Razor's Edge: No Muslim Claim to Jerusalem

Razor's Edge: No Muslim Claim to Jerusalem

Opinion

On an ancient battlefield in the Middle East, between 600 and 900 men are marched out from their besieged city. The defeated are the Banu Qurayza, an ancient Jewish tribe, and their conquerors are the Muslims under direct command of the prophet Mohammed.

At the mercy of Muslim blades, Mohammed chose a lieutenant, Sad Muadh, to arbitrate the fate of the Jews. “I decree that the men be killed, the property be divided, and the women with their children be made captives,” proclaimed Sad. Mohammed was pleased with this decree and announced, “Thou hast decided according to the will of Allah, above the seven firmaments.”

The Muslims held captive the Jews while mass graves were dug in the market-place. Once the graves were dug, the Jews were sent for and had their heads struck off. The heads and bodies were piled in the trenches, until every last Jew had been executed.

Amid the massacre, a man of the Banu Qurayza turned and defiantly shouted at his executioners, “It matters not! By God's will, the children of Israel were destined for this massacre!” The man then sat down, waited quietly, and had his head struck from his shoulders.

It was in the aftermath of this primordial battlefield that Mohammed was propelled to political primacy in Medina, and it was here the eternal hatred of Muslims for Jews was born in blood.

In a long overdue declaration, President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Arab Muslims of the region, so-called “Palestinians”, announced a “day of rage” in response to affirmation of historical and biblical fact. Al Jazeera, a propaganda apparatus for the Muslim world, ran the headline: “Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.” Go ahead and read it, you won’t learn anything new or valuable. You might even get a laugh out of it once you finish this article and understand why it’s hilarious — and a little terrifying — Al Jazeera insists the history of Jerusalem began in the 1960’s.

That so many Westerners have wholeheartedly bought into the notion that Arab Muslims have any claim to the land of Israel whatsoever, is testament to the effectiveness of the propaganda we have all been fed for far too long. Twitter is awash with “#JerusalemIsTheCapitalofPalestine.” I suppose propaganda is acceptable so long as it’s sympathetic to the cause of Islamists.

“Israel is an apartheid state founded on the illegal occupation of Palestine…” Bold claims, from this "historian, activist & museum worker." This is as good a place as any to begin untangling the lie of the Muslim claim to Israel and Jerusalem. So, what constitutes the name “Palestine”?

Palestine does not take it’s name after the Arabs who petulantly occupy the West Bank and Gaza today. Is that surprising? It shouldn't be. Before it was Palestine, before even Christ, it was the “Land of Canaan” — named after the nomadic Semitic-speaking Canaanites.

In the Jewish Pentateuch — what Christians know as the first five books of the Bible — the conquest and renaming of the Land of Canaan to the “Land of Israel” heralded the realization of the Promised Land by the Israelites.

It existed as Eretz Yisrael, Land of Israel, until the time of the Jewish Kings Ezra and Nehemiah, when it was known as “Judea.”

Palestine or in Arabic, "Filastin", does not appear in the Koran. However, the Hebrew term for Palestine, "peleshet", appears in the Jewish Tanakh at least 250 times; that peleshet roughly translates to “rolling” or “migratory” is a perhaps a cosmic irony. Moreover, Jerusalem is mentioned in the Torah nearly 700 times, and in the Koran? Not once. There is not a single reference to Jerusalem in the Koran, because Muslims have no claim to there.

Palestine was a term used to describe the Philistines, the Aegean people who resided northeast of modern-day Egypt, more closely related to the Greeks, and virtually not at all related to Arabs who claim the title today by squatter’s rights. The Philistines conquered the region of the Levant we know today as Israel and Gaza in the 12th century BCE.

After Emperor Hadrian crushed the revolt of Shimon Bar Kokhba, Judea was merged with the province of Roman Syria to create Roman Palestina. Jerusalem was renamed Aelia Capitolina by Hadrian, and became a colony of the pagan Romans to be inhabited by his legionaries. In renaming the region Palestina, after the Philistines, the Romans did so deliberately and out of spite to augur the end of Jewish sovereignty, and dissociate Jewish identity from the land of Israel.

Control of Palestina would change hands from the pagan Romans to the Christian Byzantine Empire, then rested briefly in the hands of the Zoroastrian Persian Empire — before shifting yet again to the Byzantine Empire. You may have noticed a distinct lack of Arab Muslims in the story so far, and that's because they didn't jump into the picture until 636 CE.

