Facts, International Law, & Biblical Truth all Demolish Political and Media Lies about Israel
Every 2 minutes a new lie about Israel is spread online
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No Jewish History – A Palestinian People – Occupied Land – Palestinian Water – The Refugee Problem – The Jewish Capital – The Jewish Temple – East Jerusalem – Islamic Jerusalem – Two-state Solution – Aggressive Israel – Racist Israel
Who’s Speaking Half-truths or Lies about Israel?
The list is endless, but let’s start with the UN. The UN Human Rights Council had resolved almost more resolutions condemning Israel than on the rest of the world combined, link. Detect a UN bias against Israel?
In the past, the US and EU have threatened the Netanyahu government if it fails to make progress toward a two-state solution. But this ‘solution’ is not sought by 66% of Palestinians or by the Palestinian leadership, who want a single Palestinian state, link. So why does the UN pursue this line?
EU policy now requires special labeling for Israeli products made in settlements in the ‘occupied’ West Bank – but international lawyers maintain that the term ‘occupied’ is not legally correct, link. The PA President Mahmoud Abbas has described all of Israel as ‘occupation’, link – again, legally incorrect.
Pope Francis has described PA President Mahmoud Abbas as “an angel of peace”, link, but the PA makes no attempt to educate its people towards peace and coexistence with Israel and repeatedly rejects Israel’s right to exist, link.
The World Council of Churches is a key promoter of the Kairos Palestine document, which denies the Jewish historical connection to the land of Israel, link. This is not so much a lie, more historical ignorance! Haven’t they read the Torah? Last but not least, the media (CNN, CBC, Guardian, New York Times …) have all been accused of reporting bias against Israel, link.
The UK media stand accused of reporting bias in favour of Hamas – their statements are inflammatory e.g. “Israel bombs civilian targets with links to Hamas”, link. The UK media have even seriously misquoted the wording in the 1917 Balfour Declaration for a Jewish homeland, link.As the Bible says:
Truth is fallen in the streets … and they will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths (Isa 59.14, 2 Tim 4.4)
What are the Most Fundamental Lies?
Here’s a few examples:
- Jews have little historical connection with Israel
- There is a historical Palestinian people
- Jews are occupying Palestinian land
- Jews caused the Palestinian refugee problem
- Jerusalem is not the Jewish capital
- The Jewish temple is a myth
- The two-state solution is the only way forward
- Palestinians are denied water
- Jerusalem is historically holy to Islam
- Israel is a racist state
Why are these statements inflammatory, or just plain wrong? Take the Jewish capital for instance. The UN and the EU prefer a two-state solution such that Jerusalem is the capital of both Israel and Palestine. But since a Palestinian State never existed in the past, does not exist now, and most likely never will exist, then this position is academic. More fundamentally, in international law it is a sovereign state’s right to determine its own capital, and Israel proclaimed Jerusalem to be her capital shortly after the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948. In any case, no other country in the world has been asked to divide its capital, so why should Israel?
Let’s now refute some of these lies.
LIE 1: Jews have little Historical Connection with Israel
Some claim that the Jews who came to Israel had no historical connection with the land – which was populated solely by indigenous Palestinians, link. Examples: “Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history” [Article 20, Palestinian National Charter, 1968, link]. “There is no tangible evidence of any Jewish traces/remains in the old city of Jerusalem and its immediate vicinity” [Palestinian Ministry of Information, December 10, 1997], link. “The extended kingdoms of David and Solomon, on which the Zionists base their territorial demands, endured for only about 73 years” [Illene Beatty, ‘Arab and Jew in the Land of Canaan’]. “The Israelis claim that 2000 years ago they had a Temple [on the Temple Mount]. I challenge the claim that this is so” [Mahmoud Abbas, August, 2000]. Just a glance at history clearly shows that these are lies about Israel.
THE TRUTH: Is there historical evidence? Brief answer HERE
MORE TRUTH ….
Palestinian leaders have adopted the tack of “stealing the enemy’s heritage, history, and values”, link. But archaeology and historical documentation shows that Jews have lived continuously in the land of Israel for over 3,000 years, link, link, link. For example, the descendants of Abraham formed the nation Israel around 1300 BC, in 1004 BC King David established Jerusalem as the capital of the Kingdom of Israel, and in 960 BC his son Solomon built the first Jewish temple, link. That’s long before Islamic warriors spread across the Middle East and forced conversion upon its citizens.
The Jews Purchased the Temple area: King David actually purchased the land (Mount Moriah) on which the first temple was built. The area belongs to the Jews. David purchased it from a Jebusite called Ornan:
Then David said to Ornan, “Grant me the place of this threshing floor, that I may build an altar on it to the Lord. You shall grant it to me at the full price, that the plague may be withdrawn from the people … So David gave Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the place. (1 Chron 21.22,25)
Archaeological discoveries: Written stone tablets refer to the “House of David” and so verify the existence of King David, link. And City of David excavations at the foot of the southern wall of the Temple Mount have uncovered a seal (bulla) with the name of King Hezekiah (727-698 BC), link. Then there’s evidence from the Dead Sea scrolls. One of the scrolls, the Temple Scroll, claims to provide God’s instructions regarding the construction and operation of the Jewish Temple, link, link.
