Jerusalem

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    Mar 27, 2010 9:31 PM GMT
    The Jewish connection to Jerusalem is an ancient and powerful one. Judaism made Jerusalem a holy city over three thousand years ago and through all that time Jews remained steadfast to it. Jews pray in its direction, mention its name constantly in prayers, close the Passover service with the wistful statement "Next year in Jerusalem," and recall the city in the blessing at the end of each meal. The destruction of the Temple looms very large in Jewish consciousness; remembrance takes such forms as a special day of mourning, houses left partially unfinished, a woman's makeup or jewelry left incomplete, and a glass smashed during the wedding ceremony. In addition, Jerusalem has had a prominent historical role, is the only capital of a Jewish state, and is the only city with a Jewish majority during the whole of the past century. In the words of its current mayor, Jerusalem represents "the purist expression of all that Jews prayed for, dreamed of, cried for, and died for in the two thousand years since the destruction of the Second Temple."1

    What about Muslims? Where does Jerusalem fit in Islam and Muslim history? It is not the place to which they pray [Muslims in eastern Jerusalem actually turn their back on Jerusalem when they turn toward Mecca to pray], is not once mentioned by name in prayers, and it is connected to no mundane events in Muhammad's life. The city never served as capital of a sovereign Muslim state, and it never became a cultural or scholarly center. Little of political import by Muslims was initiated there.

    One comparison makes this point most clearly: Jerusalem appears in the Jewish Bible 669 times and Zion (which usually means Jerusalem, sometimes the Land of Israel) 154 times, or 823 times in all. The Christian Bible mentions Jerusalem 154 times and Zion 7 times. In contrast, the columnist Moshe Kohn notes, Jerusalem and Zion appear as frequently in the Qur'an "as they do in the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita, the Taoist Tao-Te Ching, the Buddhist Dhamapada and the Zoroastrian Zend Avesta"—which is to say, not once.2

    The city being of such evidently minor religious importance, why does it now loom so large for Muslims, to the point that a Muslim Zionism seems to be in the making across the Muslim world? Why do Palestinian demonstrators take to the streets shouting "We will sacrifice our blood and souls for you, Jerusalem"3 and their brethren in Jordan yell "We sacrifice our blood and soul for Al-Aqsa"?4 Why does King Fahd of Saudi Arabia call on Muslim states to protect "the holy city [that] belongs to all Muslims across the world"?5 Why did two surveys of American Muslims find Jerusalem their most pressing foreign policy issue?6

    Because of politics. An historical survey shows that the stature of the city, and the emotions surrounding it, inevitably rises for Muslims when Jerusalem has political significance. Conversely, when the utility of Jerusalem expires, so does its status and the passions about it. This pattern first emerged during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad in the early seventh century. Since then, it has been repeated on five occasions: in the late seventh century, in the twelfth century Countercrusade, in the thirteenth century Crusades, during the era of British rule (1917-48 ), and since Israel took the city in 1967. The consistency that emerges in such a long period provides an important perspective on the current confrontation.


    1. Muhammad

    The adoption of Jerusalem as qibla was a tactical move to win Jewish converts. "He chose the Holy House in Jerusalem in order that the People of the Book [i.e., Jews] would be conciliated," notes At-Tabari, an early Muslim commentator on the Qur'an, "and the Jews were glad."7 Modern historians agree: W. Montgomery Watt, a leading biographer of Muhammad, interprets the prophet's "far-reaching concessions to Jewish feeling" in the light of two motives, one of which was "the desire for a reconciliation with the Jews."8

    2. Umayyads

    The second round of interest in Jerusalem occurred during the rule of the Damascus-based Umayyad dynasty (661-750). A dissident leader in Mecca, ‘Abdullah b. az-Zubayr began a revolt against the Umayyads in 680 that lasted until his death in 692; while fighting him, Umayyad rulers sought to aggrandize Syria at the expense of Arabia (and perhaps also to help recruit an army against the Byzantine Empire). They took some steps to sanctify Damascus, but mostly their campaign involved what Amikam Elad of the Hebrew University calls an "enormous" effort "to exalt and to glorify" Jerusalem.11 They may even have hoped to make it the equal of Mecca.

    In 715, to build up the prestige of their dominions, the Umayyads did a most clever thing: they built a second mosque in Jerusalem, again on the Temple Mount, and called this one the Furthest Mosque (al-masjid al-aqsa, Al-Aqsa Mosque). With this, the Umayyads retroactively gave the city a role in Muhammad's life. ...all logic (how can a mosque built nearly a century after the Qur'an was received establish what the Qur'an meant?), building an actual Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Palestinian historian A. L. Tibawi writes, "gave reality to the figurative name used in the Koran."19 It also had the hugely important effect of inserting Jerusalem post hoc into the Qur'an and making it more central to Islam.

    Scholars agree that the Umayyads' motivation to assert a Muslim presence in the sacred city had a strictly utilitarian purpose. The Iraqi historian Abdul Aziz Duri finds "political reasons" behind their actions.23 Hasson concurs:

    The construction of the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque, the rituals instituted by the Umayyads on the Temple Mount and the dissemination of Islamic-oriented Traditions regarding the sanctity of the site, all point to the political motives which underlay the glorification of Jerusalem among the Muslims.24


    Abbasid Rule

    With the Umayyad demise in 750 and the move of the caliph's capital to Baghdad, "imperial patronage became negligible"25 and Jerusalem fell into near-obscurity. For the next three and a half centuries, books praising this city lost favor and the construction of glorious buildings not only came to an end but existing ones fell apart (the dome over the rock collapsed in 1016). Gold was stripped off the dome to pay for Al-Aqsa repair work. City walls collapsed. Worse, the rulers of the new dynasty bled Jerusalem and its region country through what F. E. Peters of New York University calls "their rapacity and their careless indifference."26 The city declined to the point of becoming a shambles. "Learned men are few, and the Christians numerous," bemoaned a tenth-century Muslim native of Jerusalem.27 Only mystics continued to visit the city.

