al-Adha and the Theft of the Jewish Narrative
living adjacent to Arab neighborhoods in Israel were awoken before sunrise last
week for three days by mosques blaring—not by the routine daily pre-dawn call
to prayer, but by the lengthy extended prayers of the Islamic festival Eid al-Adha.
is one of two primary festivals celebrated by Muslims the world over. While the
other, Eid al-Fitr, concludes the month of Ramadan, in which devout Muslims fast
each day, Eid al-Adha traces its roots back to the father of monotheism and
to Islamic tradition, Allah
instructed Ibrahim in a dream to sacrifice his beloved son, Ismail.
Actually, the Koranic text doesn’t specifically identify the son Ibrahim was
to sacrifice. Despite debate among Islamic scholars, the predominant view is
that the son is Ismail.
rejected the efforts of the Shaytan (Satan) to discourage the divinely commanded
act and went forward together with his son’s approval to serve the will of
Allah. At the last moment, Allah prevented Ibrahim from performing the
sacrifice, and provided a ram for Ibrahim to slaughter in Ismail’s stead and
complete the test.
familiar? Jews around the world will read a slightly different version of the
events in a little more than a week, during the Torah reading on Rosh Hashanah,
the Jewish New Year, marked by the blowing of the ram’s horn (shofar) meant to
commemorate the biblical event in which Abraham nearly sacrificed his beloved
to Islamic tradition, the location of the near-sacrifice of Ismail was Mount
Arafat, on the outskirts of Mecca.
it was Yasser Arafat, who at the Camp David summit in 2000, infamously negated
the Jewish connection to Jerusalem by denying
that any Temple ever stood in the city. Arafat’s claim can be disputed not
only by Jewish literature, but also by Islamic literature.
Brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif” for tourists to the Temple Mount
published in 1925 by the Supreme Moslem Council that administered the holy site,
“The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the
earliest (perhaps from pre-historic) times. Its identity with the site of
Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. 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.”
should be noted that according to Jewish tradition, David was not the first to
make an offering on this same site. According to Jewish tradition, it’s the
site where Abraham offered a ram in place of his beloved son, Isaac.
denial of the existence of a Jewish Temple by Arafat at Camp David was not an
isolated incident. Consistent attempts
to rewrite Israel’s claims to Jerusalem can be found in statements by
current Palestinian Authority officials and in P.A. media.
twisting of another faith’s narrative is not limited to Judaism. Each year,
Palestinians celebrate Christmas as a national holiday, claiming
that Jesus was a Palestinian despite his indisputable Jewish roots and
modern claims come after terrorists, under the orders
of Yasser Arafat, laid siege for 40 days in 2002 at the Church of the
Nativity in Bethlehem, the city of Jesus’s birth.
it was not Arafat’s denial of the Jewish Temples that stood on the mount for
more than 800 years collectively that collapsed the Camp David Accords back in
2000. It was Arafat’s refusal to accept proposed peace terms or provide a
Camp David accords took place just six years after the arch-terrorist Arafat was
imported back into Israel to lead the Palestinian people after previously being
exiled to Lebanon and Tunisia, and then awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1994
(along with Israeli leaders Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres) for his signing of
the controversial Oslo Accords—a move that dramatically elevated his
international status and began the pouring of funds into the P.A.
just two weeks, Israelis and Palestinians will mark 25 years since the signing
of those fateful accords. And while Israelis and Palestinians living in the
disputed territories of the West Bank have resided in relative quiet over the
past several years, compared with other areas of the Middle East, large numbers
of Israelis and Palestinians have soured on the prospects for a genuine peace
Oslo, Palestinians have done little to prepare their people for a lasting peace,
with consistent incitement to violence, glorification of martyrs and an
insidious “pay-to-slay” scheme to financially reward terrorists and
so-called “martyrs” sitting in Israeli jails for their attempts to murder
Palestinian incitement, Israelis have long hoped that peace could be reached
with their immediate neighbors, similar to the agreements signed with
neighboring countries Jordan and Egypt. Those hopes have turned into wishful
May of each year, Israel celebrates its founding as an independent Jewish state.
Seventy years later, Israel has transformed from a fledging, resource-poor,
existentially threatened anomaly into a regional economic, technological and
military superpower. This year’s 70th anniversary celebrations were
highlighted by America’s official recognition of Jerusalem as the eternal
capital of Israel and the Jewish people, and the move of the U.S. embassy from
Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
announcing his intention to move the embassy, U.S. President Donald Trump stated
in December of last year, “Today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that
Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more, or less, than a
recognition of reality.”
also celebrate the day of Israel’s independence. Yet for the Palestinian
people, the day is called nakba or “catastrophe.”
of the Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh said this year that “the
Palestinian people on May 14 will stand together as one to send U.S. president
Donald Trump a message that Jerusalem is an Islamic and Arab city and his
decision of moving his country’s embassy will not defame its original
character,” and adding that the “Palestinian people will turn May 14 and 15
into a catastrophe for the Israeli Occupation and its Zionist project.”
real “catastrophes” for the Palestinian people have been their refusal to
accept the reality that Israel is a Jewish state living within its ancient
homeland, coupled with their failure to utilize the billions of dollars they
have received since the signing of the Oslo Accords to replicate the social and
economic progress made by Israel over the same period.
narratives has long been part and parcel of Islamic culture. Further, culture
dictates that once a narrative is promoted, it can no longer be effectively
challenged, nor can it stand peacefully alongside a competing narrative. As long
as Palestinians continue to follow in the long Islamic tradition of twisting the
Jewish narrative, thoughts for signing a lasting peace accords will remain
nothing but folklore.