As today we celebrate Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim), I thought it an opportune time to provide readers with the following quiz. As we, the Jewish people –especially those of us residing in Eretz Yisrael, are in a joyous mood today, I will supply the answers as well.
1) How many times is Jerusalem mentioned in Jewish prayers/religious texts? A: Even excluding all references to “Zion,” which may or may not be referring to Jerusalem, well over 600 times.
2) How many times is Jerusalem mentioned in the Koran a/o Moslem prayers? A: ZERO! Attempting to relate Mohammad flying to Heaven from some far-off mosque, which some in Islam would like us to believe refers to Jerusalem, does not fly (pardon the pun), as neither the Dome of the Rock nor Al Aqsa Mosque had been constructed as yet by the time of Mohammad’s death.
3) How many Jewish holidays are tied to Jerusalem? A: Three–Succot, Pesach, and Shavuot; aka the Sholosh Regalim. At the time of the First & Second Temple, Jews resident throughout Eretz Yisrael were expected to come to Jerusalem by foot (“regel,” plural “regalim”) to celebrate those three festivals.
4) How many Moslem holy occasions are celebrated in Jerusalem? A: ZERO!
5) In which direction do Jews around the globe face during prayers? A: Jerusalem.
6) In which direction do Moslems face during prayers? A: Mecca. (There is a fascinating photo on-line of Moslems praying on the plaza adjacent to the Dome of the Rock, kneeling towards Mecca, so that their backs are turned toward the Dome! Case closed.)
7) What city serves as the capital of the State of Israel? A: Jerusalem.
8) When eastern Jerusalem was under the control of Palestine I (aka Jordan) from 1948 until 1967, how many foreign dignitaries were hosted in Jerusalem? A: ZERO! (Background: according to the San Remo Treaty of 1920, all of what is known today as Israel + Jordan was designated as “The Jewish Homeland.” The British, a party to that Treaty, had second thoughts (specifically, Winston Churchill). In 1922, they carved out 80% of that homeland east of the Jordan River, designated it as Transjordan, and imported Emir Abdullah, a Hashemite, from Hejaz (now part of Saudi Arabia) to rule. To this day, over 75% of the population of what we now call Jordan is Palestinian. Which is why I refer to it as Palestine I.
I believe by now the point should be clear. Beyond a reasonable doubt , PALESTINIANS/MOSLEMS HAVE NO TIES AT ALL TO JERUSALEM!! So why, you may ask, has the status of Jerusalem become such a divisive point in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians since Oslo ’93? The simplest answer is to recall a common incident: a group of children playing in a schoolyard, a ball laying to the side of no interest to any of them. One of them goes to pick up the ball. Suddenly, he is mobbed by his friends all grabbing at the ball–“That’s mine!”, “That’s mine!”, “That’s mine!”
Such is Jerusalem to the Arabs/Moslems. Of no interest, except if someone else “picks it up.” Whether it be the Crusaders, or modern day Israel post-1967. Only then do we see an interest by our neighbors in controlling our capital, our holy city.
CHAG YOM YERUSHALYIM SAMEACH!!!