More evidence: Islam often denies Jewish links to the city of Jerusalem. But in 2019 a bulla (seal impression) and a 2,600-year-old stamp dating back to the First Temple and bearing Hebrew names were recently uncovered as part of the archaeological excavations in the City of David, link.
Post temple period: In 70 AD, when the Jewish civilization was already over 1000 years old, the Romans forced most of the Jews of Judea and Samaria (now the West Bank) into exile and destroyed the Second Temple. However, some Jews remained in the land and archaeologists have discovered 34 synagogues in the Golan Heights dating from the late Roman period through the Byzantine era up until the Arab conquest of the Holy Land around 638 AD, link. By the end of the 19th Century, the majority population of Jerusalem was again Jewish, link. In contrast, the Arabs arrived through multiple invasions, beginning only in the 7th Century AD, and the concept of a ‘Palestinian people’ only emerged after WWI.
WHAT DOES THE TORAH SAY?
Some 3,500 years ago, God promised by covenant that He would give all the land of Canaan (modern Israel) to Abraham and his descendants. This was unconditional and ‘forever’ (Gen 17.7,8). The covenant was established through Isaac and not through Ishmael and so the Jews are the true descendants of Abraham in the covenant sense and they keep this covenant through circumcision (Gen 17.10,19-21).
WHAT DOES THE QURAN SAY?
Quran 17:104: “And thereafter We [Allah] said to the Children of Israel: Dwell securely in the Promised Land.”
Quran 5:20-21: “Moses said to his people … O my people, enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you.”
This couldn’t be clearer. So why do today’s Muslim leaders refuse to acknowledge this promise to Israel?
LIE 2: A Palestinian People
The West, the media, the church and the Arab nations repeatedly refer to a ‘Palestinian People’:
- “It is high time that the Palestinian people restore their freedom and independence” [Mahmoud Abbas]
- “There are real injustices taking place in the Palestinian territories, and the suffering of the Palestinian people can no longer be ignored” [Christ at the Checkpoint Manifesto, link].
- “Palestinians have never been strangers either to Jerusalem or to the entire homeland … we are the native people of this land” [Archbishop Sebastia Theodosios, Orthodox Christian archbishop in Jerusalem, link]
- “The Palestinians must have their own sovereign, independent, and democratic state” [Sabeel, link]
- “We, the Palestinians, are the Arab Jebusites” [Ibraham Abdullah Sar-sur, Arab Knesset member]
- “The Palestinian people fight with weapons, with jihad, with Intifada and suicide actions” [ANN television, October 2000]
- “J.K Rowling has publicly criticized the Israeli government for its ‘brutal’ and ‘unjust’ treatment of the Palestinian people” [The Telegraph, link]
THE TRUTH: What’s the underlying fallacy here? Brief answer HERE
HERE’S MORE TRUTH ….
Demographics: Whilst acknowledging the suffering of many, the issue here is the term ‘Palestinian People’. By the early 20th century the land of Israel was a mix of many peoples representing some 50 languages [1911 Encyclopedia Britannica]. The land was not a country and had no frontiers, only administrative boundaries [Prof. Bernard Lewis]. This strong ethnic mix meant there was no distinctive Palestinian people, and the early Zionist pioneers saw the Arab population as small, apolitical, and without a nationalist element, link.
The term ‘Palestine’ seems to have come to prominence after the 1922 League of Nations Palestine Mandate, which aimed to establish in Palestine a national home for the Jewish people, link. The point here is that the Mandate didn’t recognize the existence of a ‘Palestinian people’ but instead referred to the local Arab population as existing non-Jewish communities.
Effect of Zionism: It was only after WWI that we find an emergence of Palestinian nationalism and an identifiable ‘Palestinian People’. Some see this as a response to the threat posed by Zionism, when waves of Jewish immigrants arrived in Palestine between 1919 and 1939, link. Prior to Zionism, there was no need for the Arabs of Palestine to focus on Palestinian identity. They were citizens of the Ottoman Empire and identified themselves as Arabs, not Palestinians, link. The designation “Palestinian” was more actively embraced around 1964, with the forming of the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization). This fact has even been admitted by the PLO: “The Palestinian people does not exist … there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people” [Zahir Muhsein, PLO, March, 1977].
So there never has been a ‘Palestinian people’ or a ‘Palestinian Arab nation’ having ancient attachments to the Holy Land, link, link. “There is no such thing as Palestine in history, absolutely not” [Professor Philip Hitti, Arab historian, 1946]. “It was not as if there was a Palestinian people in Palestine and we came and threw them out and took their country away from them … they did not exist” [Golda Meir, Prime Minister, 1969].
