Benjamin Netanyahu, on Jerusalem Day, May 22, 2009, said, "Unified
Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Jerusalem always has been and always
will be ours and it will never be divided again... I stand here today…
saying what I said in my visit to the US: Jerusalem will never be divided
again. Only Israeli sovereignty over the city would ensure the freedom of
religion for the three faiths, and it is the only thing that can guarantee
that all minorities and congregations could continue living in it."
Brief History of Jerusalem
Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, October 2007
David made Jerusalem the capital of his kingdom and the religious center
of the Jewish people in 1003 BCE. Some forty years later, his son Solomon
built the Temple (the religious and national center of the people of
Israel) and transformed the city into the prosperous capital of an empire
extending from the Euphrates to Egypt.
by Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE, who conquered Jerusalem and
destroyed the Temple, the Jews were allowed to return and rebuild the city
and the Temple some 50 years later by the Persian King Cyrus.
the Great conquered Jerusalem in 332 BCE. The later desecration of the
Temple and attempts to suppress Jewish religious identity under the
Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV resulted in a revolt led by Judah Maccabbee,
who rededicated the Temple (164 BCE) and re-established Jewish
independence under the Hasmonean dynasty.
century later, Pompey imposed Roman rule on Jerusalem. King Herod,
installed as ruler of Judah by the Romans (37 - 4 BCE), established
cultural institutions in Jerusalem, erected magnificent public buildings
and refashioned the Temple into an edifice of splendor.
revolt against Rome broke out in 66 CE, as Roman rule after Herod's death
became increasingly oppressive. In 70 CE, Roman legions under Titus
conquered the city and destroyed the Temple. Jewish independence was
briefly restored during the Bar Kochba revolt (132-135), but again the
Romans prevailed. Jews were forbidden to enter the city, renamed Aelia
Byzantine conquest of the city (313), Jerusalem was transformed into a
Christian center under Emperor Constantine, with the Church of the Holy
Sepulcher the first of many grandiose structures built in the city.
armies invaded the country in 634, and four years later Caliph Omar
captured Jerusalem. Only during the reign of Abdul Malik, who built the
Dome of the Rock (691), did Jerusalem briefly become the seat of a caliph.
Crusaders conquered Jerusalem in 1099, massacred its Jewish and Muslim
inhabitants, and established the city as the capital of the Crusader.
Synagogues were destroyed, old churches were rebuilt and many mosques were
turned into Christian shrines. Crusader rule over Jerusalem ended in 1187,
when the city fell to Saladin.
1247 Jerusalem fell once more to Egypt, now ruled by the Mamluks, until
the conquest by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. Suleiman the Magnificent
rebuilt the city walls (1537). After his death, the central authorities in
Constantinople took little interest in Jerusalem and the city declined.
began to thrive once more in the latter half of the 19th century. Growing
numbers of Jews returning to their land, waning Ottoman power and
revitalized European interest in the Holy Land led to renewed development
British army led by General Allenby conquered Jerusalem in [November]
1917. From 1922 to 1948, Jerusalem was the administrative seat of the
British authorities in the Land of Israel (Palestine), which had been
entrusted to Great Britain by the League of Nations.
termination of the British Mandate on May 14, 1948, and in accordance with
the UN resolution of November 29, 1947, Israel proclaimed its
independence, with Jerusalem as its capital. Opposing its establishment,
the Arab countries launched an all-out assault on the new state, resulting
in the 1948-49 War of Independence. The armistice lines drawn at the end
of the war divided Jerusalem into two, with Jordan occupying the Old City
and areas to the north and south, and Israel retaining the western and
southern parts of the city.
the Six-Day War broke out in June 1967 Israel contacted Jordan through the
UN as well as the American Embassy, and made it clear that if Jordan
refrained from attacking Israel, Israel would not attack Jordan.
Nevertheless, the Jordanians attacked west Jerusalem and occupied the
former High Commissioner's building. Following heavy fighting, the IDF
recovered the compound and removed the Jordanian army from east Jerusalem,
resulting in the reunification of the city.
the liberation of the city by the IDF, the walls dividing the city were
torn down. Three weeks later, the Knesset enacted legislation unifying the
city and extending Israeli sovereignty over the eastern part of the city.
reunification of the city was also a fundamental moment in the history of
religious tolerance, opening the city of Jerusalem to worshippers of all
faiths, permitting Jews to return to the Western Wall and other holy
sites, and allowing Israeli Muslims and Christians to visit those sacred
places in eastern Jerusalem from which they too had been barred since
year later, in 1968, it was decided that the day marking the liberation
and reunification of Jerusalem—28 Iyar according to the Jewish lunar
calendar—would be a national holiday in Israel. On Jerusalem Day we
celebrate the reunification of the city and the Jewish people's connection
with Jerusalem throughout the ages.
