Sunday, July 6, 2008

Jerusalem's History According to Reuters


I thought I would share this with you because, as you know, Reuters knows so much more about Jerusalem than we do.

There are so many flaws in this "FACTBOX" I can't really name them all.

Please, my dear readers, please help contribute by using the comments to fill in the gaping holes left in Reuters "Facts."

For example, did you know that Turks are arabs? According to Reuters, they are—and the Ottoman Empire NEVER existed. It was all Arabs who owned Jerusalem from the 7th century on (well, except for a slight conflict and interruption between the 11th and 13th century when the xtians came calling, but other than that, it was all arab land--after all what's a few centuries between friends?).

Just thought I would let you know those “FACTS” from Reuters. (Because, as you know, FACTS cannot be disputed . . . )

FACTBOX-Jerusalem, a city at the heart of conflict
Thu Jul 3, 2008 2:09pm EDT

July 3 (Reuters) - Jerusalem, where a Palestinian resident killed three Israelis with a bulldozer on Wednesday, lies at the heart of conflicts in the Middle East. Here are key facts:


On a rocky promontory, watered by springs 760 metres (2,500 feet) up in the hills between the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean, Jerusalem has been settled for 5,000 years. It became the centre of Jewish religion and nationhood. Roman rule saw the Temple destroyed in the year 70 and Jews later forced into exile.

Muslims, who revere it as the site of Prophet Mohammad's ascension to heaven, held Jerusalem from the 7th century, interrupted in the 11th to 13th centuries by Christian Crusaders from Europe for whom the city saw the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.

For Muslims, the walled Old City features the golden Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa mosque, Jews pray at the Western Wall, a relic of the Temple, and there are many Christian churches.

Britain took Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks in World War One and ruled Palestine for the following three decades.


Under a plan to partition Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab state, agreed by the United Nations in 1947, Jerusalem and its region were to be a separate entity -- "corpus separatum" -- under U.N. rule, surrounded by Palestinian territory.

However, in fighting in 1948, Jewish forces took the western suburbs of Jerusalem and land linking it to the new Israeli state. Major powers accepted a de facto divide along a fortified Green Line between Jewish West Jerusalem and Jordanian-ruled East Jerusalem, which included the Old City.

Then as now, however, no formal sovereignty over Jerusalem was recognised by the United Nations and international powers.

When Israel and the Arab states went to war again in 1967, Israel seized East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan. It later annexed East Jerusalem and surrounding West Bank villages into a Jerusalem municipality that it declared the united and eternal capital of Israel. World powers do not recognise that.


Figures vary but roughly 750,000 people live in what Israel calls the Jerusalem Municipality, covering 128 (49 sq. miles). About one in three is an Arab, mostly Muslims with some Christians, and half a million are Jews. About half the Jews and almost all the Arabs live in areas ruled by Jordan till 1967.

Most Palestinian Jerusalemites do not have Israeli citizenship but have papers granting free travel inside Israel. These residents can travel abroad on Israeli documents. They pay Israeli taxes, can access public services and can, though rarely do, vote in local polls. They cannot vote in national elections.

Jews in Jerusalem are typically more religiously observant than other Israelis and the Orthodox population is growing fast.


Israel wants Jerusalem as its undivided capital. But since the Oslo preliminary peace accords of 1993, it has been in negotiations with the Palestinian leadership who want a capital for their own eventual state in Jerusalem. Possible outcomes include a Palestinian capital in eastern areas as well as some form of shared or international control over holy sites.

Palestinians complain Israel is undermining the viability of Jerusalem as their capital by various means, notably by building Jewish settlements that effectively cut East Jerusalem off from the West Bank and by discrimination that drives Palestinians to quit the city. Arabs say they face many hurdles to retaining their Jerusalem residency rights, especially if they live abroad for any time, that they are often denied permission to build new homes and that municipal services are poor in their areas.

Two major attacks on Jews in the city this year by Palestinian residents have sparked new discussion among Israelis about erecting barriers similar to that surrounding the West Bank to keep Arab Jerusalemites out of the Jewish west. That could include hiving off some areas to Palestinian control. The West Bank barrier already cuts some distant, Arab-populated areas of the Jerusalem Municipality off from the city centre.

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