LIE 3: Occupation of Palestinian Land
One of the most common lies about Israel. Almost without exception, the international community claims that Israel occupies Palestinian land. Examples:
- There is a widely circulated map depicting a dramatic loss of Palestinian land from 1946 to 2010, link. MSNBC (an American cable and satellite TV network) have used it on air
- The UN General Assembly frequently refers to Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, link
- Barack Obama has said “Palestinians deserve an end to the occupation”, link
- The UK Government refers to “The Occupied Palestinian Territories” in its foreign travel advice, link
- Amnesty International state: “The Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory (the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip) is in its fifth decade”
- “The Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is a sin against God” [Kairos Document, link]
- The World Council of Churches states: “Christians who promote ‘Christian Zionism’ distort the interpretation of the Word of God and the historic connection of Palestinians—Christians and Muslims—to the Holy Land’, link
- “The Oslo accord was a preface for the Palestinian Authority, and the Palestinian Authority will be a preface for the Palestinian state, which in turn will be a preface for the liberation of the entire Palestinian land” [Abdul Aziz Shaheen, PA Minister, January, 1998]
- The Guardian newspaper has claimed: “There can be no negotiations without a clear Israeli commitment to fully withdraw from the Palestinian territory it occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem”
- Mahatma Gandhi said: “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French”
THE TRUTH: What’s the incorrect assumption? Brief answer HERE
HERE’S MORE TRUTH ….
The 1922 League of Nations sub-division for Jewish Palestine. Map: Eli E. Hertz, enlarge
The map showing a ‘dramatic loss of Palestinian land’ is a lie, link. What never existed cannot be lost. There never was an Arab country called ‘Palestine’. Before the creation of the PLO in 1964 (16 years after the birth of Israel) no Arab political entity was called by that name, link, link. Some are honest enough to admit this: “There is no such country as Palestine” [Arab leader A.B. Abdul Hadi, 1937], “The Palestinian people does not exist” [Zahir Muhsein, PLO, March, 1977].
In international law, a territory which has never been subject to the sovereignty of any state is declared terra nullius, and sovereignty over such territory can be legally acquired through occupation. The State of Israel follows this legality, stating: “Occupied territories are territories captured in war from an established and recognized sovereign. As the West Bank and Gaza Strip were not under the legitimate and recognized sovereignty of any state prior to the Six Day War, they should not be considered occupied territories … Israel’s presence in the (disputed) territories is not illegal”, link.
So since the West Bank and Gaza Strip were not previously under any recognized sovereignty, then under international law Israel can legally acquire these lands through occupation. On the other hand, Israel is not occupying ‘Palestinian land‘ since you cannot ‘occupy’ what never existed. All of western Palestine, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean, including Gaza and all of Jerusalem remains legally open to Jewish settlement under the 1922 British Mandate for Palestine, see 1922 map. International lawyers maintain that this right of settlement is protected by Article 80 of the UN Charter which recognizes the Trust (British Mandate) handed to it by the League of Nations, link, link. Specifically, “Under international law, neither Jordan nor the Palestinian Arab people of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip have a substantial claim to the sovereign possession of the ‘occupied’ territories. The West Bank should be considered ‘unallocated territory'” [Prof. Eugene Rostow]. Conclusion: Israel’s presence in the disputed territories is legal, and there is no legality to the term ‘occupied territories’.
Given this legal stance, the Palestinian demand for Israel to return to the pre-1967 borders under the 1967 UN Resolution 242 is irrelevant. In any case, these borders were temporary: “The armistice agreements of 1949 expressly preserved the territorial claims of all parties and did not purport to establish definitive boundaries between them” [Prof. Judge Schwebel, former President of the International Court of Justice]. “It would have been wrong to demand that Israel return to its positions of June 4, 1967, because those positions were undesirable and artificial” [Lord Caradon, British Ambassador who drafted the approved resolution]. In the 1967 war, Israel simply took back land that was mandated for a Jewish homeland under the (still legally standing) British Mandate for Palestine.
LIE 4: Water Apartheid in Palestine
International media, the UN, the church, and the Palestinian Water Authority all accuse Israel of depriving ‘Occupied Territories’ of water.
- “Palestinians say they are prevented from using their own water resources by a belligerent military power. This, Palestinians say, is crippling to their agricultural economy” [BBC News, Sept 2010]
- “2.1 million Palestinians suffer an artificial water scarcity deliberately created and sustained by Israel’s military occupation” [The Ecologist, March 2014]
- “Both the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian farmers are denied the right to construct wells to meet the growing demand for water, even when that water originates almost entirely in the West Bank” [UNCTAD – Agriculture, 2015, link]
- “The total water needed to put all irrigable land in West Bank and Gaza under irrigation totals 490 MCM per year i.e. an additional 381 MCM relative to the current water supply” [Glover and Hunter (2010), link]
- “The Palestinian people are denied their internationally recognized human right to sufficient safe, accessible, and affordable water” [Ecumenical Water Network, 2014, link]
- “Palestine suffers from the unfair distribution of water sources, which remain under almost full Israeli control” [Palestinian Water Authority, March 2015]
- In the West Bank, daily per capita consumption (domestic, urban and industrial) is around 73 litres, and 242 litres in Israeli towns [CJPME Factsheet, 2010, link]
- “Palestinians are not allowed to drill their own water wells”, [thepeoplesvoice.org, October 2014]
THE TRUTH: Yes there’s a problem. But who’s causing it? Brief answer HERE
HERE’S MORE TRUTH ….
