Why Jerusalem?

Israel’s Hidden Agenda

Three huge granite stones rest comfortably on the top of Midbar Sinai Street, in Givat Havatzim, Jerusalem’s northernmost district. Cut to specification, the imposing stones represent one of several preparations by the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement to erect a Third Temple on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. Since the Islamic Wafq owns and controls all the property on the Haram al-Sharif, these stones cannot be legally transferred to the Temple Mount nor can a Temple be constructed there? The provocation, represented by the stones, which the Israel government refuses to curtail, lead to a belief that an eventual Muslim reaction to the increasing provocations will give Israel an excuse to seize total control of the Holy Basin — the ultimate of the properties that Israel intends to incorporate into a greater Jerusalem.

For decades, Israeli authorities have spoken of a united Jerusalem — suggesting a spiritual quality to its message — as if Israel wants the home for the three monotheistic faiths to be solid and stable. By being guided from one central authority, a united Jerusalem also offers a preservation of a common and ancient heritage. However, Israel disguises the lack of a sufficiently supporting and verifiable historical narrative that could bolster its thrust to incorporate all of an artificially created greater Jerusalem into its boundaries. Coupled with inconsistencies and contradictions, Israel’s eagerness to create a greater Jerusalem under its total control becomes suspect. The intensive concentration on a ‘united’ Jerusalem reveals a hidden agenda that debases Jerusalem’s religious ingathering and heightens division, hatred and strife.

Examine the Holy Basin. The Holy Basin contains well marked Christian and Muslim institutions and holy places that have had historical placement for millenniums. Although people of the Jewish faith had major presence in Jerusalem during the centuries of Biblical Jerusalem, which included rule by King Hezekiah and control by the Hasmonean dynasties, their control and presence were interrupted for two millennia. Extensive commentary has enabled the two thousand years of lack of control and presence to seem as if it never happened and that today is only a short interval from the ancient years of Hezekiah. Almost one thousand years of Christian and Crusader rule and more than one thousand years of Muslim rule are politely ignored, while their tremendous constructions and creation are not credited. Almost everything becomes nothing and a minor something becomes everything. Myth replaces reality. Spiritual quality replaces actual presence.

Some remains of Jewish dwellings and ritual baths can be found, but few if any major Jewish monuments, buildings or institutions from the Biblical era exist in the “Old City” of today’s Jerusalem. The often cited Western Wall is the supporting wall for Herod’s platform and is not directly related to the Second Temple. No remains of the Jewish Temple have been located in Jerusalem.

According to Karen Armstrong, in her book Jerusalem, Jews did not pray at the Western Wall until the Mamluks in the 15th century allowed them to move their congregations from a dangerous Mount of Olives and pray daily at the Wall. At that time she estimates that there may have been no more than 70 Jewish families in Jerusalem. After the Ottomans replaced the Mamluks, Suleiman the Magnificent issued a formal edict in the 16th century that permitted Jews to have a place of prayer at the Western Wall.

The only remaining major symbol of Jewish presence in Jerusalem’s Holy City is the Jewish quarter, which Israel cleared of Arabs and rebuilt after 1967. During its clearing operations, Israel demolished the Maghribi Quarter adjacent to the Western Wall, destroyed the al-Buraq Mosque and the Tomb of the Sheikh al-Afdhaliyyah, and displaced about 175 Arab families. Although the Jewish population in previous centuries comprised a large segment of the Old City (estimates have 7000 Jews during the mid-19th century), the Jews gradually left the Old City and migrated to new neighborhoods in West Jerusalem, leaving only about 2000 Jews in the Old City. Jordanian control after the 1948 war reduced the number to nil. By 2009, the population of the Jewish quarter in the Old City had grown to 3000, or nine percent of the Old City population. The Christian, Armenian and Muslim populations are the principal constituents and their quarters contain almost the entire Old City commerce.

In an attempt to attach ancient Israel to present day Jerusalem, Israeli authorities continue the attachment of spurious labels to Holy Basin landmarks, while claiming the falsification is due to the Byzantines, who got it all wrong.

King David’s Tower’s earliest remains were constructed several hundred years after the Bible dates David’s reign. It is a now an obvious Islamic minaret.

King David’s Citadel earliest remains are from the Hasmonean period (200 B.C.). The Citadel was entirely rebuilt by the Ottomans between 1537 and 1541 AD.

