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Anomaly

Jerusalem as Capitol

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little2add
7 hours ago, Era Might said:

the West claimed Jerusalem over Muslims and even over Jews.

The west has no claim, never has, never will

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Era Might
13 hours ago, little2add said:

The west has no claim, never has, never will

They did have a claim, for centuries, backed by the swords of crusaders, kings and popes. St. Paul was a Roman citizen (though he was from Damascus, not Jerusalem, but still part of the Roman empire). The fact that the USA unilaterally moved its embassy to Jerusalem is about staking its claim there, apart from the rest of the world. Some would argue we are in a new Cold War, everyone carving out their territory. The UK has pulled out of the European Union. Russia annexed Crimea. Rulers like Trump, Duterte (Philippines), Marine Le Pen (France) have reasserted nationalism. The US decided to make this move despite the opposition of the entire world (minus countries like Guatemala, a country where the USA once overthrew a democratically elected president, and poor Honduras, which had a coup of its own just 8 years ago and is in the midst of its own struggle against reactionary conservatism).

My point being, once we step away from treating Jerusalem/Israel as a "Holy Land" we can begin to see all the geopolitical factors at play. The USA made a decision...okay, let's just look at it clearly and not assume that a decision has to be right or wrong. It just is, and the clearer we see it for what it is, the less we have to turn Jerusalem into an ideological battleground. But when virtually the entire world votes against something, it might be worth paying attention to.

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little2add

City of Peace

The very name “Jerusalem” comes from the Hebrew root for shalom, the word for peace (ש.ל.מ = Sh.l.m.), which you can hear a bit better when you say it the Hebrew way: “Yerushalayim”. Interestingly, the verb “to pay” is from the very same root word – leShalem. A payment or transaction in return for goods given restores peace between the two parties, making things right. Shalem in Hebrew also means “complete”, and shalom, as we have said, means peace. So you can see that the root word behind the name of God’s chosen city is rich with meaning, especially for us who believe that Yeshua paid for our sins, in order to make things right with God and to restore peace between us and Him… and He did all this in Jerusalem.

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Era Might
14 hours ago, little2add said:

City of Peace

The very name “Jerusalem” comes from the Hebrew root for shalom, the word for peace (ש.ל.מ = Sh.l.m.), which you can hear a bit better when you say it the Hebrew way: “Yerushalayim”. Interestingly, the verb “to pay” is from the very same root word – leShalem. A payment or transaction in return for goods given restores peace between the two parties, making things right. Shalem in Hebrew also means “complete”, and shalom, as we have said, means peace. So you can see that the root word behind the name of God’s chosen city is rich with meaning, especially for us who believe that Yeshua paid for our sins, in order to make things right with God and to restore peace between us and Him… and He did all this in Jerusalem.

There are no "God's chosen cities" in the modern international order. Not Jerusalem. Not Washington. Not Rome. Not anyone. The problem with using theology for politics is you can twist it however you want. If we wanted to, we could say Christ foretold the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD and pronounced judgment on it until the New Jerusalem is established when Christ returns. I don't believe that, but, it's a perfectly legitimate theological argument...which has no place in politics. Jerusalem is just another city in the world, with real people living in it. That's the only thing that should be considered internationally. (And I also don't think Palestinians should be viewed favorably just because they are Christian...they're all human, regardless of their religion).

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Kateri89
1 hour ago, Era Might said:

There are no "God's chosen cities" in the modern international order. Not Jerusalem. Not Washington. Not Rome. Not anyone. The problem with using theology for politics is you can twist it however you want. If we wanted to, we could say Christ foretold the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD and pronounced judgment on it until the New Jerusalem is established when Christ returns. I don't believe that, but, it's a perfectly legitimate theological argument...which has no place in politics. Jerusalem is just another city in the world, with real people living in it. That's the only thing that should be considered internationally. (And I also don't think Palestinians should be viewed favorably just because they are Christian...they're all human, regardless of their religion).

