Jerusalem remained a conquered city un- der a succession of empires from Babylon to Rome, but it remained a Jewish city until the Destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70.
Te Byzantine Christians took over Je- rusalem in 324 A.D. Jerusalem remained in Christian hands until the 6th century when it was briefly captured by the Per- sians and recaptured by the Byzantines in 629.
Are you still with me? Historically, Israel was in Jewish hands for a thousand years before Nebuchadnezzar. Jerusalem remained a Jewish city for another six hundred years aſter that.
Aſter the Romans, it was ruled by the Christians for another three hundred years. By the time of Mohammed, the Jewish history of Jerusalem already spanned more than sixteen hundred years.
Te Muslims held Jerusalem less than three hundred years before it was cap- tured by the Crusaders. Te Christian Crusaders held Jerusalem for almost 150 years before the city fell to the Mameluke Turks.
Under the Mamelukes, Jerusalem was again the seat of Judaism. Te Jewish sage Nahmanides established a synagogue and seat of Jewish learning in the city in 1267. Jerusalem was absorbed into the Oto- man Empire in 1517, but remained the seat of Judaism. In 1700, Rabbi Yehuda He’Hassid built Jerusalem’s “Hurva” Synagogue.
There is no history among the children of men more carefully documented than that of the Jewish People.
Four hundred years later, Jerusalem fell to the British in 1917, when the Oto- man Empire was defeated by the Allies in World War I.
Quickly doing the math, Jerusalem was a Jewish city for 1500 years or so, then Christian for another 400, Islamic 300 more, then Christian for 150, then Islamic for another 800 years, then Jewish again.
During all that time, from when David bought Araunah’s threshing-floor until
Lord Allenby marched into Jerusalem in 1817, to Christians and Jews, Jerusalem was always the capital city of Judaism.
Sixteen hundred years before Moham- med, the Jewish Psalmist wrote: “If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy” (Psalm 137:6 KJV).
From Abraham to Allenby, despite suc- cessive conquests, Jerusalem has been the heart of Judaism through the centuries. From Mohammed to Saladin through the Otoman Empire, Jerusalem has never been an Islamic capital, and ‘Palestine’ has never been an Islamic state.
Until 1917 it languished as a forgoten city on the edge of the Otoman Turk’s Islamic caliphate.
In 1917 Syria did not exist. Neither did Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, or the rest of the modern Middle East.
Te entire modern map of the Middle East was drawn up in the 1920s. Syria’s borders were drawn by the British in 1923 and administered by France until granted
(continued on page 25) Jewish Voice Today 15
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