Beyond this historical claim, we should also be emphazing our political and legal claims. Ted Belman
Zahalka’s remarks stem from a broader line of argument which claims that the Jews have no history in their land, that the Temple never stood on the Temple Mount, and that Zionism is a colonialist and racist movement whose goal is to disinherit the “real owners” of the land.
These lies have gained traction internationally because Israel mainly makes security arguments when it talks about the danger of a Palestinian state in the mountains of Judea and Samaria. While these security arguments are true, as evidenced by the Gaza Strip with its thousands of rockets, that does not stop the European Union and BDS movement from moving forward with sanctions against Israel. The reason for this is that we have attenuated our claims that have to do with the justice of our right to the land.
Every diplomatic statement, press conference and political speech needs to emphasize, first and foremost, the historical, religious and moral rights of the Jews to their land. Mr. President of the United States of America, do you believe in the Bible? Do you believe in the promise of this land to the Jewish people? Almost 2,000 years before Islam came to this world, when the forefathers of MKs Zahalka and Tibi were worshipping idols in the Hijaz desert, our own forefathers were walking here and beginning to practice monotheism.
One thousand six hundred years before Islam, we had a kingdom and Temple in Jerusalem. Twice we were destroyed and exiled, and twice we came back home. Four hundred years before the advent of Islam, the Romans changed the name of Judea to Palestine, after the coastal nation known as the Philistines, who had disappeared hundreds of years previously. The Romans sought to erase the connection between the Jews and their land. Now Arabs of the region call themselves Palestinians and say, “We were here before you.” This lie must be exposed at every opportunity. Telling this truth is also our chance at achieving true peace.