King David’s tomb, located in the Dormition Abbey, is a cloth-covered cenotaph (no remains) that honors King David. It has not been verified that the casket relates to David.

The Pools of Solomon, located in a village near Bethlehem, are considered to be part of a Roman construction during the reign of Herod the Great. The pools supplied water to an aqueduct that carried water to Bethlehem and to Jerusalem.

The Stables of Solomon, under the Temple Mount, are more likely a construction of vaults that King Herod built in order to extend the Temple Mount platform.

Absalom’s Tomb is an obvious Greek sculptured edifice and therefore cannot be the tomb of David’s son.

The City of David contains artifacts that date before and during king David’s time. Some archaeologists maintain there is an insufficient number of artifacts to conclude any Israelite presence before David. In any case any Israelite presence must have been in a small and unfortified settlement

The Jerusalem Archaeological Park within the Old City, together with the Davidson Exhibition and Virtual Reconstruction Center also tell the story. Promising to reveal much of a Hebrew civilization, the museums shed little light on its subject. The Davidson Center highlights a coin exhibition, Jerusalem bowls and stone vessels. The Archeological Park in the Old City contains among many artifacts, Herodian structures, ritual baths, a floor of an Umayyad palace, a Roman road, Ottoman gates, and the façade of what is termed Robinson’s arch, an assumed Herodian entryway to the Temple Mount. The exhibitions don’t reveal many, if any, ancient Hebrew structures or institutions of special significance.

Well known archaeologists, after examining excavations that contain pottery shards and buildings, concluded that finds don’t substantiate the biblical history of Jerusalem and its importance during the eras of a united Jewish kingdom under David and Solomon.
Margaret Steiner in an article titled “It’s Not There: Archaeology Proves a Negative” in the Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August, 1998, states:

…from the tenth century B.C.E. there is no archaeological evidence that many people actually lived in Jerusalem, only that it was some kind of public administrative center…We are left with nothing that indicates a city was here during their supposed reigns (of David and Solomon)…It seems unlikely, however, that this Jerusalem was the capital of a large state, the United monarchy, as described in Biblical texts.

West Jerusalem is another matter. With banditry prolific and Old City gates being closed before nightfall, living outside the city gates did not appeal to the population. Philanthropist Moses Montefiore wanted to attract the Jewish population to new surroundings and constructed the first Jewish community outside of the Old City. Yemin Moshe’s first houses were completed in 1860. From that time Jewish presence played a critical role in creating a West Jerusalem. Other institutions, Greek Orthodox, Catholic, Russian Orthodox and Muslim soon ventured forth and acquired much property in the evolving West Jerusalem.

In 1948, After the Israeli army seized absolute control of West Jerusalem, the new Israeli government confiscated all West Jerusalem property owned by Muslim institutions. Reason — enemy property. Few Muslims and no mosques remain in today’s West Jerusalem.

One contradiction. By attacking and ethnically cleansing the Christian Arab communities of Deir Yassin and Ein Kerem, Israeli forces characterized Christian Palestinians as an enemy. Nevertheless, Israel did not confiscate all Christian properties, many of which are apparent in West Jerusalem. The Greek Orthodox Church owns extensive properties in West Jerusalem, many marked by its Tau + Phi symbol, which translates to ‘Sepulchre.’

Another contradiction. Israel has cared for the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives and expanded it as a heritage site. Part of the famous Muslim Mamilla cemetery in West Jerusalem has been classified as refugee property and is being prepared to be demolished for the new Museum of Tolerance.

East Jerusalem reveals more contradictions. The desire to incorporate East Jerusalem into Israel contradicts the repeated warning by Israeli leaders that co-existence is not feasible and that it is necessary to separate the Jewish and Palestinian communities. Incorporation means accepting somewhere between 160,000 and 225,000 Palestinians into a Jewish state. Or does it? Whereas the older historical Jewish neighborhoods in West Jerusalem have their characters maintained or are rebuilt in their original style, the older Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem are entirely neglected (all of Arab East Jerusalem is neglected) or destroyed. How much deterioration and destruction can Palestinians absorb before they decide to leave?

