Battles over Jerusalem not only pitched Christians against Muslims but the city has caused divisions between different strands of Christianity with control of the Holy Places swinging back and forth between the eastern and western branches of Christianity. Occasionally, brawls break out over territory. Jerusalem, though, is more than just an historic place for Christians: It is a perfect place, a golden city, a paradise they will one day attain after death. It also represents creation of a new earth.
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When the Prophet Muhammad began his mission in cCE, he followed Jews and Christians in facing towards Jerusalem during daily prayer, seeing Islam as a continuation and renewal of the Abrahamic family of faiths. Before his ascension, he led all the previous prophets of God, including all the Biblical and Israelite prophets, in prayer. Islamic rule over Jerusalem lasted for 12 centuries , longer than any other rule, whether Israelite, Roman, Persian or Christian.
Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam has a set of disputed eschatological prophecies relating to the end of the world: Jerusalem features in some of these prophecies. Such prophecies especially concern the return of Jesus Christ to defeat the forces of the antichrist Al-Masih ad-Dajjal at the end of the world. Some of the events involve Jerusalem, Damascus and other neighbouring areas. Since , for many Muslims, Jerusalem has become a symbol of resistance to Israeli occupation of Arab territories and the status of Jerusalem is one of the key issues that needs to be resolved as part of any future peace deal between Israelis and Arabs.
This was early in the formation of the Jerusalem Link, when both groups were constructing their joint guidelines of conduct, known as the Jerusalem Link Declaration of Principles. Though both groups agreed with the position of the Right of Return, they disagreed on a few details.
Both groups eventually agreed to implement their own definition of the Right of Return as equal dignity and rights for Palestinian and Israeli people. Two Capitals for Two States. The network itself was meant to be a sort of reconnaissance measure, and was created after the United States turned its attention away from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The network was designed with the intention of monitoring the activity of Israeli detainment. In the event that there was action being taken against Palestinians, the women from either side would inform Bat Shalom. Both organizations would then work together on these issues. When designing and executing these projects, both Palestinian and Israeli members were given platforms with which to speak and lead the organizational efforts. Activities are normally performed on the West Bank, as well as within Israel. The organization has a board of around 8 to 10 women to lead the group, and a group as large as 42 members that makes up an assembly to further discuss matters of leadership.
Though there were no elections to determine new leaders for the organization, there would still be some changes in board members from time to time. Some members were hired to handle some of the more administrative roles of the organization. The Jerusalem Center for Women has been receiving international aid for a long time. The organization has usually received funding from foreign countries.
Jerusalem Center for Women - Wikipedia
To attain this support, the Jerusalem Center for Women usually tries to align its objectives with those of international governments. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For Jews, it is the promised land, the ancestral home dreamt of by Jews across centuries of exile. For Christians, it is the land of the birth of Jesus and the earliest Christian communities.
It is not just Jerusalem, but also Palestinian towns like Bethlehem and Nazareth that are synonymous with the life of Jesus. For Muslims, Jerusalem contains the oldest Muslim architectural structure in the world, the Dome of the Rock, which was the original prayer site for Muslims and the site from which Muhammad ascended to heaven to meet God face to face.
Jerusalem is sacred to Jews, sacred to Muslims, sacred to Christians. The current struggle between Palestinians and Israelis is fundamentally a political dispute over territory. It is a contested land grab that begins in the age of nationalism at the tail end of the 19th century, gets amplified during the period of European colonialism, and explodes over a contested United Nations partition of Palestine at the conclusion of World War II. This is a dispute that is written on Earth not in heaven. It is a controversy whose lines and disputations are the proper subjects of international human rights experts and historians — not theologians.
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Doing so erases the historic context of this modern conflict. They are a matter of nationalism and human rights, colonialism, occupation, legality, and illegality. Furthermore, to depict this conflict as a primarily a religious conflict runs the risk of depicting it as timeless, eternal, irredeemably deadlocked and unsolvable. Scripture is not a real estate deed. These groups lived side by side, mostly in peace. Palestine certainly did not witness the centuries of anti-Semitism and pogroms that Christian Europe did.
This conflict has an earthly, historical beginning, and it deserves to have a just earthly, historical resolution. In , the British Lord Balfour wrote a famed declaration to Lord Rothschild, the leader of the British Jewish community, declaring that the Queen looks with favor upon the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine. The Balfour declaration was rolled into the British Mandate, and eventually formed the basis of the declaration of the state of Israel.
Of course the same Balfour declaration also included a commitment to make sure that Palestinian rights would not be harmed, a promise that has surely not been kept.
This colonial game, against and above the wishes of the Palestinian indigenous natives, has a long legacy. The writers of the Balfour Declaration of could not even bring themselves to name Palestinians, who made up around 90 percent of the population of the land. While so much of the media coverage has been about Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, there is a key missing piece: East Jerusalem is under occupation and has been since International law and the international community recognize this occupation as illegal.
The United Nations Security Council passed two resolutions calling for an immediate end to this illegal annexation. These are of course analogies, but they remind us that the real picture is messy and complicated, and we stand to lose if we fail to account for narratives of people who are experiencing these conflicts as victims of a year occupation. Today, there are , Jewish settlers.
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The peace process simply allows for the swallowing up of the West Bank, which was supposed to be the heart of the future Palestinian state to exist side-by-side with Israel. As a friend of mine recently reminded me in a bitter statement, it is as if you and I are arguing over how to keep dividing a pizza, and you keep eating the pizza as we are discussing. In theory, it sounds good for many people to say that the goal is a two-state solution, a Palestinian state and an Israeli state.
In reality, the two-state solution died a long time ago with the proliferation of Jewish-only settlements illegally built on the West Bank. These settlements, connected together by systems of highways that only Israelis have access to, are deemed illegal under international law. Their presence through what was supposed to be the eventual Palestinian state in the West Bank makes the creation of a contiguous state impossible.
The map below indicates the impact of the Jewish-only settlements, the systems of highways that connect them, and the security areas around them that the Israeli state claims. This will usher in the Armageddon and the ultimate battle of good vs. Secular Israelis have largely welcomed the spiritual — and political — support of American Christian Zionists , even though written into the tenets of Christian Zionism are some profoundly anti-Jewish sentiments.
The return of Jesus will necessitate the conversion of one third of the Jews in Israel, and even the death of two thirds of the Jewish community. The Christian Zionist narrative does not end well for Jews. Indeed, it is an odd day when we see increasing alliances between Zionists and neo-Nazis, united in their hatred for people of color in general and Muslims in particular.