Yes but to be fair, a large part of the debate over Jerusalem is precisely because of its theological significance; not simply from a Jewish perspective, but also from a Christian and Muslim perspective.  If it didn’t hold any religious meaning, there would probably be far less violence and bloodshed over it.

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Era Might
10 minutes ago, Kateri89 said:

Yes but to be fair, a large part of the debate over Jerusalem is precisely because of its theological significance; not simply from a Jewish perspective, but also from a Christian and Muslim perspective.  If it didn’t hold any religious meaning, there would probably be far less violence and bloodshed over it.

Within Jerusalem itself, yes, completely understand that. That's true anywhere. All of our social lives are attached to myths, stories, sacred taboos, etc. (secular or religious). But, none of that should factor in to any international order. The only consideration should be: how can we create a peaceful co-existence in the region. Maybe we can't...I don't think every international problem can be solved, in which case everyone pursues their own interests with the situation that exists.

I'm also not so sure that religion is "really" the cause of violence and bloodshed. On a surface level, maybe, but when you get down to it, when you stop looking at the world theologically, we're all just human beings. We want food, water, work, family, dignity, justice. God causes his sun to shine on the just and on the unjust. We can either look at Jerusalem as an ancient city with unsolvable enmities, or we can look at it as an ancient city that must learn from its past and find a new way forward. Look at Europe...it faced the same decision. Once Europe ended its religious wars, it turned to state empires, building them up until they destroyed each other in WWI and WWII. Then, Europe was forced to start thinking internationally...and maybe the biggest symbol of that was the fall of the Berlin wall. We live in a time of new wall-building (literally, in America's case).

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little2add
7 hours ago, Era Might said:

Jerusalem is just another city in the world

Au contraire ,  Jerusalem is unlike any another city in the world

Jerusalem, a Middle Eastern city west of the Dead Sea, has been a place of pilgrimage and worship for Jews, Christians and Muslims since the biblical era. Its Old City has significant religious sites around the Temple Mount compound, including the Western Wall (sacred to Judaism), the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (a Christian pilgrimage site) and the Dome of the Rock (a 7th-century Islamic shrine with a gold dome).

Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital.  So what is the harm? 

Edited by little2add

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Era Might
15 hours ago, little2add said:

Au contraire ,  Jerusalem is unlike any another city in the world

Jerusalem, a Middle Eastern city west of the Dead Sea, has been a place of pilgrimage and worship for Jews, Christians and Muslims since the biblical era. Its Old City has significant religious sites around the Temple Mount compound, including the Western Wall (sacred to Judaism), the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (a Christian pilgrimage site) and the Dome of the Rock (a 7th-century Islamic shrine with a gold dome).

Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital.  So what is the harm? 

Sounds like any other city to me. Old buildings, people who like living there, and ethnic tensions.

What's the harm? Of people making geopolitical claims because their god slaughtered your god thousands of years ago, or because their prophet walked on local sand? What I think is most interesting about your description of Jerusalem is the fact that it includes 3 religions. The city has apparently learned to live with 3 different religions. I guess all it has to do now is learn to live with 2 different peoples, Israelis and Palestinians. Other cities have done it, and are still trying to do it. Jerusalem is completely ordinary...we need to reject any kind of mystical significance to Jerusalem or its problems. It has the same problems as Boston, Moscow and Paris, Texas. We aren't here to play out our interpretations of biblical prophecy in Jerusalem. (Speaking of Boston, we know in America what that turns into...the Puritans imagined their new home as a "city set upon a hill"...it ended in the gallows of the Salem Witch Trials).

Edited by Era Might

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little2add

The fact is that Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital.   Whether or not the US has its embassy located there is irrelevant 

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Kurt

The Holy Father denounced this move by Trump.  The Catholic Church teaches that Jerusalem should belong to no one nation or religion but be internationalized.  

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little2add

Jerusalem has stood at the center of the Jewish people's national and spiritual life since King David made it the capital of his kingdom in 1003 BCE.

