Friday, November 7, 2008

Jerusalem isn't Jewish?

Jerusalem isn't Jewish, at least not according to Ahmed Qurei, the chief Palestinian peace negotiator with Israel.

In remarks during a small media briefing, which WND was at and reported here, Qurei said "Israeli occupation authorities are trying to find a so-called Jewish historical connection" between Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, "but all these attempts will fail. The [Temple Mount] is 100 percent Muslim."

This may be a fairly common sentiment among some of the less educated and more radical persons around the world, but for this belief to be held by the chief negotiator for the Palestinian, a man considered to be moderate, well. . . this would seem to pose a problem.

Let us ignore archeological findings for a moment, the Western Wall being the major one.

Imagine that Jews had no connection to Jerusalem. What would Judaism look like?

Its not enough that Jerusalem is mentioned in countless prayers, holds a central position in the imagery, culture, and shared consciousness of the Jewish people, it is simply the single most important city to Jews in the world (unless you are from New York City, in which case you simply don't know that there are Jews anywhere else in the world).

I have nothing against a Muslim claim that the city of Jerusalem is holy to Islam.

It is also holy to Christians and a score of smaller religions.

What I resent is the attempt to negate the importance of Jerusalem to the Jewish people.

This isn't about colonialism, imperialism, Orientalism, occupation, Zionism, Islamophobia or anything of that nature.

It is a simple fact that the Jewish people are connected religiously, spiritually, and historically to Jerusalem.

And while this connection doesn't necessary merit ownership of custodianship of the land, it is ridiculous to think that Qurei can be a serious negotiator.

I usually call bullshit when Israel says, "we have no one to negotiate with," but this seems like a fairly obvious speed bump in the road map to peace.

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