June 7, 2007, - 5:12 am

Whose Jerusalem?: 40 Years Ago Today, Holy City Rescued From Muslim Occupation

By Debbie Schlussel
Forty years ago, today, during the Six Day War, Jerusalem was reunited. The Eastern part of the city was recaptured by Israel, rescued from Muslim occupation.
Contrary to popular thought and claims, the Holy City was never “Palestinian” insofar as “Palestinians” are Arabs (previous Palestinians were Jews named David and Shlomo). Before June 7, 1967, Jerusalem was for a few decades under the control of the minority-ruled Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. There was no screaming and yelling that it “belonged” to the Palestinians. For thousands of years, there had and has been a continuous Jewish presence in Jerusalem.

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Israeli Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren Sounds the Shofar (Ram’s Horn) upon the Recapture of the Western Wall (the holiest site in Judaism)

When Israeli soldiers liberated the Temple Mount area, site of the Western Wall–the holiest site in Judaism–they found the area to be dusty and garbage strewn. To the Muslims who controlled it, “East” Jerusalem was not important. Instead, they forsook Jerusalem, focusing their attention on Amman, Jordan’s capital. It was only after Israel reclaimed Jerusalem–after Jews reclaimed it from Muslim occupation–that it’s “importance” to Muslims was suddenly reborn.
Upon their entry, Israeli soldiers saw these signs of Muslim respect for “East” Jerusalem, among others:
* Various holes were drilled into Jewish graves and coffins on the Mount of Olives, also a holy site in Judaism, so that Jordanian Muslims could urinate into them. Jordanian Muslims also desecrated Jewish headstones from gravesites by making them into sidewalks and floors of barracks, just like the Nazis did.
* The Intercontinental Hotel–a prominent meeting place for PLO terrorist leaders and operatives–was deliberately built atop yet more Jewish graves.
But–even the desecration of dead Jews and holy Jewish sites aside–how important is Jerusalem to Islam, anyway? In truth, not very . . . except as a political football against Jews and Israel.
Jerusalem is mentioned exactly ZERO times in the Koran. On the other hand, it appears in the Torah–the Jewish Bible–at least 667 times. It appears in the Christian New Testament 154 times.
Nothing of Islamic significance ever happened in Jerusalem, unless you count the building of the Dome of the Rock Mosque on top of a Church, which was built on top of the Holy of Holies of the Jewish Temple, the “Beit HaMikdash.” Ditto for the building of Al-Aqsa Mosque nearby on the holy Jewish Temple Mount. (The fact that many Islamic terrorists met in Jerusalem to plot attacks on Jews and Christians there and elsewhere, does not establish an Islamic religious claim to the city.)
Although many authorities on Islam have written about how Jerusalem suddenly became of such (fictional) import to the “Religion of Peace,” the best summary is by Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Professor in the Department of Arabic Studies at Bar Ilan University, “How Did Jerusalem Come to Be So Holy to Muslims?” which originally appeared on the excellent site, IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis). Two other great articles, “Jerusalem in the Sources,” and “The Muslim Direction: Jerusalem’s Lack of Importance in Muslim History,” both by Moshe Kohn, also from IMRA, also exposes the empty Muslim claim to Jerusalem.
Kohn notes that until the 10th Century, Muslims called Jerusalem, “Ilya.” From the 10th Century on, Muslims used names with Jewish references: “Beit Al-Makdis,” the Arabic version of Beit HaMikdash (the Hebrew name for the Jewish Temple), “Al Quds”–a version of “Ir HaKadosh” (Hebrew for Holy City) and even “Siyyun” (Zion). The 13th Century Arab biographer and geographer, Yakut, wrote:

Mecca is holy to Muslims, and Jerusalem to the Jews.

The holiest cities in Islam are Mecca and Medina. Period. So, what about the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, you ask?
As Dr. Kader notes:

Islam rediscovered Jerusalem 50 years after Mohammad’s death. In 682 CE, Abd Allah Ibn Al-Zubayr rebelled against the Islamic rulers in Damascus, conquered Mecca and prevented pilgrims [Hajjis] from reaching Mecca for the Hajj. Abd Al-Malik, the Ummayad caliph, needed an alternative site for the pilgrimage and settled on Jerusalem, which was then under his control.
In order to justify this choice, a verse from the Koran was chosen (sura 17, verse 1), which states:

Glory to Him who caused His servant to travel by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque, whose precincts We have blessed, in order to show him some of Our Signs . . . .

Clearly there is nothing here noting that Jerusalem is the site of the “Farthest Mosque.” The site is actually and had always been Mecca. But because Abd Al-Malik needed a place to send the Hajjis, and needed a solution fast–with Mecca blocked by warring Muslims–he randomly chose Jerusalem and made up a story to justify it.
Dr. Kedar writes that Abd Al-Malik made up all kinds of stories to justify this new, apocryphal version of Islam. He claimed Mohammed was conveyed to Jerusalem one night (even though at the time the journey took three days by camel) on a magical horse with the head of a woman, wings of an eagle, and the tail of a peacock. But many Muslim thinkers believed that it was just a dream of Mohammed, that he was never in Jerusalem. And the people of Mecca at the time, who knew Mohammed well, did not believe the story. Before that, Al-Aqsa–the “farthest mosque”–was well-known to be in Mecca in what is now Saudi Arabia.
Since then and in keeping with his new, creative story, the Ummayad Islamic dynasty invented many “traditions” as a basis for the new-found “awareness” of the “holiness” of Jerusalem in Islam.
Jerusalem simply wasn’t a Muslim city. Ever.
Contrast that with the Jewish claims to and continuous presence in Jerusalem throughout the ages, for thousands of years. In Judaism, in the Bible, Jerusalem is referred to as “Ir Kadosh”–the Holy City. It is also called “Ir David”–the City of David. Here’s a tip: David was neither “Palestinian” (in the new Arab sense) nor was he a Muslim.
Aside from the Jewish Temple–again, it’s the holiest site in Judaism–there are those graves the Muslims urinated into and built a hotel over on the Mount of Olives.
The Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives is the oldest Jewish cemetery in continuous use anywhere in the world. It is also one of the holiest places in Judaism, where for two thousand years, Jews have come to pray for redemption. It is believed that when the Messiah comes the departed would rise from their graves and gather in the Valley of Yehoshaphat, so many Jews have striven to be buried there. Jews believe that to be buried in that cemetery will enable one to be on site when the Messiah arrives and to be among the first to rise from the grave to participate in Messianic events.
Many great Yeshivot–Jewish academies of Biblical study–which housed many of the great Jewish scholars and rabbis were in Jerusalem, as Jerusalem was one of the two major centers of Jewish Torah scholarship. The “Talmud Yerushalmi” (Jerusalem Talmud) is a compilation of Jewish Biblical and legal thought and analysis published sometime during the 4th Century.
There are so many other sites of great importance to Judaism throughout Jerusalem, so many sites of great importance to Christianity throughout Jerusalem.
But the only site of “importance” to Islam is the result of a myth. And even after the myth became common thought, Muslims–when “East” Jerusalem was under their control–desecrated and disrespected the City. And–unlike under Muslim occupation–Israelis have accorded full respect to Muslim and Christian worshippers.
No-one rational–only the vast Muslim population, dominated by hate–wants to return to the days of Muslims urinating in and building hotels on graves, desecrating gravestones by using them for Nazi-like floors and sidewalks, and throwing trash on holy sites, and preventing pilgrims and tourists from praying there.
Jerusalem has been united for 40 years. Let there be many, many more.
Whose Jerusalem? History makes it quite clear it’s not a Muslim city.
And it never should be.

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12 Responses

This is why I like the internet (in general) and (specifically) why I come to your site. I will not remember all the details of your post, though what I will take away is to always ask, how often is Jerusalem mentioned in the Quran?

zyzzyg on June 7, 2007 at 8:41 am

Well written article…very educational, thank you for it. The primary problem with Jerusalem is that Isreal must find a way to get more of it’s people to live in the city rather than attempting annexation efforts of adjacent areas. In order to protect Jerusalem, Isreali’s must occupy Jerusalem in large numbers; something younger Isreali’s dont seem willing to do.
Islam rediscovered Jerusalem 50 years after Mohammad’s death. In 682 CE, Abd Allah Ibn Al-Zubayr rebelled against the Islamic rulers in Damascus, conquered Mecca and prevented pilgrims [Hajjis] from reaching Mecca for the Hajj. Abd Al-Malik, the Ummayad caliph, needed an alternative site for the……
they have been fighting with each other forver….

