East Jerusalem and the Muslims
I never fully understood the plight of the Jews in Israel until I heard Ed Koch, the late mayor of New York City, spell it out years ago on a talk radio show. Koch simply said, "Israel is surrounded by millions of people who want to kill them."
Jerusalem is once again at the center of political and international debate after President Donald Trump recently recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and plans to move America's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem by 2019.
Did anyone take notice of the recent meeting between Jordan's King Abdullah and Vice President Mike Pence? Reuters reported that Abdullah told Pence that "he looked to Washington to rebuild “trust and confidence” in moving toward a two-state solution in Israel..." Abdullah further stated that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Are you kidding me?
History shows Jordan has zero credibility to be speaking about Jerusalem and to be lecturing about "trust and confidence."
Jordan captured East Jerusalem (including the holy sites of the Old City) in 1948 and then annexed it in 1949. Jordan maintained control of East Jerusalem until the Six-Day War in 1967. After this war, Israel reclaimed East Jerusalem and unified Jerusalem as it exists today.
We must never forget what happened when East Jerusalem was under Jordanian control for 19 years. Jordan wanted to "Islamize" East Jerusalem. In 1952, Jordan proclaimed that Islam was to be the official religion, and according to Israeli professor Yehuda Zvi Blum, this also applied in Jordanian-held Jerusalem.
Never mind that East Jerusalem is home to the holiest sites in the world for Jews and Christians.
For Jews, it is the Foundation Stone located at the Temple Mount.
For Christians, it is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Jordan undertook a despicable pogrom that included the ethnic cleansing of all Jews from the Old City, destruction and looting of 58 synagogues and the barbaric desecration of 38,000 graves at an ancient Jewish cemetery at the Mount of Olives. The sacred Western Wall for Jews "was transformed into an exclusively Muslim holy site associated with al-Buraq."
The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) states, "The Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, where Jews had been burying their dead for over 2500 years, was ransacked; graves were desecrated; thousands of tombstones were smashed and used as building material, paving stones or for latrines in Arab Legion army camps. The Intercontinental Hotel was built on top of the cemetery...."
An East Jerusalem synagogue demolished under Jordanian occupation
We must never forget that Jordan had signed a 1949 armistice agreement with Israel that stated Jews would have “free access to the Holy Places and cultural institutions and use of the cemetery on the Mount of Olives."
Christians also faced persecution in East Jerusalem while under Jordanian control. CAMERA notes, "There were limits on the numbers of Christian pilgrims permitted into the Old City and Bethlehem during Christmas and Easter. Christian charities and religious institutions were prohibited from buying real estate in Jerusalem. And Christian schools were subject to strict controls. They were required to teach in Arabic, close on Friday, the Muslim holy day, and teach all students the Koran." The Jerusalem Post described these measures as "a process of Islamization of the Christian Quarter in the Old City." Many Christians left East Jerusalem during Jordan's oppressive rule.
Nobel prize-winning author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel could have told you about Jerusalem and what it means to the Jewish people. Wiesel said, "Jerusalem is above politics. It is mentioned more than six hundred times in [Hebrew] Scripture-and not a single time in the Koran. Its presence in Jewish history is overwhelming. There is no more moving prayer in Jewish history than the one expressing our yearning to return to Jerusalem... Jerusalem is the heart of our heart, the soul of our soul."
Al Jazeera reported on Dec 6, 2017 that Adnan Abu Odeh, former chief of the Royal Hashemite Court (the administrative and political link between the King of Jordan and the Jordanian regime), proclaimed, "Jerusalem will continue to be the Arabs and Muslims' rallying point until it is liberated from the Israelis."
On the contrary. Jerusalem is, and must stay, the capital of Israel.