Construction of Jewish homes in East Jerusalem Arab neighborhoods proceeds and destruction of Arab homes, either declared illegally constructed or illegally purchased, continues. On 44 dunums of lands that previously belonged to Palestinian families, a private company has constructed the gated community of Nof Zion and conveniently separated Palestinian Jabal Al Mukabir from other parts of East Jerusalem. No Arabs need apply. The million dollar condominiums are advertised for American investors.

The Israeli ministry of Interior has approved a plan to demolish a kindergarten and wholesale market in East Jerusalem’s Wadi Joz neighborhood in order to construct a new hotel close to the Old City and near the Rockefeller Museum. The result will be the destruction of an Arab neighborhood and its replacement by Jewish interests, which will one day join with other Jewish interests.

These are only two examples of a master plan to replace the centuries old Arab presence in East Jerusalem with a modern Jewish presence. The ancient Arab presence in an ancient land is further divided by the Separation Wall, which runs through the East Jerusalem landscape and detaches East Jerusalem from the West Bank, making it unlikely for a Palestinian state to have its capital in East Jerusalem. The master plan extends the boundaries of Jerusalem to include the large Israeli settlement (city) of Maale Adumim. Between Maale Adumim and East Jerusalem, Israel proposes to construct the E1 corridor, which joins settlements in a ring and adds to the separation of East Jerusalem from the West Bank. The E1 corridor will divide the northern and southern West Bank and will impede direct transit between Palestine Bethlehem, which is south of E1 and Palestine Ramallah, which is north of E1. Construction of the E1 corridor, portions of which are owned by Palestinians, could prevent the formation of a viable Palestinian state.

So, if Israel is destroying Jerusalem’s heritage and subjugating its spiritual meaning, why does Israel want to unify Jerusalem?

Israel’s Hidden Agenda

Israel is a physically small and relatively new country with an eager population and big ambitions. It needs more prestige and wants to be viewed as a power broker on the world stage. To gain those perspectives Israel needs a capital city that commands respect, contains ancient traditions and is recognized as one of the world’s most important and leading cities. Almost all of the world’s principal nations, from Egypt to Germany to Great Britain, have capitals that are great cities of the world. To assure its objectives, Israel wants an oversized Jerusalem that contains the Holy City. That’s not all.

Jerusalem has significant tourism that can be expanded and provide new commercial opportunities as an entry to all of the Mid-East. An indivisible Jerusalem under Israeli control is worth a lot of shekels.

Israel competes with the United States as the focus of the Jewish people. It needs a unique Jerusalem to gain recognition as the home of Judaism.

By controlling all of the holy sites, Israel commands attention from Moslem and Christian leaders. These leaders will be forced to talk with Israel and Israel will have a bargaining advantage in disputes.

Whatever Israel gains the Palestinians are denied. Even if Israel agrees to the establishment of a Palestinian state, it will direct its policies to limit the effectiveness of that state. Since East Jerusalem and its holy sites greatly benefit a Palestinian economy and increase Palestine legitimacy, Israel will do everything to prevent East Jerusalem being ceded to the new state of Palestine.

West Jerusalem only gives Israel a North/South capital. An indivisible Jerusalem gives Israel a forward look towards an East/West capital or a centralized capital of the land of previous biblical Jewish tribes.

The Zionist socialist ideals and the cooperative Kibbutzim received support and sympathy from idealistic world peoples for many years. Israel’s attachment to the Holocaust tragedy extended that sympathy and support to more of the world. With the end of the Zionist dream, the decline of kibbutz life and the over-popularizing of the Holocaust, Israel needs a new symbol of identity that captures world attention.

If Israel has legitimate claims to Jerusalem, then those claims should be heard and discussed in a proper forum. However, that is not the process forthcoming. The Israeli government is using illegal and illegitimate procedures, as well as deceitful and hypocritical methods to force its agenda. Israel is not presenting its case but is exerting its powers to trample all legal, moral and historical considerations.

The Museum of the Citadel of David has an inscription: The land of Israel is in the center of the world and Jerusalem is the center of the land of Israel.

This self praise was echoed at a West Jerusalem coffee house in a conversation with several Israelis. A youthful Israeli abruptly sat at the table and entered the conversation with the words: “All the world looks to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the center of the world and Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Everyone needs Jerusalem and they will need to talk with Israel.’

And that is why Israel desperately wants its greater Jerusalem.