Legal Agreement: Israel and the Palestinian Authority set up a Joint Water Committee (JWC) in 1995. Under the Second Oslo Accords 1995, “Israel recognized the water rights of the Palestinians in the West Bank, and a clear allocation of quantities of water to each party was determined, maintaining existing quantities of usage”, link. In 1995 both sides agreed on the future needs of the Palestinians in the West Bank, which could total 200 million cubic meters (MCM) per year, link. The JWC also discusses and authorizes requests for water drilling. Israel continues to honour Oslo II and has responded to the needs of the Palestinians: “Israel is in full compliance with the terms for water use and supply as outlined in the Oslo II. In fact, Israel provides 30% more water to the Palestinians than required, with the total amount of water available to them exceeding agreed-upon terms. Despite Palestinian claims, there is almost no difference in the amount of water Israelis and Palestinians use. As of 2012, per capita water use is 150 MCM for Israelis and 140 MCM for Palestinians.” [TIP, March 2012, link]. And despite rocket attacks targeting them, Israeli water authority personnel continue to repair and maintain the water supply to Gaza, link.
Palestinian Responsibility: The total water available to the Palestinians in 2007 was 200 MCM per year, link. So why is there still a water shortage? One reason is that the Israeli Water Authority supplies water but does not carry out the internal Palestinian distribution of the water (water management); that task is up to the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. But water losses in their networks are very high – about 33%, link. Also, unlike Israel, the Palestinians are very reluctant to treat wastewater and use the treated effluent in agriculture, link, link. When it comes to wells, JWC permits have been granted for drilling into the Eastern Mountain Aquifer, but as of 2014 the Palestinians had drilled at just one-third of these sites, despite the offer of international finance, link. More at NGO Monitor.
Water Politics: “Water shortages in the Palestinian Authority are the result of Palestinian policies that deliberately waste water and destroy the regional water ecology. The Palestinians refuse to develop their own significant underground water resources, build a seawater desalination plant, fix massive leakage from their municipal water pipes, build sewage treatment plants, irrigate land with treated sewage effluents or modern water-saving devices, or bill their own citizens for consumer water usage, leading to enormous waste. At the same time, they drill illegally into Israel’s water resources, and send their sewage flowing into the valleys and streams of central Israel. In short, the Palestinian Authority is using water as a weapon against the State of Israel. It is not interested in practical solutions to solve the Palestinian people’s water shortages, but rather perpetuation of the shortages and the besmirching of Israel” [Prof. Haim Gvirtzman, Feb 2014, link]
LIE 5: The Palestinian Refugee Problem
Today some 5 million registered Palestinian refugees live in towns, cities or camps in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, link. How did this come about – and why does it continue? The answer is one of the conveniently hidden lies about Israel.
Arabic Leadership: The leadership argues: “No Zionism – no Palestinian refugee problem”. This summarizes the Palestinian argument for what caused the refugee problem. They claim that Palestinians were innocently minding their own business, when suddenly the Zionists attacked them and evicted them from their homes by force as part of a preconceived plan of ethnic cleansing, link. They maintain that “the Palestinian refugees are the indigenous inhabitants of Palestine, the majority of whom were dispossessed, were forced to run away or were expelled when the State of Israel was created in 1948”, link. They claim that dispossession and expulsion increased when Israel launched the 1967 war on her Arab neighbours [Al-Awda].
Western Churches: These claims are echoed by many western churches e.g. “Most Palestinians rejected this arrangement (the declared state of Israel) and the majority of the population – some 750,000 Palestinians – fled or were expelled”, link, “In 1948-49 Israel drove some 750,000 Palestinians from their towns and villages”, link.
THE TRUTH: Is this really how the problem arose? Brief answer HERE
HERE’S MORE TRUTH ….
Jewish quarter refugees evacuating the Old City through the Zion Gate, May 1948, Wikimedia
Arab nations argue: “No Zionism – no Palestinian refugee problem” whilst Zionist’s reply “No war – no Palestinian refugee problem”. Let’s look at the historical facts.
1947: The UN Partition Plan recommended the establishment of two States in Palestine – a Jewish State and an Arab State. The Jews accepted the decision but the Arabs rejected it.
1948-49: The Jews proclaimed an independent State of Israel (the right to self-determination is guaranteed in international law) and immediately the Arab nations invaded Israel. Many Palestinians evacuated their homes under direction from Arab armies, hoping to return soon after the inevitable Arab victory, link. In many towns the leaders of the Arab communities had already left, link. So at this time over 700,000 Arabs fled to neighbouring Arab countries and became refugees, whilst over 850,000 Jews were forced to leave Muslim countries after their property was confiscated. All the Jewish inhabitants of East Jerusalem were expelled by occupying Jordanian forces – see photo (before 1948 Jews lived in the old city and the eastern sector, link). Israel offered to repatriate 100,000 Arab refugees in April 1949 but this was rejected.
