To understand the current events in Gaza, Jerusalem, Judea & Samaria, and the world’s reaction, it is important to understand the evolvement of the lies and distortions of history and truth that have been taking root in the hearts and minds of the Muslims and the world.
The Land of Ribat
Palestinians are being taught: Jerusalem is “land of Ribat” – holy Islamic land.
The Palestinian Authority has adopted the Hamas ideology of framing the conflict with Israel as a religious war for Allah. Jerusalem and all of the land of Israel are defined as “Ribat” – holy Islamic land – whose “liberation” and defense are said to be mandatory under Islamic law. The significance of the PA defining the conflict as “Ribat” is clear when reading how a PA schoolbook defines “Ribat”: “The Ribat for Allah is one of the actions related to Jihad …The persistence of Palestine’s people on their land in these days [i.e., Israel], and their persistence against the damage and the aggression they endure – is one of the greatest of the Ribat [fighting for Islamic land], and they [Palestinians] are worthy of a great reward from Allah…. they are found in Ribat until Resurrection.” [Islamic Education, grade 12, p. 86-87]
Since 2008, Palestinian leaders have frequently defined all of Israel, and particularly Jerusalem, as a land of “Ribat” – i.e., areas which Muslims have a religious obligation to defend and liberate for Islam. In the past, it was specifically Hamas that defined the conflict with Israel as a religious war. Now, the PA- Fatah leadership regularly presents its war against Israel as a religious battle for Islam. On Dec. 6, 2017, the day US President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, official PA radio and TV started rebroadcasting Abbas’ 2014 call for violence and they continued to rebroadcast it 41 times in the next 4 weeks.
Official PA radio station The Voice of Palestine – 28 times broadcasted between Dec. 6, 2017 – Jan. 1, 2018 and Official PA TV – 13 times broadcasted between Dec. 6, 2017 – Jan. 2, 2018 Abbas’ 2014 call for violence:
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: “We must all carry out Ribat in the Al Aksa [Mosque]… This is our Sanctuary, our Al Aksa and our Church [of the Holy Sepulchre]. They have no right to enter it. They have no right to defile it. We must prevent them. Let us stand before them with chests bared to protect our holy places.”
While this call for violence from 2014 by Abbas was repeatedly broadcast, the following 12 people were murdered:
- Oct 22, 2014 – Two Israelis were murdered in car ramming in Jerusalem: Chaya Zissel Braun (3 months); Karen Jemima Mosquera (22).
- Nov. 5, 2014 – Two Israelis were murdered in car ramming in Jerusalem: Jada’an Assad (38); Shalom Aharon Badani (17).
- Nov. 10, 2014 – Two Israelis were murdered in two separate stabbing attacks in Tel Aviv and in Gush Etzion south of Bethlehem: Almog Shilony (20); Dalia Lemkus (26).
- Nov 18, 2014 – Six Israelis were murdered in a Jerusalem synagogue during prayers: Avraham Shmuel Goldberg (68); Aryeh Kupinsky (43); Kalman Ze’ev Levine (55); Moshe Twersky (59); Zidan Seif (30). Haim (Howie) Rothman (55) died of his injuries on Oct. 24, 2015.
And the world was silent.
Palestinian Lies About Jerusalem and the Temple Mount
The Temple Mount has been Holy for three thousand years because it was chosen by God as the site of His Holy Temple. The Christians who conquered Jerusalem built churches there. Later, the Muslims who conquered Jerusalem called it the Noble Sanctuary and built their two Mosques on top of the site of the Jewish Temple.
Most of the problems surrounding Jerusalem can be traced to two areas of dispute. One is the political area that both Israel and the so-called Palestinians want Jerusalem to be their capital. The other and the most contentious problem is the holiness of Temple Mount to both Judaism and Islam.
Are Jerusalem and the Temple Mount as holy to the Muslims as it is to the Jews?
Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran and did not occupy any special role in Islam. In the Bible, it is mentioned many times and still is holy in Judaism.
Jerusalem’s role as “The Third Holiest Site in Islam” in mainstream Islamic writings does not precede the 20th century.
The Arab, Haj Amin al Husseini, who was appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by the British, introduced it to the Arab Muslims in the 1920s. The Mufti wanted to unite the Arab masses against the growing numbers of Jews arriving in the land. He, therefore, called the Arabs to a religious Muslim holy war with the clear Islamic slogan: “Down with the Infidels!” From the time he was appointed to the position of Mufti, Haj Amin put all his effort into raising Jerusalem’s status as an Islamic holy center by renovating the mosques on the Temple Mount, and conducting a great propaganda campaign against the Jewish “threat” to Moslem holy sites.
In his hatred of the Jews, the Grand Mufti falsely accused the Jews of attacking the Al Aksa mosque and killing Muslims as a pretext to attack them. He actually initiated the riots of Hebron and Jerusalem. Then the Muslims began massacring the Jews in Jerusalem, Hebron (67 killed) and other Jewish areas. Husseini later became a confidante of Adolph Hitler, urging him to bring his Jew-killing machine to Jerusalem during WWII. The only condition Husseini set for assisting the Nazis was that, after they win the war, they would murder all the Jews in Palestine. Yassir Arafat was a nephew of Uncle Haj Amin al-Husseini. Arafat was born in Cairo and took over the leadership of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization), which was established in 1964 by Gamal Abdul Nasser.
He spent a great deal of effort to bring the larger Arab nations into the conflict, using the false claim that the Temple Mount and all of Jerusalem belongs to Islam alone.
The Muslim “claim” to Jerusalem is based on a short account of an event mentioned in the Koran (Sura 17:1,) that doesn’t even mention Jerusalem once. It talks about the “furthest mosque”: “Glory be unto Allah who did take his servant for a journey at night from the Sacred Mosque to the Furthest Mosque,” Al-Masujidi al-Aqtza in Arabic. There isn’t any foundation to the Muslim argument that this “furthest mosque” (Al-Masujidi al-Aqtza) refers to what is today called the Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem since it did not exist for another three generations after his death. Muhammad planned to lure Jews to convert to Islam and gave orders that they face Jerusalem in Muslims’ prayers. However, when his efforts failed, he issued a strict prohibition on February 12, 624 CE against facing Jerusalem in prayer. He never regarded Jerusalem as sacred to Islam, only to Jews in their land.
The Temple: Beit Hamikdash
Under the Arab rule, in the 10th century, and until the last century the Arabic name used for Jerusalem was always “bet el maKDeS” – the Arabic name for Beit Hamikdash, the Hebrew name of the Holy Temple. But Islam has no Temple, only Judaism has.
The Arabic name for Jerusalem makes no reference to Muhammad’s trip to Heaven or a faraway mosque (Al Aksa) but rather refers to the Jewish Temple.
Early Islamic scholars, who had no political interest, interpreted Muhammad’s dream of flight to Al Aksa as a vision of an Islamic heavenly holy mosque in the courtyard of Allah in heaven. That, indeed, would be the “El Aktza” – the “furthest place” from earth.
The connection of the earthly Al Aksa Mosque, built by Khaliph El Malik on the site of the Jewish Temple to Muhammad’s night dream is purely a modern Islamic myth created to claim the Jewish Holy Temple Mount for Islam.
Serious Islamic scholars viewed the tale of Muhammad’s dream as a folk story (before there was ever an Al Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount.)
The Muslims continued to develop the myth through the years: In his dream, Muhammad flew on el-Buraq to the Seventh Heaven where he meets all the Jewish prophets, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses and even Yeshua/Jesus. They gave Muhammad the stamp of approval that he was to be the last and only prophet of God, and the charge from the prophets as the foundation for the new religion of Islam.
