One cannot walk more than a few feet in the land of Israel without finding some archaeological evidence of the Jewish commonwealth that existed from the time Joshua led the Children of Israel into the land around 1,272 Before the Common Era (BCE) until the Romans burned Jerusalem in the year 70 of the Common Era (CE). Except for a 75 year period between 586 BCE and 511 BCE when the dominant power in the world at the time, the Babylonians required all to reside in Babylonia, the Children of Israel had a remarkable national state of their own in the Holy Land for more than 1200 years.
Nothing, but nothing upsets and frustrates many Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular more than bringing up the historical ties of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel. As such, rather than have to acknowledge those historical ties, die-hard, disingenuous Arabs and their supporters in the Muslim world like to suggest that the 14.5 million Jews alive today have no connection whatsoever to the Biblical Children of Israel. Like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has suggested that the Holocaust never happened; or, like former White House correspondent Helen Thomas who suggested that the Jews living in Israel should “go back to Poland,” anyone who dares to go down the road of revisionist historical fiction is accomplishing nothing more than exposing their prejudices and intellectual dishonesty.
Most historians and educated Muslims will tell you that the Prophet Muhammad was born on April 26, 570 CE and died on June 8, 632 CE. Obviously, Islam first came into existence during the Prophet’s lifetime. To his credit, the Prophet Muhammad acknowledged in the Koran that both Judaism and Christianity were already in existence, but he believed that it was his responsibility to take monotheism in a new direction.
So for anyone to suggest that Islam predates the Jewish people and that the renown stories of the Torah were really all about Muslims is a bit like saying the Europeans were the first people to settle in North America and completely ignore the existence of Native Americans. Are these people bad liars or incredibly stupid? But that is exactly what Dr. Omar Ja’ara of the Al Najah University in Nablus, West Bank is teaching his students and stats as fact in this recorded video from April 2, 2012 on the TV network of the Palestinian Authority. According to Dr. Ja’ara, Moses was a Muslim who led Muslims out of slavery in Egypt.
There’s an old joke Israelis like to tell about the first time Yasser Arafat met with an Israeli negotiator to discuss a possible peace settlement between the two people who both make claims to the same land. The Israeli asked Chairman Arafat if, before they began their discussions he could engage in a traditional Jewish practice of starting every business meeting with a little Bible study. Chairman Arafat agreed. The Israeli went on to tell the story of how one day during the 40 years that the Children of Israel wandered through the desert before entering the Promised Land, they came to an oasis that included a beautiful spring of water. The great leader, teacher and prophet Moses, wanting to cool himself from the desert heat, took a dip in the cool spring. Upon leaving the water, Moses was stunned to find that all his clothes were gone from the spot where he had left them. “To this day, ” the Israeli told Arafat, “we are quite sure that it had to have been an Arab who stole the clothes of Moses. ” Arafat became indignant: “How could an Arab have taken Moses’ clothing? There were no Arabs around then!” “That’s correct,” responded the Israeli leader. “Now we can begin our negotiations.”
Nice try Prof. Ja’ara but historical records will always trump political propaganda.