I was sent this list of answers to the questions that float around.
Some of it may be helpful.
1. MYTH: Israel became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., two thousand years before the rise of Islam.
CORRECTON: Jerusalem never became a nation in 1312 BC. The fact is that the Israelite tribes invaded the land of Canaan in the 13th century BC, settled in the hills, and intermarried with the existing population, thus negating their tribal purity. They did not establish a nation in 1312 BC. There were various Israelite rulers who had small kingdoms for short periods of time in the land of Canaan. There was only one kingdom that was called the "kingdom of Israel," and that was the Northern Kingdom formed after the death of King Solomon. The Northern Israelites tried to establish a Jewish state in what is called Samaria, and they called it the Kingdom of Israel. It was not a "Jewish state," but was a secular state made up of many peoples and religions, and the majority of the population followed the Canaanite religions. This state lasted between 927 - 722 BC, that is, for 205 years. This state was formed as a result of a resentment for Solomon's secular state, yet this kingdom did not succeed in establishing a strictly Jewish nation. King Jeroboam worshipped Canaanite gods, King Omri married a Phoenician woman, Jezebel, and they worshiped Baal. King Ahab worshipped Baal, and the Omri dynasty built a temple of worship to the Canaanite god Melqart. The Canaanite religion dominated the Northern kingdom.
Prior to this period, the kingdoms of David and Solomon were very secular in nature. Most of the people in Solomon's kingdom were not of Israelite stock. Even Solomon's heir, King Rehoboam, was the son of an Ammonite. Racial purity, (as dictated by the Halakhah) was not common in those days. The Israelites were mixed with other peoples, like the Egyptians. Moses' wife was a Midianite. Solomon had seven hundred wives, a tactic he used to unite tribes and make alliances. Solomon's kingdom was so secular, that he built a temple for the Moabite god Chemosh, and one for the Ammonite god Milcom, as well as others.
There were other small "Israelite kingdoms" that existed for very short periods of time. Between 1037-1018 BC (19 years), King Saul ruled a small Israelite kingdom that was made up of Israelites and Canaanites. It was not
a "Jewish state." Between 1018 -1011 BC (7 years), King David ruled Judah, and between 1011-978 BC (33 years), ruled over Israel and Judah. The population of these kingdoms were mixed in races and religions. Jebus was
a Canaanite city which he made his capital and renamed it Jerusalem. Between 978 - 938 BC (40 years) King Solomon ruled over a secular kingdom. After his death, Solomon's kingdom was divided into two states:
The Kingdom of Israel in the North
The Kingdom of Judah in the South.
Between 927 - 586 BC (341 years) was the kingdom of Judah. Between 927 - 722 BC (205 years) was the kingdom of Israel which was conquered by the Assyrians in 722 BC, and this area was then conquered by the Babylonians in
If we are to consider the kingdom of Judah which lasted longer than the kingdom of Israel, plus the small Israelite kingdoms, the total time that any type of kingdom ruled by Israelites existed in the land of Canaan was about 440 years. It was the kingdom of Judah that had Jerusalem as its capital, making Jerusalem a capital for 421 years.
When the Kingdom of Judah fell, the Israelite influence was greatly reduced, except for the following periods:
During Persian rule 458 - 433 BC (25 years)
During the Maccabee rule 167 - 161 BC (6 years)
During the Romans 18 - 37 AD (19 years)
During Persian influence of 614 - 620 AD (6 years).
The Jews came to the land of Canaan in the 13th century BC, but they were not the only peoples who settled this area. The Canaanites were there first. Their kingdoms existed from 7000 BC to about 1000 BC, comprising
6000 years. The Canaanite religion survived in Palestine until the 4th century AD, when the Canaanites converted to Christianity. Other peoples settled in the area and intermarried with the Canaanites. The Egyptians conquered this area frequently, and ruled the land from about 2500 - 1700 BC, as well as 1550 - 1200 BC. The Hyksos invaded from 1710 - 1550 BC. They all intermarried with the Canaanites. The Hittites invaded from 1350 - 1290 BC. The Philistines (Aegean origin) came around 1250 - 711 BC. ther peoples that lived in this area were the Edomites, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Armenians, amongst others who conquered for various periods throughout the history of the area.
