Has Anything About Jerusalem Really Changed Much?
Jerusalem is the Capital of the Jewish People and only the Jewish People. This must be the standard declaration of any and all governments of Israel. It is also the violin for all your strings.
Jerusalem is now the Capital of the third Jewish Commonwealth, the modern State of Israel.
“When a Jew visits Jerusalem for the first time, it is a homecoming” ~ Elie Wiesel
The city is located in the Judean Mountains, between the Mediterranean Sea and the northern edge of the Dead Sea.
Jerusalem is a holy city to the three major monotheistic-Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianly and Islam.
King David Ben-Yishai (970-1040 BCE), the second King of the Nation of Israel, established Jerusalem as the capital of the United Kingdom of Israel in 1000 BCE, and his son, King Solomon, commissioned the building of the First Temple in the city. There the Holy Ark, and in it the Ten Commandments, were accommodated.
After the Death of Jesus
After the death of Jesus, who spent his last days in Jerusalem, and the rise of Christianity, Jerusalem became holy for Christianity. In later years, after it was conquered by the Muslims in 637 or 638 AD the city somewhat became a focal point for Islam.
The Islamic siege of Jerusalem (636-637) was part of the Muslim conquest of the Levant and the result of the military efforts of the Rashidun Caliphate against the Christian Byzantine Empire in the year 636-637/38 AD. It began when the Rashidun army, under the command of Abu Ubaidah, besieged Jerusalem, beginning in November 636 AD. After six months, the Patriarch Sophronius agreed to surrender, on condition that he submit only to the Caliph. According to tradition, in 637 or 638, Caliph Umar traveled to Jerusalem in person to receive the submission of the city. The Patriarch thus surrendered to him.
Jerusalem has never, ever, been any other nation’s Capital; it has always been the Jewish People’s Capital, the central point of all Jewish prayers while Jews were in exile for 2000 years.
Romans Destroyed Jerusalem
In 70 CE, under Titus, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and burned the Jewish Temple, decisively ending the Great Jewish Revolt against the Roman rule that had begun four years earlier.
The First Jewish-Roman War (66-73 CE), sometimes called the Great Jewish Revolt, or The Jewish War, was the first of three major rebellions by the Jews against the Roman Empire, fought in Roman-controlled Judea, resulting in the destruction of Jewish towns, the displacement of its people and the appropriation of land for Roman military use, as well as the destruction of the Jewish Temple and polity.
Rome and Jerusalem at War – The destruction of the Jewish Temple.
The Holy Western Wall – The Wailing Wall – is part of what survived the burning down of King Herod’s Temple complex, the last man to have ruled the Kingdom of Judea.
After Islam came to be, one Caliph after another established presence in the city and, in stages built the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the ruins of the destroyed Jewish Temple.
Though the Romans destroyed the 2nd temple and expelled the Jews from their Homeland, nonetheless, some Jews remained living in their Holy City. In fact, history attests that Jews always inhabited Jerusalem, in continuity, and the city was never devoid of Jewish presence.
Jerusalem is not only the Jews’ only Holy City. It is not only the Capital of all previous Jewish kingdoms and Commonwealths, from King David times till today, it is now the Capital of the modern State of Israel; Jerusalem is also the heart of the Jewish People.
Yet, in 1949, when the Jews fought the Arabs, in their War of Independence, they could not defend and hold to the ‘Old City’, what is nowadays recognized as “east” Jerusalem, where their Holiest, Temple Mount and the Western Wall are located.
For nineteen tearful long years, the ‘Old City’ of Jerusalem was illegally occupied by Jordan, captured in Muslim-Arab hands, and Jews were not allowed to go pray there.
The Jewish Nation’s heart was broken in half. One chamber was blocked to the flow of Jewish blood. In the other chamber, Jewish blood was flowing fast. The Israeli-Jews were building their Capital, expanding it beyond the ancient wall. The new part of the city was gurgling with a Jewish presence – including all of the state of Israel’s government institutions – and has become the official Capital of the State of Israel, the official home to the State of Israel’s government and all its branches.
The city’s other chamber, the ‘Old City’, just across the ceasefire lines, was forbidden to Jews and no Jewish blood was flowing through it. That part of the Jewish heart needed political and spiritual mending.
