In their latest attempt to de-legitimize the Jewish connection to Israel, Jerusalem and the site of the two holy temples to God, the Palestinians under the leadership of President Abbas and with the help of US President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry are trying to remove any claim Israel has to Mount Moriah, the Temple mount and Jerusalem the city it sits in. They forget that in their ancient texts the ancient Greeks, Romans, even the ancient Muslims reported thate Jerusalem and Temple Mount were Jewish lands.
Lets start with the most recent of times. The Chart below details the population of Jerusalem by religion from 1844-1948.
|Source: Manashe Harrel, “The Jewish Presence in Jerusalem through the Ages” in Sinai and Oestericcher, eds., Jerusalem, John Day, 1974.|
Jews were the majority of the Jerusalem Population from 1844 through the establishment of the State Of Israel when they were kicked out by Jordan. From 1948-1967 Jerusalem was occupied territory– In fact Muslims were the third largest religion in the city until about 1890.
The historically proven Jewish tie to Jerusalem starts way earlier than the mid 19th century.
Do you think Cubans are fighting for healthcare or freedom from Communism?
After the Bar Kochba revolt in 135 CE when the Romans punished the Jews for revolting by changing the name of their country from Judea to Syria Palaestina(after the Philistines the ancient Jewish Enemy who no longer existed) and the name of the holy city from Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina (literally Capitoline Hill of the House of Aelius) most of the world recognized the Holy Land and Jerusalem as Jewish.
For ancient Greek and Roman pagan authors, Jerusalem definitely was a Jewish city. An examination of their texts indicates the unanimous agreement that Jerusalem was Jewish by virtue of the fact that its inhabitants were Jews, it was founded by Jews and the Temple, located in Jerusalem, was the center of the Jewish religion.
These ancient texts, disprove recent attempts by Muslims and others to deny the historic connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem and the location of the Temple in Jerusalem through fabrications and lies. Below are just some of examples from Greek and Roman times published in a November 2008 Report issued by the JCPA:
- Some writers recall distinctive Jewish customs, such as the absence of representations of the deity, male circumcision, dietary laws and the observance of the weekly day of rest, the Sabbath. Indeed, in 167 BCE, the Greek Seleucid King Antiochus IV ordered Jews to place an idol of Zeus in the Temple, outlawed circumcision, demanded the sacrifice of swine and forbade Sabbath observance (I Maccabees 1:41-50). He thus desired to eliminate those unique features of the Jewish religion which had been noted by pagan writers.
- In an account by Hecataeus of Abdera (c. 300 BCE), Jerusalem appears toward the conclusion of his counter-Exodus account and before his description of Jewish society and practices. He attributes the expulsion of the Jews to the pestilence which the Egyptians blamed upon the presence of foreigners, not only Jews, who caused the natives to falter in religious observance. “Therefore, the aliens were driven from the country.” While some went to Greece, most “were driven into what is now called Judaea … at that time utterly uninhabited … on taking possession of the land, he [Moses] founded, besides other cities, one that is the most renowned of all, called Jerusalem. In addition, he established the temple that they hold in chief veneration, instituted their forms of worship and ritual, drew up their laws and ordered their political institutions.”
- Several of the selections in Against Apion which include the anti-Exodus narrative also provide descriptions of the interior and exterior of the Temple and some of its rituals. For example, Hecataeus states that in the center of the city is an enclosure where there is “a square altar built of heaped up stones, unhewn and unwrought.” The Temple itself is “a great edifice containing and altar and a lamp stand, both made of gold … upon these is a light which is never extinguished … there is not a single statue or votive offering, no trace of a plant in the form of a sacred grove, or the like.”Hecataeus “On the Jews”, in Against Apion I, 198-199; Stern, I, V, No.12, 36-37
- And in his account of Titus’ siege of Jerusalem, Tacitus describes the Temple as “… built like a citadel, with walls of its own … the very colonnades made a splendid defense. Within the enclosure is an ever-flowing spring.”[Tacitus, Historiae V:12:1 (Stern, II, XCII, no. 281) 22,30.
- In addition to physical descriptions, the authors mention the religious aspect of the Temple which differed radically from Greek and Roman paganism. In the text preserved by Diodorus, Hecataeus mentions the priests and their duties in the Temple and even describes a worship service and sacrifice. Similarly, the first century Roman historian Livy remarks that the Jews do not state “to which deity pertains the temple at Jerusalem, nor is any image found there, since they do not think the God partakes of any figure.”Hecataeus, in Diodorus, Aegyptiaca, Bibliotheca Historica XL, 3, 4-6; Stern, I, V, No. 11, 26-28.
