FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from







The Siege of Jerusalem
by Claritas Moralis
October 15, 2004

Send this page to a friend! (click here)


[Author's note: This is a work of fiction. The author has no intention of committing any violent acts whatsoever, let alone one of the magnitude the protagonist plans. Once Americans weren't afraid to engage in thought experiments.]

To Those Whom It Concerns:
First, my apologies for not being there myself to make this statement to you.  I believe that if you're going to do something that harms someone, you should face them and explain why you did it, but the plan was paramount.  It had to succeed. Leaving large nuclear devices alone in a large city until I could achieve minimum safe distance was too risky, never mind the range of the detonator.  So this account will have to do.
By now the whole world knows what I have done.  I am deeply sorry for the many lives that will be lost; this, too, was unavoidable.  I could hardly call a press conference and request that Jerusalem be evacuated; that would have stopped the plan dead in its tracks.  That was my only reason for not doing so, however.  I am not a terrorist.  My act was intended not to produce terror, but to end it.
The very beginning goes back about twenty years, to my college days.  In a class discussion, one participant said that Jerusalem should be evacuated and then annihilated with nuclear weapons, so that it would be uninhabitable.  "It's like when you were kids," he explained.  "If you and your brother were fighting over a toy, your mother would take it away and say, 'Fine, if you can't share it, neither one of you can have it!'"  He pointed out that millions had died over possession of the city for millennia; it was time to put a stop to it.  Making Jerusalem an independent city would have been a better idea, but it was part of the original plan for the creation of Israel and Ben Gurion buried it. [1]   That was clearly not going to happen.
I did not endorse my classmate's position.  I thought that negotiation was always possible, and therefore it was far from necessary to destroy a city of such historical importance, let alone its religious value to so many.  It was, however, the seed that suggested the solution for a related problem: Christian rapture theology.
I moved to Texas shortly after my graduation from college; I loved the hot, dry weather and loathed the fire ants but ended up leaving because of the screaming nightmares I had about the plans of Christian Reconstructionists, nightmares that continued for several months after I moved back to the Northeast.  Having grown up in a Midwestern Christian community, I knew, of course, about the story of the rapture, how the Christian god is supposed to raise his faithful directly out of their clothing into their paradise.  What I didn't realize is that many Christians do not feel this should be left to their deity to accomplish in his own good time, but that they must bring it about by making the prophecies in their sacred text come true. [2]
Their plan has several steps:

  1. The establishment of the state of Israel.

  2. The return of Israel to its biblical borders.  This requires, by the way, that there be no Palestinian state and that there be continual war in the Middle East. [3]