The siege of the Rashidun Caliphate against the Byzantines ended with the conquest of the land of Israel, the capture of Jerusalem, and the ascendancy of Islamic rule in Palestina. The Arabs had no name of their own for this region, thus they adopted the Greco-Roman name Palestina, pronounced in Arabic as “Filastin.” Though they appropriated the name, the Arab Muslims of the region shared no historical, linguistic, or ethnic relation to the Philistines for whom the name was coined.

The Arab Muslims of Palestina did not form an independent state, let alone a nation. Though it is true that a contingent of Arabs were resentful of their Ottoman Turk overlords — enough that they attempted to revolt, backed by the British during WWI — they shared an ideological commonality in Islam, as much as they shared an illegitimate claim to the land of Israel.

Even so, the Ottoman Turks and many other Arabs regarded the region with a degree of ambivalence, referring to the land simply as “Southern Syria”, or Suriyya al-Janubiyya, as it constituted the southern portion of Ottoman Syria. "It is common knowledge that Palestine is nothing but southern Syria,” said Ahmed Shukairy to the United Nations Security Council in 1956.

It wasn't until after World War I, after the British took the territory from the Ottomans, that the region became known as “Palestine”, under British Mandate. During the Mandate, Jews in the region were known as “Palestinians.”

It is a sad fact of history that the Mandate came with a broken promise, one conceived by the British during the first World War. Professor Ira L. Shafiroff writes,

...to garner Jewish support for the war effort, the British issued the “Balfour Declaration,” authored by Britain’s Foreign Secretary, stating that Great Britain would work toward reestablishing a Jewish homeland “in Palestine,” which was understood to mean historic Palestine, encompassing both sides of the Jordan River.
 
The British backtracked from their promise to the Jews, however, and retained full control of Palestine, but not before splitting the land east of the Jordan River off as another independent Arab nation, Trans-Jordan, as a reward to the Hashemite tribes for supporting Britain. Importantly, for the first time in history, Palestine was severed, leaving under British control only 25 percent of historic Palestine, what came to be known as “Mandatory Palestine.”

Following centuries of dispossession, the first Jewish settlement would appear, Merhavia, in the Jezreel Valley of so-called Mandatory Palestine.

However, the British incrementally restricted where Jews could live, work, farm, build, or even buy land in their tiny patch of Mandatory Palestine. By 1939, the White Paper effectively froze Jewish immigration to Palestine. In 1907, Jerusalem had 40,000 Jews; 13,000 Christians and 7,000 Muslims. The White Paper decreed:

it is necessary that the Jewish community in Palestine should be able to increase its numbers by immigration. This immigration cannot be so great in volume as to exceed whatever may be the economic capacity of the country at the time to absorb new arrivals. It is essential to ensure that the immigrants should not be a burden upon the people of Palestine as a whole, and that they should not deprive any section of the present population of their employment.

Thus, on the eve of World War II — at a time when Jews needed sanctuary more than ever — the British restricted Jewish immigration to their homeland, while simultaneously turning a blind eye to the massive influx of Arabs into Western Palestine from Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and North Africa. As a result of British mandate, the number of Arabs in Western Palestine tripled by 1947 compared to population numbers in 1900.

Here it was, in the shadow of World War II, that the myth of the Arab claim to the land of Israel, of Jerusalem, was born. The Arabs went as far as insisting the land of Israel simply never was, that the Jews have no claim to the soil predetermined by the god Abraham as the Promised Land. "There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not,” argued professor Philip Hitti, an Arab historian to the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry, in 1946.

In 1948, when Palestine was partitioned by the British into a Jewish and Arab state, the Arabs responded with war, seizing much of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Old City. The Arabs slaughtered Jews and drove the rest to flee while the UN looked on. It was this Arab veto of peace that created the “Palestinian” refugee crisis. Dumisani Washington says for PragerU:

After Israel gained its independence in May of 1948, the surrounding Arab nations attacked the new Jewish state. As a result about 700,000 Arabs living in Israel fled. Many left because of the war, and many did because they were told by Arab leaders to leave the Jewish areas. The idea was that they would return once the Jews and their state had been destroyed.

Khalid al Azm, the Syrian Prime Minister in 1948-49, admitted this Arab role in persuading Palestinians to leave. In his memoirs, he wrote: “Since 1948, we have been demanding the return of the refugees to their homes. But we ourselves are the ones who encouraged them to leave.” That's how the Arab, later re-named Palestinian, refugee crisis was created.

