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Jerusalem - Myths and Facts

Jerusalem - Myths and Facts


Jerusalem, The State of Israel, and indeed the entire Jewish People are facing difficult times. The future of our Nation’s Capital is at stake for the first time in almost 2000 years.

Many people, on both sides of the political spectrum, are beginning to understand the scope of the moment. We are literally one step from the Abyss.

The good news is that people have woken up. There is less and less indifference to the situation, many Jews and entire Jewish communities around the world want to take action. These people have been subject to years and years of dis-information and propaganda thrust on them by our enemies and by some of our so called allies.

Phrases such as “Arab East-Jerusalem”, or “The Arab majority in certain parts of the city” are more commonly heard by people who have unwittingly stumbled into the trap laid by those who seek to put an end to Israeli control of our Holy City.

This information booklet was put together by Betar-Tagar UK in order to offer Jews as individuals, Jewish communities and anyone else interested, with the true historical facts about Jerusalem, together with an in-depth analyses of the current situation.

We at Betar-Tagar UK hope that this information will trigger the urge to know more and to do more for our Capital, so that the phrase “Ba’Shana Ha’Ba’a Bi’Yerushalyim” will not remain a phrase, but will become a reality in our time.

One Jerusalem expresses its thanks to the Betar-Tagar U.K. editorial team for compiling this section.

Visions of Jerusalem/I remember

A speech by Late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on Yom Yerushalayim 5754 - 1994

“There are visions that accompany people throughout their lives. There are visions that cannot ever be forgotten: the visions of Jerusalem - mine, yours - are like these.

I remember, as yesterday, the citizens of Jerusalem, shelled and under fire, running about while bent over, for fear of snipers in the streets of the city.

I remember their fatigued faces in line for their rations of rice, flour and containers of water.

I remember the convoys ascending to the city, and the drivers in their armoured compartments, freezing in the chill of winter. And sweating during the heatwaves.

I remember the flames which erupted from the armoured vehicles, the screams of the wounded and silence of the dead.

I remember the members of the Harel Brigade, my soldiers, who together with the soldiers of the Jerusalem Brigade, went to battle, night after night, around Jerusalem and its mountains, to the Arab villages. They would return in the morning , fewer and with increasingly depleted ranks.

And I remember, 19 years later, the warning to Hussein, the first shells, the order to move.

And also the paratroopers, and the men of the Jerusalem Brigade and the Harel warriors in their armoured form, breaking through the walls and the mountains and the hills; and the residents of Jerusalem escorting them with prayers and tears to the Wailing Wall; and the long, long lines - of the dead and the names.

We remember - and we know that Jerusalem is the very heart of the Jewish people, and the one and only united capital of the State of Israel.

And we know that this is the place to which every Jews turns in his prayers, and which generations dreamt and poets wrote. Thus, from our perspective, Jerusalem is ours - it was and will be ours, while we have always promised and ensured freedom of worship for all religions and free access to all holy places.

Today, we pay our respects to the many who fought for the city, but were never privileged [to see this day].

And we salute you, the warriors, who brought this city to us, and we say thanks you. And, as always, we raise Jerusalem above our greatest joy”.


“Jerusalem is an Arab Capital too”


Jerusalem was the ancient Capital of Israel, and Jews have always lived there. They have constituted the largest single group of inhabitants since the 1840’s.

Jerusalem was never an imperial or provincial Capital under the Muslems. No Islamic school of note was ever established there, although it is the site of Moslem holy places. Jerusalem is the spiritual and physical crown of Judaism.

Jerusalem’s significance in Islam pales next to Mecca and Medina, the twin cities where Muhammad lived and which hosted the great events of Islamic history. Jerusalem is not the place to which Muslims pray, and it is not once mentioned in the Qur’an or in prayers.

The Christian link to Jerusalem is essentially a religious one. Except for the short-lived Crusader kingdom, it has not assumed political or secular connotations. During the six centuries of Roman and Byzantine rule, Caesarea, not Jerusalem, was the capital.

During Muslim rule over the city, whether Arab or non-Arab, Jerusalem was never made the political Capital of a Muslim entity or even of a province within the Muslim empire, Under Muslim Arab rule (638 - 1099) by the Ummayad, the Abbasid and the Fatamid Chaliphs, Jerusalem was ruled from Damascus, Baghdad and Cairo respectively. In the eighth century, the city of Ramla was made the Capital of the district which embraced Jerusalem.

