Top Ten Reasons East Jerusalem does not belong to Jewish-Israelis


Dome of the Rock and suggested reading: How can we build the Third Temple together?

By Juan Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment. He is Richard P. Mitchell Professor of History at the University of Michigan and an adjunct professor, Gulf Studies Center, Qatar University. He is author of, among many other books, Muhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires. Follow him on Twitter at @jricole 

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the American Israel Public Affairs Council on Monday that “Jerusalem is not a settlement.” He continued that the historical connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel cannot be denied. He added that neither could the historical connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem. He insisted, “The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 years ago and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today.” He said, “Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is our capital.” He told his applauding audience of 7500 that he was simply following the policies of all Israeli governments since the 1967 conquest of Jerusalem in the Six Day War.

Netanyahu mixed together Romantic-nationalist cliches with a series of historically false assertions. But even more important was everything he left out of the history, and his citation of his warped and inaccurate history instead of considering laws, rights or common human decency toward others not of his ethnic group.

So here are the reasons that Netanyahu is profoundly wrong, and East Jerusalem does not belong to him.

1. In international law, East Jerusalem is occupied territory, as are the parts of the West Bank that Israel unilaterally annexed to its district of Jerusalem. The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and the Hague Regulations of 1907 forbid occupying powers to alter the lifeways of civilians who are occupied, and forbid the settling of people from the occupiers’ country in the occupied territory. Israel’s expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem, its usurpation of Palestinian property there, and its settling of Israelis on Palestinian land are all gross violations of international law. Israeli claims that they are not occupying Palestinians because the Palestinians have no state are cruel and tautological. Israeli claims that they are building on empty territory are laughable. My back yard is empty, but that does not give Netanyahu the right to put up an apartment complex on it.

Suggested reading  by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Jewish Perspective on the Rights of Neighbors

Why Did Muhammad Fly to Jerusalem?

How can we build the Third Temple together?

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2. Israeli governments have not in fact been united or consistent about what to do with East Jerusalem and the West Bank, contrary to what Netanyahu says. The Galili Plan for settlements in the West Bank was adopted only in 1973. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin gave undertakings as part of the Oslo Peace Process to withdraw from Palestinian territory and grant Palestinians a state, promises for which he was assassinated by the Israeli far right (elements of which are now supporting Netanyahu’s government). As late as 2000, then Prime Minister Ehud Barak claims that he gave oral assurances that Palestinians could have almost all of the West Bank and could have some arrangement by which East Jerusalem could be its capital. Netanyahu tried to give the impression that far rightwing Likud policy on East Jerusalem and the West Bank has been shared by all previous Israeli governments, but this is simply not true.

3. Romantic nationalism imagines a “people” as eternal and as having an eternal connection with a specific piece of land. This way of thinking is fantastic and mythological. Peoples are formed and change and sometimes cease to be, though they might have descendants who abandoned that religion or ethnicity or language. Human beings have moved all around and are not directly tied to any territory in an exclusive way, since many groups have lived on most pieces of land. Jerusalem was not founded by Jews, i.e. adherents of the Jewish religion. It was founded between 3000 BCE and 2600 BCE by a West Semitic people or possibly the Canaanites, the common ancestors of Palestinians, Lebanese, many Syrians and Jordanians, and many Jews. But when it was founded Jews did not exist.

4. Jerusalem was founded in honor of the ancient god Shalem. It does not mean City of Peace but rather ‘built-up place of Shalem.”

5. The “Jewish people” were not building Jerusalem 3000 years ago, i.e. 1000 BCE. First of all, it is not clear when exactly Judaism as a religion centered on the worship of the one God took firm form. It appears to have been a late development since no evidence of worship of anything but ordinary Canaanite deities has been found in archeological sites through 1000 BCE. There was no invasion of geographical Palestine from Egypt by former slaves in the 1200s BCE. The pyramids had been built much earlier and had not used slave labor. The chronicle of the events of the reign of Ramses II on the wall in Luxor does not know about any major slave revolts or flights by same into the Sinai peninsula. Egyptian sources never heard of Moses or the 10 plagues & etc. Jews and Judaism emerged from a certain social class of Canaanites over a period of centuries inside Palestine. (See Daniel Lazare’s Harper’s article on the archeological disproof of the Bible, preserved at this website (I am not endorsing the web site).

