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Thinking Jerusalem


by Gerald A. Honigman  

2005/11/25    

         On the campaign trail, Arafat's former chief marionette, Holocaust-denying Mahmud Abbas, offered Arab terrorists, who specialize in deliberately disemboweling Jewish babes and other innocents, protection and integration into his own forces; demanded that Israel consent to its own destruction by agreeing to be inundated by millions of allegedly "returning" real and fudged Arab refugees (one half of Israel's Jews were refugees from "Arab" /Muslim lands); and continues to insist that Israel not be recognized as a Jewish state. 

     The current darling of the West was quite open about all of this and has repeatedly stated that destroying Israel "democratically" is his goal since it would be better accepted and bring about less bad press than blowing up buses, restaurants, and such.

     While expecting Israel to cave in to all of their demands, Abbas & his fellow Arafatian moderates offer Israel a temporary hudna--ceasefire--not peace and call all such dealings with the Jews a "Trojan Horse."

     Good thing they're moderates.

     So, if you thought the fence and Gaza were hot potatoes, just wait...

     While it keeps getting shoved onto the back burner for fear of the intense heat that it will generate, there's no doubt that Jerusalem will be one of the most difficult issues to resolve in any so-called peace process.

     Indeed, as Gaza 's Jews were recently being ethnically cleansed, they could hear Arabs chanting in the background, "first Gaza , next Jerusalem ."

     A bit earlier, Yossi Beilin and some other fellow delusional Israelis brought the subject up in their Geneva fiasco with some of Arafat's conscious and unconscious manipulatives. As with the rest of that initiative, Jews would give up concrete tangibles--in this case sacred ones--in return for vague Arab promises a la Oslo .

     Given all of this, it's time to take a look at some blunt facts regarding Jerusalem , despite the risk of ruffling even some friendly feathers.

     While Christians, Muslims, and Jews all have ties to Jerusalem, these ties are in no way "equal"- despite Arafat's apparently wanting to have a quasi shrine erected for himself upon his passing on the Temple Mount.

     In religious Jewish sources, for instance, Jerusalem is mentioned over 600 times, but it is never mentioned even once in the Koran. It is alluded to in the latter in passages about the Hebrew Kings, David and Solomon, and the destruction of the Temples of the Jews. Arafat and Co. deny a Jewish Temple ever existed there. They call the Temple Mount "Buraq's Mount," after Muhammad's supposedly winged horse. But a mention of Jerusalem itself is no where to be found in the Muslim holy book...interesting, since it was recorded in many other places besides the writings of the Jews themselves for over 1,500 years before the rise of Islam.

     Religious claims of both Christians and Muslims to Jerusalem exist primarily because of those religions' links to the Jews. Political claims - based upon facts on the ground - are, admittedly, more complicated. Even so, throughout over three millennia since King David conquered it from the Jebusites, renamed it, and gave it its Jewish character, no other people except the Jews has ever made Jerusalem their capital, despite its conquest by many imperial powers, including that of the Arab caliphal successors to Muhammad as they burst out of the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century C.E. and spread in all directions. Damascus and Baghdad were the capital seats of Arab caliphal imperial power, and Mecca and Medina the holy cities. This is not to say that Jerusalem was ignored by its Muslim conquerors (i.e. the Umayyads built the Dome of the Rock/Mosque of 'Umar on the Temple Mount making it Islam's allegedly third holiest city), but it is to say that Jerusalem was and is in no way the focus for Islam that it is for Jews and Judaism.

     Since David made Jerusalem his capital and it became the site of his son Solomon's Temple , Zion became the heart and soul of Jewish national and religious existence. Jews from all over the early diaspora made their pilgrimages and sent offerings to its Temple . "By the Rivers of Babylon we wept..." and "If I forget thee O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning..." were just a few of the many Biblical expressions of the Jews for Zion. Such yearning persisted throughout subsequent millennia in the Diaspora as well. "Next Year in Jerusalem " sustained the Jew throughout countless degradations and humiliations culminating in the Holocaust.

     There is no Muslim parallel to these claims, despite efforts to portray Palestinian Arabs (many of whom were new arrivals - settlers - in the land themselves), as the "new Jews."

     Jews, coming from a hundred different lands (including those native to Israel itself), didn't have twenty-two other states to potentially choose from and suffered dearly for this statelessness. Most Muslim Arabs want sole rights over Jerusalem today, the same way they want sole rights over Tel Aviv. In their eyes, only they have legitimate political rights anywhere in what they regard as the Dar al-Islam.

     Regardless of whatever theology one clings to, Jesus' historical experiences in Roman-occupied Judaea and Jerusalem were those of a Jew living under extremely precarious conditions. Thousands of his countrymen had already been killed, crucified, and the like in the subjugation/pacification process. The contemporary Roman and Roman-sponsored historians themselves--Tacitus, Josephus, Dio Cassius, and others as well--had much to say about all of this. Consider, for example, these few of many telling quotes from Tacitus:

     " Vespasian succeeded to the throne...it infuriated his resentment that the Jews were the only nation who had not yet submitted...Titus was appointed by his father to complete the subjugation of Judaea... he commanded three legions in Judaea itself... To these he added the twelfth from Syria and the third and twenty-second from Alexandria ... amongst his allies were a band of Arabs, formidable in themselves and harboring towards the Jews the bitter animosity usually subsisting between neighboring nations..." 

 

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