Jerusalem a Settlement?
The Obama administration’s demands in 2009 that east Jerusalem be included in a total freeze on Jewish settlement activity has brought to the fore once again the very issue upon which the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem was founded the unity of Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was genuinely caught off guard in May of that year when US President Barack Obama began openly insisting on a complete halt to all Jewish building in the disputed territories. The Netanyahu government was trying to work out a deal to allow some continued growth in the settlements when the US State Department then made clear they expected this construction ban to also extend to east Jerusalem.
To be fair, this is not the first American administration to issue twisted directives on Jerusalem. US policy on Jerusalem has long been legally absurd. The astonishing fact is that Washington has never recognised any part of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. State Department officials often trip over themselves trying to explain this bizarre policy, and always fall back on the empty mantra that “Jerusalem should remain undivided, but is subject to negotiation”.
This position has essentially granted the Arabs a veto over the US power of recognition, which in turn has a huge influence on how other nations worldwide view the city. And the sad truth is that the longer the “Question” of Jerusalem has been left open, the larger that question has become. It has reached the point that Jerusalem has become the capital of everyone else except the Jews.
Thus at the Fatah general assembly in Bethlehem in August, the largest Palestinian faction declared that Jerusalem is "the eternal capital of Palestine, the Arab world and the Islamic and Christian worlds".
Capital of the Arab world? Capital of Islam?
The Arabs and Muslims had centuries to make Jerusalem their capital, but never did. It was always considered a ‘backwater’ provincial town when in Arab or Muslim hands. Consider that only one Muslim ruler visited Jerusalem during the two decades it was in Jordanian hands from 1948 through 1967.
The city has truly been the capital of only one nation the Jewish commonwealth based on an historical, spiritual and cultural attachment that dates back 3,000 years.
The recent machinations of the Obama administration have also managed to expose the moral bankruptcy of US policy on Jerusalem. Now Washington may argue that continued Jewish building in Jerusalem might prejudice the outcome of negotiations. But so does continued Arab building! After all, both sides lay claim to east Jerusalem, and even-handedness therefore requires that either all can build or none can build.
Otherwise, you are validating the bitter anomaly that for a mere 19 years of its long history, east Jerusalem was Judenrein rendered so by the force of Arab arms.
This stands in sharp contrast to the rest of the city’s long and glorious past. Whenever the Bible speaks of Jerusalem, from the time the Lord chose the city through the heart of King David (II Chronicles 6), it is speaking of what we know today as east Jerusalem. None of these many verses of Scripture refer to western Jerusalem, because that portion of the modern city only arose within the past 100 years. And this same sacred Book promises that the Lord “will again choose Jerusalem” (Zechariah 2:12).
May that day come speedily!
International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
©2010 International Christian Embassy Jerusalem