2. MYTH: Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the Modern State of Israel.
CORRECTION: Arabs in Israel did not begin identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967. The Philistines settled in the land of Canaan around 1250 BC, establishing 5 kingdoms: Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gath, and Ekron. It was from the Philistines that Palestine received its name. Since Roman times, this land has been known as Palestine. The Palestinians of today, Muslims and Christians, trace their descent to all the peoples who have lived on this land from the time of the Canaanites. After Jesus' time, many Jews as well as other people on this land became Christian. After the introduction of Islam, many Jews and Christians became Muslims. It is almost impossible to separate the ethnicity and racial origin of the Palestinian people, and as such they have always viewed themselves as "Palestinians."
Al-Bushra adds: The Palestinians of 1948 call them Palestinians, at
the time of the Othomans and well on the time of the English madate people
were called Palestinians. Money, ceritifcates and stamps show that under
both dominations, the Othomans and the English, the up mentioned was called
Palestine and not Israel.
Israel bcame a country with in 1948 only.
3. MYTH: Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 B.C.E. the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3300 years.
CORRECTION: There was no Jewish conquest in 1272 BC. As mentioned above, the Jews were one of many peoples who settled in the land of Canaan. It can be seen from the above, that they did not have dominion over the land for 1000 years, nor did they have a continuous presence on the land of Canaan.
4. MYTH: The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 C.E. lasted no more than 22 years.
CORRECTION: The Arabs conquered Palestine in 638 AD, and certainly lasted more than the alleged 22 years. The dates of Arab rule are the following: 638 - 1085 AD (Arab rule), 1291 - 1517 AD (under the Mamelukes of Egypt). Between 1099 - 1291 AD under the Crusaders' era when it remained under Arab rule. So actual Arab rule was for 865 years. The Palestinians are a genetic mix of all of the people who settled in the land of Canaan since 7000 BC.
5. MYTH: For over 3300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.
CORRECTION: Jerusalem was not a Jewish capital for 3300 years. Throughout the history of the area, Jerusalem was a Jewish capital for only 421 years.After Solomon's death, when the kingdom split, this marked the end of a united kingdom of Israel. The Northern Kingdom was named Samaria after its capital. Jerusalem was not the capital of the Northern Kingdom which was comprised of 10 tribes, the majority of the Israelites. The kingdom of Judah in the South kept its capital as Jerusalem, but that kingdom was made up of only 2 tribes. So, the majority of the Israelites did not consider Jerusalem their capital. When the Assyrians invaded Samaria, their inhabitants were dispersed, and came to be referred to as the "Ten Lost Tribes of Israel."
So the ten lost tribes of Israel had only lived in the Kingdom of Israel until the Assyrian invasion (205 years) before they ceased to exist. The Southern kingdom of Israelites, who descended from the tribe of Judah, are what remained of the Jews. Jerusalem was the capital of Judah, not Israel,for 421 years.
6. MYTH: Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.
CORRECTION: Contrary to the Tanach, the Quran is not a book of stories about historical figures and ancestors. The Quran is mainly concerned with giving guidance to the believers on how they can best achieve salvation. Mecca is mentioned only once in the Quran and Medina is only mentioned twice. The Quran does not even mention these cities as being holy, and offers very few names of places. The fact that they are mentioned so few times certainly does not diminish their status in the eyes of all Muslims.
Islam is not only comprised of the Quran, but of the Hadith of the Prophet and the Shariah. The Prophet said, "A journey (with the intention of worship) should be taken only to three mosques: The Sacred Mosque in Mecca, my Mosque in Medina, and the Masjid Al Aqsa in Jerusalem." It is a sacred duty for Muslims to visit Jerusalem, its mosque and the sacred areas that surround it. Pilgrims to Mecca and Medina often visit Jerusalem first. Virtually the entire city of Jerusalem is Waqf land (religious endowment). This land cannot be sold nor transferred. The Masjid Al Aqsa has always been a primary seat of learning in Islam, attracting many Muslim scholars who have settled in Jerusalem.
7. MYTH: King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.
CORRECTION: King David never "founded" the city of Jerusalem. He occupied Jebus, the Canaanite city, and renamed it Jerusalem. While Jews only regard David as a king, Muslims revere David as having been a Messenger of God. The fact that he established Jerusalem as his capital makes it that more important to Muslims. Mohammad came on a spiritual journey to Jerusalem.