At present, the Jewish people have agreed to a two-state solution on five occasions, while the Arabs have consistently rejected a peaceful solution — responding instead with all-out war or terrorism. The reality is that Israel is not the homeland of Arab Muslims who call themselves Filastins, and Jerusalem is not holy to Muslims.

Morton A. Klein, National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), writes:

Whatever form a final peace deal may one day take, there is no morally just, religiously or factually based, or legally sound reason to dignify the falsified, fabricated Muslim claims to Jerusalem.

The fabrication that Jerusalem is holy to Islam impedes peace, instigates bloodshed, promotes a historic lie, and denies Judaism’s religious, historic and legal rights. It’s time to set the record straight.

This is not about legality, or dignity, or history, or even the settlements — because the facts are on the side of the Jews in every case. This is and has always been about the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people. In 2016, senior Hamas official Khalil Al-Haya declared:

We will not recognize Israel because it will inevitably go away, and we will not backtrack on the option of armed struggle until the liberation of all Palestine. Since its establishment, Hamas has been—and will remain—a Palestinian Islamic national and resistance movement whose goal is to liberate Palestine and confront the Israeli project. The liberation of the Gaza Strip is just the first step toward the liberation of Palestine—all Palestine. There is no future for the Israeli entity on our homeland.
Jewish nationalism is the promise; Israeli nationalism makes it possible.

In 2017, when two Israeli police officers were killed in Jerusalem, Israel set up security cameras and metal detectors for additional safety measures. Muslims responded in typical fashion with their “days of rage.” When the Israelis conceded, taking down the cameras and metal detectors to appease Muslims, Palestinian Authority (PA) foreign minister Riad Malki announced the “issue is not metal detectors or cameras, but who is in charge and who has sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The battle over Jerusalem has just begun.”

Israel is the Promised Land because it was decreed so by the god of Abraham. Jerusalem is holy to the Jews because it was predestined by the god of Abraham as such. The Jews call Israel home because it was destined as such before man, before time. The Arab Muslims have their homes in Jordan, Egypt, Syria, North Africa, and the other 22 Arab states of the world — the Jews have only the dream of Israel. PhD scholar and journalist Moshe Dann writes,

Jewish nationalism envisions the mission of the Jewish people; Israeli nationalism offers the potential for its realization.
 
Jewish nationalism is the promise; Israeli nationalism makes it possible. Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria not only embody Jewish and Israeli nationalism, they are essential to Israel’s physical and spiritual survival.
 
Jewish nationalism and Israeli sovereignty are the social contract of the Jewish people with Eretz Yisrael.

Muslims make their pilgrimage to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia; the Jews to Jerusalem, in Israel. Muslims do not face to Jerusalem when they pray, they face to Mecca; Jews pray to Jerusalem. Conceivably, some may point to Mohammed's vision that supposedly instructed him to journey "to heaven on his steed Buraq from 'Al Aqsa' –the 'farthest mosque.'"

However, that vision (hallucination) simply could not have been referring to Jerusalem, because the farthest mosque "could not possibly have meant Jerusalem" and "because the Koran refers to Palestine as the 'nearest' place", writes Klein. Moreover, Klein points out that Jerusalem was a central crossroads in the "Middle East – not a 'farthest' place" and "Jerusalem’s eventual 'Al Aqsa Mosque' was built long after the Koran and the Hadith were written."

"The mosque was named 'Al Aqsa' after the fact, to create a myth about the location of Mohammed’s dream," writes Klein.

Jerusalem has never been the capital of any other people beside the Jews, Israel has never been the homeland of any other people beside the Jews. That Muslims have repeatedly neglected or abandoned the region — while Jews hold on, in wretched conditions — should be proof enough that Muslims have never held sacred or have a legitimate claim to Israel or Jerusalem.

The war of misinformation, which Europe has shamefully obliged, of revisionist and buried history, is a continuation of the war Mohammed began centuries ago against the Jewish people. For the West to stand with Israel against the lies of the Muslim world is not interventionism, it is affirmation of fact.

As Klein writes for the ZOA:

The fabrication that Jerusalem is holy to Islam impedes peace, instigates bloodshed, promotes a historic lie, and denies Judaism’s religious, historic and legal rights. It’s time to set the record straight.
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