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EDITOR’s NOTE:      The Muslim Times is not political. We only provide information from all sides so that the readers can form their own opinion

Categories: Arab World, Asia, Israel, Palestine

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9 replies

  1. This article has glaring inaccuracies and does not even give credit to the Old Testament which Mohammed pbuh sanctified.
    It is an inaccurate portral which on at least three occasions is self contradictory eg there was no city…there were peoples building a city etc.
    Why do I have to quote as I did the other day Muslim sources? Because you have an u7nholy agenda and may you be forgiven.
    In 1000 B.C., King David conquered Jerusalem and made it the capital of the Jewish kingdom. His son, Solomon, built the first holy Temple about 40 years later.
    2 Chronicles 6:5-6, wherein King Solomon quotes God as saying, “Since the day that I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I chose no city in all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house, that my name might be there, and I chose no man as prince over my people Israel; but I have chosen Jerusalem that my name may be there and I have chosen David to be over my people Israel.
    The Qur’an cites the exact words with which Moses ordered the Israelites to conquer the Land:
    “And (remember) when Moses said to his people: ‘O my people, call in remembrance the favour of God unto you, when he produced prophets among you, made you kings, and gave to you what He had not given to any other among the people. O my people, enter the Holy Land which God has assigned unto you, and turn not back ignominiously, for then will ye be overthrown, to your own ruin'”. (Qur’an, Sura 5:22-23, “The Table”)
    The Holy Qur’an also quite openly refers to the reinstatement of the Children of Israel in the Land before the Last Judgment, where it says “And thereafter We said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land.’ And when the last warning will come to pass, We will gather you together in a mingled crowd.” (Qur’an, Sura 17:104, “The Night Journey”)
    Jerusalem has always belonged to the Jews. Even for people who don’t believe in the Bible, the Bible is still that old and still specifically states that Jerusalem has always belonged to the Jews.
    So you have the Koran and Bible saying the opposite of what you propose. Shame on you!
    Professor Dana said that “Islam was born in the seventh century C.E. and the Jewish Temple existed many years before that so that it is impossible to mistake those historical facts. Hundreds of years before Islam there was a connection between Jews and Jerusalem.”
    There are many European -Italy- Muslim scholars who say this.*
    Sheikh Ahmad Adwan, a Muslim scholar who lives in Jordan, recognized Israel’s historic right to live in the Holy Land on his personal facebook page, according to numerous Arabic media sources that were translated into English on the Elders of Zion blog. “I say to those who distort their Lord’s book, the Koran: From where did you bring the name Palestine, you liars, you accursed, when Allah has already named it “The Holy Land” and bequeathed it to the Children of Israel until the Day of Judgment,” the Sheikh stated.
    “There is no such thing as ‘Palestine’ in the Koran. Your demand for the Land of Israel is a falsehood and it constitutes an attack on the Koran, on the Jews and their land. Therefore you won’t succeed, and Allah will fail you and humiliate you, because Allah is the one who will protect them (i.e. the Jews).”
    The sheikh added harsh words in relations to human rights abuses within the Palestinian Authority: “The Palestinians are the killers of children, the elderly and women. They attack the Jews and then they use those (children, the elderly and women) as human shields and hide behind them, without mercy for their children as if they weren’t their own children, in order to tell the public opinion that the Jews intended to kill them.”
    Enough please don’t pollute these truths!
    Allah bless you
    “Italian Imam Abdul Hadi Palachi, who has become known as the ‘Zionist Sheikh’ for his outspoken pro-Israel stance, says that the Koran clearly states that the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people and that the Temple Mount was the site of the Jewish Temple. “Mohammed pbuh himself said that,” added Palachi.
    He made the comments at a special conference initiated by National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari and attended by Deputy Minister Ayub Kara, former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, Shas MK Nissim Zeev and Arab MK Ibrahim Hijazi.”

    • you quote the religious books, but when they say ‘be kind to your neighbor’ you ignore it completely. Well, well, well…

      • Your answer to a learned statement is distorted and reflects your ingrained hatred of Jews.
        I won’t bother to answer.
        I will say however that the foundation of Judaism and Christianity is to love your neighbour as yourself PROVIDED THEY DON’T WANT TO KILL YOU. Jews don’t have” turn the other cheek philosophy.”

        You want to kill us then look at 1948. 1967 wars against all of Arabia. the Israeli Air Force and Armed Forces. 400 million Arabs and Muslims tried to defeat anywhere from 1-7 million Jews in all the wars.
        God was with Israel and will remain with Israel.
        Israel a pioneer in medicine science etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if you took drugs for medicinal ailments developed by Jews in Israel.
        If that ain’t love I don’t know what is.
        The spirit of Mohammed pbuh was with the Jews.
        The Koran I believe has some statements about being QUIET sometimes!

      • Can you please stop this BS about hatred of Jews. You do not know what is justice, that is your personal qualification, not a Jewish one. (I hope)

      • you are right. I will go to Syria, Pakistan, Iran, Palestine, Egypt and Syria. There I will learn what justice is!

      • Come to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and you will learn what justice is. I did not say you will find it in Syria, Pakistan, Iran, Palestine, Egypt …

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