PA OFFICIAL AWAD: NOT FOR ME TO DECIDE IF JESUS WAS JEWISH PA OFFICIAL AWAD: NOT FOR ME TO DECIDE IF JESUS WAS JEWISH
IMRA interviewed Walid M. Awad, Director of Foreign Publications
in the "Palestine Ministry of Information", in English, on 25
IMRA: In your article, "Jerusalem, A City Crying Out For Justice",
you write that "Jerusalem is not a Jewish city, despite the
biblical myth implanted in some minds" and that there is "no
tangible evidence" of "Jewish existence from the so called 'Temple
Mount Era'." Are you suggesting that there never was a Jewish
Awad: I am not saying that there was not one. I am saying that
the location of the Temple on the Temple Mount is in question.
Even the Jews question its location. There are scholars who say
that it might be in Jericho or somewhere else 4 kilometers outside
IMRA: So the Jewish Priests who lived in the "Burnt House" and the
Hasmonean palaces walked from their homes in Jerusalem to the
Temple in Jericho each day?
Awad: I am not trying to exclude any possibility. All I am saying
is that the city is in danger of Israelis trying to change things.
All I am saying is that the Israelis have been digging under the
Temple Mount and haven't come up with anything.
IMRA: Your article also talks about Jesus. The New Testament
talks of Jesus going to the Temple in Jerusalem. Are you
suggesting that Jesus went to Jericho rather than Jerusalem?
Awad: It depends on what temple you think he went to. There were
IMRA: I am talking of Herod's Temple.
Awad: The Herodian Temple was destroyed before Jesus Christ lived.
IMRA: Herod's Temple was destroyed in the year 70 AD. That puts
it many decades after Jesus was born.
Awad: The point I am trying to make is that Jerusalem has been
changing continuously and the Israelis are trying to use
historically unclear things to prove their point. What I am saying
is that since 1968 they have been excavating and so far they have
only found Moslem artifacts and that is one way of saying that the
assumptions by the Israeli side are unproved.
IMRA: Do you see the historical Jesus in a Jewish setting or some
Awad: I see Jesus as a prophet. I can't relate that in terms of
location or origin.
IMRA: Was Jesus a Palestinian?
Awad: It depends on your definition of a Palestinian. If anyone
brought up in Palestine is a Palestinian then he was a Palestinian.
IMRA: Was the historical Jesus a Jew?
Awad: It is not for me decide. I am trying to make a point about
a general situation. I cannot help you decide about Jesus. You
have to decide these things on your own. My main concern here is
to tell the people that the Palestinians are suffering today and
put these things in perspective.
IMRA: Your article does, however, mention Jews. You write about
them coming to Jerusalem as pilgrims in a later period. Are you
suggesting that Jews did not live in the area before then?
Awad: Everyone knows that they were taken from the spot and taken
to Babylon and there was a continuation of Judaism from that point.
IMRA: That was after the destruction of the First Temple. Are you
suggesting that the period starting with Ezra and Nehemia, with the
return to Jerusalem and the Second Temple Period, did not happen?
Awad: All I am saying is that the Israeli excavations under the
Temple Mount have failed to yield any evidence of a so called
"Temple Mount Era".
Dr. Aaron Lerner
IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)
(mail POB 982 Kfar Sava)
Tel 972-9-7604719/Fax 972-9-7411645
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