    In a typical put-down, another tenth-century author described the city as "a provincial town attached to Ramla,"28 a reference to the tiny, insignificant town serving as Palestine's administrative center. Elad characterizes Jerusalem in the early centuries of Muslim rule as "an outlying city of diminished importance."29 The great historian S. D. Goitein notes that the geographical dictionary of al-Yaqut mentions Basra 170 times, Damascus 100 times, and Jerusalem only once, and that one time in passing. He concludes from this and other evidence that, in its first six centuries of Muslim rule, "Jerusalem mostly lived the life of an out-of-the-way provincial town, delivered to the exactions of rapacious officials and notables, often also to tribulations at the hands of seditious fellahin [peasants] or nomads ... . Jerusalem certainly could not boast of excellence in the sciences of Islam or any other fields."30
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    Mar 27, 2010 9:32 PM GMT
    3. Early Crusades

    The Crusader conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 initially aroused a very mild Muslim response. The Franks did not rate much attention; Arabic literature written in Crusader-occupied towns tended not even to mention them . Thus, "calls to jihad at first fell upon deaf ears," writes Robert Irwin, formerly of the University of St Andrews in Scotland.32 Emmanuel Sivan of the Hebrew University adds that "one does not detect either shock or a sense of religious loss and humiliation."33

    Whereas not a single "virtues of Jerusalem" volume appeared in the period 1100-50, very many came out in the subsequent half century. In the 1160s, Sivan notes, "al-Quds propaganda blossomed".

    The glow of the reconquest remained bright for several decades thereafter; for example, Saladin's descendants (known as the Ayyubid dynasty, which ruled until 1250) went on a great building and restoration program in Jerusalem, thereby imbuing the city with a more Muslim character. Until this point, Islamic Jerusalem had consisted only of the shrines on the Temple Mount; now, for the first time, specifically Islamic buildings (Sufi convents, schools) were built in the surrounding city. Also, it was at this time, Oleg Grabar of Princeton's Institute of Advanced Study notes, that the Dome of the Rock came to be seen as the exact place where Muhammad's ascension to heaven (mi‘raj) took place during his Night Journey:36

    4. Ayyubids

    Once safely back in Muslim hands, interest in Jerusalem again dropped; "the simple fact soon emerged that al-Quds was not essential to the security of an empire based in Egypt or Syria. Accordingly, in times of political or military crisis, the city proved to be expendable," writes Donald P. Little of McGill University.37 In particular, in 1219, when the Europeans attacked Egypt in the Fifth Crusade, a grandson of Saladin named al-Mu‘azzam decided to raze the walls around Jerusalem, fearing that were the Franks to take the city with walls, "they will kill all whom they find there and will have the fate of Damascus and lands of Islam in their hands."38 Pulling down Jerusalem's fortifications had the effect of prompting a mass exodus from the city and its steep decline.

    Also at this time, the Muslim ruler of Egypt and Palestine, al-Kamil (another of Saladin's grandsons and the brother of al-Mu‘azzam), offered to trade Jerusalem to the Europeans if only the latter would leave Egypt, but he had no takers. Ten years later, in 1229, just such a deal was reached when al-Kamil did cede Jerusalem to Emperor Friedrich II; in return, the German leader promised military aid to al-Kamil against al-Mu‘azzam, now a rival king. Al-Kamil insisted that the Temple Mount remain in Muslim hands and "all the practices of Islam"39 continued to be exercised there, a condition Friedrich complied with. Referring to his deal with Frederick, al-Kamil wrote in a remarkably revealing description of Jerusalem, "I conceded to the Franks only ruined churches and houses."40 In other words, the city that had been heroically regained by Saladin in 1187 was voluntarily traded away by his grandson just forty-two years later.

    On learning that Jerusalem was back in Christian hands, Muslims felt predictably intense emotions. An Egyptian historian later wrote that the loss of the city "was a great misfortune for the Muslims, and much reproach was put upon al-Kamil, and many were the revilings of him in all the lands."41 By 1239, another Ayyubid ruler, an-Nasir Da'ud, managed to expel the Franks from the city. But then he too ceded it right back to the Crusaders in return for help against one of his relatives. This time, the Christians were less respectful of the Islamic sanctuaries and turned the Temple Mount mosques into churches.

    The psychology at work here bears note: that Christian knights traveled from distant lands to make Jerusalem their capital made the city more valuable in Muslim eyes too. "It was a city strongly coveted by the enemies of the faith, and thus became, in a sort of mirror-image syndrome, dear to Muslim hearts,"43 Sivan explains. And so fractured opinions coalesced into a powerful sensibility; political exigency caused Muslims ever after to see Jerusalem as the third most holy city of Islam (thalith al-masajid).

    Mamluk and Ottoman Rule

    During the Mamluk era (1250-1516), Jerusalem lapsed further into its usual obscurity – capital of no dynasty, economic laggard, cultural backwater—though its new-found prestige as an Islamic site remained intact. Also, Jerusalem became a favorite place to exile political leaders, due to its proximity to Egypt and its lack of walls, razed in 1219 and not rebuilt for over three centuries, making Jerusalem easy prey for marauders. These notables endowed religious institutions, especially religious schools, which in the aggregate had the effect of re-establishing Islam in the city. But a general lack of interest translated into decline and impoverishment. Many of the grand buildings, including the Temple Mount sanctuaries, were abandoned and became dilapidated as the city became depopulated. A fourteenth-century author bemoaned the paucity of Muslims visiting Jerusalem.44 The Mamluks so devastated Jerusalem that the town's entire population at the end of their rule amounted to a miserable 4,000 souls.

    The Ottoman period (1516-1917) got off to an excellent start when Süleyman the Magnificent rebuilt the city walls in 1537-41 and lavished money in Jerusalem (for example, assuring its water supply), but things then quickly reverted to type. Jerusalem now suffered from the indignity of being treated as a tax farm for non-resident, one-year (and very rapacious) officials. "After having exhausted Jerusalem, the pasha left," observed the French traveler François-René Chateaubriand in 1806. At times, this rapaciousness prompted uprisings. The Turkish authorities also raised funds for themselves by gouging European visitors; in general, this allowed them to make fewer efforts in Jerusalem than in other cities to promote the city's economy. The tax rolls show soap as its only export. So insignificant was Jerusalem, it was sometimes a mere appendage to the governorship of Nablus or Gaza. Nor was scholarship cultivated: in 1670, a traveler reported that standards had dropped so low that even the preacher at Al-Aqsa Mosque spoke a low standard of literary Arabic. The many religious schools of an earlier era disappeared. By 1806, the population had again dropped, this time to under 9,000 residents.

    Innumerable reports during these centuries from Western pilgrims, tourists, and diplomats in Jerusalem told of the city's execrable condition. George Sandys in 1611 found that "Much lies waste; the old buildings (except a few) all ruined, the new contemptible." Constantin Volney, one of the most scientific of observers, noted in 1784 Jerusalem's "destroyed walls, its debris-filled moat, its city circuit choked with ruins." "What desolation and misery!" wrote Chateaubriand. Gustav Flaubert of Madame Bovary fame visited in 1850 and found "Ruins everywhere, and everywhere the odor of graves. It seems as if the Lord's curse hovers over the city. The Holy City of three religions is rotting away from boredom, desertion, and neglect." "Hapless are the favorites of heaven," commented Herman Melville in 1857. Mark Twain in 1867 found that Jerusalem "has lost all its ancient grandeur, and is become a pauper village."

