Saturday, August 26, 2006


Often, history reminds us of just how beautiful the saga of our universal humanity can be. The distant past is an ancient story of love ...and it is alive and well (love still transforms everything it touches). Sometimes that story is not quite so pleasant. And it forces us to face cultural baggage that we’d rather leave stored away in the basement of human experience...

For example, examine these facts about: Israel & Jerusalem.

1. Israel became a state in 1312 BC (2 millennia before Islam).

2. Arab refugees from Israel began calling themselves "Palestinians" in 1967, two decades after (modern) Iraeli statehood.

3. After conquering the land in 1272 BC, Jews ruled it for a thousand years and maintained a continuous presence there for 3,300 years.

4. The only Arab rule following conquest in 633 AD lasted just 22 years.

5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem was the Jewish capital. It was never the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even under Jordanian rule, (East) Jerusalem was not made the capital, and no Arab leader came to visit it.

6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in the Bible, but is not mentioned at all in the Qur'an (Koran).

7. King David founded Jerusalem. (Mohammed never set foot there.)

8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem; Muslims face Mecca. If they are between the two cities, Muslims pray facing Mecca (backs turned, with respect to Jerusalem).

9. In 1948, Arab leaders urged their people to leave, promising to cleanse the land of Jewish presence, and 68% of them fled (without laying eyes on an Israeli soldier).

10. Virtually the entire Jewish populations of Muslim countries has fled (as the result of violence targeted at them).

11. Some 630,000 Arabs left Israel in 1948 -- while close to a million Jews were forced to leave the Muslim countries.

12. In spite of the vast territories "at their disposal", Arab refugess were deliberately prevented from being assimilated into their host countries. Of 100 million refugees following World War II, they are the only group to have never integrated to join their co-religionists. Most of the Jewish refugees from Europe and Arab lands were settled in Israel (a country no larger than New Jersey).

13. There are 22 Muslim countries (not counting Palestine). There is only one Jewish state.

14. Arabs started all of the wars against Israel and lost (or were losing), every one of them.

15. The Fatah and Hamas constitutions still call for the destruction of Israel.

16. Israel ceded most of the West Bank and all of Gaza to the Palestinian authority, and even provided it with arms.

17. During the Jordanian occupation, Jewish holy sites were vandalized and were off limits to Jews.

18. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian holy sites are accessible to all faiths.

19. Out of 175 United Nations Security Council resolutions up to 1990, 97 were against Israel; out of 690 general assembly resolutions, 429 were against Israel.

20. The U.N. remained silent when the Jordanians destroyed 58 synagogues in the old city of Jerusalem. It remained silent while Jordan systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, and it remained silent when Jordan enforced "apartheid-style" laws, preventing Jews from having access to the Temple Mount and Western Wall.

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