At that moment in his dream, he flies back to earth in an instant —The Muslim people have accepted many myths and interpretations of the Koran as they suit their needs.
Revision of the Myth
During the military campaign of Saladin, (a Muslim and a Kurd who conquered Jerusalem) in 1187 CE against the Christian Crusaders, the myth of Muhammad’s flight to a heavenly mystical Al Aksa was revised to state that his dream flight was to an earthly Al Aksa on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Saladin used the myth as a political excuse to attack the Christian infidel Crusaders who had previously conquered and occupied Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
A Brief History of the Muslim Claim to Jerusalem
After the destruction of Herod’s Temple by the Romans in 70 CE, and the institution of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine in 312 CE, there were several attempts by different emperors to build structures on the Temple Mount. In 613 CE, King Khosru II of Persia invaded Jerusalem and permitted the re-establishment of a Temple by building a holy altar on the Temple Mount.
In the early years of Muslim rule, when Jerusalem was conquered by Arab forces in May 638 CE, Caliph Umar declared the right of Jews (and others) to continue praying on the Temple Mount, without interference, in return for assistance in the taking over the city. Jews actually even received permission to build a small wooden structure on the Mount.
In the beginning stages, while the gradual change of the Mount into Islam’s third holiest site was in progress, it didn’t require a total exclusion of Jews from the location. The place remained active during most of the early Muslim period, and also from approximately 1100 CE up until the conquest of the Crusaders. There are even Hebrew writings found on the internal walls of the eastern Golden Gate written by Jewish pilgrims about 1,000 years ago that can still be seen today.
Before the days of Muhammad, the Christian Byzantine Empire conquered and occupied Jerusalem. They usually built their holy places on top of holy places they had conquered to show that both their armies and their religion were superior to those of their victims, and also to use it as a reason to convert them to their religion. That’s what the Christians did on the Temple Mount. Even under the threat of the death, the Jews refused to convert.
Muhammad, the creator of Islam died in Saudi Arabia in 632 CE, there were no mosques in Jerusalem in 632 CE.
Jerusalem was still a Christian city within the Byzantine Empire. In their quest to conquer the world for Islam, the Muslims, under Khalif Omar’s leadership captured Jerusalem in 638 CE, six years after Muhammad’s death. There were only churches in Jerusalem at that time, including a church in Byzantine architectural style built on the Temple Mount, called the Church of Saint Mary of Justinian.
In 691-692 CE the Dome of the Rock was built by Khalif Abd El Malik. About 20 years later, in or around 711 CE, about 80 years after Muhammad died, Malik’s son, Abd El-Wahd – who ruled from 705-715 CE converted the Christian-Byzantine Church of St. Mary on the Temple Mount into a mosque. He left the typical Byzantine “basilica” structure as it was, with a row of pillars on either side of the rectangular area in the center. All he added was a dome on top of the building to make it look like a mosque. He then named it Al Aksa, so it would sound like the one mentioned in the Koran. It is clear therefore that three generations after Muhammad’s death in Saudi, without any connection to the land of Israel or Jerusalem, the Muslims created a myth of the connection between the dream Muhammad had in the middle of the night about this “farthest mosque” and Jerusalem.
Later on, under the occupation of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, subsequent Ottoman rulers invested little to no effort in the upkeep of the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aksa Mosque, there was never any record or precedent of Muslim clerics ever visiting the Temple Mount or of evicting Jews from those places.
In 1929, while under the British Mandate rule, the Arabs responded to Husseini’s “rumor” and rioted in Jerusalem, and many cities of what was then British Mandate Palestine. The Arabs murdered a total of 133 Jews, wounding more than 300 wherever they could find them. In Hebron 67-69 Jews were murdered, with 58 wounded and women were raped; in Safed 18-20 were murdered with 80 wounded.