1952: The UN offered $200m for the refugees but this was also rejected by Arab governments.
Out of tens of millions of refugees in those years, the only ones who remained as refugees are the ‘Palestinians’, and that is as a result of a conscious decision of the Arab countries to perpetuate their situation. These refugees exist as an ever-present source of outrage the Arab nations use as leverage in negotiations with “the West”, link. So Palestinians remain refugees by Arab choice, since no Arab state apart from Jordan grants Palestinians citizenship, link. Clearly, the refugee problem stemmed directly from the sudden Arab declaration of war on the emergent Jewish state and today is perpetuated by Arab countries themselves! It is widely acknowledged that to implement the “right of return”, link of huge numbers of refugees would eliminate the Jewish right to self-determination, as in a Jewish State, link. “An expectation that Israel has to deal with Arab refugees that were created by the war in 1948 that the Arabs started against Israel was preposterous” [Netanyahu, 2015].
LIE 6: Jerusalem is not the Jewish Capital
Asked about the fate of Jerusalem, 92% of Palestinians said it should be the capital of Palestine, [Stanley Greenberg poll of 1,010 Palestinian adults in the West Bank and Gaza Strip]. “Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel; Tel Aviv is” [Guardian, April 2012], link. “Jerusalem today is an occupied city” [World Council of Churches]. “Israel maintains that Jerusalem is its capital city, a claim not recognized by the UK and the international community” [UK Foreign Office 2012, link]. “As far as the US government is concerned, Jerusalem is not a part of Israel” [US Supreme Court, June 2015, link].
THE TRUTH: Can Israel legally claim Jerusalem as her capital? Brief answer HERE
HERE’S MORE TRUTH ….
Israel proclaimed Jerusalem to be her capital shortly after the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948: “Whereas with establishment of the State of Israel, Jerusalem once more becomes the capital” [Knesset, 1950 ]. This proclamation was based upon historical connections, Bible prophecy and the true legal position defined by the 1920 San Remo Resolution, the 1922 British Mandate for Palestine and Article 80 of the UN Charter. “According to international law, Israel has a well-founded claim to sovereignty over Jerusalem, including its Old City” [Dr Jacques Gautier, author ‘Sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem’, see Who Owns Jerusalem?]. Aside from a sovereign state’s right to determine its own capital, link, international convention maintains that a capital city is usually where a state’s central political institutions reside. While Tel Aviv is widely regarded as Israel’s economic and cultural center, the organs of political power, including the Knesset, Prime Minister’s Office, Foreign Ministry and most other government ministries are located in Jerusalem, Israel’s declared capital city, link. The definitive word on Israel’s claim to Jerusalem rests with the Bible – the God of Israel has put His name there:
I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name might be there (2 Chron 6.6)
LIE 7: The Jewish Temple is a Myth
Arab nations contest the concept of historic Jewish Temples. Examples: “No Jewish Temple ever existed on the Temple Mount” [Yasser Arafat, 2000 Camp David Summit]. The historic existence of a Jewish Temple “is a myth and nothing more” [Arab Member of Knesset Jamal Zahalka (Balad), 2014]. “The Zionist movement has invented that this was the site of Solomon’s Temple. But this is all a lie” [Sheik Raed Salah, a leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel]. Today, the Hamas government in Gaza describes the biblical Temples in Jerusalem as “the biggest lie in history”, link. The World Heritage Committee of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has adopted a resolution which refers to the area below and to the west of the Temple Mount as the “Buraq plaza” [July 2015], link. The resolution, proposed by three Arab countries, Qatar, Algeria and Lebanon, refers to the Temple Mount itself as a “Muslim holy site” with no reference to its importance to Jews, link. Muslim leaders wanting to deny Jewish claims to the site refer to the Western Wall as “the al-Buraq wall” and claim that the Western Wall is part of al-Aqsa Mosque, link.
THE TRUTH: What support is there for the Jewish temples? Brief answer HERE
HERE’S MORE TRUTH ….
Rabbinical sources: The Tanach (the Hebrew Bible) repeatedly testifies that Jews built the Temple in Jerusalem and worshiped there, link. Here, a temple is often called a bayit (“house”). In all, there are five temples: the First Temple (Solomon’s Temple), the two rival northern temples established by Jeroboam, the Second Temple dedicated in 516 BCE, and the temple described in Ezekiel’s vision (Ezekiel 40–48).
