February 14, 2007

The Palestinians' blind eye to history

Via National Post-Canada:

The Israel-Palestine conflict presented its contorted face to Canada with a steaming, hysterical anger last week. In Jerusalem a bus full of unsuspecting Canadian tourists was attacked by rock-wielding Palestinian youths.

Palestinians and their Muslim comrades in other countries have turned to violence. They complain that the Israelis are rebuilding a ramp that connects to the Temple Mount.

The last remaining icon of the ancient Jewish Temple, the Wailing Wall, is at the very epicenter of Judaism. The Israelites under King David conquered Jerusalem around 1000 BCE and rebuilt and expanded the city. David's son Solomon built the great Jewish Temple and it stood for half a millennium until destroyed by the Babylonians.

It was rebuilt and remained in place until the Roman defeat of the Jewish uprising in 70 CE. Muslim forces arrived, very much as latecomers, in 638 CE. Shortly afterwards, Caliph Umar asked the Christian Patriarch Sophronius to show him the exact spot of the Jewish Temple. It was here that the al-Aqsa Mosque would be built.

But according to the Palestinian leadership there was no Temple. This is the mythology driving the stone-wielding Palestinians. In spite of irrefutable evidence to the contrary, many in the Muslim world refuse to accept that the Jews have any historical claim to live in Israel and continue to deny that the Temple of Jewish, Christian and secular history ever existed.

In other words, the world is flat if it suits one's political purposes.