    The British government recognized the minimal Muslim interest in Jerusalem during World War I. In negotiations with Sharif Husayn of Mecca in 1915-16 over the terms of the Arab revolt against the Ottomans, London decided not to include Jerusalem in territories to be assigned to the Arabs because, as the chief British negotiator, Henry McMahon, put it, "there was no place … of sufficient importance … further south" of Damascus "to which the Arabs attached vital importance."46
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    Mar 27, 2010 9:33 PM GMT
    True to this spirit, the Turkish overlords of Jerusalem abandoned Jerusalem rather than fight for it in 1917, evacuating it just in advance of the British troops. One account indicates they were even prepared to destroy the holy city. Jamal Pasha, the Ottoman commander-in-chief, instructed his Austrian allies to "blow Jerusalem to hell" should the British enter the city. The Austrians therefore had their guns trained on the Dome of the Rock, with enough ammunition to keep up two full days of intensive bombardment. According to Pierre van Paasen, a journalist, that the dome still exists today is due to a Jewish artillery captain in the Austrian army, Marek Schwartz, who rather than respond to the approaching British troops with a barrage on the Islamic holy places, "quietly spiked his own guns and walked into the British lines."47

    5. British Rule

    In modern times, notes the Israeli scholar Hava Lazarus-Yafeh, Jerusalem "became the focus of religious and political Arab activity only at the beginning of the [twentieth] century." She ascribes the change mainly to "the renewed Jewish activity in the city and Judaism's claims on the Western Wailing Wall."48 British rule over city, lasting from 1917 to 1948, then galvanized a renewed passion for Jerusalem. Arab politicians made Jerusalem a prominent destination during the British Mandatory period. Iraqi leaders frequently turned up in Jerusalem, demonstrably praying at Al-Aqsa and giving emotional speeches. Most famously, King Faysal of Iraq visited the city and made a ceremonial entrance to the Temple Mount using the same gate as did Caliph ‘Umar when the city was first conquered in 638.

    The Palestinian leader (and mufti of Jerusalem) Hajj Amin al-Husayni made the Temple Mount central to his anti-Zionist political efforts. Husayni brought a contingent of Muslim notables to Jerusalem in 1931 for an international congress to mobilize global Muslim opinion on behalf of the Palestinians. He also exploited the draw of the Islamic holy places in Jerusalem to find international Muslim support for his campaign against Zionism. For example, he engaged in fundraising in several Arab countries to restore the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa, sometimes by sending out pictures of the Dome of the Rock under a Star of David; his efforts did succeed in procuring the funds to restore these monuments to their former glory.

    Perhaps most indicative of the change in mood was the claim that the Prophet Muhammad had tethered his horse to the western wall of the Temple Mount. As established by Shmuel Berkowitz,49 Muslim scholars over the centuries had variously theorized about the prophet tying horse to the eastern or southern walls—but not one of them before the Muslim-Jewish clashes at the Western Wall in 1929 ever associated this incident with the western side. Once again, politics drove Muslim piousness regarding Jerusalem.

    Jordanian Rule

    Sandwiched between British and Israeli eras, Jordanian rule over Jerusalem in 1948-67 offers a useful control case; true to form, when Muslims took the Old City (which contains the sanctuaries) they noticeably lost interest in it. An initial excitement stirred when the Jordanian forces captured the walled city in 1948 -- as evidenced by the Coptic bishop's crowning King ‘Abdullah as "King of Jerusalem" in November of that year—but then the usual ennui set in. The Hashemites had little affection for Jerusalem, where some of their worst enemies lived and where ‘Abdullah was assassinated in 1951. In fact, the Hashemites made a concerted effort to diminish the holy city's importance in favor of their capital, Amman. Jerusalem had served as the British administrative capital, but now all government offices there (save tourism) were shut down; Jerusalem no longer had authority even over other parts of the West Bank. The Jordanians also closed some local institutions (e.g., the Arab Higher Committee, the Supreme Muslim Council) and moved others to Amman (the treasury of the waqf, or religious endowment).

    Jordanian efforts succeeded: once again, Arab Jerusalem became an isolated provincial town, less important than Nablus. The economy so stagnated that many thousands of Arab Jerusalemites left the town: while the population of Amman increased five-fold in the period 1948-67, that of Jerusalem grew by just 50 percent. To take out a bank loan meant traveling to Amman. Amman had the privilege of hosting the country's first university and the royal family's many residences. Jerusalem Arabs knew full well what was going on, as evidenced by one notable's complaint about the royal residences: "those palaces should have been built in Jerusalem, but were removed from here, so that Jerusalem would remain not a city, but a kind of village."50 East Jerusalem's Municipal Counsel twice formally complained of the Jordanian authorities' discrimination against their city.

    Perhaps most insulting of all was the decline in Jerusalem's religious standing. Mosques lacked sufficient funds. Jordanian radio broadcast the Friday prayers not from Al-Aqsa Mosque but from an upstart mosque in Amman. (Ironically, Radio Israel began broadcasting services from Al-Aqsa immediately after the Israel victory in 1967.)

    Nor were Jordan's rulers alone in ignoring Jerusalem; the city virtually disappeared from the Arab diplomatic map. Malcolm Kerr's well-known study on inter-Arab relations during this period (The Arab Cold War) appears not once to mention the city.52 No foreign Arab leader came to Jerusalem during the nineteen years when Jordan controlled East Jerusalem, and King Husayn (r. 1952-99) himself only rarely visited. King Faysal of Saudi Arabia spoke often after 1967 of his yearning to pray in Jerusalem, yet he appears never to have bothered to pray there when he had the chance. Perhaps most remarkable is that the PLO's founding document, the Palestinian National Covenant of 1964, does not once mention Jerusalem or even allude to it.
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    Mar 27, 2010 9:33 PM GMT
    6. Israeli Rule

    This neglect came to an abrupt end after June 1967, when the Old City came under Israeli control. Palestinians again made Jerusalem the centerpiece of their political program. The Dome of the Rock turned up in pictures everywhere, from Yasir Arafat's office to the corner grocery. Slogans about Jerusalem proliferated and the city quickly became the single most emotional issue of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The PLO made up for its 1964 oversight by specifically mentioning Jerusalem in its 1968 constitution as "the seat of the Palestine Liberation Organization."53

    "As during the era of the Crusaders," Lazarus-Yafeh points out, Muslim leaders "began again to emphasize the sanctity of Jerusalem in Islamic tradition."54 In the process, they even relied on some of the same arguments (e.g., rejecting the occupying power's religious connections to the city) and some of the same hadiths to back up those allegations. Muslims began echoing the Jewish devotion to Jerusalem: Arafat declared that "Al-Quds is in the innermost of our feeling, the feeling of our people and the feeling of all Arabs, Muslims, and Christians in the world."55 Extravagant statements became the norm (Jerusalem was now said to be "comparable in holiness" to Mecca and Medina; or even "our most sacred place").56 Jerusalem turned up regularly in Arab League and United Nations resolutions. The Jordanian and Saudi governments now gave as munificently to the Jerusalem religious trust as they had been stingy before 1967.