  3. The rebuilding of the Third Temple, the site of which is currently occupied by Muslim places of worship.

Then the Battle of Armageddon will occur, and as the author of one recent article put it, "the sky will be filled with floating nudists." [4]   I would have been annoyed by his flippant attitude if he had not insisted that these people are not to be dismissed as mere lunatics.  They are politically well connected and dangerous lunatics.
Nonetheless, when I first learned about them, they were still on the fringes of political life.  They might hold power in localities in many parts of the United States, but the federal government, the only entity in the country capable of waging war in the Middle East, did not belong to them.  Certainly, they had their representatives there, but their voices were drowned in a sea of more sane ones.  I expected the system would prevent their madness from becoming policy.  After all, the Supreme Court specifically stated that tolerance is not granted to acts of religious homicide or suicide, [5] and the insistence on endless warfare, their belief that peace efforts in the Middle East are evil, [6] amounts to nothing less than the endorsement of human sacrifice.
My faith in the system to contain the danger turned out to be unjustified. Even  during the election of 2000, once I became aware of the belief system of George W. Bush, I began to try to draw my fellow citizens' attention to the danger.  Mr. Bush and his coreligionists would not rest until rapture preparations--disguised, of course, as "national security" and "foreign policy"--became standard procedure. They would fan the flames to make the Arabs and Israelis assist them in this gruesome task.  I wrote the major newspapers; I didn't expect the Washington Post to print my letters, but even Newsday dismissed me as a crazy and intolerant conspiracy theorist.  I tried posting on liberal websites; even there I was usually considered an extremist.  At best, I was preaching to the choir.  The election of 2000 was so close that Mr. Bush, with the complicity of a Supreme Court unworthy of its predecessors, was able to accomplish a coup.  The instant he did, I knew what was to come. Time has proven their power in the Bush administration, [7] although I knew better than to wait for time to do so.  On 13 December 2000, I began laying the groundwork for my plan.
Unlike the Supreme Court, I am a true pluralist: if the rapture theologists wished to slay only willing adult members of the group, I would have no problem with them.  They do not care, however, who is killed or what destruction is done in their pursuit of their religious mission.  Anyone who does not share their faith they believe will suffer eternal torment, so what does it matter if that torment begins twenty or fifty years sooner than it otherwise would have?  Our own armed forces are not predominantly Christian rapture theologists, but the Reconstructionists are willing to sacrifice them and uncounted residents of the Middle East.  The Muslim account of the end of the world is very similar (although of course favoring Muslims) and there may well be Muslim rapture theologists, but even if one assumes the highly unlikely notion that most of the individuals sacrificed agree with some version of the beliefs that doom them, many are children, who cannot give informed consent to such a proceeding.  The Christian Reconstructionists have therefore crossed all lines of tolerance.
First came the calculations.  I could not assume my plan was for the greater good; I had to verify it to the best of my ability.  I had to consider the size of the site, its location in the city, the population distribution around it, the prevailing winds at various times of year.  I originally used the Vietnam War casualty rates as my base, but when the Iraq rates became available, I examined those. Although the estimates for casualties in an American city would possibly be high enough to make my plan unconscionable there, [8] Jerusalem's population density is very small by American standards:  even assuming that the density is a hundred times greater in the most populous areas than in the city over all, its density is about a thousandth of a percentage point of a relatively low-density American city. [9]  Casualties should therefore be at least a thousand times fewer.  Assuming that, as my best information said, casualties would be in the thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands in an American city, then even nine thousand deaths, ten times less than a worst case for Americans, would be worse than the worst harm I would possibly do. Comparing that to no fewer than 8,235 civilians and 575 Coalition deaths in the first year of the Iraq invasion and occupation, [10] I could not help but reach the conclusion that I had to proceed.  The Holy War might, after all, go on for decades or centuries.  The Christian Reconstructionists would keep it up until their god showed up or either they or we were all dead.
So it was on to the execution of the plan.  It's hard to get weapons-grade plutonium, but not impossible.  It helps that, being a white American female scientist, I did not seem like a likely suspect, and it helps that my government has been conducting a decidedly irresponsible foreign policy for at least a century, giving me a wealth of individuals willing to offer assistance.  I will not give the details here; there can be few causes that permit such means, so I will make it no easier for anyone to duplicate my efforts. Obviously, however, I succeeded.  I made the bombs that will stop the rapture Christians.
Israel is already a state.  Its government, even if it could be persuaded to return to its 1967 borders, could always alter that policy at will.  There was only one weak link, one point at which one person could, if not entirely stop the rapture plans, certainly put them on hold a good long while.
Today I will drive a van with two plutonium-based nuclear devices into Jerusalem, to the Temple Mount.  I will detonate those devices.  A large portion of the Temple Mount will be blown away, and the site of the Third Temple--or rather the spot on the new surface that corresponds to it--will become so hot that anyone attempting to build there won't survive the first day of the project for some time to come.
How long to come is the big question.  Even nuclear scientists cannot agree on how long Chernobyl will be unsafe, so I could not come to any certain estimate.  You may be safe from the rapture theologists forever, but you may only have twenty years until they can start moving on that plank again. I will have, unfortunately, cleared the site for them, so you can't delay any longer.
Do not let me have made myself a murderer in vain.  Get these people out of power.  Recognize their fragment of Christianity for what it is, a political party that advocates violence, and do not allow them to go on pretending it is Constitutionally protected.  It will not be easy: they own the voting machines and the ballot scanners. [11]  I am not encouraging you to take action as drastic as mine, but you will certainly have to go far beyond your usual routine. It is that, however, or let millions die in sacrifice to a cruel god.

Claritas Moralis is a pseudonym for a writer based in Ithaca, New York.


[1]  David Ben Gurion, "Prime Minister's Statement concerning Jerusalem and the Holy Places," 5 December 1949, available at

[2]  George Monbiot, "Their Beliefs Are Bonkers, but They Are at the Heart of Power," Guardian, 20 April 2004.

[3]  Rick Perlstein, "The Jesus Landing Pad," Village Voice, 18 May 2004; Joe Bageant, "The Covert Kingdom: Thy Will Be Done, on Earth, As It Is in Texas," Dissident Voice, May 18, 2004.

[4]  Monbiot, "Their Beliefs."

[5] Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1878), opinion.

[6]  Bageant, "The Covert Kingdom."

[7]  Perlstein, "Jesus Landing Pad"; Mark Morford, "Apocalypse Bush!" SF Gate, 8 September 2004, available at.

[8]  Alan F. Phillips, "The Effect on the Inhabitants of a City of the Explosion of a Nuclear Bomb."

[9]  Per the population data on Jerusalem's official website, the city has a density of about 22 people per acre or 0.034 per square mile.  Houston, per the US Bureau of the Census, has a density of 3,499.1 per square mile in its densest section. Even making the assumption that the most populous parts of Jerusalem have one hundred times the average density, the populous areas would have 0.00098% of the density of Houston. For comparison, Miami's population density is 10,160.9 per square mile, Chicago's is 12,880.5, and New York City's is in the mid 30,000 range, depending upon the part of the city in question.

[10]  John Sloboda and Hamit Dardagan, "Civilian Deaths in 'Noble' Iraq Mission Pass 10,000"; Iraq Coalition Casualty Count,

[11]  Lynn Landes, "Two Voting Companies and Two Brothers Will Count 80 Percent of U.S. Election Using Both Scanners & Touchscreens," Dissident Voice.