Jerusalem historically significant for Israel

Jerusalem historically significant for Israel

By Tom Paskal | 10 December, 2017
Mandelbaum Gate in 1964.
Throughout Jerusalem’s troubled history, Jews have never left the area and are indigenous to this part of West Asia.

MIAMI: Traditionally, Judaism begins with Abraham the Patriarch about 4,000 years ago.

Around a thousand years later, King Solomon built the First Temple in Jerusalem and it became officially the holiest site of the Jewish people.

Sixteen hundred years after that Prophet Muhammad revealed the religion of Islam in the cities of Mecca and Medina. The City of Jerusalem isn’t mentioned once in the Quran.

Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. Throughout its troubled history, Jews have never left the area and are indigenous to this part of West Asia.

After the Second World War, the United Nations conceded that because of the immense suffering of the Jewish people, they should be allowed to again control their own land.

However, the border of the new State of Israel went right through the heart of Jerusalem. Somewhat like Old Delhi and New Delhi, there was an Old Jerusalem and New Jerusalem. The Jews had New Jerusalem, and Old Jerusalem was part of the Arab country of Jordan.

When Old Jerusalem was part of Jordan, there was almost zero international interest in Old Jerusalem. I know because I was there in the early 1960s. It was a laidback calm place, with no religious agitation. In fact this was true of much of the Arab world at the time.

The two Jerusalems were separated by the Mandelbaum Gate, and going through was like being in a science fiction time machine. Old Jerusalem was a quiet old-fashioned place that seemed not to have changed for hundreds of years. New Jerusalem was a fast-paced bustling modern city, home to the Israeli Parliament and many government buildings.

Since then, two major changes have brought us to where we are today. First was the 1967 war the Arab countries launched against Israel. They expected to obliterate her, but were shocked to find themselves quickly and completely defeated. One of the prizes Israel took and kept was the Old City of Jerusalem.

Israel conquered this territory a half-century ago. Since then, numerous other lands have been taken around the world, such as Sikkim, Northern Cyprus, Tibet, Crimea, etc. However, public opinion fastens on Jerusalem as somehow the most heinous of border changes in the last 50 years.

This brings us to the second major change—the oil crisis of the 1970s. All of a sudden a group of Muslim-majority countries around the Persian Gulf became enormously wealthy. The religious authorities demanded and received a tithe on income that ended up giving them huge economic and political power over much of the globe.

All that power is what has been turbo-charging the spread of Islam to the four corners of the world. Islam is now dominant in more than 50 countries and 25% of the world population is Muslim.

Unfortunately for Islam, Israel is in the middle of the Muslim world. Its presence causes two kinds of shame in her neighbours’ shame/honour societies. First of all, it’s enormously successful and makes neighbouring Arab countries look inept by comparison. Second, it’s the source of the monotheistic “Abrahamic” religion from which Islam and Christianity have descended, and it’s impossible for Islam’s religious authorities to acknowledge their fundamental indebtedness to Judaism.

This is the context of President Donald Trump’s historic decision on Jerusalem.

He is saying that “We, the most powerful country on Earth, hereby validate the Jewish people’s claim to their historic capital of Jerusalem”.

The noise and yelling and fighting and rage you hear, is the impotent squealing of billions of dollars and thousands of imams who just cannot bear the thought of losing to a tiny group of Jewish people they so vastly outnumber and dearly wish would go extinct.

Tom Paskal is an award winning American journalist, author and screenwriter.

There are 3 Comments

Dear Mr Paskal, With the greatest respect there is no reference to over 150 UN Resolutions, including UN Security Council Resolutions 476 and 478 which declared that Israel's "eternal claim" to Jerusalem was NULL and VOID. The EU and world reject President Trump's declaration - which violates international law. The importance that Jerusalem holds for Jews, Muslims and Christians is pivotal to respect in order to resolve the conflict in the Holy Land. You fail to mention that Palestine is a UN non-member STATE and recognised - even by Western European countries. The Partition of Palestine in 1947 did not divide Jerusalem. Jerusalem was meant to be an international city within the new Palestinian State. The Zionists including the Irgun and Stern Gang rejected Partition and the Irgun murdered the UN Mediator Count Bernadotte and Lord Moyne. Today the Israeli Government expands settler only settlements and settler only roads and rejects the ruling of the International Court of Justice regarding the monstrous 700 km "wall". Your observations fail to take into account that the Palestine and the Palestinians are a people and a nation under illegal occupation. Also, the 1967 War was not started by the Arabs. Israel rejected a Palestinian State and claimed Jerusalem as its "eternal capital" - which was illegal. Israel's expansion of settlements and settler only roads is a true indication of her rejection of peace and her rejection of Palestine's right to exist within secure boundaries is also a true reflection of Israel's current right-wing settler-driver government.

