Inventing a New History of Islam's Presence in Jerusalem
Constructing a Counterfeit History of Jerusalem In"The Muslim Claim to Jerusalem," I focused on the intermittent and mostly instrumental Muslim interest in Jerusalem ("Politics, not religious sensibility, has fueled the Muslim attachment to Jerusalem for nearly fourteen centuries") and at the end of the long article included a section titled"Dubious claims" where I listed four historically doubtful claims promoting the Islamic claim to Jerusalem (the Islamic connection to Jerusalem is older than the Jewish; the Qur'an mentions Jerusalem; Muhammad actually visited Jerusalem; and Jerusalem has no importance to Jews).
In a stunning update and extension, Yitzhak Reiter has written a study of the first and last of these dubious claims for the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, a summary of which by Nadav Shragai is published today in Ha'aretz. He traces the development of a new Palestinian argument about Jerusalem, the main themes of which are that"the Arabs ruled Jerusalem thousands of years before the children of Israel" and"a denial and negation of the Jewish-Zionist narrative." The audacity of this specious presentation make the head spin. Here are a few, taken from the Shragai account:
It is dismaying to watch the construction of a counterfeit history as it happens. Not until the Palestinians are prepared to deal with reality millennia ago will they be ready to deal with reality today.
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