Jerusalem and Judaism are joined at the hip
By Victor Sharpe
Jerusalem Unification Day will again be celebrated in Israel and throughout the world with the exception of that 7th century alternate universe: the Muslim world.
It marks 44 years since the amazing and miraculous event took place when the Jewish people’s 3,000 year old capital city was restored to the Jewish state in the 1967 Six-Day War.
For 19 long years, from 1948 to 1967, Jordan had occupied Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the eastern half of Jerusalem. Only Pakistan and Britain had ever recognized Jordan’s illegal occupation.
The British officered Jordanian Arab Legion had forced out at gunpoint the Jewish residents of the Old City and the neighboring Jewish villages: It was Apartheid and ethnic cleansing, Arab style.
The Legion went on to desecrate the Jewish graves on the ancient Mount of Olives and use the headstones as latrines. They desecrated over 50 synagogues and forbade Jewish pilgrims to worship at their holy places. They had turned the Via Delarosa, the Way of the Cross, into a filthy, sewerage strewn alley through which Christian pilgrims were forced to walk.
Jordan cut the Holy City in half with barbed wire and erected walls, complete with snipers along the dividing line who killed many Jews in the western half of the city.
There is another city today divided by Muslims. It is called Nicosia in Cyprus, a country whose northern half is still occupied by Turkey. Strangely, no international calls are heard calling for Turkey to leave or for the city to be reunited.
Another city that was divided against itself was Berlin and President Reagan called upon Soviet President Gorbachev to, “tear down this wall.”
The world applauded when the wall came down. Now President Obama and most of the same world in effect is calling upon Israel to re-divide Jerusalem. Obama is essentially calling upon Israeli Prime Minister to ‘build up a wall.’
Only when Israel was able to restore dignity and cleanliness in 1967 to all the holy places was the earlier Muslim discrimination against Jews and Christians finally brought to a long and overdue end.
But this persecution of non-Muslims is par for the Islamic world and it continues today throughout the territory foolishly given to the Palestinian Arabs as a result of the grotesquely misnamed Oslo Peace Accords.
Throughout the Middle East, Christians are fleeing from Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority itself. The only nation in the Middle East where the Christian population is growing is Israel.
The Palestinian Arabs now live under the Palestinian Authority—a territory carved out of Judea and Samaria—the Jewish people’s ancestral and biblical heartland, incorrectly called by its Jordanian name, the West Bank.
The Obama regime is today backing the Palestinian Authority’s spurious claim that the liberated areas from Arab Jordan must be forced back under the occupation and sovereignty of a future PA state.
The PA is demanding that the eastern half of Jerusalem must be given to them in order to declare it the capital of a new Arab state called Palestine.
Such an independent Arab state called Palestine has never existed in all of recorded history. Palestine has always been a geographical area just as Siberia or Patagonia is: never an independent state. Jerusalem has never been the capital city of any Arab or Muslim people.
Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of only one people in all of that same recorded history: the Jewish people. A Kingdom of Jerusalem existed under the Christian Crusaders but this was created by a motley group of European knights who had no historical roots in the land.
The Jewish Bible along with the Talmud and the Midrash tell us that the Torah, (the first five books of the Holy Bible) its light and its message, is to be broadcast to the entire world from one specific place: Jerusalem.
Each time the Torah scroll is taken from the Ark to be read during synagogue services the following prayer is always sung. “For out of Zion shall go forth the Torah (Law) and the word of God from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:1 and Micah 4:2)
In the complete Jewish Bible (the Tanach) the words Jerusalem and Zion appear 821 times with Jerusalem appearing 667 times and Zion appearing 154 times. Both Zion and Jerusalem are usually considered synonymous.
In the Christian Bible, itself an account of Jewish personalities whose lives were formed within the Jewish Judean province of Rome, as well as the Galilee, the name Jerusalem appears 154 times and Zion seven.
In the Koran, Jerusalem and Zion do not appear at all. Indeed, it was only after the Arabs, under their new banner of Islam, conquered Jerusalem in the year 638 that they invented Islamic history in and around Jerusalem.