chucker on June 7, 2007 at 8:59 am

Debbie,
You might want to go to this website because it not only supports your article, but more importantly it contains a photo circa 1875 of the mosques on the Temple Mount. It shows them to be abandoned and in disrepair, which leads to the obvious rhetorical question, “If this site is holy to Muslims, then why were the mosques abandoned?”
Hope this helps.
http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~jkatz/templemount.html

stevecanuck on June 7, 2007 at 9:38 am

Unfortunately, the Arabs and their propagandists have succeeded in re-writing history. I also blame the leftists Israelis for enabling them. The Jews can cure illnesses but they can’t get decent PR?

lexi on June 7, 2007 at 9:52 am

Well written, Kol Hakavod! The jordanians also took headstones from the Mt of olives and used them as floors for their barracks, just like the nazis did,
they also destroyed almost every single synogauge in the old city, and still today the muslim wakf of jerusalem continues to destroy ancient temple period artifacts from the temple mount.
http://www.har-habayt.org/
(This is all thanks to Moshe Dayan who upon arriving at the temple Mt and seeing the israeli flag on top of the al aksa masque ordered the soldiers to take it down, he then gave over the key to the temple mt to the muslim wakf, it has not been in our hands since!)
THANKS. OOPS! FORGOT TO MENTION THE GRAVESTONES USED AS SIDEWALKS. WILL ADD.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

m4a1car on June 7, 2007 at 10:18 am

Part of my morning wake-up. Israel is the canary in the mine. It’s my way of seeing if the world will still turn today. http://www.antiquities.org.il The site explains itself.

John Cunningham on June 7, 2007 at 3:42 pm

Fortunately, Debbie, the Ir HaMikdash will never return to Muslim hands unless the Israeli liberals give it back to them. The Holy One, Blessed be He will never allow the Muslims to conquer it.
As for the Valley of Yehoshaphat, the prophet Joel (in the Tenakh, for those who haven’t read it), states that the goyim will be brought their for G-d’s judgment. (Shaphat forms the root of mishpat, or justice.) I can only think of the goyim who will be slaughtered their by G-d as Muslims and their allies who come against Jerusalem. I do not have the Bible open at this moment, so I am a little fuzzy on details.
Have you noticed that Christians in the last fifty years are not as hostile toward Jews and Israel as they used to be? The reasons are many, but as they read the Bible, they discovered that Jesus of Nazareth was proclaimed to be Mashiach by His followers and He made such claims Himself. They further saw the establishment of the nation of Israel and the reunification of Jerusalem as fulfillment of prophecy–further proof of G-d’s divine Covenant with the Jewish people and the choosing of Jerusalem as His Holy City–Ir Kodesh.
We support Jewish control of the Temple Mount. We have had a Jewish presence among us here in the US for centuries. The closest thing that we have had to a Jewish suicide bomber is Al Franken on Air America. Most of them are doctors, lawyers, accountants, and other professionals. Most of those who hate Christians do so out of fear of being preached to or out of liberalism. But they don’t seem to realize that liberalism is as anti-Semitic as it is anti-Christian.

Loser on June 9, 2007 at 2:16 am

A great analogy of world society’s health and welfare is described above by the statement of Israel being the cannery in the mine, the part left out is that it is also the barometer of world Jewry and where it stands today. But as much as we believe that Jewish society or culture is as advanced and as open as it can be we are today also the most splintered and divisive culture on the planet. This division combined with Jewish left wing self preservationist ideology, current American political culture, and the islamic propaganda machine will see an end to not only Jewish control of “Ir Kadosh”–the Holy City, the only city of “absolute, end of days” significance to our whole purpose of being, but to the state of Israel and possibly the existence of the Jewish people as a whole.
We can continue to play this idiotic blame game of all the evils perpetrated against us as a people or we can stand up and accept the sheer magnitude of our failures as a people to act in the face of dire threats against our existence and to take the necessary steps to prevent the enormous loss of Jewish lives we have condoned. The simple fact that we always have and always will continue to live outside of G-ds will and have simply stood by while our brethren have been slaughtered in their droves because of self preservation, greed, fear or any other sad excuse dreamed up by the self preservationists of our own culture are the reasons that not only will we see an end to Jerusalem and the State of Israel, but any and all societies outside of the evils of islam, but we will be first on the list.

Molon labe

Malcolm Pearl on March 2, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Wow. Can’t believe how you fools are getting misinformed by Debbie. Jerusalem may have always been a Jewish city but Debbie, please don’t make false statements about Islam. If you don’t know crap, don’t talk about it. Don’t go creating stories.

i on May 8, 2010 at 7:48 pm

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