    The Islamic Republic of Iran has made Jerusalem a central issue, following the dictate of its founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, who remarked that "Jerusalem is the property of Muslims and must return to them."58 Since shortly after the regime's founding, its 1-rial coin and 1000-rial banknote have featured the Dome of the Rock (though, embarrassingly, the latter initially was mislabeled "Al-Aqsa Mosque"). Iranian soldiers at war with Saddam Husayn's forces in the 1980s received simple maps showing their sweep through Iraq and onto Jerusalem. Ayatollah Khomeini decreed the last Friday of Ramadan as Jerusalem Day, and this commemoration has served as a major occasion for anti-Israel harangues in many countries, including Turkey, Tunisia, and Morocco

    Conclusion

    Politics, not religious sensibility, has fueled the Muslim attachment to Jerusalem for nearly fourteen centuries; what the historian Bernard Wasserstein has written about the growth of Muslim feeling in the course of the Countercrusade applies through the centuries: "often in the history of Jerusalem, heightened religious fervour may be explained in large part by political necessity."104 This pattern has three main implications. First, Jerusalem will never be more than a secondary city for Muslims; "belief in the sanctity of Jerusalem," Sivan rightly concludes, "cannot be said to have been widely diffused nor deeply rooted in Islam."105 Second, the Muslim interest lies not so much in controlling Jerusalem as it does in denying control over the city to anyone else. Third, the Islamic connection to the city is weaker than the Jewish one because it arises as much from transitory and mundane considerations as from the immutable claims of faith.

    Mecca, by contrast, is the eternal city of Islam, the place from which non-Muslims are strictly forbidden. Very roughly speaking, what Jerusalem is to Jews, Mecca is to Muslims – a point made in the Qur'an itself (2:145) in recognizing that Muslims have one qibla and "the people of the Book" another one. The parallel was noted by medieval Muslims; the geographer Yaqut (1179-1229) wrote, for example, that "Mecca is holy to Muslims and Jerusalem to the Jews."106 In modern times, some scholars have come to the same conclusion: "Jerusalem plays for the Jewish people the same role that Mecca has for Muslims," writes Abdul Hadi Palazzi, director of the Cultural Institute of the Italian Islamic Community.107

    The similarities are striking. Jews pray thrice to Jerusalem, Muslims five times daily to Mecca. Muslims see Mecca as the navel of the world, just as Jews see Jerusalem. Whereas Jews believe Abraham nearly sacrificed Ishmael's brother Isaac in Jerusalem, Muslims believe this episode took place in Mecca. The Ka‘ba in Mecca has similar functions for Muslims as the Temple in Jerusalem for Jews (such as serving as a destination for pilgrimage). The Temple and Ka‘ba are both said to be inimitable structures. The supplicant takes off his shoes and goes barefoot in both their precincts. Solomon's Temple was inaugurated on Yom Kippur, the tenth day of the year, and the Ka‘ba receives its new cover also on the tenth day of each year.108 If Jerusalem is for Jews a place so holy that not just its soil but even its air is deemed sacred, Mecca is the place whose "very mention reverberates awe in Muslims' hearts," according to Abad Ahmad of the Islamic Society of Central Jersey.109

    This parallelism of Mecca and Jerusalem offers the basis of a solution, as Sheikh Palazzi wisely writes:

    separation in directions of prayer is a mean to decrease possible rivalries in management of Holy Places. For those who receive from Allah the gift of equilibrium and the attitude to reconciliation, it should not be difficult to conclude that, as no one is willing to deny Muslims a complete sovereignty over Mecca, from an Islamic point of view -notwithstanding opposite, groundless propagandistic claims - there is not any sound theological reason to deny an equal right of Jews over Jerusalem.110
    To back up this view, Palazzi notes several striking and oft-neglected passages in the Qur'an . One of them (5:22-23) quotes Moses instructing the Jews to "enter the Holy Land (al-ard al-muqaddisa) which God has assigned unto you." Another verse (17:104) has God Himself making the same point: "We said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Land.'" Qur'an 2:145 states that the Jews "would not follow your qibla; nor are you going to follow their qibla," indicating a recognition of the Temple Mount as the Jews' direction of prayer. "God himself is saying that Jerusalem is as important to Jews as Mecca is to Moslems,"111 Palazzi concludes.

    His analysis has a clear and sensible implication: just as Muslims rule an undivided Mecca, Jews should rule an undivided Jerusalem.


    Full article and end notes can be found here:
    http://www.meforum.org/490/the-muslim-claim-to-jerusalem
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    Mar 28, 2010 12:39 AM GMT
    A very interesting article. But before I go any further, I will say that I don't pretend to know much about the city of Jerusalem since its fall under General Titus in AD 70.
    But I know enough to realise that Jerusalem was part of the Covenant Yahweh made with the children of Jacob (Israel). There is one physical, tangible location which prove this - the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, where I went inside with an Arab friend I made while backpacking Israel in 1976.
    If the Islam Koran teaches that God did give what was then the land of Canaan to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and they with their wives are buried in Hebron, then the Muslims have a massive problem when it comes to Abraham along with his firstborn son Ishmael having gone to Mecca and there built (or rebuilt) the Kaaba. This is a blatant contradiction of the facts. If God sent Abraham to Mecca to build the Kaaba, where in pre-Mohammad times contained 360 idols, one for each day of the year, this would have been a smack in the face for Yahweh, who repeats over and over again that idolatry is forbidden among the people of Israel, the descendants of Abraham. Allah was the dominant moon-god in the Kaaba, but still one of the 360 idols that stood before they were destroyed by Mohammad.
    If Abraham and his son Ishmael (whose mother was a maid named Hagar) were in Mecca, why is it that Sarah, Abraham's wife, their son Isaac, along with his wife Rebekah and their son Jacob along with his wife Leah, were not mentioned being in Mecca with Abraham? And why would Abraham leave his wife and family behind and set off for a long 1,000 mile journey to Mecca with his son Ishmael - without taking all of his family?
    And if Abraham died in Mecca, why was he carted all the way back to Hebron to be buried there? Surely, with such an important figure living in their midst, the inhabitants of Mecca would have wanted him buried in their midst, with a monument to commemorate it. The facts don't add up.
    The truth is, Jerusalem was designated to be the capital of Israel. The Arabs' motive to include Jerusalem as one of their "holy cities" -after Mecca and Medina, was to stop the Jews from claiming the city as theirs and rebuilding the Temple there.
    The Dome of the Rock has quotes from the Koran decorating it, but says nothing about Mohammad riding to Heaven on a horse. This was a story dreamt up by Hajj Amin al-Husayni, Mufti of Jerusalem and, I think, uncle of Arafat, for the purpose of keeping the Jews off the Temple Mount, the reason why the Dome was built in the first place.
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    Mar 28, 2010 2:00 AM GMT
    NotThatOld> The Dome of the Rock has quotes from the Koran decorating it, but says nothing about Mohammad riding to Heaven on a horse. This was a story dreamt up by Hajj Amin al-Husayni, Mufti of Jerusalem and, I think, uncle of Arafat, for the purpose of keeping the Jews off the Temple Mount, the reason why the Dome was built in the first place.

