Palestinian Authority distortion:
Jerusalem, Hebron, Atarot, Shechem, Ashkelon and Tel Aviv originally had Arabic names
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
An important aspect of Palestinian Authority policy, documented by Palestinian Media Watch, is to claim that the Jewish nation has no history in the land of Israel and at the same time claim an ancient Palestinian-Arab history in the land.
As part of this rewriting of history, a regular columnist on religious affairs in the official PA daily recently made the false claim that the Jews changed the original Arabic names of places in Israel into Hebrew names. Is'haq Feleifel cited six cities that he said originally had Arabic names, when in fact all of those names appear in the Hebrew Bible long before Arabic names were given:
Jerusalem, capital of the nation of Israel/Judea (1000 BCE - 70 CE), mentioned 670 times in the Hebrew Bible. First reference: Joshua 10:1;
The sixth city he mentioned, Tel Aviv, is also mentioned in the Bible [Ezekiel 3:15] as a location in Babylon where Jews settled after being exiled from Judea in 586 BCE. That name is the source for today's Tel Aviv. All these Biblical names predate by many years the names the PA religion teacher claims are the original Arabic names.
Hebron, first capital of the tribe of Judah, mentioned 73 times in the Hebrew Bible. First reference: Genesis 13:18;
Atarot, mentioned four times in the Hebrew Bible. First reference: Numbers 32:3;
Shechem, capital of Israel after the nation divided [922 BCE], mentioned 64 times in the Hebrew Bible (including a small number of references to two people of that name). First reference: Genesis 33:18;
Ashkelon, a Philistine city, mentioned nine times in the Hebrew Bible. First reference: Judges 1:18
The following is from the article by the official PA daily's columnist on religious affairs, Is'haq Feleifel:
"The great and exalted Allah commanded the angel Gabriel to place Muhammad upon the riding beast [named] Al-Buraq, which was a cross between horse and donkey. The night journey was both physical and spiritual... Once he [Muhammad] reached the Al-Aqsa Mosque, (PMW note: the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem was not yet built in the time of Muhammad. The "night journey" mentioned in the Quran is dated to 621 CE. The mosque was built on the Temple Mount by the son of Ummayad Caliph Abd Al-Malik 84 years later in 705 CE.) the angel Gabriel removed Muhammad from upon Al-Buraq's back, and then he tied the beast to the Al-Buraq rock, which was called the 'Al-Buraq Wall'. The Jews changed its name to the 'Wailing Wall', because the Jews are always trying to change Arabic names into Hebrew names, especially when it comes to prayer sites or names of towns and villages. For example, they call Al-Quds 'Jerusalem'; Al-Khalil [they call] 'Hebron'; Atara - 'Atarot, Nablus - 'Shechem', Tel Al-Rabi'a - 'Tel Aviv'(PMW note: 'Rabi'a' is the Arabic translation of the Hebrew word 'aviv', meaning 'spring'); Askelan - Ashkelon. There is not enough room to list all the names which have been replaced with false names. Even the 'Torah' falsified, changed and forged; this is the way of the Jews - they always try to change the real names to other, false names, in order to erase the [historical] facts."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 1, 2011]
In a second article fabricating an ancient Palestinian history, PA columnist Feleifel claimed that Palestinian history in the land of Israel dates back to the Biblical period, which is historically incorrect. He also wrote that Allah predetermined "Arab and Muslim ownership of Palestine" - meaning Islamic ownership of Israel.
The following is from the second article by the official PA daily's columnist on religious affairs, Is'haq Feleifel:
"The book I wrote a year ago is entitled Palestine Belongs to the Arabs and Muslims, According to the Testimony of the Sovereign of the Universe. This is a Quranic study based on the 'Night Journey' chapter, in which I proved the Arab and Muslim ownership of Palestine and reviewed Palestinian history since the period of the Canaanites, via the Edomites, Emorites, Midianites, Amalekites, Ibrahim bin Azar [the biblical Abraham] and Al-Khader [a reference to the prophet Elijah] in the Islamic sources."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 8, 2011]