By Menachem Z. Rosensaft
We all have our lines in the sand. One of mine is the insidious historical revisionism – akin to Holocaust denial – that seeks to undermine and negate Jewish claims to and rights in Jerusalem. This campaign is part and parcel of a broader international campaign to delegitimize the State of Israel whenever and wherever possible. In yet another step in the attempted political and spiritual dejudaization, for lack of a better term, of Jerusalem, Al-Mutawakel Taha, a senior official in the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Information, writes in a recent study that the Western Wall “was never part of the so-called Temple Mount,” but rather “is in fact the western wall of Al-Aksa Mosque.” Jews, Taha contends in the study posted in Arabic on the Ministry’s Web site, have no claim on the Western Wall which he unilaterally seeks to convert into “a Muslim wall and an integral part of the Aksa Mosque.” In Taha’s fallacious rewriting of history, the Jewish religious attachment to the Western Wall only dates back to the 1917 Balfour Declaration. Never mind the overwhelming archaeological evidence that the Western Wall is indeed a retaining wall of the Second Temple, and that the Al-Aksa Mosque was built atop the Temple’s ruins. Never mind that according to Christian sources, Jews have regularly come to the Temple Mount to mourn the Temple’s destruction and have prayed at the Western Wall since at least the third century of the Common Era. Never mind that, as Karen Armstrong wrote in Time magazine in 2001, “In the 16th century, Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent permitted the Jews to make the Western Wall their official holy place and h