Israel has many battlefronts. One of the largest and most damaging is that of dis-information. In today’s world, people are easily confused by lies perpetrated by one side or the other. The only response is to provide facts which are indisputable. The current assault on the rights of the Jewish people to their homeland of Israel and even more specifically to their ancient connection to Jerusalem, has caused great damage.
Once again Ambassador Dore Gold, the head of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, has his focus on what is truly critical in Israel’s fight for diplomatic survival. After speaking around the world- presenting his clear proof of the Jewish right to Jerusalem as its Capital and Holy City, he brought the presentation to his home turf. It was an event so respected, that many could not attend as the seating was limited. Thus, I would like to share with you the essentials of the evening.
The Palestine Liberation Organization’s culture of fabricating their own narrative on Jerusalem became a full time project when the PLO leader, Yasser Arafat ( who was far more sophisticated than his visual image may have implied)- decided to rewrite Jewish history. His contorted initiative has been embellished upon by Mahmoud Abbas , the leader of the Fatah movement today, who continuously disseminates the fraud that Jews counterfeit their history. He pronounces that the Torah was written as a fairy tale – ignoring the historians over centuries who have confirmed that what is written in it is historically correct. The information in the Old Testament has been substantiated by international authorities and by archaeological discoveries which fill the most respected museums world-wide. Abbas perpetrates the lie that the Jews never had a holy temple at all, much less one in Jerusalem, while coins discovered from thousands of years ago, attest to its existence- as do ancient carved stone artifacts easily viewed by all. The Greek writings of Flavius Josephus record the fall of the Jewish holy Temple in the year 70 AD and are respected world-wide. Pretending these proofs do not exist and creating these false narratives is what Ambassador Gold entitles “The diplomacy of doubt.”
There is no question of the centrality of Jerusalem in the history of the Jewish people, Ambassador Gold explained, that Jerusalem has always been the center of their heart and worship of God. Their holy texts, thousands of years old, refer to Jerusalem constantly. The prayers of the Jewish people focus on Jerusalem, and synagogues around the world have always faced Jerusalem. The symbolism of this is their commitment to the memory of the Holy Temple which was destroyed. This is not a new concept…but an ancient one. J.C.P.A. polls show that 79% of Israelis today support retaining a unified Jerusalem. The suggestion that the “internationalization” of Israel’s holy capital would be a solution for the international desire to placate the Fatah and Hamas claims on the holy city of the Jewish people, needs to be addressed in a clear and unequivocal fashion. This was the purpose of his recent presentation at the Israel Museum.
Ambassador Gold presented the six false claims that are being repeated in order to undermine the truth of Jerusalem’s centrality to the history of the Jewish people.
Claim #1.” There was never a holy temple in Jerusalem.” Proof in response; Antiquities in stone, carved images and writings in ancient Greek, show the looting of the holy temple by Roman soldiers, and are on view in Istanbul’s museum. The temple, built 480 years after the Jews exodus from Egypt, was admired by rulers throughout the world- who even brought gifts to the temple service to show their respect. This is recorded by many nations in their own historical accounts. The ancient writings of Flavius Josephus who was born in 37 AD recorded the entire history of Jerusalem’s holy temple period and his historical account has been accepted by scholars as beyond repute.
Claim #2. “The Jews abandoned their ties to Jerusalem.” This is disproven by the fact that every time Jerusalem was conquered by foreign forces, even though the Jews were repeatedly expelled by different aggressors- they always returned. Some foreign leaders even invited them to return. After the one-hundred year conquest of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, Saladin then conquered Jerusalem in the year 1187, and invited the Jews to return safely to their homeland. In even as far back as the 1300’s- Jewish prayers all over the world included the phrase “Ha Shana ha ba b’Yerushalayim”…Next year in Jerusalem.
Claim #3-“Jews never returned to Jerusalem until 20th century colonialism began. “ History proves this false. As far back as 1863, Jerusalem was inhabited primarily by Jews. Even then, 45,000 of the 65,000 residents of the city were Jews.
Claim #4- “Jews have no right to Jerusalem under International law”. This is an unqualified hoax which relies upon the ignorance of those who do not have the energy to study International law. The Balfour declaration and the league of Nations preserved all rights to Jerusalem for the Jewish people and the ultimate State of Israel. The rights under these laws were brought forth to the United Nations when it was founded. Creating a new scenario may work for the enemies of Israel, but not for the great jurists and legal minds who are interested in fact rather than fiction. Great judges have determined that in fact- because Jerusalem was re-united when Israel was acting in self defense ( when Israel was surrounded by Arab nations intent on her destruction ), that the Jordanian controlled areas of Jerusalem were legally captured. This according to International law, makes Israel’s current rights to Jerusalem -“rock solid.”
Claim #5- “Under Israeli domain, the Al Aqsa mosque is in danger.” This is one of the more absurd claims perpetrated, as Israel has protected the holy sites of all the world’s major religions since its creation as a state, whilst Fundamentalist Islamic terrorists and the fighters of ISIS have destroyed churches, synagogues, and holy sites in every land they have pillaged (including some of their own Mosques belonging to Moslem sects not to their liking). The only ones who have damaged the Al Aqsa Mosque area are the Arab Waqf in charge of the site, who dug down under the building while dumping thousands of years of archeological artifacts in the process. This abuse denied the world untold historical wealth from the temple remains, but assisted the Jerusalem Arab Waqf’s goal to erase additional Jewish proof that the temple periods existed. Unfortunately for them, there is quite sufficient proof already from previous excavations in the Temple Mount area. Their archeological barbarism was to no avail. Their fears that Israel will take back the Mosque for its own purposes to rebuild the Holy Temple have no substance. Israel clearly is willing to live side-by-side with her Arab residents. It does however hope that in the long term, all people will be able to be on the Temple Mount without discord or fear, and that a prayer uttered by moving Jewish or Christian lips will cease to be seen as an offense or a “veiled threat” by their Moslem “cousins.” There really is no excuse for this area, holy to the three major religions of the world, to limit prayer or physical access to either Christians or Jews… or anyone else.
Claim #6- “The only solution to the issue of Jerusalem is “Internationalization.” The word sounds good. Those who do not understand its implications will have a knee jerk reaction to say it sounds reasonable. If one goes back as far as the speeches of Prime Minister Ben Gurion, from Israel’s creation, he proclaimed that only Israel can protect Jerusalem for all of the world’s religions. The United Nations has never lifted a finger to protect the holy sites. Only Israel’s soldiers and police have ever protected Jerusalem. The United Nations has never protected anything. Hence the administration of Jerusalem must remain status quo if the world’s religions want to preserve their holiest sites. Israel is the only entity which will ensure the rights of citizens world-wide to continue to have access to their own religious treasures. It is part and parcel of the Jewish ethic to respect the religions of others and to wish to live side by side with them in harmony. Extreme Muslim Fundamentalism is intent on eradicating all that is not its own ideology. Destroying historic religious sites of the “other” is part of their approach. One risk of “internationalization” is that it would rely on those to whom its implementation would be a mere form of employment, not a moral imperative.
It is critical that we all take time to digest the illegitimacy of the six claims against the historic rights of the Jewish people to their city of Jerusalem. The American fulfillment of their pledge to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital by moving their embassy there is a critical “turning point” in history. It will not go unchallenged. But thanks to Ambassador Gold, we are well armed with the facts. Truth must prevail in the murky waters of world opinion.