Home Disciplines History Jerusalem Has Fallen: A History

Jerusalem Has Fallen: A History

Jerusalem Has Fallen: A History

The Israel Palestine issue is one that has prevailed for a very long time. On the one hand, Jews claim the land inherited right; Temple of Solomon, the Wailing Wall among other notable religious sites and references, whereas Muslims claim the region as a sacred heritage; on account of Aqsa mosque -the first Qibla (The direction used for the Muslim ritual prayer), among other notable religiously essential attributes.

The nations are unanimously described as follow:

“Palestine is a geographic region in Western Asia considered to include Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip; and in some definitions; parts of western Jordan, however, currently as the Palestinian Authority, within the regions of West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

Israel is the geographic region located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, and on the northern coast of the Red Sea. It shares borders with Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and the current Palestinian territories of  West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Both nations claim dominion over the city of Jerusalem. Currently, the city lies within Israeli territory. Yet, the claims above of both countries are all located within Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world. It has vast holy significance to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism (Jews), Islam (Muslims) and Christianity (Christians). Although both Israel and Palestine claim Jerusalem as its capital, Israel maintains government institutions there while Palestine views it as their seat of power.

Modern scholars argue that Jews branched out of the Canaanite culture through the development of a distinct monolatrous — and later monotheistic — religion centred on El/Yahweh. This is one of the Ancient Canaanite deities. Jerusalem is the third-holiest Islamic city, after Mecca and Medina.

Hence, despite having an area of only 0.9 km2, the Old City is home to many sites of seminal religious importance, among them the Temple Mount with its Western Wall, Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Outside the Old City stands the Garden Tomb.

Such is the land under discussion. To date, many accounts have attempted to explain the claims of all three nations. This includes folklore, hoaxes, tell-tales, traditions, scripture, revelations, sayings, writings and speeches. Each, unfortunately, attributes the weight of the claim to their favour. Even so, three religions have remained dominant, Islam, Judaism & Christianity. This article focuses on the first two. 

Muslim hold over Jerusalem began in 623 CE when Muslims began to offer prayer while facing the city. According to Muslim religious tradition, Muhammad‘s night journey and ascension to heaven began as he led all Prophets that had come and gone in prayer in The Masjid-al Aqsa. Yet, the Direction of worship was later changed to Mecca.

Jewry’s First Aliyah (migration of Jews from current locations to the Land of Israel), also known as the agriculture Aliyah, was a significant wave of Zionist (Jewish Nationalist) immigration (Aliyah) to Ottoman Palestine between 1881 and 1903. Jews who migrated in this wave came mostly from Eastern Europe and Yemen. An estimated 25,000–35,000 Jews immigrated.

This movement was majorly supported by the 1896 statement of Theodor Herzl, Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State), offering his vision of a future Jewish state; the following year he presided over the First Zionist Congress.

In 1917, during the First World War, the British government announced in public statement support for the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine; then an Ottoman region with a small minority Jewish population; famously known as the Balfour Declaration.

In 1947, the UN adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine, recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalised Jerusalem. Although Jewish Leaders happily accepted this plan of action, Arab Authorities were less than excited. After the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Israel cemented its grasp on former Mandate territory, while neighbouring Arab states held the West Bank and Gaza.

After the Six-Day War in June 1967, Israel started taking over territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip. It extended its laws to the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem; however, it spared the West Bank from this. Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories is the most prolonged military occupation in modern history. Any efforts made to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have been fruitless, despite Israel signing peace treaties with both Egypt and Jordan.

The conflict that interlocks both countries now precedes the existence of other nations.

This leads to the foremost question: will this situation face resolution or further prolongment? Currently, the latter seems probable as, though both sides face casualties, the quarrel seems to go deeper than the history of the actual region itself.


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