In 1947, after the UN suggested the partition of the land between the Jews and the Arabs, the Saudis called the Muslims to “Jihad” holy war against the Jews of Israel in a “Fatwa” (religious ruling) supposedly to save the Al Aksa mosque on the Temple Mount from the Jews. The day after Israel was declared a new nation, all the Arab nations around Israel attacked the newborn State of Israel. Miraculously, Israel won the war of Independence but lost East Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, and Judea and Samaria, which remained in Jordanian hands… Jews were forbidden to visit the holy sites under the Jordanian rule.
However, only since 1967, after Israel won the six-day war and liberated the old city of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, Yassir Arafat started to claim that Jerusalem is the Muslim’s third holiest city and invented another myth, of a non-people (the Palestinians) as a nation with a history. Although the fact is that Jerusalem was never the capital city of any Muslim nation, now this newly created people, the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.
While under the control of the Muslims, before 1967, the Temple Mount was a neglected site. The crowds of Muslims didn’t fill the place until the leaders started the propaganda that Jerusalem is their third holiest city.
The 13th Century Arab biographer Yakut wrote: “Mecca is holy to Muslims; Jerusalem is holy to the Jews.”
There is a religious war raging against the Jewish people, the Jewish State of Israel and Israel’s 3000 year old Eternal Capital, Jerusalem.
The Arabs’ claim to the Holy Jewish Temple Mount and Jerusalem is based upon one extraordinarily huge lie told over and over again. The Nazi Goebbels said, “If the lie is big enough and told often enough, it will be believed.”
At the time of Muhammad, In order to convert Jews to Islam, he used the trick of a temporary truce (permitted in Islam) to make a treaty with the Jewish Koraish tribe. But, in 628 CE at the Khaidar Oasis, Muhammad killed them. Arafat often claimed that the Oslo Treaty was similar to that treaty which Muhammad violated with impunity when he became militarily stronger.
Muhammad never mentioned the word Jerusalem in his completion of Islam’s holy book, the Koran, and directed the Muslim “quibla” (prayers) to Mecca. A visit of a Muslim to Jerusalem was called a “ziyara”, unlike the holy pilgrimage to Mecca, which was called by the honorific “Haj”. A Muslim who made the mandatory pilgrimage to Mecca was allowed to add the honorable “Haj” to his name.
For Muhammad, Jerusalem was a despised place of the Jews and had no place in his vision for his Islamic religion.
Muhammad spent his early years among the Jewish tribes particularly in and around Yathrib (Medina). It was, therefore, not unusual for Muhammad to include a pilgrimage to Mecca since the Jews were commanded to make three pilgrimages to Jerusalem each year on Sukkot, Pesach, and Shavuot. There is much in the Koran that finds its source in the Jewish Bible.
Yassir Arafat’s Claim
The Jewish pilgrimages were the basis of Yassir Arafat’s claim to the Jewish Temple Mount (and to all of Jerusalem) as the third holiest place for Islam after Mecca and Medina. He called his terrorism against Israeli Jews, the Aksa “intifada” (uprising) and renamed the Western Wall: the “El-Buraq Wall”. The Muslim “Waqf” (caretakers of the holy sites) have been excavating and destroying all evidence of Jewish artifacts under the Temple Mount, and Arafat claimed there is nothing in, on or under the Temple Mount to prove its Jewish history. The Arabs’ massive excavation under the Temple Mount is about more than removing all traces of Jewish presence but was a virtual displacement by Arafat of the Jewish religion to Islam.
Unfortunately, the Israeli Prime Minister at that time, Ehud Barak, did not object to this de-Judaizing of the Jewish Temple and didn’t stop these illegal excavations.
Arafat proclaimed almost daily from the time of the signing of the Oslo Accords, that “With the children of the stones, I will fight until all of Israel is the new State of Palestine and its flag flies over the churches and mosques of Jerusalem, the capital of that State and only that State.” Arafat and the Arab nations took the liberty of incorporating a distorted mythical folktale into the substance of their religion’s claim on the Jewish Temple Mount and of all Jerusalem. The World Media and the Nations hostile to Israel as a Jewish State accepted this El-Buraq myth* and its attendant lies which supported Arafat’s claims, justifying the displacement of the Jews. Arafat undertook the task of literally erasing the past of the Jews. In essence, denying the use of the Jewish name for Temple Mount he delegitimized the reason for having a Jewish State. His successors continue this legacy up to the present.