    Arafat was not related to this Husayni family, though Arafat did make this bogus claim in order to gain credibility (and to overcome his Egyptian accent - he was born in Cairo).

    You are correct that the Dome of the Rock, which has 240m of Quranic inscriptions, makes no mention of the "Night Journey" or of "Al Aqsa" (a metaphorical "furthest mosque"). Both exist in the Quran, but with no associaton to Jerusalem (in the original text; some versions and translations insert it, at least parenthetically).

    For political reasons, the Umayyads wanted to champion Jerusalem over Mecca (when the latter had revolted against them and was not under their rule). Only after the Dome of the Rock was completed did they come up with the idea to retroactively insert Jerusalem into the Quran (it is not mentioned there even once) and associate Jerusalem as the site of "Al Aqsa" and the "Night Journey".

    This was rejected by religious leaders already at that time. As the full article states:
    Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiya (638-700), a close relative of the Prophet Muhammad, is quoted denigrating the notion that the prophet ever set foot on the Rock in Jerusalem; "these damned Syrians," by which he means the Umayyads, "pretend that God put His foot on the Rock in Jerusalem, though [only] one person ever put his foot on the rock, namely Abraham."17

    Husayni's innovation (later echoed by Arafat) was that Muhammad tied his winged steed to the Western Wall (Muslim tradition had previously debated between the southern and eastern wall)... and thus that this was not a Jewish holy site. This was the cause of disturbances in the late 1920s.
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    Mar 28, 2010 2:55 AM GMT
    Caesarea4 saidFull article and end notes can be found here:
    http://www.meforum.org/490/the-muslim-claim-to-jerusalem

    Maybe the wrong forum for this topic, but I guess you have to counter other recent threads which began by citing articles related to the subject. No one can accuse you of being more provocative given the even more informative version in the link you provided!
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    Apr 01, 2010 9:51 PM GMT
    Jerusalem_Wailing_Wall_1845.jpg
    The Wailing Wall, based on a steel engraved print after a picture by W. H. Bartlett, 1845
  • roadbikeRob

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    Apr 01, 2010 10:46 PM GMT
    As usual Caesarea4 likes to stir up trouble because he damn well knows that the issue of Jerusalem is a very controversial and touchy subject for many people. As far as I am concerned the entire City of Jerusalem both West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem rightfully and lawfully belongs to the Palestinian people as their national capital, political hub and cultural hub of their yet to be established Palestinian nation. Israel can either move its national capital to Tel Aviv or to Haifa or it can legally obtain Bethlehem in compensation for Jerusalem and make that city its national capital. However, Caesarea4 will have a juvenile shit fit after reading this and will blast me and call me every swear word in the book. I am used to his vicious criticism along with his ignorant comments.
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    Apr 01, 2010 10:50 PM GMT
    All in all, it's a crying shame that anyone could assign sanctity to a patch of dirt and call it holy. To add insult to injury, people will kill each other as to the reason for the holiness. It's really fucking insane. Happy Passover, Happy Easter, and Happy Whatevermuslimsarecelebratingthisweekifanything.
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    Apr 02, 2010 3:21 AM GMT
    rbr> the entire City of Jerusalem both West Jerusalem and East Jerusalem rightfully and lawfully belongs to the Palestinian people as their national capital, political hub and cultural hub

    R1. As documented in this topic, the city never served as an Arab capital, political hub or even cultural hub.
    Did you even bother to read the topic or are you just frothing out of ignorance?

    R2. You say "lawfully", can you provide us the legal argument that leads you to this determination?


    rbr> Israel can either move its national capital to Tel Aviv or to Haifa or it can legally obtain Bethlehem in compensation for Jerusalem and make that city its national capital.

    R3. Why should Israel, the Jewish state, want its capital to be in Bethlehem, a traditionally Christian city?

    R4. How would Israel "legally obtain" Bethlehem?

    R5. Why not have Israel give up Bethlehem and gain the Jewish neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem as "compensation"?

    R6. Why should Israel "move" its capital?

    R7. Isn't it easier for the Palestinian Arabs to keep their capital in Ramallah?


    SDH> Those old (thousand years old) houses used to be Palestinian homes

    What are Palestinian/Arab homes doing in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem?!

    Oh, I get it. After Arab immigrants from western north Africa settled there, you called it the "Mughrabi Quarter".

    Of course, if those homes were "thousand years old" they'd be 5-10m below the street level in the photo.


    It's pretty funny that SDH has no clue what this topic is about and can't address it.
    All he can do, as always, is post his nonsensical spam propaganda.
  • madeinisrael

    Posts: 43

    Apr 02, 2010 6:12 AM GMT
    I'm not political nor am I racist, I believe that both sides have good and bad arguments, though when it comes to Jerusalem, I do believe that the only reason the Palestinians want Jerusalem as their capital is because it is important to the Jews and it is the ultimate slap on the face to the Jews.
    Jerusalem is to the Jews as Mecca is to the Muslims.
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    Apr 02, 2010 3:05 PM GMT
    Samer K's propaganda lies keep flowing, as if the more the better, as if through repetition it will become true (or some "useful idiot" will believe it).

    SDH> Those Palestinians homes were there way before any Zionist settlers immigrated

    S1. So Morrocan Arabs from northern Africa who immigrated to and settled in Jerusalem are now "Palestinians"?!

    S2. Arabs squatted in the area where Jews lived before all Jews were expelled from eastern Jerusalem - including the Jewish Quarter of the old city - during the 1948 Arab invasion.

