JERUSALEM UNITED FOREVER

The capital of Israel is familiar to more people than any other city of earth. It has been the focus of Judaism since King David made it the capital of his kingdom more than 3000 years ago. He transferred the Ark of the Covenant to the city making it both religious and political center of the kingdom. A thousand years later Christians started to hold the city in reverence where Jesus preached and died a thousand years later. Only since the seventh century it has been cherished by Muslims as a holy place.

During three periods of Jewish independence in the Land it has been the capital of a nation. When the Temple was desecrated by the Greek ruler Alexander the Jews rose in revolt led by the Hasmonean family. It rebuilt the Temple and restored its interior. When the Jewish kingdom in the Land of Israel was restored Jerusalem entered a period of growth and development which lasted until the Land became a Roman province in 63 BCE.

When the State of Israel was once more established in 1948 Jerusalem became its capital. It has grown and thrived as the capital of a democratic. Here is the Knesset, the Supreme Court, most government ministries and the President’s residence where foreign envoys to Israel present their credentials.

When in July of 1996 Benjamin Netanyahu visited the United States he had just been elected leader of the Jewish State. He was then invited to speak to a Joint Meeting of the U.S. Congress.

The mood was exceptionally warm, and the Prime Minister was interrupted by applause several times in the first 40 minutes. When he spoke about Jerusalem he received a long applause:

Since 1967, under Israeli sovereignty, united Jerusalem has, for the first time in 2,000 years, become the city of peace….For the first time, a single sovereign authority has afforded security and protection to members of every nationality who sought to come to pray there. There have been efforts to re-divide this city by those who claim that peace can come through division, that it can be secured through multiple sovereignties, multiple laws and multiple police forces. This is a groundless and dangerous assumption, which impels me to declare today: There will never be such a re-division of Jerusalem. Never.

When Mr. Netanyahu repeated the word “never,” it resulted in a standing ovation during close to a minute.

The United Nation had for some time advanced an idea that Jerusalem would become an international city. The United States had not accepted that idea. The division of the city lasted until 1967, when Israel annexed the eastern part of Jerusalem. Walls and wire were removed.

An admirable change took place. The population rose to more than 700,000 from about a quarter of a million in 1967.

The U.S. Congress in 1995 had passed, by an overwhelming vote, the Jerusalem Embassy Act. Clearly the American people wanted the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem. It said that Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel.

The measure taken by Congress went to law without a signature of the American President Bill Clinton. The presidency continues to delay the embassy move to Jerusalem. Even President Georg W. Bush did so but stated that he intended to move the embassy, but at the right time.

In 2010 the sentiments of the American administration are different. It seems as if only Israel is called upon to make concessions in an attempt to restart the peace process. Not the Palestinians. In 1997 Mr. Netanyahu actually retreated from Israel’s second holiest city, Hebron, leaving the Jewish families there in an armed camp. It has not helped.

Meanwhile there has been a Second Intifada. The Clinton administration had actually offered to give the Palestinians part of Jerusalem as a capital. Yasser Arafat, however, refused the offer preferring the uprising to a peace deal. Now Ariel Sharon took over the Israeli government. He understood that the jihadist enemy of the United States was also the Israeli enemy.

Sharon defeated the intifada and the United States went to war against the jihadists in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Obama administration should understand that Palestinian demands and Israeli retreat will only cause more violence from the office in Ramallah. To divide Jerusalem again is impossible. There has to be other solutions, finding another capital for the Palestinian entity. There is an overwhelming Israeli majority of a peaceful and strong capital of Jerusalem. President Obama has not learned the lesson from the failure of President Clinton. There cannot be a divided Jerusalem. Ever.

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  1. The Future of High Speed Rail in California | CaliforniaPrimer.info Says:

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