The true test of a Zionist and of Zionism generally lies with the answer to a single question, where does your heart lie when you think of a Jewish State. There is but one acceptable answer, ‘My heart lies with Jerusalem and with the building within of the Temple, the Throne of G0d.’ This is true as we proclaim every year at the end of our Passover Seder in every Jewish home, “Next year in Jerusalem.” The final truth lies within Psalms in the powerful words within the lines to the “Song of Babylon” written in Psalm 137 which reads:
1) By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
2) Upon the willows in the midst thereof we hanged up our harps.
3) For there they that led us captive asked of us words of song, and our tormentors asked of us mirth.
4) How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a foreign land?
5) If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
6) Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I fail to count Jerusalem the greatest of all my joys.
7) Remember, O LORD, against the children of Edom the day of Jerusalem; who said: ‘Raze it, raze it, even to the foundation thereof.’
8) O daughter of Babylon, you will be destroyed! A blessing on anyone who pays you back for the way you treated us!
9) A blessing on anyone who seizes your babies and smashes them against a rock!
This is the test which the new Israeli government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu as there will be calls from much of Europe and the Western World with a few notable exceptions; Canada will oppose such a demand be lain upon Israel for as long as Stephen Harper remains their Prime Minister and likely carried on for as long as his Conservative Party holds on to power in the Canadian elections. There is also a strong possibility that Great Britain will also not favor the division of Jerusalem providing the Israelis put forward a strong face of determination to never allow the dividing of their Capital City or the loss of the Temple Mount and all the importance which that holds. Other than these two it would fall to any conservative or traditional party to take the lead for any other nation to oppose such a demand. The crux of why this may become an immediate crisis belongs to President Barack Obama who as the leader of the United States will be left to direct and dictate the manner that United States Ambassador Samantha Power will vote and whether or not she would utilize the United States veto power to block any Security Council Resolutions which would call for Israel to return to the Green Line which describes the armistice lines from the 1948 – 1949 War launched by over a half dozen Arab States to annihilate the nascent State of Israel which divided Jerusalem. Many wish to demand that Israel grant Eastern Jerusalem to the Arabs to use as the capital for their state, ignoring the fact that Israel annexed the entirety of Jerusalem after reuniting the two halves of Jerusalem in 1967 and by doing so included all the Arab residents who had resided under the Jordanian occupation permanent resident status which makes the individual to hold all rights as an Israeli citizen with the exception of political rights. The Israelis actually are only required to grant any Arabs or other non-Jews all rights but withhold political rights according to the San Remo Conference and the British Mandate, both included as valid by the United Nations Charter in Article 80. Israel went as far as to grant the former Jordanian citizens who were included in the reunification annexation of Eastern Jerusalem partial political rights when they were permitted voting rights in Jerusalem city elections. This one further indication proving that all of Jerusalem belongs to Israel and it will never be permitted peaceably to be torn in half; to this too do we say “Never Again!”
Any government which would permit the division of Jerusalem will find itself on the wrong side of the people of Israel who in polling have supported and demanded that Jerusalem remain unified and the Capital City of Israel for this time and forevermore into the future and never ending usually surpassing 75% and even reaching over 90% in numerous local polling. Thus we can easily conclude that any platform which supports the division of Jerusalem as one of their main planks in their platform can forget gaining a majority no matter what their social programs or other money promised to particular groups in order to convert their opposition to splitting Jerusalem muted while they are a part of the coalition such a party might manage to make. The problem is that such a government would be extremely unstable for as soon as a vote came to permit the splitting of Jerusalem or the making of Jerusalem an ‘International City’ presumably managed and run by an agency of the United Nations the promises made not to vote against such a resolution brought before the Knesset would probably not be honored by a significant number of Ministers from such parties who would vote against any such resolution. Furthermore, the Israeli Supreme Court has recognized the annexation of Jerusalem and thus they also might step in to invalidate anything passed through the Knesset and signed by the Prime Minister making any such deal void and without support by the government without opposing the Supreme Court and facing dissolution of the government and new elections. This would place the central issue of the ensuing campaign the division of Jerusalem and losing any possibility that the rights of Jews to visit holy sites in the Old City and around and on the Temple Mount as once the Arabs have control over Eastern Jerusalem such attempts by Jews to visit these sights would result in their death as soon as they were identified. This situation itself, and such extremes required to visit other holy sites described above, are sufficient to reject any proposal for peace which would preclude access by any Israeli to the Temple Mount or the numerous holy sites of Judea and Samaria.
That brings up the other point which is often claimed about the universality of the holy sites and their access being guaranteed for all peoples. This was part of the claim made when the IDF was pulled from Hevron and the majority of the city was relegated to Arab control. This required the strong presence of Israeli security personnel to keep the Cave of the Patriarchs, the Cave of Machpelah, in order to make it safe for Israelis to visit this holy site. The worst case scenario comes from Joseph’s Tomb, Kever Yoseph (Hebrew: קבר יוסף) which is located in the outskirts of Nablus and is completely within Arab areas of control, as they enjoy an almost completely autonomous region within the parts of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) of Area A and B, which according to all agreements is a place of holy pilgrimage or visitation for prayers and other religious purposes and is set apart as to be made available and safe passage to and from this holy place of great importance to the Jews. The reality is something completely different. There is one visit permitted each month, with permitted being very loosely defined, which is arranged by the IDF were one or two busses, heavily armored made bullet proof and strongly reinforced to withstand mines, and a convoy of IDF troops fully armed for security who escort the few fortunate visitors to the tomb somewhat after midnight and steal away back to the safety of Israeli governed lands making very sure they have left at least an hour before sunrise. Even with this covert action there have been times when the convoy was set upon and for reasons of security the trip is cancelled and a retreat to safety becomes the main objective. The trip can be cancelled right before they were to depart if IDF intelligence reports that trouble such as an ambush is a definitive probability. Part of the time spent at each visit is used to cleanup and repair as much of the destruction done to the tomb since the previous month’s visit, whether it was a single month or three or more months since the last visit. The tomb is violated every time after the Israelis try to make it presentable and given the honor it deserves and the Arabs apparently do similarly but have little respect or honor felt towards Kever Yoseph.
The manner and security required for visits to Joseph’s tomb, Rachel’s Tomb, Kever Rachel (Hebrew: קבר רחל), which is a place where women will visit for special prayers the first of each Hebrew calendar month and also require heavy security as it is located northern outskirts of Bethlehem which is within the disputed areas and under shared Arab and Israeli security and Arab semi-autonomous rule and this often leads to the Jewish women being assaulted with rocks and other items hurled at them which most often do not strike within the high walls placed around Rachel’s grave and the women are completely safe within the rebuilt dome which grants them freedom from assault as they pray and neaten the area making the tomb a more honored place. This would be the requirement and limitations placed on the Temple Mount and the Western and other walls of the Temple Mount, the final point of defense in days which are hopefully permanently behind us as Jerusalem deserves a future free of strife and sacking as has been its unfortunate history and may Jerusalem never again feel deserted by her faithful servants whose hearts are gladdened by a visit to her ancient walls and its grasping for a degree of modernity. Israel must demand that all of Jerusalem remain under complete Israeli rule as it has only been since June 1967 that every religion is permitted their rights to visit the Temple Mount and witness the city, both its centuries old buildings intermixed in areas with modern structure thankfully mostly in a style which has them more blend than clash with their surroundings. Let us end with the most remembered lines from Psalm 137 lines 5 and 6 as they speak strongly and resonate at least in this Israeli’s heart, mind and especially and primarily my soul.
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I fail to count Jerusalem the greatest of all my joys.
Beyond the Cusp