During the period of Mamluk rule (1250 - 1516) the Land was ruled from Damascus; in Ottoman times (1517 - 1917), from Constantinople. Many travelers in the Holy Land recorded Jerusalem’s state of neglect. In 1611, George Sandys found that “Much lies waste; the old buildings (except a few) all ruined, the new contemptible.” Gustav Flaubert of Madame Bovary fame visited in 1850 and found “Ruins everywhere”. Mark Twain in 1867 wrote that Jerusalem “has lost all its ancient grandeur, and has become a pauper village.”

In modern times, notes the Israeli scholar Hava Lazarus-Yafeh, Jerusalem “became the focus of religious and political Arab Activity only at the beginning of the 20th century, and only because of the renewed Jewish activity in the city and Judaism’s claims on the Western Wall.


According to the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies:

Year Jews Arabs/Others
1870 11000 10000
1905 40000 20000
1931 54000 39000
1946 99500 65000
1967 196500 71300
1985 328000 129700
1990 353900 139600
1996 410000 190000



“Jerusalem need not be the Capital of Israel”


Jerusalem has been the holiest city to the Jews since King David conquered it, 3,000 years ago. His son, Solomon, built the First Temple there on Mount Moriah, inaugurating it in 960 BCE.

Following the destruction of the temple and the prohibition imposed by the Muslims on entry of Jews to the Temple Mount, the Western Wall (a section of the western side of the wall that surrounded the Temple Mount) became a central site for the Jewish People; it has been a place of worship since at least the 10th century CE.

Thus, a thousand years before Jerusalem became sacred to Christianity and seventeen hundred years before it was sanctified for Muslims, Jerusalem was the Capital of Israel and the holiest city in Judaism. For the Jews who were exiled from the Land of Israel, Jerusalem became a symbol of religious and national rebirth and yearning. The word Zionism - the national movement of the Jewish people - derives from one of the names conferred on Jerusalem in Jewish tradition.

Upon the establishment of the State of Israel, Jerusalem was declared its Capital, and thus became the country’s centre of government. Under Israeli law, the major governmental and national institutions are located in Jerusalem, which thereby serves as the institutional focal point for the residents of Israel and for Jews worldwide.

“Israel sought to annex the Arab sections of Jerusalem during the War of Independence”


When the British left Palestine, Jerusalem was besieged by Arab forces which cut off the roads and blocked food and water in an attempt to isolate and starve its people.

Jerusalem was rescued by the Israelis, who carved a new road through the mountains to bring food and water to its inhabitants. In six weeks, 1490 men, women and children - 1.5% of the Jewish population - were killed in the defense of the city, many by indiscriminate shelling of Transjordan Arab Legion and by Egyptian and Iraqi artillery batteries.

Arab legion forces seized the Old City, and the Jewish population of the ancient quarter was driven out or captured. The Old City and its holy places became part of Jordan, under Muslim control.

The New City, however, expanded by the Jewish development of the previous century, withstood attack and became the Capital of Israel, linked with the rest of the country by a narrow corridor.

Jordan took proper care of Jewish holy places”


Jordan desecrated Jewish holy places!

To promote tourism, the late King Hussein permitted the construction of a road to the Intercontinental Hotel at the summit of the Mount of Olives across the Mount of Olives cemetery, destroying hundreds of Jewish graves, some of which were from the First Temple Period. The gravestones were used by the engineer corps of the British -led Jordanian Arab Legion to construct the foundations, walls, pavements, and latrines of a military camp. Inscriptions on the stones are still visible. Some were used to build the garden wall of a hotel, and a small mosque was built over the Jewish graves.

Similarly, the Jewish cemetery in Hebron was destroyed. The Jewish quarter was ravaged, with 34 synagogues being destroyed, some of which were centuries old. The Hurva synagogue was blown up as its dome challenged the mosques on the Temple Mount. Arab squatters arrived from Hebron, and converted the Jewish quarter into a slum. The Kotel was desecrated by slum dwellings and latrines.

“From 1948 to 1967 Jordan protected the holy places and the free exercise of religion”


Under Jordanian rule, no Jews were permitted to visit the holy sites, in direct contravention to the 1949 UN armistice agreement, which ensured free access. Under paragraph 8, Jordan and Israel had agreed to the immediate establishment of a four man committee, consisting of representatives from each government, to arrange free movement of traffic on vital roads, resumption of the normal functioning of the cultural and humanitarian institutions on Mt. Scopus, free access to holy places and cultural institutions, and the use of the cemetery on the Mount of Olives.