City of Three Religions
Christianity, & Islam
of Jerusalem is considered hallowed by three different religions of Abraham's
descent: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The 2000
Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem listed 1204 synagogues, 158 churches, and
73 mosques within the city. Jerusalem has been sacred to the Jews since
King David proclaimed it his capital in the 10th century BCE.
Christianity reveres Jerusalem not only for its Old Testament history but
also for its significance in the life of Jesus. According to the New
Testament, Jesus was brought to Jerusalem soon after his birth and later
in his life cleansed the Second Temple, then died there. And, Jerusalem is considered the
third-holiest city in Islam. Before it was permanently switched to the
Kabaa in Mecca.
In 1949 at the
end of the first Arab-Israeli War Jerusalem was divided between Israel and
Jordan. But, in 1967, Israel took control of the entire city. Jerusalem
was officially proclaimed the capital of Israel in 1980. Today, Jews make
up about 75% of the population in Jerusalem and Arabs about 20% and both
the Hebrew and Arabic language are spoken.
Jerusalem is divided into three sections, the
Old City, New City (West Jerusalem) and East Jerusalem. The Old City was
under Jordanian control from 1949 to 1967. During this time the Jordanians
destroyed the Jewish quarter, but today it has been restored. The New City
built mostly by the Jews has developed greatly since the 19th century.
East Jerusalem, just north of the Old City is considered the modern Arab
section. The walled old city in the center contains Muslim, Jewish,
Christian and American quarters.
Jews the city of Jerusalem is the site of their ancient Temple and their
historical background. Jews worship primarily at the Wailing Wall. This is the only remaining portion of the original
wall of King Solomon's Temple. After the Jews were banished from the
Temple Mount, the Wailing Wall became their most revered place of worship.
Just above the wall is the Dome of the Rock, where Moslems worship.
However, increasing numbers of Jews are going up to the Temple Mount as a
form of worship and solidarity, in hope that someday the Temple Mount will
be a place of worship for all nations.
Christianity's most notable site of worship
is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. This church was established in the
4th century AD and was rebuilt by the Crusaders beginning in 1099. The
church is believed by Christian historians to stand on the hill of Calvary
or Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified. For Christians the city is the
site of many events in the life of Jesus
Christ and His followers, and is therefore reversed as
holy--the Mountain of God.
Moslems worship at the Dome of the
Rock, which is also known as the Mosque of Omar, on top of the Temple
Mount. This gold-domed mosque was built around 691 AD. For Muslims, the city is their third
holiest because it is the site from which Muhammad
is said to have risen to heaven.
Destruction of Jerusalem
understood by the three monolithic religions, Jerusalem will experience great destruction with a major earthquake, which will
down the mosques on the Temple Mount and initiate the counting days of Daniel's
prophecies. A decree will be proclaimed later in
the counting periods to "rebuild and restore" the city...
opening the door to build the third Jewish Temple. However, the Day
will arrive at the end of the counting periods when Messiah will stand on the Mount of Olives and split apart the
Great City with an even greater earthquake than started the end-times (Matthew
24:2). Beginning with Jerusalem, He will bring an end to powerful
cities and corrupt governments worldwide, and with the global destruction
the schemes of Satan will fail.
tells of this Jerusalem earthquake: "The Seventh Angel poured out His
bowl into the air, and out of the Temple came a loud voice from the
throne, saying, "It is done!" Then there came flashes of
lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No
earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so
tremendous was the quake. The Great City [Jerusalem] split into three
parts," dividing the three religions of Jerusalem, which have joined
together with Antichrist against God, "and the cities of the nations
16:17-19. Zechariah also forewarned, "Then the LORD will go out and fight against
those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. On that day His feet
will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of
Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley,
with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south... You will
flee [in fear] as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king
of Judah," Zechariah
14:3-5. After this, fire will consume the beloved City, Babylon the
19); in its place Messiah has prepared a place for His people, the New
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