History & Location: The existence of the Second Temple is supported by the Jewish historian Josephus who refers to the magnificence of the temple in Jesus’ time, link. Solomon’s Temple was built there 969-930 BC and the Temple was rebuilt 520-516 BC. But where? Rabbinical sources claim that both the First and Second Temples were built on the same foundations, at the same location somewhere on the Temple Mount. “Historical records of the destruction committed by the Romans, just by themselves, are ‘pretty overwhelming’ in supporting the existence of the Second Temple in the immediate vicinity of the Dome of the Rock” [Kent Bramlett, Professor of Archaeology, La Sierra University in Riverside, Calif.]. The traditional location of the Temples lies in the immediate vicinity of the present-day Dome of the Rock, link, and the Western Wall is the western retaining wall of King Herod’s expanded Temple Mount, link. Historical accounts say that the Dome of the Rock was built by the Moslems to overlay the location of the original Jewish Temple, link. Similar claims are made for the Al-Aqsa Mosque, link. The Gihon Spring just north of the ancient City of David (Zion) and on the southeastern ridge of Jerusalem is another possible location, link.
Archaeology: If the Jewish Temple never existed, then why does archaeological evidence suggest otherwise? Every year Jews would arrive at Solomon’s Temple to celebrate Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles), and for this they needed fresh flowing water. Archaeologists have discovered an ancient water aqueduct running from the Hebron mountains, through Solomon’s Pools near Bethlehem, and into the Temple Mount area, link, link. This was done at least 1500 years before any mosque was built! Archaeologists have recently discovered a small model building with an architectural design that matches the Biblical descriptions of the Temple of Solomon, link.
LIE 8: Arab East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem is widely referred to as ‘Arab’ East Jerusalem. Examples: “When Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967, the residents of the city were Jordanian citizens holding Jordanian passports. Israel imposed Israeli law on the city and unilaterally annexed the territory of East Jerusalem” [Palestine-Israel Journal, 2007]. “In Arab East Jerusalem … three-quarters of the population lives below Israel’s poverty line” [The New York Times, October 2015]. “Abbas temporarily walked away from the negotiations in March after Israel announced more housing for Jews in traditionally Arab east Jerusalem” [The Huffington Post, June 2010]. “The eastern portion [of Jerusalem], from which Jews were driven at gunpoint in 1948, is regularly referred to as ‘Arab East Jerusalem'” [FresnoZionism, Dec 2010].
THE TRUTH: Is it legally correct to refer to ‘Arab’ East Jerusalem? Brief answer HERE
HERE’S MORE TRUTH ….
Historically there was no such entity as ‘Arab East Jerusalem’ or even ‘East Jerusalem’. All of Jerusalem was mandated to be part of the Jewish homeland under the 1922 Palestine Mandate. Jerusalem was never divided until the Arab (Jordanian) invasion of 1948-49, as explained in the video. In 1949 UN Security Council Resolution 62 called for the implementation of armistice (ceasefire) agreements and as a result Israel’s borders were re-established along the so-called “Green Line”. Importantly, the 1949 armistice borders were not recognized by Arab states, which continued to refuse to recognize Israel, and were regarded as temporary by drafters of UN Resolution 242, link.
The Green Line divided Jerusalem, putting the Old City just inside Jordanian held territory – see map. So at the end of the war Jerusalem was divided between Jordan and Israel. Note that it was only through war that Jordan gained control of Judea and Samaria (the ‘West Bank’) and the Old City of Jerusalem (which later became part of ‘East Jerusalem’). This was the situation until June 1967, when Israel took back these territories. After June 1967 Israel expanded the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem resulting in what is now referred to as East Jerusalem – the blue line on the map or the green area here. Since Israel legally declared a ‘Jewish’ state in 1948, the boundaries were set to strengthen Israeli sovereignty over the city by creating a Jewish majority, link, link. In 1988 King Hussain of Jordan formally renounced any claim to the lands (West Bank and East Jerusalem) that he had lost in the 1967 war, link. So at no time was East Jerusalem under legal ownership by an Arab entity.
Living under Israeli rule is preferable to living under the Palestinian Authority [East Jerusalem Palestinian politician Ramadan Dabbash, October 2017]
LIE 9: Jerusalem is Holy to Islam
Muslims consider Jerusalem to be the third-holiest city in Islam after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. It is claimed that the actual site of Mohammed’s ascension to heaven was the exposed piece of bedrock at the top of the elongated ridge called Mount Moriah, link. So Caliph Abd-al-Malik’s Dome of the Rock was built over the bedrock outcrop to commemorate the location of this important event, link. This background leads to claims like: “Jerusalem is just like the holy city of Mecca” [Crown Prince ‘Abdullah of Saudi Arabia]. “We won’t give up on Palestine, all of Palestine, and Jerusalem will remain the place to which all jihad warriors will direct their prayers” [Hasan Nasrallah, leader of Hizbullah]. Yasser Arafat constantly repeated that there can be no peace without Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and total Muslim sovereignty over the Temple Mount.
THE TRUTH: Do these claims fit the facts? Brief answer HERE
HERE’S MORE TRUTH ….
Islamic claims on Jerusalem are inconsistent with the facts: Jerusalem and Zion do not appear at all in the Qur’an, link. Moreover, it is a historical fact that Mohammed never set foot in the city, link, link, and Islamic sources from the first 50 years or so after Mohammad’s death make clear that Jerusalem had absolutely no holy status for Muslims, link. Also, Islamic claims that the “Furthest Mosque” (Sura 17:1) refers to what is today called the Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem have no foundation, link.
