web analytics
January 30, 2015 / 10 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


City Of David: Jerusalem’s Core


Keeping-Jerusalem

As we continue to focus on our Holy City of Jerusalem as the make-or-break issue in the bid for an agreement with Fatah-Hamas, it is important to note how the Arab and left-wing side of this dispute views Jews living in eastern Jerusalem.
Ir Amim, a radical left organization that encourages Israel to make far-reaching concessions toward a PLO state, features a webpage on its site titled “Israeli settlements within Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem.”
The title alone contains three misnomers: “Palestinian neighborhoods” do not exist in Jerusalem, as the Palestinian Authority has no status, legal or otherwise in Jerusalem; the term “settlements” implies that the areas are independent entities not connected with Jerusalem when in fact, the places mentioned are all within Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries; and “East Jerusalem” appears to indicate that there is a city by that name that is distinct from Jerusalem – which is untrue; in 1980, Israel legally annexed eastern (and northern and southern) Jerusalem, and they are full-fledged neighborhoods of its capital city.
Nevertheless, it is informative to look at the eight sites of Jewish renewal on the Ir Amim list, rebut some of the anti-Zionist claims about them, and learn what it special and inspiring about each of them individually and all together.
The list contains eight sites: City of David (Ir David/Silwan), Sheikh Jarrah (Shimon HaTzaddik), Maaleh Zeitim, Beit Orot, Nof Zion, Kidmat Zion, Beit Yehonatan, and Maaleh David.
Just for starters, no one currently lives in Maaleh David; Beit Yehonatan is exactly one building; and Kidmat Zion is comprised of some five families living in two buildings in an area purchased by Jews 70 years ago. Arab violence and British indifference ultimately prevented that area from becoming Jewish.
We have discussed, in a previous column, the Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood. Let us concentrate for now on the largest Jewish area on the above list: Ir David, the City of David.
The City of David is the core of ancient Jerusalem, where King David established his kingdom and the capital of the First Jewish Commonwealth. From this core sprouted what has become the world’s classic Holy City, the City of Gold, the heart of the Jewish People – Yerushalayim. Many chapters of the Bible were likely written from, and about, this sloping hill. It begins at the still-extant Gihon Spring – the city’s main water source during Holy Temple times – and reaches up towards the site of the Beit HaMikdash, built on Mt. Moriah by David’s son King Solomon.
Today, its location is below the main exit from the Western Wall (Dung Gate), beginning at what is now the famous Givati Parking Lot, and descending towards the southeast. The City of David is part of the National Parks Authority, known as the City of David (Jerusalem Walls) National Park, and is run by the Elad (To the City of David) Association. Some 60 Jewish families currently live there, helping secure this historic area for the Jewish nation.
Ir Amim says that City of David-Silwan is a “Palestinian village located in the heart of Jerusalem’s historic basin [that] has undergone an accelerated process of Israeli takeover, mainly in the area of the City of David.” The Elad Association is thus accused of attempting to transplant a “foreign, Jewish presence” into what is a “peaceful, overwhelmingly Arab” area.
In fact, however, photographs from nearly 150 years ago show that the area was barely settled, if at all; modern settlement on the City of David ridge began in the 1870s when the Meyuchas family, a Jewish rabbinical family from Jerusalem, moved outside the walls – possibly unwittingly becoming the first Jews to move back to King David’s Jerusalem in centuries.
How did the area become saturated with Arabs? In the years leading up to the War of Independence in 1948, the nearby Arab village of Silwan expanded and crept up the City of David ridge, and after the war, the entire area came under Jordanian control. From ’48 until ’67, the Arab takeover naturally continued in full force under Jordanian auspices – and it did not stop even after Israel returned to the area during the 1967 Six-Day War.
Modern Jewish settlement efforts in the area began in the early ’90s. The following selection from the Ir Amim site could presumably have been written by the City of David founders as well: “Jewish settlement efforts were motivated by two main forces: the national-religious motive, and the political will to thwart any possibility of dividing the city as part of a future agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.”
As has previously been explained in this space, support for Jewish construction and settlement in Arab-populated areas of Jerusalem makes it that much harder to divide the city in half – the very goal of those who favor a two-state solution. Conversely, opposition to Jewish residence in eastern Jerusalem means giving over the areas that are so precious to the Jewish People – the Old City, Mt. of Olives, City of David, Mt. Zion, etc. – to Arab sovereignty.
As Ir Amim states, Elad’s policy of controlling the areas around the Old City is “designed to cut the Old City off from East Jerusalem [sic], and to connect it to Jewish settlement blocs in northeast Jerusalem and the E-1 area [near Maaleh Adumim]. These plans have a decisive political and international significance, because their implementation would further complicate the possibility of arriving at a viable agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.”
If a “viable agreement” means cutting off the Old City and the City of David from the rest of Israel, Ir Amim is totally correct. Even Yitzhak Rabin did not wish to reach such a “viable agreement” – as he said in his last Knesset speech, on Oct. 5, 1995, when listing the elements he would insist on in an agreement with the PA: “First and foremost, united Jerusalem, which will include both Maaleh Adumim and Givat Ze’ev, as the capital of Israel, under Israeli sovereignty.”
This is the part of the Rabin legacy to which we should aspire.

For more information on how to participate in keeping Jerusalem Jewish, via updates, bus tours of critical parts of Jerusalem, and more, send an e-mail to tours@keepjerusalem.org or visit the Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech website at www.keepjerusalem.org.

 

 

   Chaim Silberstein is president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech and the Jerusalem Capital Development Fund. He was formerly a senior adviser to Israel’s minister of tourism. Hillel Fendel is the senior editor at Israel National News/Arutz-7 and an author. Both have lived in Jerusalem and now reside in Beit El.

   Their column appears every other week.

About the Author: Chaim Silberstein is president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech and the Jerusalem Capital Development Fund. He was formerly a senior adviser to Israel's minister of tourism. Hillel Fendel, past senior editor at Israel National News/Arutz-7, is a veteran writer on Jerusalem affairs. Both have lived in Jerusalem and now reside in Beit El.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “City Of David: Jerusalem’s Core”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jeremy Bird, working for Israeli campaign outfit V15, shown at Ted Talk, May 20, 2014.
V15 US Political Operative Marinated in Hate-Israel Activism
Latest Indepth Stories
Eller-013015

His entire existence was about spreading simcha and glorifying G-d’s name on a daily basis.

IRAN-US-POLITICS-MILITARY

An Israeli strike could theoretically damage Iran’s nuclear program; only US can terminate program

Israeli-flag

At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel

Rabbi Berel Wein

“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

To defeat parasites-the hosts of terrorists-we need to deny them new people, potential terrorists

Combating Amalek doesn’t mean all who disagree with you is evil-rather whom to follow and to oppose

More Articles from Hillel Fendel and Chaim Silberstein / KeepJerusalem.org
Keeping-Jerusalem

As Israel slowly loses its grip on parts of its capital, the Arabs are working to fill the vacuum.

Keeping-Jerusalem

The EU wants to replace the US with an increased role for the UN and its built-in anti-Israel stance

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

Rav Goren: “At the request of the Jews, Omar built the Dome of the Rock as a Jewish house of prayer”

When Islam conquered the Holy Land, it made its capital in Ramle of all places, not in Jerusalem.

The story in a nutshell: The terrorists (Arabs) act, and the victim (Israel) ignores and pretends.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

“We have succeeded in raising an ideological generation that loves death like our enemies love life”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/keeping-jerusalem/city-of-david-jerusalems-core/2011/05/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: