Looking for the "Talmudic Gardens" - and finding that Israel preserves Muslim history

The Palestinian Authority has claimed that Israel is building "Talmudic Gardens" all over Jerusalem.

I never quite figured out what that meant - the best I could guess is that the word "Talmud" is the equivalent of profanity in modern Arabic - but I sought them out nonetheless last Friday when I visited the Old City.

Just as we were about to exit the Old City through a small opening in the walls west of Dung Gate, I saw this:


Looking a bit closer at the signs, I saw that these were the remains of an Umayyad structure from the early Islamic period. Not the famous giant palaces adjacent to the Temple Mount, but another building from the time.

Israel has been constantly charged with "Judaizing" Jerusalem and destroying all evidence of Muslim history there. Yet here is a clear example that, meters from the holiest Jewish sites and spitting distance from the Jewish Quarter, the Israeli government is preserving Muslim heritage with the same respect that it treats Jewish and Christian heritage.

This is not a heavily traveled tourist spot. If Israel was as keen on erasing Islamic heritage as we are told, it could have easily destroyed this building and no Muslims would have known it ever existed to begin with.

It is worthwhile to mention this story that was first published in Biblical Archaeology Review in 1986:
[Archaeologist Meir ]Ben-Dov tells the story of a visit to the excavation [of the Umayyad palaces] by Rafiq Dajani, the deputy director of the Jordanian Department of Antiquities. Dajani remarked to Ben-Dov, “If we could leave politics to the politicians, I would heartily congratulate you on your work, revealing finds of which we knew very little up until now. The finds from the early Moslem period are thrilling, and frankly I’m surprised the Israeli scholars made them public.” A foreign correspondent overheard Dajani’s remarks and included them in his story. Two weeks later Dajani was summarily dismissed and later died in the prime of life.

It only takes a short stroll in Jerusalem to expose the lies of the Palestinian and other Arab leadership.



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