On April 15, 2016, the executive council of UNESCO adopted a new resolution that specifically called the Western Wall only by a Muslim name (ignoring any Jewish ties to the holy site). When the text mentions the Western Wall Plaza, they used the Arabic “Al-Buraq Plaza” as its official name. Further in the resolution, only the Arabic term for the Temple Mount, Al Aksa Mosque/Al-Haram al-Sharif, is used.
The PA (and the UN) doesn’t want any connection to the Jewish name “Temple Mount” that will admit the existence of the actual temple. They fear that the Jew might desire to build a third temple sometime in the future. Therefore any Jewish ties must be somehow delegitimized. If they succeed in erasing the Jewish holy sites from existence, it will be much easier to eliminate Israel from existence.
The Truth according to the Word of God and History
In the Word
Jerusalem is mentioned in the Bible 811 times – not once in the Koran;
- The word “Zion” refers to Jerusalem 152 times;
- Jerusalem is called the “holy city” 10 times and the “city of God” twice;
- It is called the “city of truth” and
- “the city of the great King” and
- “the city of Judah” and also
- the “city of David.”
It has PRIORITY above all cities.
- Psalm 48:2 – “the joy of the whole earth, the city of the great King.”
- Psalm 137:5 refers to it as “my chief joy.” Psalm 87:2 says, “The
- LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.”
- Its PRAISE in the earth
- Isaiah 62:7 – “give Him no rest, till He establish,
- And till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”
Its PLACE in Jewish history
- The place where Abraham was blessed by a king and priest named Melchizedek over 4000 years ago – Genesis 14:18-19
- The place where Adonizedek was king when Joshua entered the land – Joshua 10:1
- The place which was given to the tribe of Judah by Joshua – Joshua 15:1, 8
- The place which Judah and Benjamin could not conquer from the Jebusites – Joshua 15:63; Judges 1:21
- The place which King David took from the Jebusites 3000 years ago – II Samuel 5:4-9
- The place where King David purchased the site of the Temple Mount from Aravnah the Jebusite and built an altar there – II Samuel 24:18-25
- The place where King David ruled for 33 years
- The place where King Solomon built the temple – II Chronicles. 3:1
- The place where King Solomon ruled for 40 years – I Kings 11:42
- The place where the kings of Judah ruled for over 400 years and the place where they were buried.
- The place where Babylon under King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city and its temple in 586 BCE – II Kings 24:10, 14; 25:9-10.
- The place to which Jewish captives returned through the kindness of Cyrus, King of Persia.
- The place where Jewish refugees came under the leadership of Ezra, Nehemiah, Zerubbabel, and Joshua the high priest and rebuilt the city and its walls.
- The place where Antiochus Epiphanes of the Seleucid dynasty defiled the rebuilt temple, and a great Jewish revolt took place under Judas Maccabeus and cleansed the temple, giving us the celebration of Hanukkah – in the middle of the 2nd century BC…
In order to understand the situation in the Middle East in the present, we have examined the past. History plainly shows how and why the enemies of Israel have contrived to reinvent Islam to suit their political aspirations.
- There was no focus on Jerusalem in Islam until the 19th – 20th century.
- There was no people group called Palestinians until the 20th century.
- There is no early “history” of a people called Palestinians.
- There is no “history” whatsoever of Jerusalem in Islam.
Ultimately, this is a spiritual war. The Muslim people involved are just pawns enslaved for the purpose of destruction. It bears all of the earmarks of an invention of satan, once again, to destroy the mark of God’s presence on the earth: the Chosen Land and the Chosen People.