It was also documented that he revered Jerusalem from early childhood,
and he visited Syria and Palestine on trading expeditions with his uncle,
and later for his future wife, Khadija. Let us also not forget that
Christian Palestinians hold Jerusalem as their most holy city, and has
been holy to them for 2000 years. However, their ancestors have lived
continuously in this city for 9000 years, since Christian Palestinians
trace their descent to all the peoples of Canaan wo lived on this land.
8. MYTH: Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.
CORRECTION: Muhammad had ordered his followers to first pray towards Jerusalem (the first Qiblah) because the Ka'bah, which the Quran identifies as the First House of worship established for humanity, was full of idols when Muhammad was first preaching. For 17 months after the emigration to Medina, Muslims continued to face Jerusalem. The revelation of 2:142-50 in the Quran changed it to Mecca. The reason for this is that the Ka'bah was the original Qiblah for all the prophets. The Black Stone in the Ka'bah has been there since the time of Adam. Abraham and his first born son Ishmael built the Ka'bah because of God's commandment to do so (2:125-27). It wasn't until almost 1000 years later that David and Solomon turned the Canaanite city of Jebus (renaming it Jerusalem) into their capital. Therefore, the Ka'bah had historical precedence as the first House of Worship to God. This did not lessen the importance of Jerusalem to Muslims. It was during the Mi'raj (the Ascension) when the Prophet took his night journey to Jerusalem, then to the Heavens from the sacred rock, that he received his command regarding the five daily prayers which he instituted upon his return to Mecca.
As for the direction of prayers, Jews did not always face Jerusalem in their prayers. The Bible says that the early Israelites faced south when they prayed (Exodus 27:9ff;40:24). This confirms that the Ka'bah, which is south of Jerusalem was the Qiblah for the early Israelite communities as well.
9. MYTH: Arab and Jewish refugees. In 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.
CORRECTION: Arab refugees were not encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews. According to Israeli historian, Tom Segev, in his book "One Palestine, Complete", the Arab leaders tried to stop the Palestinians from fleeing their homes, but were not able to do so. The Palestinians did not have the confidence that the badly organized Arab armies could protect the civilians from the onslaught of Zionist forces. Zionists claim that "68% left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier."
Zionist forces were clearly visible throughout Palestine. It was the fear of terrorist acts committed by the Zionist terror gangs as well as the Zionist forces (the Haganah, Palmach, Etzel, and Lechi forces) who had won several victories, conquering Tiberias, Safed, and Haifa, that led the civilians to flee. Several massacres of entire villages like Deir Yassin, and the continual voice of the Zionist underground radio announcing massacres, rapes, plunder and conquests, that instilled fear in the people. According
to Israeli historians, Tom Segev and Benny Morris, around 750,000 refugees fled, and over half of them were forcibly expelled by the Zionist forces. The civilians who left on their own, as is their right during times of conflict, did it to save their own lives. They thought they were leaving for a short period of time for safety, and all believed they would be permitted to go home once the conflict ended.
10. MYTH: The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.
CORRECTION: The Jewish refugees were not forced to flee from Arab lands
and were not exposed to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms. Only a
small number of Arab Jews supported Zionism. Zionists of European origin,
like David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, and Abba Eban often made derogatory
statements regarding Arab Jews who they considered to be inferior to
themselves. The Jewish communities had flourished in Arab lands for
thousands of years, and they contributed greatly to Arab culture as did all
other peoples who settled in the Arab World. It was the Zionist movement
that used underhanded means to frighten and force Arab Jews to settle in
Israel. Many regretted that move, and have always complained of being second-class citizens in their
Off the coast of Tunisia, on a small island of Djerba, a Jewish colony
lived that traced its presence there to at least 1000 BC. According to
Rabbi Moshe Schonfeld, "Some Djerban rabbis who were not to be fooled nor
intimidated by the Zionists were harassed, threatened and even beaten." (Schonfeld,
"Genocide in the Holy Land, 508) Rabbi Schonfeld also wrote about the same
tactics used to get the Jews of Iraq to flee to Israel. Zionists tried to convince these Arab Jews that it
was the Arabs who were exploding bombs in their neighborhoods, but it was
the Zionists who dreamed of populating Israel with Jews form all over the
Wilbur Crane Eveland, a former CIA operative, wrote about the Zionist
crimes against Arab Jews in Iraq (Feuerlicht, "The Fate of the Jews," 231).
Jewish author, Alfred Lilienthal, wrote about the oppressive treatment by
Ashkenazi (European) Jews in Israel of the Sephardic Jews (Semitic Arab
origin) in his book "The Zionist Connection." Jews in the Arab World were
always treated with respect and civility throughout history. Any
mistreatment they received was in the hands of the Zionists in Israel.