    S3. The slums built at Judaism's holiest site were already slated for demolition by the Jordanian government (who denied Jews access to the site despite committing to do so in the 1949 Armistice Agreement).


    SDH> Israel want to take the whole Jerusalem and make Judaization of Jerusalem

    S4. Israel already holds all of Jerusalem (having successfully defended itself from Arab attacks), and Jerusalem was "Judaized" more than 3000 years ago. The reality is that you want to "Arabize" it. You even want to change its name from Jerusalem to "Al Quds".


    SDH> Muslims believe that Israeli government is going to make the third temple on Muslim holy site

    S5. Of course they believe that, because that is what they do - build their holy sites atop of those of others and then claim it as their own "Muslim holy site" (it's true here as well as in various places in India, and who can forget the Taliban's demolition of the Bamiyan Statues?).

    S6. In reality, right after the end of the 1967 war Israel turned over control of the Temple Mount - Judaism's holiest site - to the Muslim Waqf (authority).


    SDH> Israel believe Jerusalem is for Jewish city.

    S7. Minorities in Jerusalem today enjoy full citizenship (unless they choose to reject Israeli citizenship) and equal protection under the law. There is more political and religious freedom in Jerusalem under Israeli administration than at any point during Arab or Muslim rule.


    SDH> All Palestinians agree Jerusalem is for all faiths who believe in Christianity, Islam and Judaism

    No, they do not:

    S8. The fact of the matter is that between 1948-1967 no Jews were allowed into Eastern Jerusalem, not even given access to the Western/Wailing wall as agreed to in the 1949 Armistice Agreements.

    S9. During the 19 years of Arab/Muslim rule, the Christian population of Jerusalem dropped nearly by half.

    S10. There is a political trend, dating back to the 1920s, of Arabs to deny any connection of Jews to Jerusalem, denying that this was the site of the Jewish Temple. SDH, do you deny this, too? (I'm sure he won't answer, thus exposing yet another spam propaganda lie.)

    S11. SDH keeps pitching the myth of a democratic/secular Arab Palestine-to-be, where Jews can live and worship freely. The reality is that only 19% of the Palestinian Arabs expect their state to be democratic and that the PA constitution establishes Islamic Sharia as the ultimate law. (We can see that this already happened in Gaza.)


    Samer won't be able to address the 11 points above. Just as he can't address the topic.
    It's not clear that he even understands what this topic discusses.
    For him its just another forum into which to dump his vile anti-Israel spam propaganda and lies-for-the-cause.
    Not in the cause of peace or coexistence.
    But the cause of demonizing Israel to attempt to rationalize/justify the on-going war to destroy it.

    If you examine the posts made by the usual suspects (SDH, KT/Beth/LuckyCharm, Tokugawa, Thaer and others) they aren't "pro-Arab Palestine" so much as they are "anti-Israel".

    A reflection of the real world where the Arab effort over the past 60+ years hasn't been to build another Arab state (note that there was no impetus to do so between 1949-1967 when the disputed territories were in Arab hands) but rather to destroy the Jewish state.

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    Apr 02, 2010 11:12 PM GMT
    As predicted, SDH was unable to support his previous statements, wasn't able to address the topic (the nuance of which eludes him), and instead has put forth a new stream of lies:

    SDH> Anyone who live in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion are considered Palestinians. Even Jews too.

    S12. That's a retroactive statement that attempts to establish "Palestinians" at a time that there wasn't any such group. Which explains why you are quoting from the PLO Covenant of 1968 (after 1967!) rather than from anything that existed in the 19th century.


    SDH> You haven't mention about Christian and Muslim Palestinian refugees who used to live in Israel were expelled from their homes.

    S13. What does that have to do with this topic? As has been discussed in numerous other threads, those refugees were the result of the Arab choice of war over peace in 1947-48 and the majority were not expelled but fled the Arab-initiated violence. Which is different from the Arab aggressors forcing out all the Jews in Gaza, Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem (Jews elsewhere in the Arab world also had their property seized and were expelled).


    SDH> Palestinians refugees can't return

    S14. That's right, there's no such thing as the so-called "Right of Return". Under one article of UNGAR 194, as part of a peace agreement, the UN provided for refugees to return - but also allowed for resettlement. Unfortunately the Arab parties rejected that because they were against making peace.

    S15. The Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees has no "right of return" but calls on states to grant citizenship to them (as well as to their descendants, who were born in those countries)..

    S16. Were you truly concerned about the welfare of these refugees, you'd call on the Arab states to grant them the rights guaranteed to all other refugee populations world-wide. The rights to education, work, relocation and citizenship.

    S17. Of the scores of millions of refugees from the 1940s (in Europe, North Africa, the near East, India/Pakistan, the Far East), none had a "right of return" and all others were resettled. Propagandists like Samer claim that these Arab refugees are the oldest refugee group but this is nothing to boast about as it is a sign of their own intransigence. Why are they (let alone their descendants) still refugees - some in their own country?

    S18. Sadly these faux humanitarians prefer to keep the Arab refugees locked away, for another 3 or more generations, to eventually use them as a demographic army by which to destroy Israel.


    SDH> Palestinians from West Bank can't go to Israel or pray in Nazareth. Isn't that the same way 1947-1967 that Jews aren't allow? Who control Jerusalem during the 1949-1967?

    S19. Arabs in the disputed territories have been allowed to cross into Israel and can go to Nazareth, though due to the intifada the border has been more restricted. There is no comparison to the categoric refusal to allow Jews into eastern Jerusalem over nearly 20 years of Arab rule.


    SDH> The ideology of the PLO was secular and many Palestinians are Christians serving in their party.

    S20. I note you use the word "was" rather than "is", as in past tense. The moment they could, however, they brought in a Constitution which established Islamic Sharia law as the supreme law of the land.


    SDH> Palestinian people have been practicing democracy for decades.

    S21. The Arabs in the disputed territories learned democratic practices only after 1967, under Israeli rule.

    S22. When is the next election scheduled?

    S23. Are there any plans for an independent judiciary?

    S24. What about the lack of freedom of the press under PA (let alone Hamas) rule?

    S25. Do you understand that the ingredients of democracy aren't just holding an election every 5 or 10 years?


    SDH> "The PLO dreams and hopes for one democratic state where Christian, Jew and Muslim live in justice, equality, fraternity and progress"

    S26. We see that the Palestinian Arabs can't even get along with themselves, let alone with Jews who they attack.


    SDH> Christians in Palestine had drop a lot since the Israel was established. Before Israel was established it was about 40% of the population was Christians. Both Palestinian Christians and Muslims were struggling under the Jordanian rules.

