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PA: Western Wall Was 'not Jewish’ until 16th Century C.E.

The Palestinian Authority’s rewriting of the Bible reaches a new peak, or low, with a “scientific study” denying Jewish claims to the Western Wall.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 11/22/2010, 7:51 PM / Last Update: 11/22/2010, 8:03 PM

Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority’s rewriting of the Bible has reached a new peak – or low – with a “scientific study” claiming that Jews did not begin to claim a connection to the Western Wall (Kotel) until 500 years ago.

The Western Wall, also known in pre-State times as the “Wailing Wall,” is the outer wall of the Second Temple compound, the only remaining structure from the compound,  and has been a symbol of the deepest connection between most of the Jewish world, both religious and secular, and Judaism for two  thousand years following the destruction of the Second Temple on the 9th of the Jewish month of Av  in 70 C.E. From that date until the present, Jews came to mourn at the Wall, including the Spanish Jewish poet and philosopher Yehudah Halevi who is believed to have been killed while praying there in 1141.

However, “Jews did not worship at the Wailing Wall at any time until the Balfour Declaration of 1917," according to a report on the “study” posted by the PA Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information D. Mutawakkil Taha.

Writing on the official PA website, he added that the report quotes the “Jewish Encyclopedia, published in 1917” that “the Western Wall became part of the Jewish religious tradition around the year 1520, as a result of Jewish immigration from Spain, after the Ottoman conquest the year 1517... This was not part of the wall of the so-called Jewish Temple.”

Jews do not claim the Wall is part of the Temple building, but of the compound surrounding it..

The Ministry of Information also stated that a basis for the study’s denial of an ancient Jewish connection to the Western Wall is a Reform Judaism leader's comment that “there is no sanctity to the Western Wall in Judaism.”

The study also leans on one alleged opinion based on the “Biblical Criticism” theory that regards the Bible as an historical document and rejects much of 2,500 years of translations and interpretations by revered rabbinic sages.

The report concludes that the “Occupying Power” of Israel has practiced "racism" and has conducted “massacres against the Wailing Wall and the Islamic and Christian sanctities.

“Nor can any Muslim or Arab or Palestinian, for whatever reason, give up a single stone or piece of dust from the Wailing Wall or other holy places, because that would be a concession on the Temple Mount, Jerusalem and the holy sites.”

The PA report was published one day after the Palestinian Authority castigated approval by the Israeli Cabinet for a multi-million dollar tourist center at the Western Wall area. The Palestinian Authority sad the plan was illegal because the area is claimed by the PA.

The Temple Mount site itself is the holiest site in Judaism, but the Arab world the past several years has conducted a campaign the past several years to deny Biblical accounts of the Jewish First and Second Temples.

The campaign also has included rewriting interpretations of the Bible, claiming that the “Binding of Isaac” actually was the “binding of Ishmael,” the forefather Abraham’s first son by the maidservant of his wife Sarah, who later gave birth to Isaac.

Muslim clerics, despite protests by Israeli archaeologists, also have removed tons of debris from the Temple Mount area as part of an effort to eliminate any discoveries of remnants of the First and Second Temples.