Fact of the day - archive
- UN Resolution 242, adopted after the 1967 Six Day War, intentionally did not mention Jerusalem is its call for withdrawal to “secure and recognized borders”. Arthur Goldberg, former US Ambassador to the UN in 1967, testified to the deliberate omission of Jerusalem from the text.
- The wresting of Israeli control from Jerusalem is part of the Arab plan to destroy the Jewish state. After the breakdown of the Camp David peace talks, Yasser Arafat revealed his demand for PLO sovereignty over the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Temple Mount mosques, the Armenian Quarter and “Jerusalem in its entirety, entirety, entirety.”
- Every year, Jews commemorate a three-week mourning period, beginning with the 17th of Tammuz, the day the walls of Jerusalem were breached by the Romans in the 1st century CE, and culminating on the 9th of Av, the date of the destruction of the First and Second Temples.
- At Camp David, President Clinton suggested dividing the city up into a patchwork of different sovereignties. These parameters were completely unacceptable to Israel’s security establishment including the Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, Lt. General Shaul Mofaz. In fact, Mofaz reportedly stated that the Clinton Plan, if implemented, would "threaten the security of the state."
- Israel came into possession of eastern Jerusalem in a defensive war provoked against it by its Arab neighbours, launched from territory that was illegally occupied. State Department Legal Advisor Stephen Schwebel, who would later head the International Court of Justice in The Hague, argued in 1970 that "Israel has better title in the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of Jerusalem (emphasis added), than do Jordan and Egypt."
- At the July 2000 Camp David Summit, PA president Yasser Arafat refused to even accept the historical existence of a Jewish temple on the Temple Mount. He claimed that if it did indeed exist, it was built in Shechem (Nablus) or Arabia.
- Before 1967, Israeli Jerusalem comprised 38,000 dunams (9,500 acres) in size. After the June 1967, Israel annexed a further 64,000 dunams to the city. By the end of 1990s, the city area was increased to 126,000 dunams.
- After the outbreak of the Second Intifada, firing began from the PA town of Beit Jalla toward the Jewish neighbourhood of Gilo. The firing continued until 2005, injuring scores of residents and traumatizing thousands. This would only be a fraction of the attacks that would result from a divided city.
- Jewish and Arab neighbourhoods in Jerusalem coexist within several meters of proximity from each other. A division of the city along neighbourhood lines would lead to increased confrontation and attacks on the Jewish neighbourhoods.
- The oldest Jewish cemetery in the world is in Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives. There an over 150,000 graves there including the prophets Hagai, Zechariah and Malachi, the Gerrer Rebbes, Rav Kook and Menachem Begin.
- The name “Yerushalayim” is a contraction of two Biblical names: “Yir’a” (Awe or Seeing”) and “Shalem” (Complete).
- Speaking in 1947, David Ben-Gurion said: “No city in the world, not even Athens or Rome, ever played as great a role in the life of a nation for so long a time, as Jerusalem has done in the life of the Jewish people.”
- S.J. Agnon, upon receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1966 said: "As a result of the historic catastrophe in which Titus of Rome destroyed Jerusalem and Israel was exiled from its land, I was born in one of the cities of the Exile. But always I regarded myself as one who was born in Jerusalem."
- Jewish legal rights were irrevocably recognized in the San Remo conference of 1920 by unanimous agreement of the 51 members of the League of Nations. The territories it liberated in the defensive Six Day war give it better title to the land than any Arab entity.
- Between 1949 and 1967, Jerusalem was a city split by walls, barbed wire and machine guns. During that period, 25% of Jerusalem’s Jews fled the city.
- Today, Israeli Arab residents in eastern Jerusalem enjoy social security benefits valued at $10,000 per annum. Recent polls published by the Washington post show that 54% of eastern Jerusalem Arabs prefer to be under Israeli sovereignty. 40% would move to Israel is forced to be under a Palestinian state.
- After 1967, eastern Jerusalem’s Arab were offered Israeli citizenship, although most declined. Nonetheless, those who declined are still entitled to participate in municipal elections and enjoy the many benefits afforded Israeli citizens such as health benefits and social security.
- The UN General Assembly resolution 181 of November 1947 proposed that Jerusalem be an internationalized city. This was a non-binding proposal and as became null and void when the Arab states rejected it and went to war against Israel.
- Before the outbreak of the Six Day War, Israel warned Jordan that it would not be attacked if it did not join the assault on Israel. On June 5, 1967, an unprovoked Arab attack was launched on the Jewish-populated western neighborhoods of Jerusalem. Jordanian artillery bombarded Jewish schools, homes and religious sites across the 1949 armistice line.
- Throughout all of the foreign occupation of Jerusalem (Roman, 70 CE-324; Byzantine, 324-614; Persian, 614-640; Arab 640-1099; Crusader, 1099-1291; Mamluk, 1291-1516; and Ottoman Turk, 1516-1918), Jews were persecuted and endured severe hardships in the city. Nonetheless, they managed to maintain a presence in the city.
- There are more than 60 museums in Jerusalem.