So why is Jerusalem even claimed to be the third-holiest city in Islam? And why is this claim relatively recent, not preceding the 1930s, link? Muslims see Mecca as the navel of the world (just as Jews see Jerusalem, link) and so turn their back on the Dome of the Rock when praying, link. In contrast, the Jews have a solid claim to Jerusalem. The name of the city appears in the Jewish Bible 669 times and Zion (which usually means Jerusalem) 154 times. Judaism made Jerusalem a holy city over 3,000 years ago and throughout that time Jews remained steadfast to it. They pray in its direction and mention its name constantly in prayers.
LIE 10: The Two-state Solution is the Only Way
The western world favours the two-state solution for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They say:
“The two-State solution: a key prerequisite for achieving peace and stability in the Middle East” [Theme of UN international meeting, July 2015]
“The Zionist dream embraces the concept of Israel as a Jewish democracy … That dream can only be upheld by two states living side by side in security” [John Kerry, UN HQ, November 2015]
“A two-state solution is the only way for the long-term security of Israel, if it wants to stay both a Jewish state and democratic” [Barack Obama, October 2015, link]
“Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land” [Obama, March 2013, link]
“The international community does not believe that Israel is serious about a two-state solution” [Obama, June 2015]
“I believe with a passion: the only solution that works is a solution that delivers security to Israel and dignity to the Palestinian people. A state for the Jewish people. A state for the Palestinian people” [Tony Blair, March 2010]
The Vatican “hopes for a solution to the Palestinian question and the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians according to the two-state solution” [Antoine Camilleri, Holy See’s deputy foreign minister, May 2015].
In reality, the international community may be looking at three states: a Jewish state, a PA state on the West Bank and a Hamas terrorist state controlling 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza!
THE TRUTH: Is this what everybody wants? Brief answer HERE
HERE’S MORE TRUTH ….
To satisfy these calls, Netanyahu has called on the Palestinian leadership to return to negotiations unconditionally: “I remain committed to the idea that the only way we can achieve a lasting peace is through the concept of two states for two peoples” [Netanyahu, May 31, 2015]. But according to a recent poll, only 34% of Palestinians accept two states for two peoples as the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict [Stanley Greenberg face-to-face survey of 1,010 Palestinian adults in the West Bank and Gaza Strip]. Sixty-six percent said the Palestinians’ real goal should be to start with a two-state solution but then move to it all being one Palestinian state, link. This reflects the PA leadership position: “We will never accept a Palestinian state without Jerusalem as its capital” [Mahmoud Abbas, May, 2011]. What’s new? The Arab leadership rejected a two-state solution as far back as 1947 (see UN Partition Plan). Clearly, the western world is not reading from the same page as the Palestinians!
So although Netanyahu appears open to the idea of two-states, such a solution is impossible given that the Palestinian Authority maintains that Israel is not a Jewish State and that Jerusalem is the capital of the future Palestinian State! Moreover, Hamas has said it “never gave Abbas or anyone else a mandate to agree to the two-state solution” [The Jerusalem Post, Nov 2015] and such a solution is incompatible with the Hamas Charter and the broad Islamic goal of the elimination of Israel: “Israel has no roots in the Middle East and would be ‘eliminated'” [President of Iran, September 2012 ]. Most importantly, a two-state solution is condemned by the God of Israel:
I will gather all nations and put them on trial … because they divided up my land (Joel 3.2)
LIE 11: Israel is the Aggressor
“Israel is killing civilians by the hundreds, Palestinian civilians. We are the victims. Israel is the aggressor” [Fawzy Barhoum, July 2014]. “We want your protection. We want the protection of the world. We can no longer bear all these sanctions, all these attacks perpetrated by the settlers and the Israeli army” [President Mahmoud Abbas, UN Human Rights Council, Oct 2015]. “Israel is the aggressor; it is an imperial nation that is, and has for generations been, stealing land” [warisacrime.org, 2013]. “An occupying state has no legal right to wage a full-scale military war against an occupied population” [Noura Erakat, Georgetown International Law professor, 2015].
THE TRUTH: Who shows the most aggression; Israel or her neighbours?Brief answer HERE
HERE’S MORE TRUTH ….
Egyptian Spitfire shot down in raid on Tel Aviv, May 1948, Wikimedia Commons
International law distinguishes between defensive wars and wars of aggression. UN Charter Article 51 states that there is an inherent right of collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, link. The fact is that all of Israel’s major conflicts with her Arab neighbors have been in self-defense, link. Consider the following. 1948: Immediately after the Jewish State was born in May 1948, five Arab armies (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq) invaded Israel. Jewish communities in the West Bank that had existed prior to the Arab invasion were demolished, as was the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. It’s population of about 2,000 Jews was besieged and forced to leave en masse, and 55 synagogues and Talmudic Academies were destroyed. 1967: “Israel has continued too long … the battle has come in which we shall destroy Israel” [President of Egypt, 1967]. The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon (and later Iraq) attacked Israel. Their goal was “to wipe Israel off the map”. 1973: Yom Kipper War – Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel.
