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Uproar as America decides to move its embassy to Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Israel's capital city Credit: Deror avi/Wikipedia

Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city Credit: Deror avi/Wikipedia

It has been a very unusual situation. Since Israel was restored as a sovereign nation in 1948, Jerusalem has been its capital city. Yet no foreign embassies are found in Israel’s capital like they typically are with other nations.

Instead, the embassies are located in Tel Aviv, 67 kms away.

It was a move done to try to appease the Palestinians and hopefully have them sign a peace treaty with Israel. Of course that never happened and will never happen, because how can you appease an enemy that in its own charter calls for the complete annihilation of Israel.

In its covenant or charter written in 1998, the terrorist group Hamas which helps control Palestine states:

“Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.”

With this as one of its stated goals, Hamas is not interested in peace.

So when President Trump announced Wednesday morning that he would be moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, the Palestinians were outraged. But they were outraged on Tuesday and Monday as well, just for different reasons.

Shortly after this announcement, Czechoslovakia said it will now consider moving its embassy to Jerusalem as well.

Though many condemned the move saying it will disrupt any chance for peace, all President Trump did was fulfill the Jerusalem Embassy Act passed by the US congress in 1995 “urging the federal government to relocate the American Embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize the city as Israel’s capital.”

However, the law had a clause that allowed American Presidents to sign a waiver every six months delaying the implementation of the act. Previous presidents, Clinton, Bush and Obama, had signed the waiver. President Trump simply announced he would not be signing the six-month waiver allowing the act to become law.

Palestinians have no claim

Despite all their bluster and threats, the Palestinians have no claim to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is not mentioned even once in the Koran and has no religious significance other than its home to the Dome of the Rock, an important landmark in Islam.

But Israel has allowed Muslims to control the Temple Mount, the original site of the Jewish Temple, where the Dome now sits.  But for the record, the first Jewish Temple was built at the site around 950 BC and the Dome of the Rock was completed in 692 AD.

As well, Muhammad wrote the Koran between 609 AD and 632 AD, meaning the Muslims are late to the show. Jews and even Christians were in Jerusalem long before Islam was even thought of.

Politically, Jerusalem has never once served as a capital of any Muslim nation including national or provincial. Even when Muslims occupied Jerusalem between 638 AD and 1099 AD, they did not have their government in Jerusalem, as the Muslims ruled the city from Damascus.

Israel’s claim to Jerusalem

As for the Jews, Jerusalem has served as their capital and homeland for thousands of years.

The Bible records that around 1000 BC, King David attacked a fortress city that was controlled by the Jebusites.  The capture of Jerusalem, originally called Jebus, is recorded in 2 Samuel 5:8-10 and 1 Chronicles 11.

The Jebusites were extremely confident of their ability to defend the fortress city and mocked that even the disabled and the old could repel David’s army.

Their fortress city was located on what is now known as Mt Zion. Though built on high ground, it had one major flaw — the city did not have a source of water.

The Jebusites were forced to draw water further down the hill from the Gihon Springs and they used a tunnel to access the springs if under siege.

Joab, David’s general, became aware of this tunnel and snuck men into the city through the shaft. After its capture, King David made Jerusalem his capital city.

This tunnel that David used was discovered in 1867. It was essentially a 40-foot chimney carved through the stone. The Jebusites undoubtedly thought that no one would be able to attack through the tunnel so they left it unguarded.

Though a difficult climb, it was not an impossible one.

However, since then archaeologists have discovered a different tunnel that provided easier access to the springs. The biggest problem is that this system is much older and would put David’s attack on the city closer to 1800 BC instead of 1,000 BC. This is not out of the question.

This second tunnel seems to have been abandoned and then rebuilt by King Hezekiah and today is known as Hezekiah’s tunnel.

Whatever the case, Israel’s claim to Jerusalem is thousands of years old. Jerusalem and Mt Zion are mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible.

As President Trump said when he made the announcement:

“This is nothing more than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done. I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”


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