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Anomaly

Jerusalem as Capitol

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beatitude

I'm not from the US and I don't really know what Americans would consider 'big'. I've visited New York and Chicago, and Jerusalem is much smaller than those. Its population is about 900,000 people, so in demographic terms it's larger than Boston.

As for how it feels - this is very much shaped by the political situation. It feels like a patchwork of different communities, rather than one cohesive city, or a jigsaw where none of the pieces quite match. There is not just separation between Palestinians and Israelis; there is also separation within the Israeli community. For instance, Jerusalem is home to a sizeable community of ultra-Orthodox Jews, who have their own neighbourhoods and distinctive way of life. There is sometimes friction between them and secular Israelis, or Jews who practise a less stringent form of Judaism, and there isn't much interaction between them and the wider community. Then there is the Palestinian refugee community at Shuafat, and how they live and their experience of the situation is very different from that of Palestinians in the nearby East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Beit Hanina. People who don't live in Shuafat camp rarely have a reason to go in there. So there are several groups basically leading parallel lives in multiple 'Jerusalems'. There is overspill, of course - a lot of the workers doing jobs like street cleaning or stacking shelves in supermarkets in predominantly Jewish West Jerusalem are Palestinians. But they still don't really have any meaningful contact with Israelis; they do their jobs and then come home again. I am one of very few people I know who is comfortable going to all areas of the city, and it still jolts me when I'm asked by people who were born and raised there to describe places that are two miles from their front door and that they've never seen. The bus networks are separate: Palestinians tend to use Janoub buses, and Israelis tend to use Egged, even if the buses are going down the same roads. The buses are different colours. (Funny story: as I'm white and I can speak Hebrew, I am often mistaken for Israeli, and once I was waiting at a bus stop and chatting to an Israeli mother and her children. A Janoub bus came by and I flagged it down because I was headed for Bethlehem. The mother's face as I said goodbye and got on was a picture!)

The landscape varies. There are crowded and extremely poor urban neighbourhoods within easy walking distance of affluent, leafy areas that have a suburban, almost quasi-rural feel. It can be a jolt to pass between such different worlds in a short time. Then of course there is the Old City, which is what everyone imagines when they think of Jerusalem - ancient architecture and stonework, and narrow alleyways. But that is very small in relation to the rest of the city. So the atmosphere changes depending where you are. Of course, to a certain degree this is true of all cities, but in Jerusalem it is especially striking because the differences are so pronounced, and they are in such close proximity to one another.

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Era Might
1 hour ago, beatitude said:

I'm not from the US and I don't really know what Americans would consider 'big'. I've visited New York and Chicago, and Jerusalem is much smaller than those. Its population is about 900,000 people, so in demographic terms it's larger than Boston.

As for how it feels - this is very much shaped by the political situation. It feels like a patchwork of different communities, rather than one cohesive city, or a jigsaw where none of the pieces quite match. There is not just separation between Palestinians and Israelis; there is also separation within the Israeli community. For instance, Jerusalem is home to a sizeable community of ultra-Orthodox Jews, who have their own neighbourhoods and distinctive way of life. There is sometimes friction between them and secular Israelis, or Jews who practise a less stringent form of Judaism, and there isn't much interaction between them and the wider community. Then there is the Palestinian refugee community at Shuafat, and how they live and their experience of the situation is very different from that of Palestinians in the nearby East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Beit Hanina. People who don't live in Shuafat camp rarely have a reason to go in there. So there are several groups basically leading parallel lives in multiple 'Jerusalems'. There is overspill, of course - a lot of the workers doing jobs like street cleaning or stacking shelves in supermarkets in predominantly Jewish West Jerusalem are Palestinians. But they still don't really have any meaningful contact with Israelis; they do their jobs and then come home again. I am one of very few people I know who is comfortable going to all areas of the city, and it still jolts me when I'm asked by people who were born and raised there to describe places that are two miles from their front door and that they've never seen. The bus networks are separate: Palestinians tend to use Janoub buses, and Israelis tend to use Egged, even if the buses are going down the same roads. The buses are different colours. (Funny story: as I'm white and I can speak Hebrew, I am often mistaken for Israeli, and once I was waiting at a bus stop and chatting to an Israeli mother and her children. A Janoub bus came by and I flagged it down because I was headed for Bethlehem. The mother's face as I said goodbye and got on was a picture!)

The landscape varies. There are crowded and extremely poor urban neighbourhoods within easy walking distance of affluent, leafy areas that have a suburban, almost quasi-rural feel. It can be a jolt to pass between such different worlds in a short time. Then of course there is the Old City, which is what everyone imagines when they think of Jerusalem - ancient architecture and stonework, and narrow alleyways. But that is very small in relation to the rest of the city. So the atmosphere changes depending where you are. Of course, to a certain degree this is true of all cities, but in Jerusalem it is especially striking because the differences are so pronounced, and they are in such close proximity to one another.