The city remained the capital of the Davidic dynasty for 400 years, until the kingdom was conquered by the Babylonians. Following the return from the Babylonian exile in 538 BCE, Jerusalem again served as the capital of the Jewish people in its land for the next five and a half centuries.

With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Jerusalem became once more the capital of a sovereign Jewish state.

BTW: Throughout the millennia of its existence, Jerusalem has never been the capital of any other sovereign nation.

Edited by little2add

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Anomaly

Israel can exist without Jerusalem as it’s capitol. 

Israel would have more international support if it did not want to claim all of Jerusalem as belonging to Isreal exclusively. 

It is simply not a practical necessity to Israel.  

Edited by Anomaly

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Era Might
5 hours ago, little2add said:

Jerusalem has stood at the center of the Jewish people's national and spiritual life since King David made it the capital of his kingdom in 1003 BCE.

The city remained the capital of the Davidic dynasty for 400 years, until the kingdom was conquered by the Babylonians. Following the return from the Babylonian exile in 538 BCE, Jerusalem again served as the capital of the Jewish people in its land for the next five and a half centuries.

With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Jerusalem became once more the capital of a sovereign Jewish state.

BTW: Throughout the millennia of its existence, Jerusalem has never been the capital of any other sovereign nation.

Ancient Israel was not a sovereign nation. According to the Hebrew Bible, Yahweh himself scourged Israel with war and captivity. And he did it because they wanted to be a sovereign nation, they wanted to be in control. The Hebrew prophets denounced Israel time and time again. And in the prophets we also see a visionary look to the future, when the gentiles would be gathered in as well. The modern idea of a "sovereign nation" has nothing to do with ancient theocracies. Our idea of a sovereign nation was a way to get away from theocracies. The state exists in and of itself, whereas, for ancient Israel, Jerusalem was only a promised land, provided that the Jews kept their promises. When they didn't, they were scattered. This is one reason why Evangelicals are obsessed with Israel, they see the coming together of the Jews as a sign that God is gathering back together what he has scattered, in preparation for the End Times.

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little2add
2 hours ago, Era Might said:

he did it because they wanted to be a sovereign nation

really, all this time I thought it was something to do with not following the first commandment and idolatry.   What do ya know.

Edited by little2add

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Era Might
35 minutes ago, little2add said:

really, all this time I thought it was something to do with not following the first commandment and idolatry.   What do ya know.

Exactly. The sovereign state exists in and of itself. Not even God himself judges the state. This is a modern idea...even in the West, the church could once judge the civil power, there was no state as such. If Israel wants to recreate the Davidic kingdom go ahead, but as long as it's a modern state, don't bring up Yahweh to make modern political arguments. Yahweh was no respecter of persons or capitols. 

Edited by Era Might

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Kateri89

I can’t help but feel that this is all a bit hypocritical.  Muslims have claim over Mecca and Catholics have the Vatican.  Jews can’t declare Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel?  Netanyahu personally extended an olive branch to Christian pilgrims wanting to tour the Holy Land next Christmas by offering to personally accompany them and show them the historic sites.  There are practicing Muslims in Jerusalem as well so declaring Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel doesn’t change the religious diversity of the city.

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Era Might
On 1/5/2018 at 5:31 PM, Kateri89 said:

I can’t help but feel that this is all a bit hypocritical.  Muslims have claim over Mecca and Catholics have the Vatican.  Jews can’t declare Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel?  Netanyahu personally extended an olive branch to Christian pilgrims wanting to tour the Holy Land next Christmas by offering to personally accompany them and show them the historic sites.  There are practicing Muslims in Jerusalem as well so declaring Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel doesn’t change the religious diversity of the city.

Not entirely accurate. Saudi Arabia controls Mecca and the Holy See controls the Vatican. They are states, not religions. In the case of the Vatican, it was a concession from the new unified Italy. It was also a recognition that the church had no more claim over Italian territory (Papal States). In the case of Mecca, there are Muslims from all over the world, but Mecca is part of Saudi Arabia. The Catholic church didn't get the Vatican with also conceding territory...maybe a lesson for Israel. Or maybe not, because the church was the one in a weaker position with the Italian state, whereas the Palestinians are in a position similar to the church, a people surrounded by a state that has claimed its land as its own.