Dan Lieberman is Editor of Alternative Insight, a monthly web based newsletter and author of the book A Third Party Can Succeed in America. He can be reached at: alternativeinsight@earthlink.net. Read other articles by Dan.

20 comments on this article so far ...

Comments RSS feed

  1. Ari said on July 6th, 2009 at 8:40am #

    Article is a mixture of well written archeological and historic analysis, probably quite right in saying that most of East Jerusalem is not at all ancient Jewish. However, the last paragraphs, stating that Israel needs Jerusalem just because it is central, is probably a nonsense theory. Where are the basis for this statement? just a few youngsters at a cafe? come on … No, the problem is that most Israelis and Jews really believe that Jerusalem is their spiritual center, this is what you have to handle, or change. And lastly, the geographical centrality of Jerusalem is attested in many middle ages maps, it is not an israeli invention. Otherwise, good article, really. I am Ari_Lux on Twitter.

  2. B99 said on July 6th, 2009 at 12:07pm #

    Actually Ari, the problem is that Israel attacked and conquered East Jerusalem in 1967 and has occupied it ever since. That’s illegal. The world votes on the illegality of the occupation every year.

  3. Jeff said on July 6th, 2009 at 4:50pm #

    Does anyone here look back further than recent (hi)story? This area of the planet ‘seems’ to be the focal point of the last 10,000 years! Well, is that what most ‘see’ as the beginning of the human intellect as a collective? Best we blow this whole bloody thing up, which seems to be for the most part a directive, or just get on with living life! Please, all involved, blow it up! I AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Personally I could not give a flying fuck about your perceived as a chosen “one”. Kill yourselves amongst yourselves, and FUCK OFF. Your kind is not required!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. B99 said on July 6th, 2009 at 4:58pm #

    jeff – are you angry?

  5. Jeff said on July 6th, 2009 at 5:12pm #

    B99, should you not be, I worry for your children and your future.

  6. kalidas said on July 6th, 2009 at 5:59pm #

    It’s apparent that one thing these modern day “Jews” definitely are not is ancient.

    To even pretend these “Israeli Jews” are in any way related to Moses, Abraham, etc., is disturbing.
    Although, with their fake archeology, myths as reality and political ponerology, they may well qualify as descendents of… well… you know who.

    C’mon ya’ll, embrace those pagan roots!
    Everyone will love you for it…

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/127483

  7. Mulga Mumblebrain said on July 7th, 2009 at 1:55am #

    kalidas, thanks for bringing in ponerology, because Israel has become, indeed always has been, an exercise in the extent and power of moral evil to confuse and control the world. This is a tragic irony, given the Judeocide, and an almost unique occurence, in that a tribe of twenty million has set out and succeeded in controlling the world’s pre-eminent powers and placing itself above international law, such as it is. That, I think, is the real significance of the boastful students at the end of this post. They really do see themselves as ‘Chosen’ and set above the rest of us. Given that they are nuclear armed, Messianic, paranoid and unceasingly and endlessly belligerent, this is no laughing matter.
    Jerusalem has been inhabited by one tribe or many for, I believe, about ten thousand years. In 1996 the odious Olmert, then Mayor of Jerusalem, presided over the celebration of the city’s ‘three thousandth anniversary’, it having been ‘founded’,so he asserted, by David, in 996BCE. Apart from the appalling maths, and the inability or unpreparedness to wait eight years to cash in on the tourist bonanza, this jubilee openly and arrogantly dismissed the contribution of all non-Jews to Jerusalem’s history, although non-Jews dominated for around 90% of the city’s existence. Now that’s what I call chutzpah.

  8. bozhidar balkas vancouver said on July 7th, 2009 at 6:22am #

    according to torah [a book written by people who deemed selves as supranatural] j’lem was jebusitic village/twn at ca. tenth century bc.
    it seems [according to mad priests] benjaminim, a hebrew tribe [at times in war with other hebrew tribes] began settling the city and living in peace with the jebusites.
    benjaminim began marrying so many jebusitic women that prompted sanhedrin to change the law on who’s a jew or not.
    from that time on, to be a hebrew, one’s mother had to been a hebrew.

    which may mean that j’lem had been always largely non-hebraic even as part of judea let alone while part of roman, arab, babylonian, and ottoman empires. tnx

  9. mebosa ritchie said on July 7th, 2009 at 10:17am #

    They really do see themselves as ‘Chosen’ and set above the rest of us. Given that they are nuclear armed, Messianic, paranoid and unceasingly and endlessly belligerent, this is no laughing matter.

    spot on mugla. you should show these people some respect and not antagonise them.
    they are slow to anger but you never know what they will do

  10. Ks said on July 7th, 2009 at 12:05pm #

    The letters tau and phi are the abbreviation of Φύλακες Τάφου (“Guardians of the Sepulchre”), which is the traditional name of monastic brotherhood Αγιοταφίτικη Αδερφότητα that cares after the Holy Sepulchre and its pilgrims.