It is noteworthy that an earlier capture of Jerusalem by the Greek-Egyptian King Ptolemy, son of Lagus, provided an opportunity for the obscure Agatharchides of Cnidus (second century BCE) to remark about the fact that “the people known as Jews, who inhabited the most strongly fortified of cities, called by the natives Jerusalem” lost their city because they would not defend it on the Sabbath. Josephus includes this selection in Against Apion as one of the early pagan critiques of the Jewish Sabbath which Agatharchides deemed as “folly,” “dreams,” and “traditional fancies about the law.”
In this instance, the capture of Jerusalem serves as background for the author’s unfavorable comments on the Sabbath. Similarly, Cassius Dio attributes the capture of the Temple by the Roman general Pompey the Great in 63 BCE to the fact that the Jews, given their “superstitious awe” did not defend the city on “the day of Saturn” (the Sabbath). Cassius Dio, however, concentrates on Roman victories and accomplishments and mentions the issue of the Sabbath in passing.
The biographer Plutarch (mid-first-early second century CE) notes the siege of Jerusalem by the Seleucid monarch Antiochus VII Sidetes in 133-132 BCE at the time of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. The author describes this festival at length in another work. According to Plutarch, Antiochus VII provided the sacrificial animals for the Temple and allowed a seven day truce, after which the Jews submitted to him. From this passage, it is clear that the inhabitants of Jerusalem are the Jews; that their Temple is located there; and their religious practices affect the outcome of the invasions of Greek rulers.
Jerusalem also serves as the venue for eliciting praise of Roman figures or glorifying the victories and history of Rome. The invasion of Jerusalem and the Temple by Pompey the Great in 63 BCE appears in several Roman sources. Livy erroneously states that Pompey was the first to capture Jerusalem and the Temple. Other authors focus on the fact that Pompey neither damaged the Temple nor removed any of the gold or he vessels of the Temple.
While Jerusalem and the Temple are important in these sections, they serve as the background for praise of the Roman invader. Similarly, in the works of Tacitus and Cassius Dio, the city of Jerusalem and its destruction form part of the history of the Roman Empire, and in the case of Tacitus, the accomplishments of the Flavian dynasty. These historians assume Roman cultural superiority and political hegemony throughout the world and the conquest and subjugation of Jerusalem supported this world-view.
An outstanding example of the role of Jerusalem as the location for a minor event in the life of an emperor may be found in Suetonius’ The Twelve Caesars, a work replete with intimate details of the public and private lives of the first twelve Roman emperors. In his biography of Titus, then commander of his father Vespasian’s Imperial forces and later emperor, Suetonius writes that “in the final attack on Jerusalem he slew twelve of the defenders with as many arrows; and he took the city on his daughter’s birthday, so delighting the soldiers and winning their devotion …” In this case, “the personal is political” and Jerusalem serves as the location for commemorating an event in the private life of Titus.
Finally, Cassius Dio’s indispensable account of the Jewish revolt against the Emperor Hadrian (132-135 CE) designates the following as a cause of the revolt: “At Jerusalem he [Hadrian] founded a city in place of the one which had been razed to the ground, naming it Aelia Capitolina, and on the site of the temple of the god, he raised a new Temple to Zeus [Jupiter].” Dio then proceeds with his report of the revolt of the Jews and its methodical suppression by the Romans.
Although the source concentrates on the course of the revolt against Hadrian, the founding of a pagan city on the ruins of Jerusalem and a pagan temple on the Temple Mount is presented as a historical fact and not simply as background for the author’s views on the Jewish religion or his praise of a particular emperor. Once again, Jerusalem, the Temple and the Jews are linked together in the major Roman historical work, written over more than a century after the destruction of the city and its holiest place.
All of this happened between 500-1,000 years before Islam was founded by the Muslim prophet Mohammad. There is even a Koranic passage which indicates that Jerusalem might not be so holy to Muslims, and is passed on to the Jews “
“…They would not follow thy direction of prayer (qiblah), nor art thou to follow their direction of prayer; nor indeed will they follow each other’s direction of prayer…”
Commentators explain that “thy qiblah” (direction of prayer for Muslims) clearly refers the Ka’bah of Mecca, while “their qiblah” (direction of prayer for Jews) refers to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
This Koranic passage appears to show that the holiness of Jerusalem a Jewish concept, and should not be confused with an Islamic concept.
The 13th-century Arab biographer and geographer Yakut noted: “Mecca is holy to Muslims, and Jerusalem to the Jews.”
Today the Muslim world, led by President Obama’s buddy the “moderate” terrorists Abbas, claims Jerusalem as theirs only as a straw dog to further de-legitimize the Jewish hold on the Holy Land. Sadly the President and Secretary of State of Israel’s friend the United States are supporting Abbas’ claim by constantly criticizing Israel’s claims on the Holy City and the Holiest site in all of Judaism.
The criticize Israel’s claims because they understand even more than some Jews, that Israel is the heart of the Jews, Jerusalem is the heart of Israel, and the Temple Mount is the heart of Jerusalem. Rip out the heart and the body will die.