Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Thursday, 6 September 2012

"Jerusalem, A Jewish City By All Definitions"

The above quotation comes from this introduction by Eli E. Hertz to his illustrated and documented article entitled "Jerusalem: One Nation's Capital Throughout History".  If you missed his earlier article, an important and compelling consideration of the centrality of Jerusalem in Jewish (as opposed to Islamic) thought and practice, here's the link.

Now, he writes:
"Palestinians have nurtured a myth that historically there were two Jerusalems - an Arab 'East Jerusalem' and a Jewish 'West Jerusalem.'
Jerusalem was never an Arab city; Jews have held a majority in Jerusalem since 1870, and 'east-west' is a geographic, not political designation. It is no different than claiming the Eastern shore of Maryland should be a separate political entity from the rest of the state. 
With an overall population of nearly 800,000 today, separating East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem is as viable and acceptable as the notion of splitting Berlin into two cities again, or separating East Harlem from the rest of Manhattan. 
Arab claims to Jerusalem, a Jewish city by all definitions, reflect the "what's-mine-is-mine, what's-yours-is-mine" mentality underlying Palestinian concepts of how to end the Arab-Israeli conflict. That concept is also expressed in the demand for the 'Right of Return,' not just in Jerusalem - Israel's capital, but 'inside the Green Line' as well."

See his entire article (which may be said to refute the Palestinian Arab claims set out in this recent overview by Alex Ryvchin) here


  1. There are two verses from the Psalms that influence my prayers. When, as a Christian preacher, I lead intercessions, I always remember that, amongst many other things, we are commanded to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. The other verse is a more personal commitment, to wit, "If I forget Thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand lose its' cunning". I have no intention of letting any part of me lose its' cunning! ;-)

    I shall never forget that, when I was 15, I saw Israeli soldiers praying at the Wailing Wall and somehow understood that I was witnessing a restoration which will bring blessing to us all.

    1. Thanks, Ian.
      A "Daily Telegraph" (5 Oct. 2010 !!!) has surfaced in the course of my impending house move. It reports a survey by the C of E, which concludes that for most people in the UK born after 1982 the "chain of Christian memory" has disappeared. Only one in 5 believe in a Deity who hears prayers.
      More bad news for that strand of support for Jews and Israel that is/was rooted in a sense of a shared scriptural tradition.