Edited by Era Might

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little2add

 

2956_B021-8387-4458-_B52_E-_B720_C652582

 

On Nov. 29, 1947, the U.N. adopted a proposal establishing Jerusalem, as marked by the red line, as "a corpus separatum under a special international regime." But the war of 1948 left the city divided between Israeli (blue) and Jordanian (beige) control. 

 

 

0_AFFE148-99_E1-485_D-8019-1_FE0_FA27010

 

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Kateri89
13 hours ago, Era Might said:

Not entirely accurate. Saudi Arabia controls Mecca and the Holy See controls the Vatican. They are states, not religions. In the case of the Vatican, it was a concession from the new unified Italy. It was also a recognition that the church had no more claim over Italian territory (Papal States). In the case of Mecca, there are Muslims from all over the world, but Mecca is part of Saudi Arabia. The Catholic church didn't get the Vatican with also conceding territory...maybe a lesson for Israel. Or maybe not, because the church was the one in a weaker position with the Italian state, whereas the Palestinians are in a position similar to the church, a people surrounded by a state that has claimed its land as its own.

I also feel the need to add something of significance to this, though.  When I speak of the Jews governing Jerusalem, my point is that Israel is a Jewish-majority state and Israel should have full governance of Jerusalem as its capitol.  Not that the Jewish religion should govern it, but that the Jewish-majority state of Israel should.  It’s also worth mentioning that Mecca is barred to all non-Muslims and that any of us who breach that ban face the risk of punishment up to and including death.  If more people are angry about the religiously diverse city of Jerusalem being declared the capitol of Israel than they are about the ban of non-Muslims from Mecca, that speaks volumes.  I would never assert that Israel is perfect but the constant attempts to malign it are inconsiderate of the far greater grievances of other embattled nations.  I’m not accusing you specifically of doing this but it’s everywhere.

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Era Might
10 hours ago, Kateri89 said:

I also feel the need to add something of significance to this, though.  When I speak of the Jews governing Jerusalem, my point is that Israel is a Jewish-majority state and Israel should have full governance of Jerusalem as its capitol.  Not that the Jewish religion should govern it, but that the Jewish-majority state of Israel should.  It’s also worth mentioning that Mecca is barred to all non-Muslims and that any of us who breach that ban face the risk of punishment up to and including death.  If more people are angry about the religiously diverse city of Jerusalem being declared the capitol of Israel than they are about the ban of non-Muslims from Mecca, that speaks volumes.  I would never assert that Israel is perfect but the constant attempts to malign it are inconsiderate of the far greater grievances of other embattled nations.  I’m not accusing you specifically of doing this but it’s everywhere.

I honestly know nothing about Israel. I'm only interested on this from the angle of US policy (and geopolitics in general). The problem I have, as an outsider looking in, is that there is an inequality at play here. Israel is a state. The Palestinians have no state. So, regardless of how much it's maligned, it still has a state. It has the internationally recognized authority of life and death, and all the other powers that go with being a sovereign state. If the Palestinians fight for themselves, they are necessarily terrorists and rebels, because they don't have a state. How can you have two sides come together equally when one is a state and the other is just a people? It's like the US government negotiating with the Indians, one of the sad events of human history.

I'm only guessing, but I imagine the Palestinians would rather have a state with part of Jerusalem as its capitol, than have a "religiously diverse" city where they are welcomed by concession and largesse rather than by international right. If Israel wants to be a modern Western state, then it should be held to the same standards that we hold the US (well, not that we hold the US to many standards in reality, but at least in theory...Saudi Arabia is a US ally).

If we are judging the situation in the Middle East by who "belongs" there then I think it's pretty clear that both Jews and Palestinians "belong" there. A two-state solution seems the obvious way forward. Am I wrong?

Edited by Era Might

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