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PA: "If I Forget Thee, Oh Jerusalem" First Said by Crusader

PA TV publicizes an Arab 'research' claim that Psalm 137 "If I forget three, o Jerusalem" was written by a crusader in the Middle Ages.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 6/10/2011, 1:39 PM / Last Update: 6/10/2011, 3:12 PM

Continuing its policy of denying Jerusalem's Jewish heritage the Palestinian Authority publicized the claims of an Arab researcher that the well-known ancient Hebrew psalm, "If I forget three, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill," is not Jewish at all, the Israeli research institute Palestininian Media Watch reports.

Instead, Dr. Hayel Sanduqa insists the words were uttered by a Christian Crusader, and have only recently been "borrowed" by Jews and "falsified in the name of Zionism."

The verse in question, from Psalm 137 of the Hebrew Bible, opens with the words: "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion." The researcher did not inform listeners of that fact.

Psalm 137, which mourns the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian army in 586 BCE, is part of Jewish tradition and liturgy since then  and has appeared in Jewish sources for thousands of years.

The oldest surviving manuscript of the Ketuvim, or 'Writings,' which includes the Hebrew Psalms, is dated between 175–164 BCE. It contains Psalm 137.

PMW says it has documented the PA policy of denying Israel's history, no matter how ludicrous such denials prove to be, as a means of denying Israel's right to exist as a nation. The PA often denies a Jewish temple ever existed in Jerusalem, calling it "the alleged Temple," possibly agreeing with Nazi leader Goebbel's oft-quoted remark that if a lie is repeated often enough as if it is truth, it will be believed.

The following are the words of Palestinian researcher Dr. Hayel Sanduqa on PA TV, claiming that the Hebrew Bible's psalm was actually first said by a Crusader:

"[The Israelis] have acted to change Jerusalem's character. Even the expression (Psalm 137:5) 'If I forget thee, oh Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember thee.'

"This statement, said by the Frankish [Crusader] ruler of Acre shortly before he left, was borrowed by the Zionist movement, which falsified it in the name of Zionism," Sanduqa said. [PA TV (Fatah), June 2, 2011 -Ed].