Palestinian leaders frequently make the claim that there never was a Jewish Temple on Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount, now the site of the Al Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. They also insist that there never even was a Jewish commonwealth in the Land of Israel. Yassir Arafat famously made the claim at Camp David in 2007. In March 2007, Sheikh Taysir Tamimi, the Palestinian Authority's Chief Justice, and the person considered the most important Palestinian Muslim cleric after Muhammad Hussein, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, said in an interview:
"Israel started since 1967 making archeological digs to show Jewish signs to prove the relationship between Judaism and the city and they found nothing. There is no Jewish connection to Israel before the Jews invaded in the 1880's," said Tamimi.The only problem is that those Jews who never lived in the Land of Israel left behind a lot of litter. The archaelogical evidence that Sheikh Tamimi insists has never been found actually fills museums.
"About these so-called two Temples, they never existed, certainly not at the Haram Al- Sharif (Temple Mount)," Tamimi said.
The most recent spectacular archeological find is a fragment of a limestone sarcophaghus, bearing the inscription "ben HaCohen HaGadol," meaning "son of the High Priest," in Hebrew letters so clear that any 7-year old yeshiva student could read them. (See photo above.) The sarcophaghus apparently once held the remains of a son of the High Priest of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, one of the two Jewish Temples that the Palestinians say never existed. Because the portion of the sarcophaghus that would have contained the name of the deceased has not been found, scholars cannot identify to whom it belonged. They estimate that it came from the late Second Temple period, between 30 and 70 C.E.
Archaeologists discovered the fragment in the course of excavations north of Jerusalem. According to the story in the Jerusalem Post:
Pools and cisterns, public and residential buildings, and agricultural installations that range in date from the end of the Second Temple period to the early Islamic period have been discovered during the course of the excavations. The area is associated with the tribe of Benjamin where the priests resided during the Second Temple period.That last note shows the motivation behind the lies of Palestinian leaders, including their Muslim clerics. Around the world, Muslim conquerors demolished the holy places of the religions that preceded them, building mosques on those sites. Sometimes they simply converted the existing buildings into mosques, as one sees in the spectacular Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, which was built between 532 and 537 C.E., as a Byzantine cathedral, by Emperor Justinian, and was converted into the Ayasofya Mosque when Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1453.
The fragment apparently was moved from its original location approximately 1,000 years ago and was used in the construction of a later Muslim building that was erected atop the ruins of the houses from the Second Temple period.
Of course, the Romans had already destroyed the Second Temple on the Temple Mount before the Muslim armies under Caliph Omar seized Jerusalem from the faltering Byzantine empire in 636. Omar was kinder to the Christians whom he had conquered, and to whom he offered security for their churches and worship, than he was to Jerusalem's Jewish remnant--his treaty with the Christians expressly continued the existing ban against Jews residing in Jerusalem. Omar and his successors constructed the mosques on the Temple Mount, which remained under Muslim rule until June 1967, when it was captured by the Israeli army. The Israelis promptly returned custody of the top of the Temple Mount to the Muslim Waqf, which rewards Israel by publicly denying the Jewish connection to the Land of Israel.
The only problem is that their lies keep being disproved by the facts on the ground, or, more accurately, the facts in the ground.