Walls of Jerusalem 370.
(photo credit: BiblePlaces.com)
Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz issued an unprecedented attack against
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas following his comments Tuesday
that Jerusalem “will forever be Arabic, Islamic and
Rabinowitz, who is responsible for general oversight of the
Western Wall plaza and complex, condemned “the words of the Palestinian
leadership that denies reality and in so doing distances the chances for
“Those who wish to return Jerusalem to the cycle of denial and
bloodshed, and to erase its Jewish past for the sake of a political struggle
should be condemned,” the rabbi said.
“Jerusalem will no longer be built
on hate,” he continued.
“The future of Jerusalem will not be written on
the destruction of its past. Shame on any leaders who seek to erase the eternal
story of Jerusalem.”
Abbas made his comments in a statement issued on the
43rd anniversary of an attempt by mentally unstable Australian Christian Denis
Michael Rohan to set fire to al-Aksa mosque.
The PA president said that
the arson attack, which destroyed an ornate 12th century Islamic pulpit
installed by Saladin (a Sunni Muslim who captured the Holy Land from the
Crusaders) was the first in a series aiming to demolish al- Aksa mosque “and
build the alleged Temple in order to uproot its citizens, Judaize it and
eternalize its occupation.”
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Rabinowitz responded on Thursday with a
florid public statement asserting the Jewish identity of Jerusalem.
spirits... seek to appropriate for themselves and their faith the holy city of
King David,” the rabbi wrote. “I will not testify as to the Jewishness of
Jerusalem. Ancient coins bearing the names of the kings of Judah and found
amidst the city’s ruins will testify to that. The walls of hope built by [the
biblical figure] Nechemiah to renew Jewish settlement in Jerusalem more than
2,300 years ago give testimony.
“The prayers, hymns and liturgical poems
that are uttered in Morocco and Spain, in the mountains of Ethiopia and on the
Ukrainian steppe and which engraved the memory of Jerusalem on every heart will
bear witness,” said Rabinowitz.
The rabbi added that “full freedom of
religion and worship” has been established by the Israeli government “for the
first time in 2,000 years,” and added that Abbas’s words were proof that the
Jewish people could not rely on anyone else to secure access to its holy
“Through 2,000 years since the expulsion from Jerusalem of my
ancestors by the sword of Rome, Jerusalem has been destroyed and rebuilt time
and again, concluded Rabinowitz.
“Having merited to return to Jerusalem,
we chose to stop the cycle of destruction and to return to our beloved city its
eternal destiny, as it is said in the Book of Isaiah, ‘And it shall be in the
end of days, that the mountain of God’s house shall be established as the top of
the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow
unto it,’” he said.
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