Santayana wrote that those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it. What the august philosopher could not have recognized is that some will stoop to any means and rewrite history to avoid learning lessons.
In recent years, for example, Nazi sympathizers, anti-Semites and even political leaders argued that the Holocaust was a hmyth perpetrated by Jews. Thank God for filmmaker Steven Spielberg who has made a huge effort to record the testimony of Holocaust survivors; the majority already beyond their golden years. After his victory in Europe, General Eisenhower required troops to witness the atrocities of the camps. He also arranged for local citizens tour of the camps, to which they had earlier turned the blind eye. His command and his rationale are carved above the entryway of the American Holocaust Museum at the Smithsonian. Yet as tremendous as the voice of our past president, Holocaust deniers remain.
Perhaps the most blatant of them is Ahmadenijad of Iran. One must wonder why such vast effort to rewrite history? Even if the Holocaust did not exist, there are later examples of genocide in Asia and Africa from which lessons of crimes against humanity can be learnt. Perhaps, though, this miscreant of a world leader can be better understood as doing anything to avoid sympathy toward Jewish ideals and survival, and therefore, avoiding the teaching of the Holocaust and its implications. His effort has paid off in larger measure than imagined. Even in Germany, where Holocaust education was for many years a core of the school curriculum, the subject has been minimized or eliminated for fear of antagonizing Arab citizens of the country.
It seems that the continued existence of the Jewish people and the Jewish State are a true thorn in the side of Moslem extremists that have brought terrorism not only to the Middle East, but to every continent on the globe.
Now anti-Semites have taken a step further. For years newspapers have reported that the Waqf of Jerusalem has gone to great lengths to dig up and destroy Jewish relics from the Temple Mount in a move to eliminate evidence of the Jewish People of ever having had a foothold there. Even if funded by Cyrus the Great and Darius, great Persian emperors of the past, it would be better for the current Persian/Iranian thugs if the Holy Temple had never exsited.. Using bulldozers and other heavy moving equipment they work to obliterate as much archeological evidence as possible. While this effort has been ongoing since at least 2008, if not earlier, the effort was recently renewed. The operation has been described by Ynet and other Israeli papers as a crime against history and archeology.
The Waqf has long been allied to forces bent on the destruction of Judaism and Jewish life. It was this Moslem leadership that sided with Hitler during the Second World War. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was known for his anti-Semitic ways. His nephew, Arafat, followed in his footsteps; perhaps not so much for the welfare of his fellow Palestinians, when he organized the PLO, but as a direct attack on the Jews.
The renewed effort to erase the record of Jewish ties to the Promised Land, however, is far more than a crime against Jews, Judaism or the archeological record. To an observant Moslem, this effort must smack of blasphemy. The verses of the Quran recognize that importance of the Christian and Jewish bibles. The adherents of those holy texts are called by the Quran the People of the Book. They were recognized as monotheist followers of an acceptable way of life for them. Islam would have preferred that all Christians and Jews convert t the “religion of peace”; but their religious tenets and practices were to be tolerated.
Furthermore, the Quran described, Abraham, Moses and Jesus (and many others) as prophets. The Bible records their prophecy. Relics from the biblical and rabbinic eras are testimony not only to a Jewish connection to the land, but to the prophecy that even the Quran recognizes as divine messages. Abrahamic and Mosaic prophecy, including claims to the land, are the core of the Bible.
The Waqf’s acts must be brought to the attention of the world. Eliminating evidence may make it more challenging to authenticate the historical record, but the record already stood for generations. By bearing witness to the Waqf’s tomfoolery, it may once and for all demonstrate the local lack of basis for Palestinian claims to the land of Israel. It will show that they act independently of Islamic traditions toward the Land of Israel.
Until 1967 no one had ever even heard of a Palestinian. When Israel foiled Arab military efforts other means come to the fore. In the years that have followed they have launched other wars, staged intifadas, perpetrated countless acts of terrorism and worked to sway world, public opinion. The Palestinians and the Waqf are misguided at best, and eliminating evidence will not win independence, territory or world favor. Were those their true goals, peace with Isreal would have already been a longstanding given.