Significance of Jerusalem
On December 6th, 2017 President Trump stated a plan to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He added, “This is no more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.” The claim has upsetted the Middle East peace efforts and other countries around the world, since it was an unexpected step in the Israel-Palestine peace agreement. Trump argued that the claim was “a long overdue step to advance the peace process.” In February 2018, Trump added “"By taking Jerusalem off the table I wanted to make it clear that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and as for specific boundaries, I would support what both sides agreed to.”
Jerusalem is the controversial city for not only politics, but religion also. The holy city is significant for Christians, Jews and Muslims, for various reasons.
First of all, Jerusalem is the city where Jesus ministered, was crucified and resurrected. Christian values such as Incarnation, Scripture and Salvation are based on Jesus’ ministry and resurrection. Therefore, there is a historical connection between the holy city and Christianity. In addition, the Christian bible mentions the importance of Jerusalem not only in the New Testament, but in the Old Testament also. For example, 1 Kings 11:32 writes, (but he will have one tribe, for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel.”
Judaism is closely tied to Jerusalem also. The holy city has been valued as the spiritual homeland of the Jewish people since the 10th century BCE. It has been considered the center of the world, where God resided. The city still remains significant to Jews, and was considered into the Jewish religious law. For example, Jews outside Jerusalem have to pray facing its direction. Textually, Jerusalem appears in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) 669 times and Zion (which usually means Jerusalem, sometimes the Land of Israel) appears 154 times.
Muslims are also tied to Jerusalem. Michael Dumper, PhD, Professor of Middle East Politics at the University of Exeter, in his 2013 book titled The Politics of Jerusalem Since 1967, wrote: "The common Arab-Muslim narrative tells of the ancient history of the city. In contrast to the Jewish narrative of 3,000 years for the City of David, the Arab-Muslim narrative clings to 5,000 years for Arab Yevus…” Muslims have significant ties with Jerusalem historically, especially the prophets David, Solomon, Elijah and Jesus. It was also Muhammad’s first prayer’s direction.
One can not associate Jerusalem with one specific religion only, however the significance of Jerusalem endures in multiple faiths. It is most important to preserve the city, peacefully. One’s political view should not affect the lives of millions of people. History and beliefs should be respected in making political decisions.
Landler, Mark. “Trump Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's Capital and Orders U.S. Embassy to Move.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 6 Dec. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/12/06/world/middleeast/trump-jerusalem-israel-capital.html.
Jazeera, Al. “Trump: Jerusalem Is off Negotiation Table.” Trump News, Al Jazeera, 12 Feb. 2018, www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/02/trump-jerusalem-negotiation-table-180212052249924.html.
“Jerusalem in Islam.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Feb. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_in_Islam.
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