Claiming Jerusalem

Of all the cities in the world, there is none more sacred than the holy city of Jerusalem. Yet, it is this most sacred city that brings up a very famous conflict that stretches back to the Middle Ages and exists even to this day. It is a conflict over who owns Jerusalem and what rights they have.

Sacred Muslim Dome of the Rock

To understand this conflict, we must know its background. Why did this conflict even exist in the first place? One can infer obviously that this is a religious conflict, but it is not a conflict between two minor religions. Rather it is a conflict between three of the world’s greatest religions, which all happen to be monotheistic and interrelated with each other: Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. The first of the three to exist was Judaism, which its believers treasure this holy city due to the fact that it was the ancestral homelands of the Jews. It is mentioned in the Jewish bible tons of times, and not only that, the only wall that is left of the old Jerusalem is right in that city. For Christians, Jerusalem is treasured because it is where Jesus died. And for Muslims, it is believed that Mohammed ascended to heaven at the sacred Dome of the Rock, which is coincidentally located in the holy city. All in all, it is basically a conflict between three major religions.

The well-known Crusades were done for this reason.There has been at least 16 historical sieges of the holy city. (Including one in which a Roman emperor who I happen to share the same name with led the siege.) All of these were done for mostly religious reasons. But recently, this conflict is shifting from religious to political. Currently, Palestine and Israel are fighting over this city, mostly for religion. Israel (mostly Jew) has already seized some control over parts of Jerusalem, due to fear that if Palestine (mostly Muslim) controlled Jerusalem, it would restrict the freedom to worship there. However, many other countries have stepped into this conflict, politicizing it. The United States, for instance, has backed Israel more in fear of Palestine’s terrorists. Russia has decided to back Palestine and support a Palestinian Jerusalem.

Many entities of course want to end this very long dispute. France has suggested making Jerusalem a two-state capital between Israel and Palestine, dividing the city in half. A more popular solution by the United Nations is to make Jerusalem an international city. But whatever solutions others nation propose, so far Israel and Palestine are not accepting it.

So the big question is what to do with Jerusalem: give it away to the Jews, Muslims, or Christians? Or accept other proposals by other countries? My opinion on this is just to forget all about this. Yes, Jerusalem is a holy city. Yes, it is sacred to three major religions. But when regarding religion, is it not more of a spiritual matter than a physical matter? What I am basically saying is that if they truly wanted
Jerusalem for religious reasons, then they are hypocrites. They are too concerned with the material possessions, with the worldly things. Rather, the most important Jerusalem is the one in one’s spirit. That is the true Jerusalem they need. I mean, it’s not like they need to go to Jerusalem in order to contact God. In fact, all three religions (and by the way I’m Christian) believe that you can contact God anywhere anytime as long as you have the spirit and will to do so.

I sort of feel that all this fighting is just lame. Because all those people are not getting to the true point- it’s spiritual, not physical.


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