Jerusalem – May 18, 2010. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turned to the Bible on Wednesday to answer questions over the Jewish state’s claim to Jerusalem.
“As to how many times Jerusalem is mentioned in the holy scriptures of other faiths, I recommend you check,” he said.
Netanyahu told Israel’s parliament that Jerusalem’s alternative Hebrew name of Zion appears in the Old Testament 850 times.
He then quickly pointed out that Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran, Muslim holy book.
“Because you asked: Jerusalem is mentioned 142 times in the New Testament, and none of the 16 various Arabic names for Jerusalem is mentioned in the Koran. But in an expanded interpretation of the Koran from the 12th century, one passage is said to refer to Jerusalem,” he said.
The parliament was meeting to commemorate Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967.