We are told that Mohammed flew on his magic horse to a place called Al Aksa, which means simply the farthest place. Much later, and for political reasons to do with historic, temporal and spiritual Jewish and Christian ties to Jerusalem, did Muslims name the Holy City as their Al Aqsa.
After the Holy Temple was destroyed in the year 70 AD by Titus, Jerusalem lay stricken. But Jews still maintained a presence there and continued to suffer under Roman occupation.
The heroic Bar-Kochba Revolt broke out in 135 AD but was crushed three years later by the Roman emperor, Hadrian, who razed Jewish Jerusalem, plowed the city under, and renamed it Aelia Capitolina in part after his own name, Hadrian Publius Aelius. He built a shrine to the Roman god, Jupiter, on the site where the Holy Jewish Temple’s Holy of Holies had once stood.
From the 10th century, the Muslim Arabs still called the city various names that echoed its original Jewish origins. For instance they called it Beit al-Makdis, the Arabic version of the Hebrew name, Beit HaMikdash—House of the Sanctuary.
The Arabic name, Al-Kuds, is derived from the Hebrew, Ir Hakodesh—City of Holiness.
The Christian king, Frederick II obtained Jerusalem, along with Bethlehem and Nazareth, in a treaty with the Egyptian Sultan al-Kamil. This was a lease agreement given by the Muslim ruler and meant to last some ten years. Frederick subsequently crowned himself King of Jerusalem.
But in 1244 the Muslims retook Jerusalem and the city lapsed into a long, dilapidated slumber and the Muslim shrines on the Temple Mount, which today are a focal point of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel activity, fell into disrepair and abandonment.
Only when Israeli forces in June, 1967 liberated the Temple Mount and east Jerusalem, during their defensive war against Arab aggression, did the Arab and Muslim world suddenly wake up and demand control of the city, or at least the Temple Mount and Jerusalem’s eastern half.
It is instructive to note that when the Jordanian Arab Legion occupied east Jerusalem and the Old City in 1948, after driving out its Jewish population, the Arab world again lost interest in the city.
Indeed, King Hussein, Jordan’s ruler had little interest in Jerusalem compared to his desire to build up his capital, Amman, which he considered far more important.
Between 1948 and 1967, during the illegal Jordanian Arab occupation of east Jerusalem and the West Bank, no Arab leader ever thought it important enough to visit Jerusalem except King Hussein, but he visited it rarely.
Today, Mahmoud Abbas, the successor to arch terrorist Yasser Arafat and now head of the Palestinian Authority, demands that Jerusalem be divided again as it was from 1948 to 1967 and a new Arab capital—for the first time in history—established in Jerusalem.
Not only the Muslim world, with its 57 member states, but the Europeans and President Obama pressure Israel into conceding parts of its holy capital to further placate the voracious Arab appetite and “further the peace process.”
Giving away even one inch of Jerusalem would be to spit in the face of the endless generations of Jews who have held Jerusalem as the central spiritual and physical place in Jewish history.
It would be a cataclysmic and symbolic act of betrayal of Jewish history and faith if any part of Jerusalem is lost to the Jewish people by this generation of Israelis. For Jews, Jerusalem is the spiritual and temporal heart.
It would also be a reverse for the Christian world. Only under Israeli administration has Jerusalem been open for free and unfettered worship to members of all faiths.
The prayer uttered at Passover and Yom Kippur—“Next year in Jerusalem”—must not become an empty phrase made bitter in its very utterance by abandoning much of eternal Jerusalem to placate a fraudulent Arab people called Palestinians and appease a hostile world by succumbing to an equally fraudulent peace.
It is instructive to note that in prayer, Jews in synagogues face Jerusalem while Muslims in mosques face Mecca. This Islamic practice, even on the Temple Mount, speaks volumes.
Victor Sharpe is a freelance writer and author of Politicide: The attempted murder of the Jewish state.