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PA Educational Lies By: Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
Palestinian Media Watch | Tuesday, October 24, 2006

During the month of Ramadan, Palestinian Authority television programs focus on religious themes. But even within these programs, PA TV inserts political, hate and violence messages directed at Israel. PA TV is run by the office of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

One significant message that has been strongly emphasized by repeated broadcasting of the same programs is the denial of Israel’s right to exist. One program, which recently appeared on PA TV three times in the course of a single week, features Dr. Hassan Khader, founder of the Al Quds Encyclopedia, who argues that the Jews have no ancient historical connection to the Western Wall of the Temple. He teaches:

"The first connection of the Jews to this site began in the 16th Century... The Jewish connection to this site is a recent connection, not ancient… like the roots of the Islamic connection… Who would have believed that the Israelis would arrive 1400 years [after the beginning of Islam], conquer Jerusalem and would make this wall into their special place of worship, where they worship and pray?”

The true name of the Western Wall of the Temple, according to the PA academic, is really the Al Buraq Wall – named after Muhammad’s horse which was tied to the wall – according to an Islamic tradition that attempts to honor Jerusalem.

Finally, Khader praises all the violence and death the Palestinians have initiated to prevent Jews’ access to the Western Wall and Temple Mount, from the beginning of the 20th century until now, and indicates that it will continue if Jews insist on the right to the Western Wall.

The following are excepts from his interview:

Khader: “The issue of the Al-Buraq Wall [Western Wall – renamed by Muslims "Buraq Wall" after Muhammad's horse] is one of the wonders which we don’t know why it happened in this order [of historical events]. Who would have believed, back then, when Islam began in the time of the prophet, who would have believed that the Israelis would arrive 1400 years later, conquer Jerusalem and would make this wall into their special place of worship, where they worship and pray? It’s incredible! We did not invent this place, the Al-Buraq Wall. Know that this wall is the only one of the four walls of the Al-Aqsa Mosque - the Mosque has four sides - this wall is the only one that carries an Islamic name since the beginning of Islam. Allah, praise Him, gave Al-Aqsa its name, and the Al-Buraq Wall was named by the Prophet… The Al-Buraq Wall is the station, similar to a space station, where Al-Buraq [Muhammad’s horse] landed. This is the place where Al-Buraq landed and the prophet tied Al-Buraq [to the wall].

[PMW note: The Quran (Sura 17) writes that Muhammad took a Night Journey from the Mosque in Mecca to "The Farthest Mosque" (Al-Aqsa in Arabic) initially understood to indicate heaven. After the Islamic conquest of Jerusalem, Muslims, trying to honor Jerusalem, gave a new interpretation to this words "Al-Aqsa" – meaning it was a Mosque in Jerusalem. -- From Studies in the History of the Arabs and Islam, Prof. Hava Lazarus-Yafeh]

"... This is the place from which the prophet entered and exited Al-Aqsa. I always say that from an Islamic perspective, this is the holy gate of Al-Aqsa… This is the only wall that carries an Islamic name since the dawn of Islam...

“This is the single wall from among the Al-Aqsa walls for which a revolution took place in the past century. Everyone knows the Al-Buraq revolution that took place on August 23, 1929. [Editor - Arabs rioted and killed many Jews] This revolution, that took place for this holy site for the Muslims, and we know, all of you know, oh brothers, that the Al-Buraq revolution was a 'wave' revolution, all Palestinian people took part in it..."

“The first connection of the Jews to this site began in the 16th Century [and cites a "Hebrew Encyclopedia" as a source]. The Hebrew Encyclopedia says that the Jewish connection is a coincidental connection that began in the Ottoman era. If so, the Jewish connection to this site is a recent connection, not ancient, its roots are not like the roots of the Islamic connection...

"The Jewish connection to this site is a fabricated connection, a coincidental connection... "

"[Some may argue:] The Al-Buraq Wall is simply a small wall, a few meters long, a number of bricks, what is it worth? What we are interested in is the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and we can give it [the Wall] to the Jews, they have no [other] religious sites. This is a highly significant matter! This site currently represents the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This is the most essential point in the Arab-Israeli conflict. No one can ignore it anymore. As we said, revolutions took place for the sake of [Al-Buraq], and for its sake revolutions are still taking place today. The first revolution in the past century was named after Al-Buraq and Al-Aqsa, and the last revolution, the last Intifada, the Al-Aqsa Intifada, we are still living it until today.”
[PA TV, October 13, 2006]

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Itamar Marcus is the founder and director of Palestinian Media Watch. He was appointed by the Israeli government to be the Israeli representative (communication specialist) to the Trilateral (Israeli-American-Palestinian) Anti-Incitement Committee established under the Wye Accords. From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Marcus served as research director of the Center for Monitoring the Impact of Peace, writing reports on PA, Syrian, and Jordanian schoolbooks. He holds a BA in political science from City College of New York and an MA in Hebrew culture from New York University. Barbara Crook is associate director and North American representative of Palestinian Media Watch. She teaches at the School of Journalism and Communications at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. She holds an Honors BA in English literature from Queen's University, an MA in journalism from the University of Western Ontario, and is a Southam Fellow at the University of Toronto.

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