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Jerusalem: Stating the Obvious

Jerusalem: Stating the Obvious

I greeted the diplomatic news with a shrug.


The definition of "double standard" is declaring the capital city of just one country – of the 193 United Nations member states – "invalid."

Compounding the absurdity is that this particular city – Jerusalem, dedicated 4,000 years ago by Abraham – predates every other capital city on the planet.

As British parliamentarian Benjamin Disraeli quipped when targeted by an anti-Semitic slur: “When my ancestors were priests in the Temple of Solomon, yours were brutal savages on an unknown island."

Imagine the absurdity of UN Resolution 2334, stating that Israel’s presence in Jerusalem is illegal. Would anyone seriously suggest to disconnect Christianity from the Vatican or Islam from Mecca?

Jerusalem is referenced 640 times in the Jewish Bible, crowned the eternal capital of Israel by King David over 3,000 years ago. Jews, wherever dispersed around the globe, yearn for Jerusalem at every Jewish wedding, Passover Seder, and daily prayers.

“Next year, an American Embassy in Jerusalem” was never part of our lexicon, Shmuel Rosner quipped in a New York Times op-ed.

So upon hearing the news of the US government implementing US law, the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, I merely shrugged my shoulders, as did many people in Israel.

Is acknowledging a basic fact of history suddenly "earth-shattering news"?

Why is acknowledging a basic fact of history, correcting a historic injustice, expressing the obvious, and refusing to deny reality, suddenly deemed "earth-shattering news"?

Does anyone think that the Jewish people, who survived Inquisitions and Holocaust, have returned to our land in order to be cowered by violent and diplomatic threats? Have we become so accustomed to vilification of the Jewish State, surviving on the fickle goodwill of other nations, that achieving normalization is a cause for celebration?

Yet such is our topsy-turvy world. In such a world, crass politics, delusion, and anti-Semitic hatred is directed against the city most emblematic of humanity's greatest truths and yearnings, the city of priests and prophets, a light of transcendence which taught the world "Love your neighbor."

In response, Arabs promise more "days of rage" and pundits predict regional conflagration. Yet does anyone truly believe that ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas, and nuclear Iran are secondary issues – while the obvious truth of Jewish Jerusalem will "set the Middle East ablaze"?

Why Jerusalem?

Denial of Jewish connection to Jerusalem is fueled by those who seek to destroy the Jewish State. That is why, in an attempt to airbrush the past, everyone from the Babylonians to Romans, Crusaders and Jordanians, have expelled the Jews from Jerusalem and destroyed its holy sites.

This denial of Jewish Jerusalem persists today. In the words of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, the Jewish people "claim that 2,000 years ago they had a Temple. I challenge the claim that this is so." The Palestine News Network pushed the line that "the Wailing [Western] Wall is an integral part of the al-Aqsa Mosque, and it is exclusively Islamic… and non-Muslims have no right to it, even to the dust of the Wailing Wall." Speaking on Palestinian TV, researcher Dr. Hayel Sanduqa claimed that the well-known verse from Psalm 137, "If I forget thee, oh Jerusalem," is not a Jewish source at all, but rather words uttered by a Christian Crusader, now "falsified in the name of Zionism."

Jerusalem embodies a vision of our perfected world.

And the mainstream media is frequently complicit. London’s Daily Telegraph referred to “the Temple Mount, where the two Jewish temples of antiquity are believed to have been built,” and Time magazine identified the “Dome of the Rock, where Jews believe Solomon and Herod built the First and Second Temples.” Not an indisputable fact of history; just something that “Jews believe.”

In referring to the Temple Mount, Associated Press, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, et al, typically cite the Muslim-Arabic name – “Haram al-Sharif, the Noble Sanctuary.” But in tens of thousands of mainstream news articles, did you ever once see the Temple Mount referred to by its Hebrew name, “Har Habayit”?

A final irony: The den of anti-Semitism, United Nations headquarters in New York, bear on its walls the words of Isaiah: "They will beat their swords into plowshares." Yet let us not forget the verse immediately preceding: “For out of Zion shall go forth Torah, and the word of God from Jerusalem.”

Jerusalem embodies the Jewish vision of a perfected world, humanity's best hope for peace.

Diplomatic developments aside, it is a vision we surrender at our peril.

December 7, 2017

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Visitor Comments: 18

(13) Anna Bortsova, February 20, 2018 11:08 PM

I agree

It is hard to see through political dust. But Jerusalem has always been and will always be the place of redemption. Satan has always hated God, therefore he is trying to take, grab, steal the city of Jerusalem from her lawful owners to STOP redemption on earth. I know who is going to win the battle - God of Israel!

(12) Anonymous, December 13, 2017 3:07 AM

Shraga you nailed it as usual! in the spirit of chanukah and advertising the mircle, we the recipients of the advertising get it, the rest of ..... do not. Love your closing paragraph.

(11) Dr. Prechard B. M. Basaiawmoit, December 11, 2017 4:16 PM

Funny, Israel cannot decide on its own capital

I'm amused that there is so much reaction around the world to President Trump deciding to relocate the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
Cannot the US Government make its choice with the approval and allotment of land by the Israeli Government ? Is this not the norm and practice in every other sovereign country ? Then why such a big cry with threats ?
Jerusalem, is indeed the oldest city, though ravished from time to time as per biblical records and the Bible is not a myth and not mythological but a record of historical events, including the building and destruction of Jerusalem, ( Heb., city of peace), building and destruction of the first temple built by King Solomon who is not a mythological figure but son of King David, the son of Jesse.
Those who vehemently deny this fact, perhaps do not believe and subscribe to the biblical records but history is history and Israel has every right to shift its capital from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem and let there be temples, churches and mosques in Jerusalem.

(10) Lowell, December 11, 2017 1:20 AM

Thanks for ...?

Thanks for what? If the truth be told, most of the world owes the Jew an apology. For almost 19 centuries Jews have suffered at the hands of humanity and 98% of that was in the name of God, Jesus, and the Church. Jerusalem predates every capitol City in the world. Thank you is inappropriate, the response by those who know God should be “it’s about time!” Most people are misunderstanding the real issue here, it’s not who recognizes Jerusalem first, or Israel as a state. The world is not fighting the Jew, they are fighting the person the Jews are so devoted to - God. Does anybody really believe that Donald Trump is man of character, values, and is guided by a moral compass? Sure he is the president and the office should be respected, but there is a great force at work here and that force will not be thwarted. The Palestinians are a farce and the world has been entertained by their claims. Who speaks Palestinian? Who writes in the Palestinian language? Where is their history of literature, art, science, medicine? Still looking? Good luck, you’ll never find it. Palestina aka “Palestine” was a creation of the Romans following the Roman siege 132-35 A.D.. For two thousand years prior, it was called the land of Judah and was Home to the nation of Israel and it’s capitol was and still is Jerusalem. So, please let’s be honest with the facts.

(9) Janina, December 10, 2017 9:05 PM

President Trump is the first to break silence and recognize Jerusalem the capital city of Israel. It is an example of courage, respect for historical justice and solidarity of a small nation. I hope that slow and sure other countries will recognize this too, for a thousand-miles journey begins with the first step...

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