The threats continue: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it” [Hamas Charter, 1988]. “Israel has no roots in the Middle East and would be ‘eliminated’ [President of Iran, 2012]. After Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, terrorists fired more than 11,000 rockets into Israel, link. In 2014, following incessant rocket fire from Gaza at Israel, the IDF initiated Operation Protective Edge – a clear defensive action in response to rocket attacks. During the conflict some 4,700 missiles, rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza into Israel’s cities and towns, link. Future wars to eliminate Israel are imminent, link.
LIE 12: Israel is an Apartheid or Racist State
Many claim it is: “It needs to be pointed out that they [Israel] are a racist state and an apartheid state … the UK should stop supporting Israel, both politically and from a trade perspective” [Tanya Williams, Twickenham’s Green Party candidate, April 2015]. “Campaign for an economic and cultural boycott of the ‘racist apartheid’ state of Israel” [Scottish Green Party, October 2015]. Asked whether Israel is a racist country, 47% of US Democrats agreed “it is”, [July 2015, link]. “The racist Theodor Herzl wrote ‘Der Judenstaat’ (‘The Jewish State’) … Ben-Gurion, Chaim Arlosoroff, Moshe Sharett and other racists established the Jewish Agency, and the racist UN decided to establish a Jewish state” [Haaretz, November 2015, link]. “Israel is a ‘Zionist occupier’ and a ‘racist state'” [Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, 2012]
THE TRUTH: Are racist accusations justified? Brief answer HERE
HERE’S MORE TRUTH ….
All these statements exhibit a naive understanding of Israeli anti-discrimination law and of the internationally recognized right of self-determination of a people. The two issues are related:
No Discrimination: Apartheid can be defined as: ‘An official policy of racial segregation’ or ‘A political system where people are clearly divided based on race, gender or class’. But Israeli law makes it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, nationality, or country of origin, link, link. Despite tight immigration control to maintain a Jewish demographic majority (see later), Israel provides economic, educational and professional opportunities for non-Jewish citizens, link. Also, Israeli citizens of all ethnic groups and religious beliefs, including Arab-Israelis, can actively participate in the election process, and all votes cast are equal in weight, link. Arabs are granted full civil rights under Israeli law, which forbids discrimination on the basis of race, creed, or sex, link. So Israel is one of the few places in the Middle East where Arab women may vote. In fact, Israel is the only Middle Eastern country to rate as “free”, according to a report by Freedom House.
Self-Determination: The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights states:
“All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development” [Part 1, Article 1, link]
This is exactly what Israel did in 1948. On May 14, 1948 David Ben-Gurion proclaimed “the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel”, link. The same right was accorded to Arabs under the UN (two-state) Partition Plan of 1947, link; the Jews exercised their right to form a Jewish state in 1948, but the Arabs chose not to form their own Palestinian state. Israel was following the internationally recognized ‘Palestine Mandate’ for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people, link. In order to establish a Jewish state, Israel encouraged essentially Jewish only immigration (aliyah) through the 1950 Law of Return. This Law is seen as racist by opponents of Israel since it essentially discriminates against Arabs and especially those Palestinian refugees who wish to return to their former homes in Israel, link. But in order to maintain a Jewish state, demographics suggest a Jewish majority of at least 70%, link. Today, Israel’s population is about 75% Jews and 25% non-Jews, link. To open up Israel to mass immigration of non-Jews would lead to the annihilation of the Jewish state under the political aspirations of the Arab/Palestinian leadership. The return of refugees is seen as ‘no longer practical’, link, but even when Palestinian refugees could be clearly identified this political and demographic problem was recognized:
“If the refugees return to Israel, Israel will cease to exist” (Neue Zuercher Zeitung, September 1, 1960)
Similarly, granting rights of citizenship to Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank could also upset the demographic balance, link. On the other hand, Israel’s Declaration of Independence, link, clearly states that minorities in Israel (non-Jews) will be protected by ensuring “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants” – as discussed above. Such equality is not found in a racist state!
So in the light of both Israeli anti-discrimination law and Israel’s right to self-determination as a Jewish State (and to maintain it), the accusation of ‘racist’ to Israel is unjustified. In fact, the accusation of ‘racist’ by the Arab world is hypocritical since these nations openly advocate a single Palestinian State (and annihilation of the Jewish state) which would be essentially restricted to Muslims, link. Finally, if the Arab/Palestinian leadership would recognize the right of the State of Israel to exist, then Israel could live by the biblical injunction:
When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall do him no wrong … (he) … shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself. (Lev 19.33,34)
From my childhood, I have believed Jews and Arabs can live together, and I believe now they should live together. All the rights to this country, to the land of Israel – especially Judea and Samaria – are Jewish … but everyone who lives in the country should have all the rights of the country. [Ariel Sharon, TIME, April 1989]