    S27. 40%?! In 1946, the British Mandate Government put the figure at less than 8%.
    The Christian population in Israel is INcreasing.
    The Christian population in the PA/Hamas territories is DEcreasing.


    Now, will you address the topic or just roll out more soundbites, slogans and spam propaganda lies and accusations?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 03, 2010 7:14 AM GMT
    . . . go sell Tupperware to the fellaheen women . . . your blood feuds are of no interest to queers . . .
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    Apr 03, 2010 8:18 AM GMT
    Caesarea4 saidThe Jewish connection to Jerusalem is an ancient and powerful one. Judaism made Jerusalem a holy city over three thousand years ago and through all that time Jews remained steadfast to it. Jews pray in its direction, mention its name constantly in prayers, close the Passover service with the wistful statement "Next year in Jerusalem," and recall the city in the blessing at the end of each meal. The destruction of the Temple looms very large in Jewish consciousness; remembrance takes such forms as a special day of mourning, houses left partially unfinished, a woman's makeup or jewelry left incomplete, and a glass smashed during the wedding ceremony. In addition, Jerusalem has had a prominent historical role, is the only capital of a Jewish state, and is the only city with a Jewish majority during the whole of the past century. In the words of its current mayor, Jerusalem represents "the purist expression of all that Jews prayed for, dreamed of, cried for, and died for in the two thousand years since the destruction of the Second Temple."1

    What about Muslims? Where does Jerusalem fit in Islam and Muslim history? It is not the place to which they pray [Muslims in eastern Jerusalem actually turn their back on Jerusalem when they turn toward Mecca to pray], is not once mentioned by name in prayers, and it is connected to no mundane events in Muhammad's life. The city never served as capital of a sovereign Muslim state, and it never became a cultural or scholarly center. Little of political import by Muslims was initiated there.

    One comparison makes this point most clearly: Jerusalem appears in the Jewish Bible 669 times and Zion (which usually means Jerusalem, sometimes the Land of Israel) 154 times, or 823 times in all. The Christian Bible mentions Jerusalem 154 times and Zion 7 times. In contrast, the columnist Moshe Kohn notes, Jerusalem and Zion appear as frequently in the Qur'an "as they do in the Hindu Bhagavad-Gita, the Taoist Tao-Te Ching, the Buddhist Dhamapada and the Zoroastrian Zend Avesta"—which is to say, not once.2

    The city being of such evidently minor religious importance, why does it now loom so large for Muslims, to the point that a Muslim Zionism seems to be in the making across the Muslim world? Why do Palestinian demonstrators take to the streets shouting "We will sacrifice our blood and souls for you, Jerusalem"3 and their brethren in Jordan yell "We sacrifice our blood and soul for Al-Aqsa"?4 Why does King Fahd of Saudi Arabia call on Muslim states to protect "the holy city [that] belongs to all Muslims across the world"?5 Why did two surveys of American Muslims find Jerusalem their most pressing foreign policy issue?6

    Because of politics. An historical survey shows that the stature of the city, and the emotions surrounding it, inevitably rises for Muslims when Jerusalem has political significance. Conversely, when the utility of Jerusalem expires, so does its status and the passions about it. This pattern first emerged during the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammad in the early seventh century. Since then, it has been repeated on five occasions: in the late seventh century, in the twelfth century Countercrusade, in the thirteenth century Crusades, during the era of British rule (1917-48 ), and since Israel took the city in 1967. The consistency that emerges in such a long period provides an important perspective on the current confrontation.


    1. Muhammad

    The adoption of Jerusalem as qibla was a tactical move to win Jewish converts. "He chose the Holy House in Jerusalem in order that the People of the Book [i.e., Jews] would be conciliated," notes At-Tabari, an early Muslim commentator on the Qur'an, "and the Jews were glad."7 Modern historians agree: W. Montgomery Watt, a leading biographer of Muhammad, interprets the prophet's "far-reaching concessions to Jewish feeling" in the light of two motives, one of which was "the desire for a reconciliation with the Jews."8

    2. Umayyads

    The second round of interest in Jerusalem occurred during the rule of the Damascus-based Umayyad dynasty (661-750). A dissident leader in Mecca, ‘Abdullah b. az-Zubayr began a revolt against the Umayyads in 680 that lasted until his death in 692; while fighting him, Umayyad rulers sought to aggrandize Syria at the expense of Arabia (and perhaps also to help recruit an army against the Byzantine Empire). They took some steps to sanctify Damascus, but mostly their campaign involved what Amikam Elad of the Hebrew University calls an "enormous" effort "to exalt and to glorify" Jerusalem.11 They may even have hoped to make it the equal of Mecca.

    In 715, to build up the prestige of their dominions, the Umayyads did a most clever thing: they built a second mosque in Jerusalem, again on the Temple Mount, and called this one the Furthest Mosque (al-masjid al-aqsa, Al-Aqsa Mosque). With this, the Umayyads retroactively gave the city a role in Muhammad's life. ...all logic (how can a mosque built nearly a century after the Qur'an was received establish what the Qur'an meant?), building an actual Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Palestinian historian A. L. Tibawi writes, "gave reality to the figurative name used in the Koran."19 It also had the hugely important effect of inserting Jerusalem post hoc into the Qur'an and making it more central to Islam.

    Scholars agree that the Umayyads' motivation to assert a Muslim presence in the sacred city had a strictly utilitarian purpose. The Iraqi historian Abdul Aziz Duri finds "political reasons" behind their actions.23 Hasson concurs:

    The construction of the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque, the rituals instituted by the Umayyads on the Temple Mount and the dissemination of Islamic-oriented Traditions regarding the sanctity of the site, all point to the political motives which underlay the glorification of Jerusalem among the Muslims.24


    Abbasid Rule

    With the Umayyad demise in 750 and the move of the caliph's capital to Baghdad, "imperial patronage became negligible"25 and Jerusalem fell into near-obscurity. For the next three and a half centuries, books praising this city lost favor and the construction of glorious buildings not only came to an end but existing ones fell apart (the dome over the rock collapsed in 1016). Gold was stripped off the dome to pay for Al-Aqsa repair work. City walls collapsed. Worse, the rulers of the new dynasty bled Jerusalem and its region country through what F. E. Peters of New York University calls "their rapacity and their careless indifference."26 The city declined to the point of becoming a shambles. "Learned men are few, and the Christians numerous," bemoaned a tenth-century Muslim native of Jerusalem.27 Only mystics continued to visit the city.