1) The UN is not the decider of an eternal claim. 2) al-Jeezera made the bad "mistake" of inviting an expert on Jerusalem who demolishes your claim of Jerusalem being "occupied" territory, because it was NO man's territory. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHpMhAzj-Tk 3) The Catholic Church constantly pushes for the internationalization of Jerusalem because their theology chokes on their position that Jews will wander the planet for not accepting Jesus as messiah. 4) HAMAS has repeatedly admitted that "Palestianians" are NOT a nation, but a group of immigrants from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia & other places. Here's what HAMAS said on live tv 1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHpMhAzj-Tk 2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B5hKbDdkU4 3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UhVcAfMmuc 4) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-umTdeh_bQ 5) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUKqs04zDjM 5) Israel does not have to accept a "Palestinian" state. There are already MORE than 22 Arabs states & 44 Muslim states, Arab Muslims want to deny the existence of ONE JEWISH STATE by occupying 50% of it with Arab Muslims. 6) Arab Muslims are the biggest occupiers which started with their 7th century of Coptic Egypt, Phonecian Lebanon, Mesopatamian Babylon (Iraq), Berber Maghreb, et al. 7) Arab nationalism regarding Israel is anti-Islamic, see the Quran for yourself: 2:47 and 2:122 Children of Israel! Call to mind the favour which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all other nations. 10:93 We settled the Children of Israel in a beautiful dwelling-place, and provided for them sustenance of the best: it was after knowledge had been granted to them. 17:104 And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, "Dwell securely in the land of promise" 17:103-104 “And we said to the Children of Israel afterwards, "Go live into this land. When the final prophecy comes to pass, we will summon you all in one group." Sura 5:20-21 “Recall that Moses said to his people, "O my people, remember G-d’s blessings upon you: He appointed prophets from among you, made you kings, and granted you what He never granted any other people. O my people, enter the holy land that G-d has decreed for you, and do not rebel…” Sura 7:136-137 “We let the oppressed people inherit the land, east and west, and we blessed it. The blessed commands of your Lord were thus fulfilled for the Children of Israel, to reward them for their steadfastness, and we annihilated the works of Pharaoh and his people and everything they harvested.”

Dear Mr Paskal, With the greatest respect there is no reference to over 150 UN Resolutions, including UN Security Council Resolutions 476 and 478 which declared that Israel's "eternal claim" to Jerusalem was NULL and VOID. The EU and world reject President Trump's declaration - which violates international law. The importance that Jerusalem holds for Jews, Muslims and Christians is pivotal to respect in order to resolve the conflict in the Holy Land. You fail to mention that Palestine is a UN non-member STATE and recognised as a UN non-member STATE by Western European countries. The Partition of Palestine in 1947 did not divide Jerusalem. Jerusalem was meant to be an international city within the new Palestinian State. The Zionists including the Irgun and Stern Gang rejected Partition and the Irgun murdered the UN Mediator Count Bernadotte and Lord Moyne. Today the Israeli Government expands settler only settlements and settler only roads and rejects the ruling of the International Court of Justice regarding the monstrous 700 km "wall". Your observations fail to take into account that Palestine and the Palestinians are a people and a nation under illegal occupation. Also, the 1967 War was not started by the Arabs. Israel rejected from the beginning - a Palestinian State. Israel claimed Jerusalem as its "eternal capital" - which was illegal. Israel's expansion of settlements and settler only roads on the West Bank, is a true indication of her rejection of peace and her rejection of Palestine's right to exist within secure boundaries is also a true reflection of Israel's current right-wing settler-driven government. If Israel was truly interested in peace, she would accept all UN Resolutions and a two-state solution with East Jerusalem as the Capital of Palestine. Israel will not accept Palestine and at the UN continuously rejects UN Resolutions demanding an end to the occupation. Why? The reason is that Israel's current leaders see all of historic Palestine as theirs.

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