- In the 8th century BCE, King Hezekiah built a tunnel to channel water into Jerusalem (II Chronicles 32: 3, 4; II Kings 20:20) enabling Judah to fend off the siege of Jerusalem by the Assyrians, in 701 B.C. Hezekiah's Tunnel, or the Siloam Tunnel, is one of the oldest human structures still in use today. In September 2003, Hezekiah's Tunnel became the first structure mentioned in the Bible to be confirmed conclusively by archaeologists.
- When Mark Twain visited Jerusalem in 1867, then under Ottoman rule, he wrote that Jerusalem had “become a pauper village.”
- Since the liberation of the Old City in 1967, Israel has allowed the Islamic wakf full jurisdiction over the Temple Mount. Between 1999 and 2001, the wakf, conducting illegal excavations on the Temple Mount, dumped more than 13,000 tons of rubble, containing artifcats and remains from the First and Second Temple periods, into the Kidron Valley.
- In 1980, the Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law, which declared that "Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel".
- The first new neighbourhood outside of the Old City walls, Mishkenot Shaananim, was established in the 1860s by British Jewish philanthropist Sir Moses Montefiore. The next neighbourhood, Machane Yisrael, was founded in 1867 by the leader of the Morrocan Jewish community.
- The only time that eastern Jerusalem was exclusively Arab was between 1948 and 1967 due to Jordan’s ethnic cleansing of Jews from the territory that it occupied. In 2011, half of the city’s Jews live in the eastern neighbourhoods, the total population of the eastern portion of the city equally divided between Jews and Arabs.
- For most of Arab history, Jerusalem languished as a backwater. It never served as a Muslim capital or center. Jerusalem "has known only two periods of true greatness, and these have been separated by 2,000 years. Greatness has only happened under Jewish rule," Leon and Jill Uris wrote in Jerusalem.
- The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, founded in 1925, is Israel’s top university and has been ranked one of the top universities worldwide. In the last decade, seven graduates of the University received the Nobel Prize and the Fields Medal.
- Israel annexed the eastern portion of Jerusalem in 1967 after it was liberated from Jordanian occupation.
- After the Arab states' rejection of UN Resolution 181 and, on December 11, 1948, UN Resolution 194, establishing the UN Conciliation Commission for Palestine, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion declared that Israel would no longer accept the internationalization of Jerusalem.
- Jerusalem has 1,578 public gardens and parks.
- Jerusalem is mentioned close to 700 times in the Jewish scriptures. By contrast, it is not even mentioned once in the Qur’an.
- The lion is the emblem of the municipality of Jerusalem.
- There are over 6,000 species of plants in the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens.
- In 2008, the median age of the city’s residents was 23. By way contrast, Tel Aviv and Haifa had median ages of 34 and 38, respectively. The median age of Israel's population as a whole was 29.
- In 2008, the Jewish population of Jerusalem reached close to half a million. The population of eastern Jerusalem is approximately 250,000 Jews and an equal number of Arabs.
- During Temple times, Jerusalem was the focal point of the three pilgrim festivals: Sukkot, Passover and Shavuot.
- There are 7 open gates in the Old City of Jerusalem.
- 5. Since Israel liberated Jerusalem in 1967, it has guaranteed free access for all religions. In the four decades since then, the Arab population of Jerusalem has quadrupled.
- 4. During Jordan’s occupation of Jerusalem, from 1948-1967, non-Muslims were denied religious freedoms and access to their holy sites. Between those years, 58 synagogues, some centuries old, were destroyed. Christians faced severe restrictions in practicing their religion as well.
- 3. Throughout the world, Jews turn towards Jerusalem three times a day in prayer. Every single Passover seder and Yom Kippur fast ends with the words: “Next Year in Jerusalem!”
- In modern times, Jews have constituted a majority of Jerusalem’s population since at least the 1840s. In 1844, Jews made up half of Jerusalem’s 15,000 people.
- Jerusalem was first established as the capital of the Jewish people by King David over 3,000 years ago.
- November 1947: "Palestine shall be filled with fire and blood if the Jews get any part of it" promised Jamal el-Husseini, member of the Supreme Arab Council
- Jerusalem never appears even once in the Koran. The prophet of Islam never once visited Jerusalem. There is only a Moslem legend that claims that Mohammed was brought to Jerusalem in the dark of night by the angel Gabriel.
- Until 1967, the Palestinians considered themselves to be an integral part of the Arab world and not as a separate nationality. Moreover, they never before claimed that Jerusalem was their capital.
- During Jordanian rule over Jerusalem (1948 – 1967) the city was gravely neglected and closed to Jews and Christians. Today, the city flourishes and is open to all religions.
- Jerusalem was never the capital of any other nation in history except for the Jews.
- Today there are 225,000 Jews living in East Jerusalem, half the total population of the Eastern part of the city.
- Since Israel united Jerusalem in 1967, the Arab population has quadrupled, and Jerusalem has become an open international city embracing all religions.
- There has been a Jewish presence in Jerusalem for 3,000 years and a Jewish majority since at least 1844.