11. MYTH: The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.
CORRECTION: The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is
estimated at over 750,000, and this estimate is from Israeli historians,
Benny Morris and Tom Segev. The Jews who left Arab countries to Israel did
so as immigrants and did not leave as refugees.
12. MYTH: Arab refugees were intentionally not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory.
Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only
refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into
their own peoples' lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into
Israel, a country larger than the state of New Jersey.
CORRECTION: Zionists always claim that Palestinian refugees were
intentionally not absorbed or integrated into Arab lands to which they
fled. They boast that little Israel has absorbed Jewish refugees with no
difficulty. Today, there are around 3.7 million Palestinian refugees. The
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 13, states that everyone
"has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to
his country." The Geneva Conventions stipulate the right of refugees to
return to their homes. U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 (adopted in 1948),
which specifically applies to Palestinian refugees, states in Paragraph 11
that "the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with
their neighbors should be permited to do so at the earliest practicable
date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those
choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under
principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the
Governments or authorities responsible." Israel was admitted to the U.N.
(Resolution 273) as a member state only on condition that it abide by
Israel has consistently refused to abide by Resolution 194. It is the will
of the Palestinian people that they be repatriated to their homeland. Criticizing
neighboring countries because they could not absorb more refugees than they
have already, is an Israeli attempt to beat around the bush so they won't
have to face the real issue of the Palestinian right of return.
As for Jews who are absorbed in Israel, that is part of the Zionist dream.
Zionists created Israel for the purpose of attracting the Jewish Diaspora.
They have been able to accomplish this aim because of the billions of
dollars Israel receives from the U.S. each year as well as from world Jewry,
a luxury that Arab countries do not have.
13. MYTH: The Arab-Israeli Conflict; The Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel defended itself each time and won.
CORRECTION: Zionist propaganda loves to claim that "little" Israel dwells
in a sea of powerful Arab nations. The claim is that Arab nations
initiated all five wars. Menahem Begin, himself, admitted in an article in
"The New York Times" that "In June 1967, we again had a choice. The Egyptian Army
concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really
about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to
attack him." (8/21/82) Such admissions came also from General Yitzhak
Rabin, general Mattitiahu Peled, General Ezer Weizman, among many others.
Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon was also initiated by Israel, as well as
the Suez War of 1956. Israeli historians, among them Benny Morris, have
documented that Israel was the aggressor in both of these wars.
14. MYTH: The P.L.O.'s Charter still calls for the destruction of the
State of Israel. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank
land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them with
CORRECTION: The PLO does not call for the destruction of the State of
Israel. Since 1979, the PLO (Palestine National Council) offered its
formula for peace to the Israelis, namely that Palestinians would recognize
the Jewish state inside its pre-1967 borders, in exchange for Israel's
recognition of the Palestinian right to self-determination. It was the aim
of Oslo that the Palestinians would be given their state on the West Bank
and in the Gaza Strip following Israel's complete withdrawal. Israel's
continual refusal to withdraw from occupied Palestinian land threatens to
undermine decades of overtures of peace the PLO has made towards the
Document A.2 of the Oslo Accords is a statement made by PLO Chairman Yasir
Arafat to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. In this statement, Arafat
writes: "The PLO recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in
peace and security. The PLO accepts United Nations Security Council
Resolutions 242 and 338."
Document A.1 is the Declaration of Principles. Article I states that:
"The aim of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations within the current Middle
East peace process is, among other things, to establish a Palestinian
Interim Self-Government Authority, the elected Council, (the "Council") for
the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, for a
transitional period not exceeding five years, leading to a permanent
settlement based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 3
After 7 1/2 years, it is clear that Israel has no intent of honoring its
part of the Oslo Agreements. Since 1967, Israel has confiscated 175,000
acres of Palestinian land in the occupied territories, defying the rules of
international law which pertain to occupied people. More recently, the
uprooting of more than 35,000 olive trees, 22,000 grapevines, the
bulldozing of homes, the human rights violations, the speeding up of the
construction of settlements and highways only confirmed Barak's real
intent, which was to change the demographics of the occupied territories,
making it difficult to negotiate a just and reasonable withdrawal from
occupied land. The argument
that "Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land" becomes
15. MYTH: Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the
Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule all
Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to
people of all faiths.