The Jordanian government reneged. No Jews were allowed to worship even at the Kotel.

The late King Abdallah, father of King Hussein, made a concession to Christians from Israel. They were allowed to enter the Old City for Christmas and Easter, but Israeli Muslims were not permitted to cross into the Old City.

“Israel attacked religious shrines in 1967”


On the second day of the 6 day war in 1967, King Hussein ignored Israeli appeals to stay out of the war. Eventually he fired the opening shots on western Jerusalem (near the governor’s palace and downtown Jerusalem), and lost the Old City, the muncipal area of the eastern parts of Jerusalem, and the whole of Yehuda and Shomron (“West Bank”) to Israel’s counter attack. The barriers, barbed wire and snipers’ nests that had existed since 1948 were ripped away. Sensational and malicious reports from Beirut, Cairo and Damascus charged that shrines were desecrated. On the spot international observers repudiated these lies.

In fact, the holy places suffered very little damage in the fighting. In order to protect the holy places from damage, the Israeli Army refrained from bombing or artillery shelling and resorted to hand-to-hand fighting in order to capture the Old City, suffering heavy casualties as a consequence. As a further precaution the Israelis stationed guards around the shrines. Damage done to the Dormition Abbey was caused by indiscriminate Jordanian shelling.

“Israeli authorities bulldozed and continue to bulldoze hundreds of Arab homes in Jerusalem, leaving thousands of Arab residents homeless”.


After the liberation of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City in 1967, Israel found hundreds of squatters who had made their homes in the district, living amongst the ruins in makeshift hovels. Israeli civil engineers cleared the ruins in order to reconstruct the quarter (and in the process revealing much of 2nd Temple period Jerusalem) but only after offering compensation or alternate housing to the squatters.

Ironically, Israeli officials were not the first to see the need to relocate the quarter’s squatters in order to rebuild the quarter. On July 17, 1966 the Prime Minister of Jordan ordered “that the refugees living in the el-Musaker (Jewish) quarter to be transferred to the new place allotted to them for residence (Shu’afat) ... The Jerusalem Municipality shall demolish all the tumbledown dwelling of the said quarter after their evacuation.”

“Israel prevents Arabs from building homes in Jerusalem, and razes them illegally”


Since Israel gained control over the entire city of Jerusalem, the number of Arab-owned apartments in Jerusalem has risen significantly.

In 1967, there were 12,200 Arab-owned homes in Jerusalem, whereas in 1995 there were 27,066 apartments, an increase of 15,000 or 122%. In the Jewish sector, there were 57,500 apartments in 1967 and 122,780 in 1995, an increase of 113.5%.

Between 1971 and 1994, the Municipality of Jerusalem granted permits for 1.1 million square meters of built area for residential purposes for Arab residents, however, nearly half of all Arab construction is done without the necessary permits, a fact that is much overlooked. However, in cases of extreme cases of breach of building regulations, in a manner that can be dangerous to residents and the general population, these buildings have to be razed.

“Under Israeli rule, religious freedom has been curbed in Jerusalem”


Since its establishment, Israel has been committed to and has endeavored to guarantee freedom of religion for the various religious communities. In particular, the right to access and worship at holy places, as well as the equality of rights for adherents of different religious, have been protected and preserved by law and by the administration.

The basic attitude of the state toward freedom and pluralism is reflected in the 1948 Declaration on the Establishment of the State of Israel.

A legislative text enacted in 1922 at the time of the British Mandate is still in force in Israel today, reads: “All persons in Palestine [now Israel] shall enjoy full liberty of conscience and the free exercise of their forms or worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals”.

The UN’s fact-finding representative, Ambassador Ernesto Thalmann, a Swiss diplomat, visited Jerusalem in Sept. 1967 three months after the war. The various religious representatives told him that the Israeli authorities had conformed to the “principles which had been laid down with respect to the holy places and there was no cause for complaint.”

Sheikh Touriq Assiliya, the Muslim Qadi of Jaffa, said this in 1967:

“We prayed today with our Muslim brethren of Jerusalem in the blessed al-Aqsa mosque. This is a great day for us to be able to pray at the site for which we were yearning for many years. I pray to the Almighty that He bestow peace upon our religion.”

The Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, His Beautitude Theophilos, sent the following letter to Israel’s ambassador in Addis Ababa in July 1967:

“The Patriarchate of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church would like to express its appreciation to the Israeli government for the proper care with which it handled the sanctuaries in the Holy Land in general and the Ethiopian convent in particular.”

Les Filles de la Charité de l’Hospice Saint Vincent de Paul of Jerusalem wrote a letter repudiating attacks on Israel’s conduct in Jerusalem (Catholic Herald of London, Oct 6 1967):

“We do not know the source from which those who are hawking such rumours are drawing their inspiration, but they fill us with profound grief. There is no question to us to ‘taking sides’ ... But we owe it to truth to put it on record that our work here has been made especially happy and its path smoother by the goodwill of the Israeli authorities - in peace and in war alike - smoother, that is, not only for ourselves but (more important) for the Arabs in our care ... The recent war, moreover, has revealed them to us - both the soldiers and the civilians - as deserving of our deepest admiration.”

The Greek Orthodox Patriach of Jerusalem, Benedictos, said on April 12 1968:

“It is true, and we would to stress it again, that the Holy Places in general, monasteries and churches, were given full respect and protection by the Israelis before the war, during the war, and afterwards.”

The National Coalition of American Nuns, an autonomous Roman Catholic organisation founded in 1969 to study, speak and work for social justice, called for the continuation of Israeli rule in Jerusalem on Sept 10 1971:

“The National Coalition of American Nuns expresses strong support for the current status of Jerusalem under Israeli control. We oppose any possible internationalisation of the Holy City. Jews have always been in Jerusalem. It is their spiritual home, and daily prayer of the Jewish people voices their enduring historic relation to the city. Further, Israel has rebuilt Jerusalem pouring into it millions of dollars, and more especially untold human resources. Jerusalem is now available to all faiths and never before have the holy places been so protected and maintained”.

C. Witton-Davies, Archdeacon of Christchurch in Oxford, England, wrote in a letter published in The Guardian (London) on Sept 30 1979:

“Jerusalem has been now for 12 years a city of freedom and friendship with free movement throughout the city and free access to the holy sites of the three main religions for everyone in the world ... From my own personal conversations and observations, I testify that Jerusalem has never been so fairly administered, or made so accessible to adherents of all three monotheisms, as well as to the general tourist, sightseer or visitor, whether Jew, Christian or Muslim, or whatever, as has been the undoubted achievement of [Mayor] Teddy Kollek and his administration”.

“Israel prevents Muslims from free access to their holy sites”.


Immediately after the Six-Day War ended, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol convened the spiritual leaders of the various communities and reassured them that Israel intended to protect all the holy places and to permit free worship at them. Soon after that the Knesset adopted the Protection of Holy Places Law, 5727-1967, which ensured protection against desecration and freedom of access to holy places.

These principles were reconfirmed with regard to the holy places situated in Jerusalem by the 1980 Basic Law: Jerusalem Capital of Israel.

According to the law, “Whoever does anything that is likely to violate the freedom of access of the members of the various religions to the places sacred to them or their feelings with regard to those places shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of five years.”

The holy places are administered by the religious bodies to which they belong. When a site is deemed holy to more than one religious group, suitable arrangements ensure access to all.

Teddy Kolleck, Former Mayor of Jerusalem addressed this issue.

“In June of 1967, after an unprovoked war, a victorious army handed its government the greatest prize the Jewish people could dream of: ‘The Temple Mount is in our hands’. This is Zion itself, the core of 2,000 years of longing to return. Yet the Israeli government, out of respect for the shrine of another faith that had been in place for 1,200 years, decided not only to leave the mosques untouched, also to leave the administration of the site in the hands of Muslim religious authorities. I do not know of any precedent in history of such a gesture.

Certainly there is no precedent in Jerusalem’s history. When the Crusaders came, they changed mosques into churches. Saladin and his followers did just the opposite. While Jordan occupied Jerusalem’s walled city (1948-1967), 58 synagogues were destroyed. Nor were the Jews allowed t pray at the Western Wall, the one remnant of the Temple still extant, despite armistice agreements guaranteeing the privilege. Traditionally every ruler here has destroyed the monuments of his predecessor’s rule. Israel’s policy on archaeology - preserving the remains of all periods and all peoples in Jerusalem’s history - like our policy regarding the Temple Mount, is a sign of a very different attitude on our part.

