Monday, June 6, 2011

In Honor of Jerusalem Day

Netanyahu: Jerusalem Will Never Be Divided - Ari Galahar
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday on the eve of Jerusalem Day:
"Jerusalem is full of archeological sites that prove its connection to the Jewish people."
"Jerusalem was united, and will never be divided again." He concluded with a play on an
ancient Jewish saying: "Next year in a more built-up Jerusalem." (Ynet News

to Assert Jerusalem's Jewish Heritage - Nathan Diament
President Obama said at a London news conference that Jerusalem goes deep into how the Jewish
people think about their identity. As we mark 44 years of a reunited Jerusalem this week, we should
appreciate the centrality of Jerusalem to Jewish identity. This is why most Israelis and American Jews
consistently reject the idea that Israel surrender swaths of the holy city as part of a peace deal with the
Modern Jerusalem is far more an interwoven checkerboard of Jewish and Palestinian areas than
starkly segregated enclaves. It is no more feasible to separate the Palestinian and Jewish neighborhood
s of Jerusalem from one another than to ethnically divide the neighborhoods of Manhattan.
The international community would never expect the Muslims to cede sovereignty over Mecca, the
cradle of their faith and history, any more than Americans would be asked to return Philadelphia to the
queen of England. The Jewish people should be afforded no less respect. Jerusalem must remain united
under Jewish sovereignty. The writer is director of public policy at the Orthodox Union. (JTA

Israel Won't Let Palestinians Deny Jewish Jerusalem
We reported that the Palestinian Authority web-site posted a "study" that concluded the Kotel (Western
Wall) is part of a mosque and had association with Jewish history but has been venerated by Jews only
since the 20th Century. These bold face lies brought condemnation from the State of Israel and friends
of Israel from around the world (including members of One Jerusalem.) The negative reaction to the PA
caused the United State State Department to criticize the PA and the so-called "study."

Shortly after the United States weighed in, the "study" disappeared from the PA's web-site. The
Palestinian Authority will not acknowledge that it took it down. Instead it insists that hackers targeted
this one item on their site. As the Jerusalem Post reports the PA's web-site has been operating normally
and there is no indication of hacker manipulation. It is clear that the PA ditched the report because the
United States asked it to. It is also clear that they stand by the conclusions that the Kotel has no biblical
history for the Jews. In short they continue not to recognize Jewish ties to Jerusalem.

If the PA (the "moderates") deny Israel's attachment to Jerusalem is there anyone on the other side to
make peace with?

UPDATE: The bogus "study" which disappeared after the United States criticized its anti-Jewish
conclusions have resurfaced on the PA website
Daniel Pipes
Palestinian Arabs now claim that Canaanites built Solomon's Temple, that the ancient Hebrews were Bedouin
tribesmen, the Bible came from Arabia, the Jewish Temple "was in Nablus or perhaps Bethlehem," the Jewish
presence in Palestine ended in 70 C.E., and today's Jews are descendants of the Khazar Turks. Yasser Arafat himself created a nonexistent Canaanite king, Salem, out of thin air, speaking movingly about this fantasy Palestinian Arab "forefather."
Palestinian Media Watch sums up this process: By turning Canaanites and Israelites into Arabs and the
Judaism of ancient Israel into Islam, the Palestinian Authority "takes authentic Jewish history, documented
by thousands of years of continuous literature, and crosses out the word 'Jewish' and replaces it with the word 'Arab.'"
The political implication is clear: Jews lack any rights to Jerusalem. As a street banner puts it: "Jerusalem is
Arab." Jews are unwelcome.

Why is Jerusalem a sacred city for Jews?


Jewish ties to Jerusalem go back to the time of Abraham, the father of Judaism. To test Abraham's faith in God, God said to Abraham, "Take, I beg of you, your son, your only son, whom you love, Yitzhak, and get yourself to the land of Moriah and offer him up there as an offering on one of the mountains on which I will tell you." (Genesis 22:2) It is on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem that Abraham passes God's test of faith. Mount Moriah came to symbolize for the Jews the supreme embodiment of their relationship with God.

Then, "Abraham named this place: God Sees, which today is expressed as follows: On the mountain of God is one seen." (Genesis 22:14) From this Jews understand that in Jerusalem, unlike any other place on earth, God is almost tangible.

King David

In approximately 1000 B.C.E., King David conquered the Canaanite center called Jebus. Then he built the City of David on the southern slope of Mount Moriah. One of David's first acts after conquering Jerusalem was to bring into the city the Ark of the Covenant which contained the Tablets of the Law.

Thereupon David went and brought up the Ark of God from the house of Oved-edom to the City of David, amid rejoicing. When the bearers of the Ark of the Lord had moved forward six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. David whirled with all his might before the Lord; David was girt with a priestly garment. Thus David and all the House of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts and with blasts of the shofar. (2 Samuel 6:13)

With the transfer of the Ark of the Covenant, Jerusalem became a holy city and the center of worship for the Israelites.

King Solomon

It was David's son, Solomon who built the Temple for God on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, inaugurating it in 960 BCE. The mostly costly materials and advanced builders were used to create this magnificent Temple, which would house the Ark of the Covenant.

After placing the Ark of the Covenant in the Temple's Holy of Holies (Dvir), Solomon reminded the Israelites of the responsibilities they faced now with God living among them:

But will God really dwell on earth? Even the heavens to their uttermost reaches cannot contain You, now much less this House that I have built! Yet turn, O Lord my God, to the prayer and supplication of Your servant, and hear the cry and prayer which Your servant offers before You this day. May Your eyes be open day and night toward this House, toward the place of which You have said, "My name shall abide there".... (I Kings 8:27-31)

According to the Book of Kings, God responded to Solomon's prayer by accepting the Temple and promising to continue the Covenant with the Israelites on condition the Israelites keep God's laws. "I have heard the prayer and the supplication which you have offered to Me. I consecrate this House which you have built and I set My name there forever." (I Kings 9:3)


After Solomon's death, the Kingdom of Israel became divided and Jerusalem's state declined. The prophet Isaiah warned the Jews about their religious obligations.

Isaiah also envisioned Jerusalem's future role as a religious center that would inspire people to follow God's laws.

And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the Mount of the Lord's House shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all the nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths." For Torah shall come forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall decide among many peoples: And they shall beat their sword into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2: 1-4)


Under the influence of Isaiah, King Hezekiah (727-698 B.C.E.) purified the Temple and strengthened the walls of Jerusalem. In an effort to ensure Jerusalem's ability to withstand a siege, Hezekiah also dug a water tunnel, 533 meters long, from the spring of Gihon into a reservoir inside the city walls at the pool of Siloam.

Some believe that Hezekiah's purification of the Temple and contribution to the safety of Jerusalem is the reason that God protected the city when Assyrians besieged it:

That night an angle of the Lord went out and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp, and the following morning they were all dead corpses. So King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and retreated, and stayed in Nineveh. (2 Kings 19:35-36)

Babylonian Exile

Unlike the Assyrians, the Babylonians, in 586 B.C.E., succeeded to conquer Jerusalem. The Babylonians, led by Nebuchadnezzer, destroyed the Temple and exiled the Jews to Babylonia.

Even in exile, however, Jews never forgot their holy city of Jerusalem.

By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. We hung our lyres under the willows in its midst. For there they who carried us away captive asked us for a song: and tehy who spoiled us asked us for mirth, saying. "Sing us one of the songs of Zion." How shall we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand lose its cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. (Psalm 137: 1-6).

on and on and on 2500 more years and counting

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