Jews lived in the Quarter. The synagogue is closer than any other Jewish house of prayer to the Temple Mount.
Qurei, who is considered moderate by U.S. and Israeli policy, has been leading talks with Israel initiated at last November's U.S.-sponsored Annapolis Summit, which seeks to create a Palestinian state, at least on paper, before President Bush leaves office. Israel is widely expected to offer the Palestinians near complete control of the West Bank and significant control of undisclosed parts of eastern Jerusalem...
The distorted biblical stories contained in the Qur'an have no independent historical or archaeological confirmation and were, as far as any non-Muslim can tell, most likely completely fabricated by early Muslims as a competing narrative of "sacred history." However, the Qur'an is considered by Muslims to be a "holy book" not just on par with the Bible, but completely supplanting the Bible for its adherents. History is thereby reduced to competing stories. Muslims believe their stories are true and their "history" is accepted as an act of faith. The supremacist aspect, even in matters of historic truth, is very apparent.