By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
During his speech to the emergency summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Jews of “faking” history in Jerusalem. Speaking on Wednesday just before noon, he claimed “I don’t want to discuss religion or history because they are really excellent in faking and counterfeiting history,” Abbas said. “But if we read the Torah it says that the Canaanites were there before the time of our prophet Abraham and their [Canaanite] existence continued since that time, this is in the Torah itself.”
Then his speech took an anti-Jewish tone. “But if they would like to fake this history, they are really masters in this and it is mentioned in the holy Quran they fabricate truth and they try to do that and they believe in that but we have been there in this location for thousands of years.”
It isn’t the first time Abbas has sought to deny the Jewish connection to Jerusalem. In 2012 he claimed he claimed Israel was “aiming to demolish al- Aksa mosque and build the alleged Temple in order to uproot its citizens, Judaize it and eternalize its occupation.”
His speech in Istanbul took place in front of delegations from 50 countries and 18 heads of state, including Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar and Kuwait. It was held to address US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. During his speech Abbas frequently referenced the “Muslim and Christian” connection to Jerusalem and the holy sites, but refused to mention Jews or Jewish connections to the city. His reference to a religious justification for “fabrications” is a new addition to his denial of the existence of the Temple.