Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demands Israel to give up sovereignty over Jerusalem as a prerequisite to peace talks and openly denies the Jewish history of the holy city.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, during a speech on the Muslim holiday of al-Isra wa al-Miraj, which commemorates Mohammed’s nighttime journey from Mecca to Jerusalem declared “There will be no peace without Jerusalem, no state without Jerusalem and no stability without Jerusalem. We won’t accept any city other than Jerusalem as our capital.” He continued, “The responsibility for defending and restoring Jerusalem and purifying its holy sites is not that of the Palestinians alone, but the entire Arab, Islamic and Christian nation.”

Abbas called upon Muslims and Christians to visit Jerusalem in order to emphasize “the Arab and Islamic depth of the city.” Abbas routinely refers to the Christian and Islamic history of Jerusalem but ignores and denies the Jewish history within Jerusalem. In the past, the Palestinian Authority has denied any Jewish connection to the Western Wall.

Instead, the Palestinian Authority claims that the Western Wall is the Al Buraq Wall where Mohammed’s horse rested on Mohammed’s night journey into heaven, even though in the past many Muslim religious leaders recognized that a Jewish Temple was erected and stood on the Temple Mount. Shmuel Berkowitz, author of The War over the Holy Places, suggests that the Western Wall only gained Muslim religious significance within the last 100 years.

Furthermore, Abbas refers to Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem as settlements, claims that Jerusalem is currently under occupation, even though international law recognizes the Jewish right to the holy city of Jerusalem, and asserted that Israel is “falsifying facts, names and characters” in Jerusalem, without producing any evidence showing this. Additionally, Abbas threatened to engage in more unilateral actions against Israel and saluted Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails that he claims must be released as a pre-condition to a peace agreement.


Past Palestinian leaders have demanded similar untenable compromises from Israel. PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashwari stated, “Our struggle will continue until we… witness the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital.” PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erakat told Israel to stop building in Judea and Samaria, as well as East Jerusalem, and to return to the indefensible 1967 borders as a basis for future peace negotiations, even though UN Security Council Resolution 242 explicitly doesn’t obligate Israel to withdraw from all of the territories that Israel captured during the Six Day War.


As international law specialist Eugene Rostow, who also served as the American Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs during the Six Day War, stated, “Resolution 242, which as undersecretary of state for political affairs between 1966 and 1969 I helped produce, calls on the parties to make peace and allows Israel to administer the territories it occupied in 1967 until ‘a just and lasting peace in the Middle East’ is achieved. When such a peace is made, Israel is required to withdraw its armed forces ‘from territories’ it occupied during the Six-Day War – not from ‘the’ territories nor from ‘all’ the territories, but from some of the territories.


Former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban referred to the 1967 borders as “Auschwitz borders” for withdrawing to them would guarantee Israel’s destruction. Ebban made this statement when the Palestinians were much weaker militarily. Israeli Tourism Minister Uzi Landau emphasized that the 1967 borders are just as much “Auschwitz borders” today as they were then, if not more so. “Before ’67, they didn’t have Keytousha rockets and missiles to the extent owned today by Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south that constitute a strategic threat to Israel,” said Landau. Thus, Israel must always have a united Jerusalem as the capital city of the Jewish people.

By Rachel Avraham, staff writer for United with Israel