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Jerusalem - Essay Example

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Jerusalem, located in the Judean Mountains in between the Mediterranean Sea and the northern tip of the Dead Sea, is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a history that goes back to the fourth millennium BC (Bard, 2009). Significantly, Jerusalem is considered the holiest…
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Introduction Jerusalem, located in the Judean Mountains in between the Mediterranean Sea and the northern tip of the Dead Sea, is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a history that goes back to the fourth millennium BC (Bard, 2009). Significantly, Jerusalem is considered the holiest city in Judaism which made it the spiritual center of the Jewish people, is home to a number of significant ancient Christian sites, as well as considered the third holiest city in Islam (Elon, 1996). Consequently, the old walled city of Jerusalem has been divided into four quarters since the 19th century: the Armenian, Christian, Jewish and Muslim Quarters.
Being at the center of the Israel – Palestine dispute, the city has been besieged twenty-three times, destroyed twice, attacked 52 times and captured and recaptured about 44 times, its status still an unresolved matter at the core of the two disputing countries (Bard, 2009). The annexation of East Jerusalem by Israel has been criticized by the United Nations (UN) and other international bodies, while Palestinians demand East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, creating the now stalemate status of the conflict (ibid.). A UN Security Council Resolution 478 passed in 1980 gave the signal for most foreign embassies to move out of Jerusalem, and, on October 28, 2009, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasized on the need for Israel and Palestine to agree on having Jerusalem as their mutual capital to achieve peace in the region (UN News Center online, 28 October 2009).
Jerusalem: Israel’s own
Jerusalem must remain an undivided city, and the eternal capital of Israel under the Israeli control, since it rightfully belongs to the Israelis by historical and by religious significance as well as based on political and socio-demographic accounts. Politically, Jerusalem has been declared as Israel’s own. In the 1993 Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles (DoP), the status of Jerusalem is left open, but that Palestinian Council’s jurisdiction does not include the city, as confirmed by the Prime Minister Rabin statement that Jerusalem is not included in any sphere of the prerogatives of any body that will conduct Palestinian affairs in the territories, leaving Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty (Bard, 2009). Further, the same agreement states that the final status of Jerusalem will be based on the UN Security Council’s Resolutions 242 and 338, which both do not mention and refer to Jerusalem in any way, as it deliberately omitted by the UN Security Council (Ibid.).
Likewise, historically and based on religious significance, Jerusalem has played a central role in Jewish existence since 3,000 years ago, with the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City as the holiest site in Judaism, and has been the object of Jewish veneration and prayer. In contrast, the Arab history never placed any significance to the city, except for the Islamic reverence for the Dome of Rock which is only a site in the city. Islamic reverence is not for the whole of Jerusalem, unlike the Jewish who revere the whole of the city (Ibid.).
Also, demographics would show that Jews, who have been living in Jerusalem continuously for nearly two millennia, have, since the 1840s, constituted the largest single group of inhabitants. Currently, the Jewish population in areas formerly controlled and occupied by Jordan exceeds 160,000, greatly outnumbering Palestinians in the so-called Arab part of Jerusalem (Ibid.).
Conclusion
Jerusalem belongs to the Jews; therefore it must remain under the Israeli control. However, it must remain an open city where the Palestinians can freely go in and move around, but must be subject to strict security measures like checkpoint inspections to ensure the security and protection of the area as well as of the people in general. These security measures are important given the history of how Palestinians have attempted many times to capture the city.
Works Cited
Anonymous (28 October 2009). Jerusalem must be capital of both Israel and Palestine, Ban says. UN News Center online. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=32762&Cr=jerusalem&Cr1 , Retrieved 17 November 2009.
Bard, Mitchell (20 May 2009). Jerusalem- an introduction. Jewish Virtual Library. http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Jerusalem.html, Retrieved 17 November 2009.
Elon, Amos (1996-01-08). Jerusalem. HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0006375316. http://www.usna.edu/Users/history/tucker/hh362/telavivandjerusalem.htm. , Retrieved 17 November 2009. Read More
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