    In a typical put-down, another tenth-century author described the city as "a provincial town attached to Ramla,"28 a reference to the tiny, insignificant town serving as Palestine's administrative center. Elad characterizes Jerusalem in the early centuries of Muslim rule as "an outlying city of diminished importance."29 The great historian S. D. Goitein notes that the geographical dictionary of al-Yaqut mentions Basra 170 times, Damascus 100 times, and Jerusalem only once, and that one time in passing. He concludes from this and other evidence that, in its first six centuries of Muslim rule, "Jerusalem mostly lived the life of an out-of-the-way provincial town, delivered to the exactions of rapacious officials and notables, often also to tribulations at the hands of seditious fellahin [peasants] or nomads ... . Jerusalem certainly could not boast of excellence in the sciences of Islam or any other fields."30


    Gosh, an intersting topic. I have lived and worked in Jerusalem. Ill never forget the first time I saw the Wailing Wall. I burst into tears....... I love that city, its history and also its beauty. I love the markets, the shops
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    Apr 04, 2010 9:32 AM GMT
    What a topic.

    I lived and worked in the city of Jerusalem. I love the markets, the shops, the cafes and the people. Ill never forget the first time I saw the Western Wall, I burst into tears, I was so overcome by it all. No I dont have Jerusalem Syndrome, but I do find the history of the city fascinating.

    On the 5th of June 1967 the Jewish people were reunited with their ancient city for the first time in thousands of years. The PLO, Fatah claim to any part of the city is a lie. No part of Jerusalem belongs to the Arabs least of all, the Arab Quarter. The city is holy to Jews, full stop.

    After the Six Day War, the Israeli Government opened the city to religious freedom.

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    Apr 04, 2010 4:26 PM GMT
    The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, 1885:

    ChurchOfTheHolySepulcher1885.png

    And a modern day photo:
    JerusalemHolySep600wH.jpg

    Read more about the Church and its environs from this 1867 account:
    http://www.mtwain.com/Innocents_Abroad/54.html
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    Apr 05, 2010 4:40 PM GMT
    The Dome of the Rock, 1877
    Jerusalem_Dome_of_the_Rock_1877_B.jpg
    Then under Muslim rule, note the dilapidation and weeds.
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    Apr 07, 2010 12:03 AM GMT
    Tiferet_Yisrael_Synagogue.jpg
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    Apr 08, 2010 12:24 PM GMT
    Jerusalem_1855-2000.jpg
    Same views of Jerusalem in 1855 and 2000.
    1855: a walled island in the desert.
    2000: a thriving metropolis.
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    Apr 30, 2010 3:48 PM GMT
    Jerusalem_east_1877.jpg
    An 1877 photo of the area that today is eastern Jerusalem
    (so-called "Arab East Jerusalem").

    Its development was pioneered by Jews in the late 19th century.
    The area was seized by the Trans/Jordanian Arab Legion during the 1948 Arab invasion.
    All Jews were expelled and 58 synagogues (see above) were destroyed.

    That's how it became so-called "Arab East Jerusalem"
    Note, NOT "Palestinian East Jerusalem", no such concept existed as such in 1949.

    This part of the city was liberated by Israel when it was again attacked by Jordan in 1967.
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    Dec 22, 2010 11:24 PM GMT
    From another topic, yet belongs here:

    You can't make a legal argument that eastern Jerusalem is "Palestinian Arab territory".

    pouncer> most of what is today "East Jerusalem" was promised to the Palestinians by the 1947 UN partition plan

    Yet just a few sentences earlier:

    p> the "Jerusalem zone" would have included significant portions of the modern West Bank's Jerusalem and Bethlehem governorates in its purview

    I thank pouncer for refuting his own argument.

    None of the "Jerusalem zone" can be considered "occupied Palestinian territory".
    Including Abu Dis, Beit Jala, Beit Sahur, Bethlehem, Lifta, Shufat, etc.

    Which is to say that NONE of today's eastern Jerusalem was "promised to the Palestinians by the 1947 UN partition plan."
    Another basic point on which pouncer errs, but must to support his false preconceived notions.

    The good news in all this is that - for those of us interested in peace - there is plenty on which to compromise. Israel can retain the Jewish neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem while ceding the Arab neighborhoods to the PA (as has already been done with Bethlehem).

    The problem, indeed the obstacle to peace, is those (like sxydrkhair, ianct, tokugawa and pouncer) who claim that peace must be based on "justice" rather than compromise and that unless their ransom demands (i.e. all of eastern Jerusalem) are met there can be no peace.
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    Dec 23, 2010 2:35 AM GMT
    ROTFL. Jews and Israel have been open to compromise for more than 60 years.

    As usual, pouncer simply can't address the topic and instead gives us sick rantings in hopes of diversion.
    But what can he already say when in his previous rant he not only contradicted himself but proved my point?

    None of the "Jerusalem zone" can be considered "occupied Palestinian territory".
    Including Abu Dis, Beit Jala, Beit Sahur, Bethlehem, Lifta, Shufat, etc.


    In any political settlement there will be territorial compromise.
    Israel has already compromised on Bethlehem and is willing to compromise further on other Arab neighborhoods.
    In return, the Palestinian Arabs will need to compromise on Jewish neighborhoods of "eastern Jerusalem".

    Why does this so rankle the anti-Israel/Jew-haters of the world?
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    Dec 23, 2010 4:23 AM GMT
    sxydrkhair> Do you remember the Calson's map? East Jerusalem (including the old city of Jerusalem) is located in the Palestinian territory

    LOL. The map drawn by YOU and to which you attached another RJer's name?
    You are presenting that as an argument!


    sxydrkhair> Palestinians already give up over 80% of historical Palestine to Israel.

    And none to Trans/Jordan?

    Israel already gave up over 80% of "historical Palestine" (i.e the Land of Israel).

    All of which is already discussed in this topic:

    "Palestine" is the Latin/European name for Eretz Yisrael, the Jewish homeland
    and early 20th century Arab denials of the existence of "Palestine".

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/349491


    The obstacle to peace is those (like sxydrkhair, ianct, tokugawa and pouncer) who claim that peace must be based on "justice" rather than compromise and that unless their ransom demands (i.e. all of eastern Jerusalem) are met there can be no peace.

    sxydrkhair> All Israeli government needs to do give the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestinian people.

    Thanks for proving my point above.

    Your point is disingenuous.
    Were that the case, there would have been peace before 1967.
    And you'd support the Clinton compromse parameters rather than vow to fight forever over 3% of the "West Bank".
    Approximately 60 square miles primarily inhabited by Jews.


    The good news in all this is that - for those of us interested in peace - there is plenty on which to compromise. Israel can retain the Jewish neighborhoods of eastern Jerusalem while ceding the Arab neighborhoods to the PA (as has already been done with Bethlehem).

    sxydrkhair> [is not interested in compromise or peace, just in being a screaming queen until his ransom demand dictates are met.]