FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 2012
Contact: Nathan Diament, 202-513-6484
Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, strongly criticized Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for his statement yesterday denying the Jewish People’s history and connection to the holy city of Jerusalem.
According to press reports, Abbas issued a statement Tuesday, marking the 43rd anniversary of an attempt by deranged Australian Christian Denis Michael Rohan to set fire to the al-Aksa Mosque. Abbas said “the fire, set by a criminal under the eyes of the Israeli Occupation Authorities, was the first [attack] 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.” His statement further read that all Israeli excavation work in Jerusalem, and tunnels underneath the mosque, “will not undermine the fact that the city will forever be Arabic, Islamic and Christian.”
Nathan Diament, the Orthodox Union’s executive director for public policy issued the following statement in response:
President Abbas’ statement is only the latest in which he and other Palestinian leaders have outrageously denied the millennia old connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. The existence of our two holy temples is not “alleged” – it is fact. Just as it is fact that Jerusalem has served as the capital of Israel and the Jewish People since the times of King David; just as it is fact that it is only under modern Israeli sovereignty that Jerusalem’s holy sites have been protected and open to access by people of all faiths; and just as it is fact that Jerusalem must and will remain a united city and the capital of Israel and the Jewish People eternally.”