The Jewish connection to the Temple Mount has never been questioned, even by Muslims.
Mahmoud Abbas, in his now notorious speech at the United Nations on May 15, absurdly denied there was any proof of a Jewish link to the Temple Mount. In doing so, he ignored the overwhelming archeological, documentary and historical evidence of the Jewish Temples.
Documentary evidence for the Temple includes the Old and New Testaments, the Mishnah and Midrash, and the writings of first-century Jewish historian Josephus. There are also many non-Jewish historical writings and documentary sources describing the Temples.
A partial list includes:
There is also a substantial and growing body of archeological evidence of the presence of the Jewish Temples, including the following:
The ninth-century Muslim historian Al-Tabari gave an intimate and detailed account of Omar’s decision not to place a mosque on the site of the Jewish Temple and, instead, to locate the Al-Aqsa mosque outside of the Temple precincts. Ka’ab, a seventh-century Yemenite Jew who converted to Islam, and a number of other Jews, showed Omar where the Second Temple had been located. Omar then asked Ka’ab where he should establish a place of prayer.
Ka’ab answered: “By the rock,” known in Hebrew as the Even Shetiyah (Foundation Stone). Omar replied that Ka’ab was still following Judaism, noting that he had noticed Ka’ab removed his shoes when they ascended to the Mount. Omar said he would not establish a mosque by the Rock, but rather facing towards Mecca and the Ka’aba.
Muthir al-Ghiram, a 14th-century Arab historian of Islamic traditions, provided a similar account of Omar’s decision not to locate a mosque on the Foundation Stone. Like Al-Tabari, al-Ghiram emphasized Omar’s intention to separate the Muslim prayer site and rituals from those holy to the Jews. Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Wasiti, an 11th-century preacher in the Al-Aqsa mosque, also reported that the Dome of the Rock was not used as a mosque.
Muslim scholars like eighth-century Abd al-Rahman and 13th to 14th centuries Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya rejected the idea that Islamic tradition attributes any sanctity to the Temple Mount for Muslims. Al-Jawziyya denied the holiness of the Sakhrah (Foundation Stone in Arabic), saying all traditions to the contrary are false. The Foundation Stone, he said, is the direction of prayer for Jews and holy to them like Shabbat.
In more modern times, the Waqf’s own “A Brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif, Jerusalem,” published in 1925, explicitly stated with reference to the Temple Mount: “Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute.”
It added: “This, too, is the spot, according to the universal belief, on which ‘David built there an Altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.’ ” In other words, the Waqf’s own “Guide” admitted that the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount is indisputable.
Criticizing Abbas’s speech is not enough. His blatant antisemitic rhetoric on the world stage at the United Nations is immoral and inexcusable. It is long past time for the United States to end its funding of the Palestinian Authority.