Some of the policies and programmes of various Israeli governments have had grave faults which I have not hesitated to criticize, as David Bar-Ilan rightly noted, but I do not think our virtues should be taken for granted.”

“Israeli policy encourages attacks by Jewish fanatics against Moslem and Christian holy sites”


Israeli authorities have constantly tried to stop fanatics - of all faiths - from perpetrating their violent desecrating acts. If the acts cannot be thwarted, Israel punishes the perpetrators. Allan Goodman, who in April 1982 shot up the Temple Mount, was sentenced to life imprisonment.

In contrast, on 15th October 1986, a bomb planted by the PFLP (Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine), exploded at the Kotel (Western Wall), killing one person, and injuring 69 other Jewish worshippers.

“Jerusalem’s enveloping neighbourhoods and suburbs are not an integral part of the city, and can therefore be conceded to the Arabs to establish their Capital in them”


The Arab population of Jerusalem extends from north to south in a continuous built-up area, which is broken at the Mount Scopus - Givat Ha’Mivtar line of hills by Jewish neighbourhoods. The rate of growth of the Arab population forced them to find housing solutions outside municipal Jerusalem, but within a stone’s throw.

Jerusalem at present is closely intertwined with its surroundings. It is impossible to separate developments in the city of Jerusalem proper from developments in the surrounding metropolitan area. The reason is that Jerusalem is part of the broad, functional, geographic space that includes Jewish and Arab settlements linked by manifold mutual relations. Significant ties between Jerusalem and its surroundings take the form of economic activity.


“Under UN Resolution 242, eastern Jerusalem is considered ‘occupied territory’. The Israeli annexation of Jerusalem therefore violates the UN resolution”


One of the drafters of the UN Resolution, Arthur J Goldberg, served as US Ambassador to the United Nations. According to Goldberg, “Resolution 242 in no way refers to Jerusalem, and this omission was deliberate ... Jerusalem was a discrete matter, not linked to the ‘West Bank’ (y”sha).”

“In a number of speeches at the UN in 1967”, Goldberg continued in a 1980 letter to the New York Times, “I repeatedly stated that the armistice lines of 1949 were intended to be temporary. This, of course was particularly true of Jerusalem. At no time in these many speeches did I refer to eastern Jerusalem as occupied territory.”

“Internationalization is still the best solution”


Ironically, the cry for the internationalization of Jerusalem has been much louder during the time that Israel has ruled, allowing free access to the holy places of all three faiths, than it was when Jordan ruled the Old City, barring Jews and Israeli Muslims from their holy sites.

Theoretically, internationalization may sound reasonable in a discussion of Jerusalem. But in fact, it has never worked anywhere. Berlin, at the time when it was a divided city, was a glaring example of the failure of internationalization despite solemn Four Power guarantees.

Since 1967, Israel’s administration of Jerusalem has shown that the holy places can be protected and access assured for all faiths without attempting to turn Jerusalem into an unrealistic territorial corpus separatum.

“The Arabs of Jerusalem desperately want to part of a Palestinian state”


The Christian Arabs fear of living under Arafat’s rule expressed above is still prevalent today, as was written in the Jerusalem Post on Friday July 21 2000:

“Christian, Armenian, and Jewish residents of Jerusalem’s Old City yesterday expressed strong opposition to Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s reported offer to give the Palestinians administrative authority over the Christian and Moslem quarters of Jerusalem’s Old City with Israel retaining full control over the Jewish and Armenian quarters.

In over a dozen interviews with residents of the Christian and Armenian quarters, the responses to this proposal, first disclosed in Ma’ariv on Wednesday, were nearly all negative. “To tell you the truth, I do not want to see the Palestinians ruling the Old City and I say that even though I myself am a Palestinian,” said a Christian Wuarter resident who would only give his name as Sami. “I think this would create a lont-term problem,” he said.

“I would really hate being under Palestinian control. It would be as if I’ve been sent to the Dark Ages,” concurred Steven, interviewed in the Christian Quarter. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against peace and I certainly do not want to see more violence or killings. But the minute I see a Palestinian policeman walking around here, the time has come for me to emigrate from the country.”

“I’d much prefer that the Israelis stay in control here” said 21-year-old Daniel, who in the Christian Quarter. “Let them give the Palestinians the control of the Muslim Quarter, but not ours,” he said, noting that he has Christian friends in Bethlehem and Ramallah who have told him that it has become difficult to live as a Christian under the PA.

