Ibish and Ha'Ivri
Ibish and Ha'IvriArutz Sheva photo: Shomron Liaison Office

The Bible is an “ancient holy book” that is irrelevant to the Palestinian Authority's aim to take over all of Judea and Samaria from the Jews, a PA activist said in a rare debate last week with a “settler” in a Washington synagogue.

The Bible is full of “medieval” traditions that should not be considered or influence decisions on whether or not to create the Palestinian Authority as an independent state within Israel’s borders, Dr. Hussein Ibish, Senior Fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, said in the debate with David Ha’Ivri, director of the Shomron (Samaria) Liaison Office.

His comment is at odds with Palestinian Authority Muslim clerics who claim that Jews have “stolen” the Temple Mount, Rachel’s Tomb  and other holy Jewish sites, which they say have no connection with Jews. The clerics have argued the sites' alleged connections with Islam, a religion which did not exist in Biblical times and which was not founded until centuries after the Holy Temples were built and approximately 2,000 years after the matriarch Rachel died. The Koran has many excerpts from the Bible.

Ibish’s comments were in answer to Ha’Ivri’s statement that Jerusalem is mentioned over 800 times in the Bible and not at all in the Koran and that most of the Biblical narrative relates to events in Judea and Samaria.

The live debate on the subject “Palestinian State or Jewish Homeland?” came less than two  months before the Arab League is expected to ask the United Nations to recognize “Palestine” as an independent country based on the Arab world’s territorial and political demands, which deny recognizing Israel as a “Jewish” state.

Ibish, born in Lebanon and a self-described agnostic, has campaigned on American campuses as executive director of the American Task Force for Palestine. He co-authored an article in the Huffington Post last week claiming that the United Nations “Council failed to implement Resolution 181,” recommending the partition of Palestine into two separate states, one Jewish and one Arab.

According to Ibish’s account of history, the declaration of the re-establishment of Israel led to the “the intervention by five Arab armies in what was already a raging communal civil war in Palestine.

By all accounts, Arab forces waged war against Jews in Israel well before the United Nations Partition Plan and immediately attacked Jews afterwards.

Ibish's article also avoided all mention of Arab terror when he described the “peace efforts” from the Oslo Accords in 1993 to the American Roadmap plan in 2003.