During the eight-day festival of Hanukkah, it’s worthwhile to connect the celebrations to recent controversies surrounding Jerusalem. The joyous holiday celebrates the purification and re-dedication of Jerusalem’s Second Temple in 164 BC, but today the official Palestinian position denies that this Temple ever even existed. That absurd notion not only contradicts hundreds of references in both Old and New Testaments, but also goes against incontrovertible historical and archaeological evidence.
This unbending extremism under-girds Palestinian insistence that Jewish people have no valid claims to any portion of Jerusalem—and their furious reaction to President Trump’s recognition of the Holy City as Israel’s capital. Neither the Trump administration nor the Israeli government rules out the idea that peace negotiations might one day establish a Palestinian capital in some section of Jerusalem. But until Islamic extremists recognize the region’s actual history and drop the ridiculous fantasy of “Temple Denial,” there can be no progress—and no peace.