Chapter 1 - The Jewish Presence in Jerusalem from Antiquity

For several decades now, politicians, clerics and school teachers living in the areas known as the Gaza strip, the ‘West Bank’ and ‘East Jerusalem’ have been teaching their children, teenagers and young adults that the whole of the Land of Israel in fact belongs to the Arab people who are today known as the Palestinians.  This claim is widely propagated throughout the Palestinian media and education system, and further afield in Muslim dominated countries in the Middle East.  The claim goes on to assert that the Jewish people have no historic connection with Jerusalem, and they are in fact trying to Judaise the Holy City, and that the Jewish presence there is ‘illegal’.  Moreover, this claim is now becoming widely believed among many in the Western world.  So what historic and legal claim do the Palestinian Arabs have over Jerusalem and the Land of Israel? 

Jewish writings dating back over two thousand years found among the Dead Sea Scrolls confirm that there was a historic Jewish presence in Jerusalem well before the time of Christ.  Archaeological sites in Jerusalem confirm that fact.  Christian records confirm that a Jewish temple stood on what the Palestinians call Haram Al-Sharif – or the Temple Mount – at the time of Christ.

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