“I don’t think that the people will agree to such a solution,” said Marcus, a 40-year-old Christian Quarter shopkeeper. “If Arafat comes here it will be a catastrophe,” he said. “The people who live here are the ones who are going to suffer, not the politicians.

“For Jack, a guard in the Armenian Quarter - the smallest of the four quarters in the Old City - which would remain under Israel sovereignty, freedom of movement between the quarters is vital. “We’re used to freedom of movement in all the quarters. Now if there are two police forces, how are we going to get around?” he asked. “Such a proposal will make daily life nearly impossible,” he explained.

This view is even echoed by the Muslim residents of Jerusalem (Jerusalem Post, August 2):

“Arab residents of Jerusalem speak with Etgar Lefkovitz who finds they are relieved that Camp David failed –

Reflecting the deep uncertainties that Jerusalem Arabs have about falling under Yasser Arafat’s sovereignty, news of the failure of the Camp David summit brought about varied reactions from residents from residents of the northern Jerusalem Arab neighbourhood of Shu’afat. Many of the Arab residents of this area - that was to come under partial or full Palestinian rule as part of an agreement - were clearly relieved that no agreement had been reached, saying that the status quo is preferable.

Watching President Bill Clinton’s announcement that the talks had failed to produce an agreement from the back room of his bakery, a 28-year-old baker, who preferred not to give his name, said that as far as he is concerned, it was just as well.

“We have been living in a state of uncertainty for days now, and I do not know what exactly the leaders agreed upon and what they did not but I was considering what would happen with my health insurance, and the social benefits we get from Israel. Those are the things, together with a good job, that are most important to me.”

The fact that many of Jerusalem’s Arab residents want to remain under Israeli rule because of the economic benefits is no secret to the Palestinian Authority. Fadal Tahabub, a Palestine National Council member and an east Jerusalem resident, has told the Jerusalem weekly Yerushalayim that in his estimate close to 70% of the 200,000 Jerusalem Arabs prefer Israeli sovereignty.

“Why should we give everything up and join forces with a country that is going to give us nothing in return?” asked a Shu’afat resident working in a minimarket. “When we go to Ramallah they treat us badly as if we were Israeli spies.””

On July 25, The Washington Post featured an article entitled, “Some Arabs Reluctant To Be Free Of Israel.”

The piece paints a picture of a Jerusalem-area Arab population not enthralled with the deal brewing in Camp David that would see Jerusalem-area Arab neighbourhoods transferred to Palestinian control. Some excerpts from the article follow:

“In an afternoon of more than 15 interviews with Palestinians in Beit Hanina ... a clear majority said they would prefer to remain under Israeli control rather than risk the economic and political uncertainties of Arafat’s Palestinian state-in-the-making.

“The hell of Israel is better than the paradise of Arafat,” said Abdulsamia Abu Sbeih, 57, a twinkly-eyed retired fishmonger in the eastern Jerusalem neighbourhood of Beit Hanina. “We know Israeli rule stinks, but sometimes we feel like Palestinian rule would be worse ... The Palestinian Authority is full of thieves.”

“...most of those interviewed spoke in blunt practical and at times vehement terms of the financial and social benefits of Israeli administration and contrasted them with Arafat’s record in the parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, he has ruled since 1994. Many said they want no part of the Palestinians’ notoriously corrupt administration, economic mismanagement and brutal, feuding, police...”

“Many also expressed fear of Arafat’s various security forces, whose penchant for staging gun battles with each other, shaking down unlucky citizens and roughing up anyone who crosses them have earned them the disdain of most Palestinians. “Our lives would change from a country that’s almost democratic to a country that talks about democracy but doesn’t have any,” said a college student named Mohammed, who declined to give his last name.

The ceding of such Arab neighbourhoods of Jerusalem to Yasser Arafat would be in direct contravention to the wishes of the residents of these areas.

  1. Maya Choshen / Jerusalem on the Map, Basic Facts and Trends 1967-1996 / The Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, 1998
  2. Leonard J Davis / Myths and Facts / Near East Report, 1989
  3. Ruth Lapidot & Ora Ahimeir / Freedom of Religion in Jerusalem / Jerusalem Institute For Israel Studies, 1999
  4. Eliyahu Tal / Whose Jerusalem? / International Forum For A United Jerusalem, 1994

Jerusalem / Israel Information Centre, 1999


  1. Israel Government Press Office
  2. The Jerusalem Post
  3. Ha’aretz
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