Mahmoud Abbas: Jerusalem only has Islamic and Christian history
Israel's "Judaization" is stealing Jerusalem's
"cultural, human, and Islamic-Christian
Mahmoud Abbas' advisor:
with a Jewish spirit at the expense
of its [Jerusalem's] true and authentic [identity]
as an Arab, Islamic and Christian city"
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority continue to deny Israel's 3,000 years of history in Jerusalem, claiming it is solely an Arab, Muslim and Christian city. Earlier this month, Abbas referred to Israel's presence and activities in Jerusalem as "Judaization" and stated that Israel is stealing what he called the "cultural, human, and Islamic-Christian religious history."
Last month, Abbas' advisor for Jerusalem said that Israel is trying "to create an artificial heritage with a Jewish spirit at the expense of its true and authentic [identity] as an Arab, Islamic and Christian city."
This is not the first time that Abbas has denied Jewish history in Jerusalem and claimed the city for Islam alone. Palestinian Media Watch has reported that Mahmoud Abbas said that taking Jerusalem from Israel is a religious Islamic obligation of the highest level, a "fard ayn" - a personal Islamic commandment incumbent on every Muslim:
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In a different speech, Abbas said in 2010:
Abbas' Minister of Religion Mahmoud Al-Habbash claimed that Jerusalem has been "throughout history, the capital of the Palestinian state and the capital of the Palestinian people."
Neither claim is correct. There has never been a Palestinian state and Jerusalem was never the capital of an Arab or Muslim state. Nonetheless, the minister warned there would be religious war over Jerusalem:
The Palestinian Authority Mufti Muhammad Hussein likewise recently denied Jewish history in Jerusalem:
The following are the recent statements by Mahmoud Abbas and his advisor on Jerusalem, followed by Abbas' earlier comments and the remarks of the Minister of Religion:
"President Mahmoud Abbas held a series of meetings in Tunis... the President met with the Arab ambassadors to Tunisia... He explained to the guests the policies that are being adopted by the occupation authorities (i.e., Israel) - Judaization, destruction of homes, causing the emigration of Palestinian inhabitants, and imposition of high taxes; the continued excavations under the Al-Aqsa Mosque; [and he explained] the need for Arab cohesion in order to protect what remains of the holy city, and the [Israeli] attempts to steal its cultural, human, and Islamic-Christian religious history."
"Advisor on Jerusalem affairs to the Palestinian President's Office, Ahmed Al-Ruweidi... said: 'Israel is managing to seize the land in the city; at the same time, the chances of maintaining its Arab and Islamic identity are small, since the occupation authorities are carrying out the 2020 plan, which is meant to establish the Jewishness of Jerusalem and to create a new and fabricated facade with an artificial heritage... about Jewish existence in Jerusalem... It is not befitting a city with the importance of Jerusalem, with what it represents, that it should continue to be subject to occupation... and that there should be repeated, ongoing attempts to change its geographical, demographic and cultural characteristics, and to create an artificial heritage with a Jewish spirit at the expense of its true and authentic [identity] as an Arab, Islamic and Christian city.'"
Mahmoud Abbas, addressing the leaders of Arab countries at the Arab League summit in Libya, on March 27, 2010:
"I say to the leaders of our Arab nation and to its peoples: Jerusalem and its environs are a trust that Allah entrusted to us. Saving it [Jerusalem] from the settlement monster and the danger of Judaization and [land-] confiscation, is a personal [Islamic] commandment [Arabic: fard ayn] incumbent on all of us. Therefore, I call all of you to serious and urgent action to save [Jerusalem] and to make available all possibilities in order to strengthen our resolve and to maintain its historical, cultural and religious character."
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Mahmoud Al-Habbash, PA Minister of Religious Affairs with Mahmoud Abbas in the audience:
"Jerusalem is not just a city. Al-Aqsa is not just a mosque. Jerusalem is the key to peace, and Jerusalem can ignite a thousand and one wars. Unless the issue of Jerusalem is solved, so that it returns to its owners; unless Jerusalem will be Palestinian, as it was throughout history, the capital of the Palestinian state and the capital of the Palestinian people, the place which is the object of heartfelt longing and which all Muslims aspire to reach; unless Jerusalem is like that way, there is no peace. There is no peace without Jerusalem. There is no stability without Jerusalem. If Jerusalem is dishonored, if Jerusalem is disgraced, if [Jerusalem] is lost, it may leave the door open to all possibilities of struggle, all possibilities of war. The term 'war' cannot be erased from the lexicon of this region as long as Jerusalem is occupied, as long as Jerusalem is disgraced, as long as the residents of Jerusalem are being targeted. It's not possible; Jerusalem has to return to its owners. And we are its owners."