Claim: Temple Mount not Jewish

Top PA officials continue to deny Israel's connection to Judaism's most sacred spot in the world - the Temple Mount.

Hillel Fendel ,

The Holy Temple
The Holy Temple
Top PA officials continue to deny Israel's connection to Judaism's most sacred spot in the world - the Temple Mount.

The latest to do so is Ahmed Qurei, known also as Abu Ala, who has led and continues to lead Palestinian Authority negotiations with Israel. In a small media briefing this past Wednesday, Qurei said, "Israeli occupation authorities are trying to find a so-called Jewish historical connection between Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, but all these attempts will fail. The [Temple Mount] is 100 percent Muslim."

The remarks were reported by Aaron Klein of, one of only three journalists present for the briefing. The others, Klein reported, were an Arab affairs correspondent for a major Israeli newspaper and a reporter for PA newspaper Al-Ayam. The Israeli newspaper chose not to publish Qurei's remarks.

"The world must be mobilized against all these Israeli attempts to change the symbols and signs of Jerusalem," Qurei said. "There was no so-called Jewish Temple. It's imaginary. Jerusalem is 100 percent Muslim."

Qurei called on the Arab world in particular to "interfere to stop the Israeli plans in Jerusalem, to stop the Israeli attempts to create a Jewish character to Jerusalem and the Al Aqsa mosque. Also to the Old City, which is the first step in the war to defend Jerusalem and Al Aqsa."

"They are competing against time in order to create facts on ground in the surrounding imaginary Temple," added Qurei, who is considered a moderate by both the U.S. and Israeli governments.

The Temple and Judaism
As is well-known, the two Jewish Holy Temples stood on what is now known as the Temple Mount, or Mount Moriah, in Jerusalem long before the advent of Islam in the world.  King Solomon built the first one over 2,800 years ago, and King Cyrus of Persia allowed the construction of the second one approximately 500 years later; Islam is less than 1,400 years old.

The Second Temple was destroyed some 1,940 years ago, when the Jews were exiled by the Romans.

Jewish Law stipulates that Jerusalem must be remembered at weddings, new homes, and in many ceremonies and rituals - especially prayers, which are directed both physically and spiritually towards Jerusalem.

Waqf Debunks Claim
The Waqf itself - the Supreme Moslem Council of Jerusalem which now runs the Temple Mount day-to-day - has debunked the Moslem claim that the holy site is not Jewish - in a Temple Mount guide it published in 1925.

Though Islam claims Jerusalem to be its third-holiest city, after Mecca and Medina, it is not mentioned once in the Quran. Moslems do not pray towards Jerusalem - in fact, they turn their backsides on the Dome of the Rock when they bow down - nor is it mentioned by name in their prayers.