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January 26, 2015 / 6 Shevat, 5775
 
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Top Ten Reasons Why Jerusalem Must Remain Israeli – And Undivided


Keeping-Jerusalem

            It is true that support for Israel is very high among American voters. In fact, a poll of earlier this month showed that 56 percent of voters say they support Israel, compared to 10 percent who say they support the PA. 
            However, this does not mean they accept all of Israel’s most basic positions. For instance, the same poll showed that only 27 percent agree that Arab refugees should live only in an Arab state – while 61 percent said they did not agree.
            Regarding the historical, national, security and international need to keep Jerusalem united and Israeli, it can be similarly assumed the Arab position is the “default” position of the typical sparsely-informed American voter.
            We therefore present the Top Ten Reasons why Jerusalem must remain Israeli and undivided; clip and quote whenever and wherever.
            1.History: Jerusalem has served in the past and present as capital of Jewish states as early as 2,880 years ago – but it was never the capital of any other nation. The Arabs of the Land of Israel never considered themselves an independent nation until the 1960s – and certainly never claimed that Jerusalem was their capital. As a matter of fact, the original PLO Charter of 1964 (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Peace/cove1.htmldoes not even mention Jerusalem.
            2. Sanctity: Jerusalem has been the world’s #1 holy spot for Jews (http://www.danielpipes.org/84/the-muslim-claim-to-jerusalem) from time immemorial, beginning with the Binding of Isaac on Mt. Moriah (Genesis 22:2) and continuing with the construction of the Holy Temples there. Jerusalem is mentioned 669 times in the Bible.
            For Islam, which was founded when Judaism was about 2,500 years old, Jerusalem is not as sacred as two other cities – Mecca and Medina. Its sanctity in Islam is founded upon a miraculous horse journey taken by Muhammad to what the Koran obliquely calls “the farthest Mosque” (17,1), which Islamic commentaries say refers to the site of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
            Jerusalem is otherwise mentioned 0 times in the Koran.
            3. Legal Rights: National legal Jewish rights to Judea and Samaria, including Jerusalem, were unanimously and internationally recognized in 1922 by the League of Nations, based on the San Remo Conference of two years earlier. No similar rights were accorded to Arabs.
            4. Demography: Jews have been the majority population in Jerusalem since at least the 1870s, and have constituted the largest single group of inhabitants there since the 1840s. They have been living in the city continuously for nearly two millennia           .
           5.Demography today: The Jewish population just in the Old City and other areas liberated in 1967 is close to 250,000, compared to 208,000 Arabs in these areas according to a PA census in 2008. Nearly half of all Jerusalem’s Jews live in these areas. 
            6.Security: Dividing Jerusalem would lead to disorder from a municipal standpoint, but would lead to downright chaos in terms of security. No Palestinian terrorist group worth its salt would agree to cede control to any other, and street battles spilling across the “border” would endanger both residents and tourists.
            7.Arabs: Many Arabs in Jerusalem do not want to come under PA or Hamas control and give up their Israeli benefits, financial and otherwise (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/144598).
            8.Religious Freedom and Holy Sites: Under Israeli control, Jerusalem has become an open city, embracing all religions. Only Israel can guarantee it will remain this way, and that holy sites will be freely accessible to all. Past Jordanian control of Jerusalem and Palestinian Authority control of Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (Nablus) are examples of desecration of Jewish holy sites.
            9. International Tensions: A change in Jerusalem’s political status quo, and the ensuing tensions in the city, would lead to similar tensions around the world between Jews, Muslims, and Christians.
            10. Ramifications on the Rest of Israel: Arab control of even part of Jerusalem, and especially as its capital, would embolden Arab aspirations to continue to chip away at the rest of Israel, in fulfillment of the original PLO Charter which calls repeatedly and unambiguously for the “liberation of Palestine.” 
            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 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.


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