The Arab win at UNESCO, cleverly phrasing the decision to avoid any real mention of a Jewish historic connection to Jerusalem and specifically the Temple Mount, must be understood not only as a simple matter of terminology but in the historic tension the Arabs-who-refer-to-themselves-as-Palestinians view their contest over this land with the people who actually deserve it more than them.

Those who closely follow the propaganda content of the PLO through to the Palestinian Authority over the past five decades are aware that a subtext of the conflict is what I call an identity theft.  Jerusalem is not Jerusalem and the Temple Mount is not the Temple Mount and the Temples never existed.

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One highlight in the past was the decision of the International Commission established after the 1929 riots.  That resulted in Jews not being permitted benches or screens or amps or, infamously, the right to blow the shofar at the Western Wall during the High Holidays.

On October 2,1947, the United Kingdom submitted a document of an historical review of the Mandate to the United Nations and you can find this there:
...The centre of Moslem worship in Palestine, and one of the most sacred places of Islam, is a large rectangular area in the old city of Jerusalem known as the Haram-el-Sherif. The lower part of a section of the exterior wall bounding this area on the west is believed to be also the last surviving fragment of Herod’s Temple, built on the site of the Temple of Solomon. As such, this wall, generally known as a the Wailing Wall, is a holy place to Jews, who have a long-established right of access to it for devotional purposes. the exercise of this right was strictly defined by custom, and the introduction of a screen to divide men from women during prayers on the Day of Atonement, in 1928, was at once denounced by the Moslems as an innovation. The removal of the screen by the policy gave rise in turn to complaints by Jewish authorities.

In a memorandum presented to the Administration a few days after this incident, the Supreme Moslem council declared their believe “that the Jews’ aim is to take possession of the Mosque of Al-Aqsa gradually, on the pretence that it is the Temple, by starting with the Western Wall of this place”. The National Council (Va’ad Leumi) of the Palestine Jewish community published an open letter to the Moslem community, emphatically denying any intention of encroaching on the rights of Moslems over their Holy Places. Nevertheless a “Society for the Protection of the Moslem Holy Places” was formed, and discussion of the Wailing Wall was the starting point for a revival of nationalist agitation in the Arab community.

In April 1968, Jordan's submission to the United Nations also referred to this period and detailed that International Commission's findings:

INSTRUCTIONS IN REGARD TO THE USE OF THE WESTERN
(WAILING) WALL OF THE HARAM-AL-SHARIF, JERUSALEM.

1. Access to the Wall.The Jews shall have access to the Western (Wailing) Wall (hereinafter called "The Wall "), for purposes of prayer and devotion at all times.

2. Appurtenances of Worship.(a) The Jews may bring daily to the pavement before the Wall a stand containing ritual lamps, and may place on the stand a zinc case with glass doors in which such lamps are lighted. They may bring also a portable wash-basin and a water container on a stand. None of the objects above mentioned shall be affixed to the Wall or to any wall of the adjoining wakf buildings.

(b) From sunset on Friday evening to Sunset on Saturday, and from sunset on the eve of any Jewish holy-day recognized by Government, to sunset of that holy day the Jews may place at the Northern end of the Wall a stand containing prayer books, and at the Southern end of the Wall a table on which to stand a cabinet or ark containing Scrolls of the Law and another table on which the Scrolls are laid for reading. The tables and cabinet or ark and the stand shall be removed at the end of the Sabbath or Holy-day as the case may be.

(c) On the two holy days of the New Year Festival and on the Day of Atonement each Jewish worshipper may bring a prayer mat which may be placed on the pavement before the Wall but so as not to obstruct the right of passage along the pavement.

(d) The dimensions of each of the objects specified in this instruction shall not exceed those set out in the Schedule thereto.

(e) Save as provided in this instruction no appurtenances of worship shall be brought to the Wall, and no carpet or matting shall be placed on the pavement before the Wall.

3. Prohibition of Benches, Screens, etc. No benches, chairs or stools shall be brought to or placed on the pavement before the Wailing Wall. No screen or curtain shall be placed on the Wall or on the pavement, for the purpose of separating men and women or for any other purpose...

5. The Jews shall not be permitted to blow the ram's horn (Shofar) near the Wall nor cause any other disturbance to the Moslems that is avoidable; the Moslems on the other hand shall not be permitted to carry out the Zikr ceremony close to the Pavement during the progress of the Jewish devotions or to cause annoyance to the Jews in any other way.

This is what Yasser Arafat used to base his demands on even with President Clinton but Israel made fun of him and now they have to take UNESCO seriously.

But there is one more important point to emphasize.

The Balfour Declaration of 1917 now being bitterly fought by Mahmoud Abbas and which an English-based web site has been active these past few years while, again, official Israel does almost nothing, reads:
the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people

and that was strengthened in the League of Nations Mandate 1922 decision:
Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country

This is what Abbas is seeking to undermine and even erase: the Jewish people's nationhood and its history with this land.

It is not only that our Jewish feet defile and desecrate the Haram area. but that we have nothing to seek there for whatever we claim was there, according to the tenets of Palestinianism, never existed.

What our counter claim must be is that it is there history that has its problems and we should start with Saeb Erekat's silliness and right on along the line.  We need not be wary as they are going all out to deny and to steal.

This need not be tolerated as if patronizing their need for a counter-history for their "history" seeks to erase ours not less than their terror seeks to eradicate Jews,

Their identity theft is one that not only replaces their role in history with ours but eliminates what we have done in this world.

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