Tuesday, October 18, 2011
17 October '11
Before commenting on the latest report by the Guardian’s Chris McGreal, “Israel plans new settlement of 2600 that will isolate Arab East Jerusalem“, an understanding of the designation “Arab East Jerusalem” is in order.
This isn’t, of course, a comprehensive history, but represents important context sorely lacking in the Guardian’s frequent misrepresentations about issues pertaining to Jerusalem.
Around the year 1010 B.C.E., King David made the Jerusalem the administrative capital of Israel and brought the Ark of the Covenant to the city. It is believed that David’s son, Solomon, built the first Jewish Temple as a permanent resting place for the Ark of the Covenant, a place which would become the focus of Jewish veneration from that point to the present.
In 597 B.C.E. the Babylonian army captured Jerusalem, deported thousands of Jews, and razed the city.
In 560 B.C.E., the Persians conquered “Palestine” and told the Jews they could return to their homeland, and rebuild their Temple. The Second Temple was completed in 516 B.C. Over the next 150 years Jews rebuilt Jerusalem and developed the surrounding areas.
In 332 B.C.E., the Greeks, under Alexander the Great, became Palestine’s new ruler.
In 167 B.C.E., Jews rose up and, three years later, Jerusalem was recaptured from the Greeks and the Temple restored, an event that gave birth to the holiday of Chanukah.
After 76 years, the Romans wrested control of Jerusalem and the rest of Judea from the Jews.
Under King Herod, the area of the Temple Mount was doubled and surrounded with four retaining walls, including the area known as the Kotel or Western Wall. In 66 A.D., after a failed Jewish revolt against Roman rule, The Romans laid siege to the city and in the year 70 A.D. destroyed the Second Temple.
After the destruction of the Second Temple, Christianity began to rise, until the Islamic conquest in 633 – the beginning of a 1,300-year span during which more than ten different empires were to rule in the Holy Land prior to the British occupation after World War I.
The Ottoman Turks took control of Jerusalem at the beginning of the sixteenth century.
The Ottoman Turks were defeated in World War I and Palestine was captured by the British, who subsequently were awarded a mandate from the League of Nations to rule the land.
When the United Nations took up the Palestine question in 1947, it recommended that all of Jerusalem be internationalized. The Jewish Agency agreed to accept internationalization, while the Arab states were opposed to the plan, as they were to the rest of the partition plan.
In May 1948, upon Israel’s declaration of Independence, Arab armies invaded the newly created Jewish state and (by the end of the war, per the 1949 armistice lines) Jordan occupied east Jerusalem, dividing the city for the first time in its history, and driving thousands of Jews — whose families had lived in the city for centuries — into exile.
For the next 19 years, from 1948-67, the city was split between Israeli and Jordanian control, a period which represents the only time the city has been divided in its history.
This is what is meant by the extremely misleading refrain by Guardian reporters (and others in the MSM) of “Arab East Jerusalem“.
Jews living in the Jordanian controlled section of Jerusalem were expelled and all Jews were denied access to the Western Wall. Jordan also subsequently desecrated Jewish holy place and all attempted to erase all traces of Jewish history in the city. Fifty-eight Jerusalem synagogues — some centuries old — were destroyed.
(Read full "The Guardian’s Chris McGreal and the moral logic of a Jew-free “Eastern” Jerusalem")
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