  11. dan e said on July 7th, 2009 at 2:48pm #

    Re “rebuilding” the “Temple”: persons interested might google/wikipedia for Dr Irving Moskowitz, the man who bought a California municipality lock stock and Bingo Parlor. Jane Hunter and KPFA’s Flashpoints Bernstein reported extensively, about 2002? or before.

  12. dan e said on July 7th, 2009 at 3:24pm #

    More specifically: http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/Moskowitz_Irving

  13. Mulga Mumblebrain said on July 7th, 2009 at 4:52pm #

    Of course I know what ‘they’ are capable of, ritchie. They are capable of mass murder, including of children, with the vilest weapons, like white phosphorus, as we saw in Lebanon and Gaza recently. They are capable of killing a woman and her two children in cold blood, for turning in the wrong direction, as we saw in Gaza. They are capable of imprisoning an entire population, in the millions, for generations, killing, dispossessing, torturing them, and demolishing their homes in the thousands and stealing their trees, poisoning their livestock and water supplies and assassinating generations of their leaders, while vilifying any who dare to not fall on their knees in praise of this ‘moral purity’. And of course ‘they’ include you and your Zionist ilk who praise every one of these diabolical crimes to the high heavens.
    You’re quite correct-I believe that Israel and its power-brokers who control the West are capable of any crime, and I believe Israel is now the greatest threat, with its puppet hyper-power, to global peace and that co-operation needed to face our multitudinous crises. Not bad for a tribe of twenty million, not all of whom, by any means, are the type of racist and fascist zealots responsible for these atrocities.

  14. Ibrahim said on July 11th, 2009 at 4:57pm #

    We will be rebuilding the Temple on the Temple Mount, very, very, soon. Dont worry the Mosques will be sent to Saudi Arabia where they can be re-assembled.

  15. B99 said on July 18th, 2009 at 8:18pm #

    Indeed Bozh, Jerusalem was founded by the Jebusites thousands of years before Hebrews arrived in the region (or emerged out of an existing Canaanite population). Even after the rise of the Hebrews in the region, the fortunes and numbers of Hebrews in Jerusalem waxed and waned. Many Jews vacated Jerusalem during the era of the Roman occupation (or they were evicted by the Romans, but this story is no longer accepted as ‘gospel’ anymore), and the Jewish population in the city dwindled to a precious few. Jews communities remained elsewhere in Palestine, especially Tiberias (today’s Teverya) but it was not until the 19th century that Jews became a majority in Jerusalem, largely because European Jews began migrating there from the pale of Europe – to worship there, and to live and die there – not to create a Zionist state (zionism instead being a state of mind).

    And yes, Hebrews married Jebusites – they married Philistines, in fact, they fornicated with every other group to come thru or reside in that land – a regular Sodom and Gomorrah. I forget which one – David, Saul or Solomon – had a Philistine wife. There was really nothing to genetically distinguish Hebrew from Gentile back in the day.

  16. Shabnam said on July 19th, 2009 at 5:07am #

    [show these people some respect and not antagonise them.]

    http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/br180709.html

  17. B99 said on July 19th, 2009 at 6:05am #

    Excellent video Shabnam. And accurate. The average Israeli – both adults and youth, are monstrously racist – and utterly dismissive of their genocidal history vis a vis the Palestinians. And of course, it is not surprising this video was banned on any easily accessible venue in the US. Israel-Firsters would insure that Huffington never ever shows up on tv talk shows.

    BTW – ‘coosh’ comes from the Hebrew Bible word for the ‘land of Kush’ – in today’s Ethiopia. It is what Jews call the Ethiopian Falasha Jews among them.

