|Report Saying Western Wall Not Holy to Jews is Cut|
A Jewish man raises his hands as he and others pray for rain at the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalem's Old City. The Palestinian government has removed a report claiming that Jerusalem's Western Wall isn't holy to Jews from an official website Wednesday after it provoked furious reaction. AP Photo/Bernat Armangue.
By: Diaa Hadid, Associated Press
JERUSALEM (AP).- The Palestinian Authority has removed a report from a government website claiming that Jerusalem's Western Wall isn't holy to Jews, officials said Wednesday, after it provoked furious reactions from the U.S. and Israel.
The essay, written by a top official in the Palestinian Information Ministry, has become the latest source of contention between the Israelis and Palestinians and highlighted the sensitivities over Jerusalem. Resolving the conflicting claims to the holy city is the most explosive issue in peace talks.
A senior Palestinian official denied the report was taken down because of pressure. Instead, he said it was done "because it does not reflect our position." He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
In the report, Deputy Information Minister Al-Mutawakil Taha claimed the Western Wall was not connected to the biblical Jewish Temples contradicting centuries of archaeological evidence and one of Judaism's most fundamental principles.
In an interview with The Associated Press Wednesday, Taha stood by his claims, insisting they were backed up by his own independent research and two committees that looked into riots at the Western Wall when the British ruled what was then mandatory Palestine.
"I'm not against the Jews. But ... the research says it's for Muslims, not for Jews," he said.
The Western Wall is the holiest place where Jews can pray. It is a retaining wall of the compound where the biblical Temples stood 2,000 years ago. The Al-Aqsa compound, Islam's third-holiest site, is built atop its ruins.
The report, echoing similar claims by Palestinian leaders and religious authorities over the years, caused an uproar in Israel, with leaders saying that such sentiments prove the Palestinians are not prepared to reach peace with the Jewish state.
In a parliamentary speech Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the report was "a testing point" for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who also is known as Abu Mazen.
"I say to Abu Mazen: Condemn this phenomenon," he said. "Turn to your people and tell them: 'There is a Jewish people here. They have been living here for close to 4,000 years. We recognize this people. We recognize their historic connection to this land and this city."
The U.S. State Department on Tuesday called the report "factually incorrect, insensitive and highly provocative."
"We have repeatedly raised with the Palestinian Authority leadership the need to consistently combat all forms of delegitimization of Israel, including denying historic Jewish connections to the land," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters.
Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war. Palestinians claim east Jerusalem, including the Old City, which is home to the Western Wall, as well as other Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy sites, as the capital of their future state.
The two sides have never reached a formula on how they would share the holy sites in the walled Old City.
Palestinians have consistently claimed that Jews have no historical religious attachment to Jerusalem, in defiance of archaeological finds, in an attempt to counter Israel's claims to the city.
Israel's government does not deny Muslim claims to Jerusalem, but has tried to make it harder to hand over the eastern part of the city to Palestinians by annexing it and building Jewish neighborhoods there, home today to about 200,000 Israelis. Palestinians consider the neighborhoods to be illegal settlements.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
December 3, 2010
New Orleans Museum of Art Celebrates First Century with Exhibition from Its Collection
Chillida-Leku Museum in Spain Announces It is Forced to Shut Down Due to Economic Crisis
U.S. Government Returns Degas Painting Stolen 37 Years Ago to French Government
Spanish Thieves Steal Van Containing 20 Pieces of Art Including Works by Picasso
Coveted Ferrari 166 MM. Touring Barchetta Joins RM Auction's Arizona Sale
Washington's Transformer Gallery Vows Ongoing Protest Against Smithsonian
Classic Horror Remains King in $1.486 Million Beverly Hills Movie Poster Auction
Two More Walls Have Given Way Inside Pompeii's 2,000-Year-Old Archaeological Site
Miamis Longest Running Contemporary Art Fair Opens to Strong First Day Sales
Sotheby's New York and London November Sales of Russian Art Realise $30.4 Million
High Museum of Art Appoints Brett Abbott as New Curator of Photography
Luba Caryatid Stool Achieves Record for a Work of African Art at Sotheby's: $7.1 Million
Photographers' Gallery Announces Four Shortlisted Artists Nominated for Annual Prize
International Design Museum Munich Presents Black N Dark: Photographs by Hubertus Hamm
Rimbaud, Verlaine, Mallarmé & Their Friends at Sotheby's Sale of Books, Manuscripts & Precious Documents
The Montreux Jazz Festival Plumps for Abstract 2011 Festival Poster Designed by Francis Baudevin
Report Saying Western Wall Not Holy to Jews is Cut
King Tut NYC Exhibition at Discovery Times Square Exposition Extends to January 17, 2011
The Whitney Launches CLICKISTAN, Online Game Art, to Benefit the Annual Fund
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Egypt conservationists to sue over 'botched' Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun mask repair
2.- Scrolls scorched by Vesuvius may be read again thanks to 21st century technology
3.- Italian government seizes more than 5,000 looted antiquities in record 45-million-euro haul
4.- Remains of at least five people found in Alexander the Great-era tomb in Amphipolis
5.- Munich poised to lift ban on Holocaust memorial project known as Stolpersteine
6.- Rare coin records smashed by Heritage Auctions at Florida United Numismatists Convention
7.- Bonhams to offer Alan Turing's hidden manuscript on the foundations of mathematics and computer science
8.- Jane Wilson, painter of luminous landscapes, dies at the age of 90 in New York
9.- First exhibition in the UK to examine Rubens influence on art history opens in London
10.- Paul Simonon presents a series of new paintings at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|