28 July, 2021

Jerusalem: The Judeo-Christian Project

The ancient stones of Jerusalem have seen flux for 3,500 years, in tandem with shifting ties amongst Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Trump’s loud call is just another turn.

Jerusalem: The Judeo-Christian Project

On December 6, President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state of Israel, reversing seventy years of US foreign policy. This was also a robust intervention in several centuries of West Asian history in which the three Abrahamic faiths have cohabited in this sacred geography and contested its ownership due to its central association with their faith, identity and heritage.

After having been with Egyptians, Jews, Babylonians, Persi­ans, Romans and Christians through 2,500 years, Jerusalem remained with Muslims over the last millennium, till 1917, when British forces took the city from the Ottomans. In 1948, armed forces of the new state of Israel ended its ‘international’ status by defeating the Arab armies and declaring west Jerusalem their capital. After the Arab debacle of 1967, Israel wrested East Jerusalem from Jordan, and united the city under its control.

But international rules have changed, and military occup­ation no longer guarantees legal acceptance: while 160 countries have diplomatic ties with Israel,...

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