  18. Shabnam said on July 19th, 2009 at 6:58am #

    B99

    The irony is that Mrzine where has placed this video on its site and hesitate to call the Iranian election ‘fraud’ like so many ‘left’ in the West, mainly trotskyists, including Zmag and CPD where used the word ‘fraud’ repeadedly, is under attacked by individuals like Saeed Ranama, son of the Science and Education under the Shah, at ZMAG.
    Saeed Ranema published his article at Zmag attacking the ‘left’ like James Petras, Bishara and others who have viewed the Iranian protest after the elections differently with regard to US destabilization plan in Iran. Ranema call the ‘left’ who has not followed HOPI or Zmag line as pro ‘Islamists.’ These arrogant people, like Ranema who is totally embedded with Zionist/imperialist forces in Britain and cooperating with HOPI, where Chomsky supports , working against ‘Islamism’ copied from Israel and the US policy to bring ‘secularism’ in Iran which is worse than fascism since under HOPI Muslims are No. one enemy like position of US and Israel.
    I would like people to read the following article by Pervez Hoodbhoy “Imperialism and Islamism: a View from the left” to see how low Zmag has fallen in support of OBAMA’s policy of killing innocent people in faraway places. Pakistani’s elites, where I am sure Pervez Hoodbhoy is coming from, are the main criminals who are cooperating with US military agenda in the region against defenseless people.
    http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/21982

  19. Michael said on July 24th, 2009 at 10:54am #

    Why can’t the muslims give up the mount peacefully? Either that or we should allow the Jews to take it by force. The land is within their rightful borders. If it were in America the American government would just take it by force rather than letting a bunch of terrorists have control of it, and rightfully so, so why not allow the israelis to do the same? Aside from that the first temple was built there thousands of years before Islam was even made up! The construction of the dome of the rock seems to me in its very nature as a hostile movement towards Judaism. The muslims just had to pick the only tiny piece of land in this whole world that the jews consider to be holy to build there mosque. In my opinion the dome of the rock should be bull dozed. It should be bull dozed so that the jewish temple can be rebuilt, the jews should be given the right to have established borders and the ability and permission to protect them just as we would defend our own borders as a nation. Most of the political problems generated in the last decade have been caused by the extremists produced by the islamic faith, which in its very nature teaches and endorses hatred and leaves no room for any other people group or system of beliefs to exist. Why are we allowing such a violent and relentless group of people to control things? The very name of the city of Jerusalem is a Hebrew name. It is there city, there land, there nation. Let them have it!!! Lets stop letting an intolerant faith and group of people such as the muslims bully us and our allies into there agendas. We should put our foot down and just tell them tough shit, if you dont like it then do something about it, and then when they do try something then lets fight them how we should have been all along during this war on terror. With the same mercy they would show us. And with overwhelming force. Anyone holding a gun gets shot, anyone promoting un-rest or violence gets shot, anyone harboring terrorists or supporting them is our enemy and is at war with us, instead of worrying about lives and forcing our troops to die unnecessarily because they are not allowed to fight in such a way that allows them to win. Thats what we should do.

  20. B99 said on July 25th, 2009 at 3:49pm #

    Michael – If its merely a matter of force then the clock is ticking on Israel. And you won’t be able to complain, will you? The Temple Mount is in Arab East Jerusalem – attacked and Illegally occupied by Israel in 1967. The US does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem. Nor does the UN.

    The First Temple is no where in evidence in the Temple Mount, and if you must know, it was built by the Phoenicians (an ancestor of the Palestinians) because the Hebrews, being goat-herders, needed the skilled architectural and engineering skills lacking in themselves. Jerusalem itself was founded by the Palestinians (called Canaanites then) thousands of years before Judaism was made up.

    So but for a brief period under shaky Hebrew rule Jerusalem has always been a Palestinian city. And Jews were pretty much stomping around the stetls of the pale when the Dome of the Rock was erected.

    Most of the political problems generated in the last several decades have been caused by extremist US foreign policy – in fact, it netted us 9/11. Are you one of those ‘bring em on’ kind of Bush guys?

    Jerusalem is not a Hebrew name. It is a Hebraicization of an already existing Canaanite name which itself had gone thru several linguistic changes. And for the record, the name has nothing to do with ‘peace.’

    Looks like you are the kind of guy that needs to be on the front lines right now. How come you bailed on military service?