Wow very interesting, kind of sounds like the American South before Civil Rights (the segregation was just as violent, churches being bombed, etc). I imagine the breakthrough in the the Middle East will be just as surprising, it will happen spontaneously. I think younger people today, say, 50 years from now, will have very different perceptions of the world. Contact is key, as you said, even just meeting in a restaurant, but young people today already have less hangups about interracial relationships, interreligious, etc. I think that will help in the Middle East as the old world dies off. Or maybe it won't, idk, but if it's going to happen I'd think it would be more likely to happen in Jerusalem then, say, Tehran. When you have people mixed up together, they have no choice but to either kill each other or live with each other, but they still have the choice. That's less likely in an isolated or homogeneous area.

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little2add

According to the New Testament account of the apostle Matthew, Joseph and Mary were living in Bethlehem in the southern region of Judea at the time of Jesus' birth and later moved to Nazareth in the northern Galilee region.
Bethlehem is a Palestinian town (about 30 miles) south of Jerusalem in the West Bank.
 

Screen_Shot_2017-12-14_at_6.35.31_PM.png  According to the New Testament, Jesus was crucified at a spot outside Jerusalem called Golgotha

if Jesus was born in Bethlehem does this make him a Palestinian or a jew or both by birth?  

Edited by little2add

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dominicansoul

 

On 12/11/2017 at 2:19 PM, Era Might said:

The funniest thing about all this is we're literally talking about invisible lines. Pretty much every human problem comes down to invisible lines. Nobody wants to lose their invisible lines because the lines were just as invisible when they re-drew them as they are today.

They really are invisible lines.  They don’t keep rockets from being fired from one side of the line to the other side.  

 

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CatherineM

Remind me about how Israel ended up with Jerusalem in the first place. If I remember correctly, Israel was the victim of a sneak attack, beat the aggressors in the resulting war, and kept land they won. 

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little2add

Jerusalem been the capital since Israel was founded in 1948.  Nearly 70 years ago

Trump didn’t make Jerusalem the capital of Israel any more than the U.N. made Israel the Jewish state. He simply acknowledged a fact.

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Anomaly
11 hours ago, little2add said:

Jerusalem been the capital since Israel was founded in 1948.  Nearly 70 years ago

Trump didn’t make Jerusalem the capital of Israel any more than the U.N. made Israel the Jewish state. He simply acknowledged a fact.

No, that is NOT true.    Jerusalem was intended by the creators / dividers of the British Palestine Mandate to have Jerusalem held by all/no single country and definitely not the capitol of any.   

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little2add

In 1948 the status of the capital of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and later annexed by Israel.

East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured and later annexed by Jordan.

West Jerusalem is Israel’s 

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Era Might
On 12/17/2017 at 3:44 PM, little2add said:

In 1948 the status of the capital of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and later annexed by Israel.

East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured and later annexed by Jordan.

West Jerusalem is Israel’s 

If a war 70-years ago is the basis of a claim, isn't the lesson: keep fighting, win a war, and you'll have just as much a claim as anyone. It's an interesting question that goes beyond policy, because the policy decision is, at the same time, a philosophy of history, of law, of society, etc. The idea of a "State" is something that is above, really, any truth or morality, because the State exists in and of itself. The State does not have to justify itself to the "common-wealth," it just has to refer to "reasons of state." Its claim is its force...the victors determine history.  It seems that part of the difficulty here is that the Israelis have a State, while the Palestinians are fighting solely as a people. The "two-state solution" would introduce some kind of parity, they would be able to relate state-to-state.  I don't know if it would solve the conflict, but it would at least make it a fair fight, and would recognize the right to existence on both sides...not just existence as people, but existence as political entitities, as states.

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Anastasia (L&T)
On 12/8/2017 at 8:23 AM, Era Might said:

That's the great dream of the Jews, to have a US embassy in Jerusalem? I think they'd want like peace or something.

The first rule of Jerusalem fight club is we don't talk about Jerusalem fight club.

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Kateri89

The decision to publicly announce Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol changes nothing other than to be a show of alliance with Israel.  The whole world seems to hate Trump anyway so why should this make any difference?  Every country has the right to move their embassy and now Guatemala is following in the footsteps of the US.  I think it’s fair to criticize the military strategies of both sides of the conflict but it’s an outright lie to claim that Jews stole the land from poor Palestinians.  Sephardic Jews were there at least as long as the Palestinians and European Jews legally purchased barren lands from absentee landlords in the 19th century.  It’s also important to remember the Palestinian support of Hitler during the Holocaust.  There is some measure of blame on both sides but it’s exhausting to hear people paint Israelis as purely evil and Palestinians as meek victims. 

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little2add

 When Christ was born the holy land was occupied by a foreign army, the Roman empire.  (we all know how that turned out )

 Strange that so much fighting and killing has gone on for centuries over this sacred ground 

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Era Might
5 hours ago, little2add said:

 When Christ was born the holy land was occupied by a foreign army, the Roman empire.  (we all know how that turned out )

 Strange that so much fighting and killing has gone on for centuries over this sacred ground 

But that's an arbitrary political judgment. Who is an occupier? Rome had as much claim on Jerusalem as the USA has on North America. Long after the Roman Empire collapsed the West claimed Jerusalem over Muslims and even over Jews.

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