CORRECTION: No Jewish holy sites have ever been desecrated under Jordanian
or any Arab rule. No Jews were ever denied access to places of worship.
Jewish holy sites are revered by both Christian and Muslim Palestinians who
follow the same Abrahamic faith preached by ancient prophets.
The statement that "all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and
made accessible to people of all faiths" is one of the most grossly
erroneous statements made by Zionist propagandists. On the contrary, it is
the Jewish state that has had a long history of desecrating Christian holy
sites and both Christian and Muslim cemetaries. The Hilton Hotel in Tel
Aviv stands on a Muslim cemetary bulldozed indiscriminately. In 1947 there
were 350,000 Christians in Palestine. The Melchite church lost many
churches in 1948 at the hands of the Israelis. They lost churches in
Damound, Somata, Kafr-Bur'om and Ikret, a village destroyed by the Israeli
army on Christmas day in 1952. During the 1967 war, many churches in
Jerusalem and Bethlehem were desecrated and looted by soldiers and
civilians alike. The names of all churches as well as the details of each
incident since 1948 is well-documented by the clergy of each denomination,
and the incidents number in the hundreds. The lack of respect for biblical
history is also exhibited by the destruction of 3 biblical villages, Beit-Nuba, Emmaus, and Yalu.
These villages were known from the time of Jesus. Since 1948, Israel has
demolished 450 Palestinian villages, many of which were part of biblical
history. Many Christian shrines have been destroyed as well. Since 1948,
there has been a continual campaign against Christian missionaries,
persecution of Christians in Israel, attacks against Jewish-Christian
meetings, censorship of films that mention the name of Jesus Christ,
attacks on Christian schools, the confiscation of Christian artifacts from
private homes, the beating of Christian women, and the obliteration of
Christian shrines. The confiscation by Jewish settlers of St. Johns'
Monastery, located near the church of the Holy Sepulcher, is an example of
the regular attacks committed by Israelis against Christian holy sites.
As for the Israeli attacks of Muslim holy sites, the most threatened is the
Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. The excavations under and around Al Aqsa
Mosque threaten to undermine its foundation. In 1969, an attempt was made
by Israelis to burn the Al Aqsa Mosque, prompting world concern to adopt the
1969 UN Resolution 271 which condemned the attempts at destroying the
Mosque and condemned the profanities committed against the Mosque. In the
1967 war, the Israelis bombarded Jerusalem and damaged parts of Al Aqsa. Between
March 1982 and January 1986, 21 attempts were made by Israelis to destroy
parts of the Al Aqsa compound. The Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron also
sustained Israeli attacks. From May 1982 to October 1984, there were 26 reported attacks and
violations against the mosque by Israeli soldiers and settlers. Other
mosques that endured attacks from July 1983 to December 1986 were: The
Khaled Ibn al Walid Mosque in Hebron, the Izariyah Mosque in Jerusalem, the
Haraa Mosque in Gaza, the Kammaaneh Mosque in Safad, and the Hizma Mosque
in Jerusalem. Since the 1969 fire, the Al Aqsa Mosque was frequently
attacked from August 1969 to 1986, with the obvious attempt to endanger its very
structure. It is clear that the Zionist dream of destroying the Al Aqsa
Mosque in order to rebuild the Jewish Temple is at the core of the
The U.N. record on Israel and the Arabs. Of the 175 Security
Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.
17. ARGUMENT.Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.
REACTION: The U.N. record speaks for itself! The World Body would not be
condemning Israeli atrocities if these atrocities had not been committed.
It is up to Israel to abide by international law and all standards of human
decency and human rights. It is Israel's self-image as a victim that
causes it to condemn the United Nations and its resolutions.
18. ARGUMENT: The U.N. was silent while 58 Jerusalem synagogues were
destroyed by the Jordanians.
19. ARGUMENT: The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians systematically
desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetary on the Mount of Olives.
20. ARGUMENT: The U.N. was silent while the Jordanians enforced an
aparthied-like policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and
the Western Wall.
REACTION: There is absolutely no proof of the "58
synagogues....destroyed," or the desecration of the Jewish cemetery by the
Jordanians, or any attempts to prevent Jews from visiting the Temple Mount
and the Western Wall. Under Islamic rule, Jerusalem was open to Christians, Muslims and Jews. Such
utter disregard for the holy sites of Christians and Muslims is a characteristic of the Israeli state alone.