This mending came, rather as a surprise, in the 1967 Six-Day War; at the end of the war Jews were praying at the Western Wall. History was made. The Jewish heart was finally mended. Jerusalem was unified under the State of Israel’s sovereign rule.
The Arabs Lost the War, but Facts Do Not Matter to Them
The Arabs, who for nineteen years illegally occupied the Old City of Jerusalem, now want to make, what they call “east” Jerusalem, their Capital. Meaning, break the Jewish heart again. A large part of the international community supports this idea, deliberately ignoring the depth of the spiritual and political calamity such division would cause.
But the Arabs know what such division will do. Dividing Jerusalem is part of their ongoing scheme to try to break the Jewish Nation’s spirit, and thus get closer to destroying its Homeland, the State of Israel.
Biden-Blinken Destructive Policy
This also appears to be the Biden Administration-Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s current goal. To establish a US Consulate General in the new part of Jerusalem that will answer directly to the State Department, not to the US Embassy in Jerusalem. That is de facto establishing “east” Jerusalem as the capital of the non-existent “Palestine.” That is de facto the first step to the US acknowledging “Palestine” without the Arabs meeting any of the conditions laid out by consecutive US governments to have their “Palestine.”
Jerusalem of Gold
In her historical song, ‘Jerusalem of Gold,’ Nomi Shemer, the late Israeli songwriter, captured all the feelings Jews have for their Holy Capital City, Jerusalem: “Oh, Jerusalem of gold, and of light and of bronze, I am the lute for all your songs.”
Shemer wrote the original song for the Israeli Music Festival of May 15, 1967, a few weeks before the Six-Day War broke out. It marked the celebration of Israel’s 19th Independence Day. At that time, the ‘Old City’ was still under the Arab-Jordanian illegal occupation, to where Jews were barred entrance and where many Jewish holy sites had been desecrated and forcibly deserted for 2 decades.
Three weeks after the song was published, the Six-Day War broke. Not knowing what was in store for them, the song became a battle cry and morale booster for the Israeli troops getting ready to fight a war of unknown outcome. Shemer even sang it for the troops before the war broke and before it was sung officially at the festival, making the IDF among the first in the world to hear its golden words.
Shuli Nathan the first and original singer of the song – “Yeroushalayim shel zahav ” – ירושלים של זהב
Jerusalem of Gold – Yerushalayim shel Zahav -Ofra Haza- with English Lyrics
When, on June 7, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) paratroopers captured the eastern part of Jerusalem – the ‘Old City’ – from the Jordanians, Shemer heard the Israeli paratroopers sing her song “Jerusalem of Gold” at the Western Wall. She then added a final verse, reversing the phrases of lamentation. The ‘Old City’ was returned to its owner and there was no more need to long for it and weep (Lyrics).
Shemer later recalled:
“I wrote ‘Jerusalem of Gold’ that same night. The idea I started with was the Talmudic legend I remembered from my school days about the sage Rabbi Akiva who lived in poverty, in a hayloft with his beloved wife Rahel, who had been disowned by her father. As he plucked the hay out of her hair, he promised her that one day he would become wealthy and buy her a Jerusalem of Gold [an item of jewelry]. Our teachers, Shoshana and Amminadav, taught us many similar legends. The phrase ‘Jerusalem of Gold’ suddenly shone in my memory as if to say, ‘Here I am,’ and I realized it would be the cornerstone of my song.”
Indeed Jerusalem of gold is the cornerstone of the Jewish nation.
Since 1967 the state of Israel has done a commendable job keeping the entire City of Jerusalem safe and open to all the religions’ worshippers.
Let us sing, Jerusalem of gold, and of bronze, and of light, behold I am a violin for all your songs.
Jerusalem is the heart of the Jewish People; it must not be broken, meaning the city cannot be on the Biden-Blinken chopping block disgracefully and intentionally be divided by them.
Just as no one’s heart should be divided – or broken – neither will Jerusalem be the Capital City for two Peoples; it is the undivided Capital of the Jewish Nation only, for infinity. This story is a continuation of my story from May 23, 2011.
Let this op-ed make its way to Antony Blinken’s desk. Jerusalem of Gold is the unofficial anthem of the state of Israel.