US Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital: A Travesty of History

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To understand Trump’s policy reversal in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel requires understanding the character of Zionism and Jerusalem as part of a “messianic” “Greater Israel”, as well as the historical relationship between this ancient pre-Israelite city and the many peoples of the region.

Donald Trump was elected on the wave of a populist backlash. Like his predecessor, Barack Obama, he promised to roll back the USA’s global intervention, which does, after all, have more in common with Wilsonian Democratic internationalism than traditional Republican—Robert Taft—“America First” non-intervention. Indeed, Trump’s slogan of “America First” got the oligarchic and liberal cabals very nervous, recalling the non-interventionist movement in the USA prior to the Pearl Harbor. Like Obama’s promises, Trump’s were short-lived. Trump’s supposedly “America First” victory was quickly discarded, as the USA retained its position as the standard-bearer of a messianic mission to impose a global “American millennia,” and overtly “American millennialists” replaced the first rung of Trump appointees in quick succession.

With Jared Kushner, an arch-Zionist, not only as the President’s son-in-law but as a nepotistic-type key adviser, “America First” was not going to be an easy choice, especially when Zionists and pro-Zionist so-called “neocons” have bamboozled many into thinking that the destinies of the USA and Israel are synonymous, and the two are joined at the hip.

Hence, the Israel First lobbies attained a long-held and primary Zionist dream, to have the USA recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The reaction from Palestinians was of course, predictable, and this is not intended as a critical implication. Why should they, and indeed all Muslims, not be outraged? What should also be asked is: why are Christians also not outraged? The latter can be answered by the generations-old undermining of traditional Christian theology in the conjoining of two normally antithetical words “Judaeo” and “Christian.”

There is no “Judaeo-Christian heritage.” Even the practices under which Jesus was raised in Galilee were anathema to Judaic orthodoxy. One might discern the seedbed of Christianity and the teachings of Jesus within “Galilee of the Gentiles” and why his teachings were regarded with outrage by the Pharisaic priesthood. One can also discern why there has been such a hatred of Christianity and Jesus in the rabbinical teachings of the Talmud[1] and elsewhere. The phenomenon of such an oddity as “Christian Zionism” is for Zionists and the Orthodox rabbinate (which should not be confounded with Reform Judaism) nothing more than the equivalent of a “shabbez goy,” a Gentile hired by Orthodox Jews to undertake menial tasks on the Sabbath. “Judaeo-Christianity” only exists in the minds of craven Gentiles who embrace delusional creeds, or who wish to further their careers by making the correct noises to the right people.

Evelyn Kaye, who wrote of her experiences being raised as an Orthodox Jewess, stated of attitudes towards Christians: “We learned nothing of the spread of Christianity, or its development. We heard nothing of Christian suffering in defense of faith. We were kept in ignorance of the times when Christians and Jews and Muslims managed to live peaceably together. I absorbed the idea that as soon as Jesus had arrived and started Christianity, Jews were persecuted for ever after.”[2] In common parlance, those who adhere to “Judaeo-Christianity” and “Christian-Zionism” are suckers. There is no such notion among Jews or Zionists. The mere notion is anathema.

Jesus was a Galilean. At the time, Galilee encompassed much of Palestine as one of three regions, the others being Judea and Samaria. Jesus spent most of his life in Galilee, and much of his ministry was there. When Israel was conquered by the Assyrians in 733 BC, the Israelites were exiled, and replaced by others, as was the Assyrian practice of conquest. When the Hasmoneans[3] conquered Galilee the non-Isrealitish Galileans were forced to convert to Judaism. Thus, in Jesus’ time most Galilean “Jews” could only trace the Judaism of their forefathers back a century. A “Galilean” was defined by the rest of Israel as an “outsider.” Whatever the ethnicity, the theologian Frederick Bruner, writes:

Galilee was not just geographically far from Jerusalem; it was considered spiritually and politically far, too. Galilee was the most pagan of the Jewish provinces, located as it was at the northernmost tier of Palestine. This distance from Zion was not only geographic; Galileans were considered by Judaeans to sit rather loosely to the law and to be less biblically pure than those in or near Jerusalem.[4]

Another reputable reference states:

The population of Galilee was composed of strangely mingled elements—Aramaean, Iturean, Phoenician and Greek. In the circumstances, they could not be expected to prove such sticklers for high orthodoxy as the Judeans. Their mixed origin explains the differences in speech which distinguished them from their brethren in the South, who regarded Galilee and the Galileans with a certain proud contempt.[5]

Whatever else one might say, such a background seems to explain the deadly animosity that existed between Jesus and the Pharisees, the priestly class from which today’s Orthodox rabbinate claims descent. It explains why Jesus’s teachings were regarded as blasphemy by the Pharisees, and why the early Christians did not practice the strictures of the dietary and other such codes of the Torah for example. In short, there is no “Judaeo-Christian heritage.” This subversive “Judaeo-Christian” theology was victorious over the Catholic Church, under the influence of Jules Isaac, when Vatican II annulled the traditional Catholic doctrines towards Judaism and its traditional prayers for the conversion of the Jews to Christianity.[6] Within Protestantism, the notion of “Judaeo-Christianity” was always there, despite Martin Luther’s polemic, the unsubtly titled On the Jews and Their Lies. The USA was founded by Puritans, Free-Masons and Deists.[7] Puritanism identified with Old Israel. It did so in Cromwell’s England and in the American colonies. The focus was on the Old Testament as it is among Protestant sects today that are most avid in their support of Israel. Oliver Cromwell was regarded in messianic terms by Jewry. He and his Puritan regicides were establishing an “English Zion”:

The first half of the seventeenth century saw a modest change in English attitudes towards Jews thanks to the Puritans’ high regard for the Hebrew scriptures and their contempt for Hellenism and paganism. There was a fashion for biblical Hebrew names. Paul, Peter, Anne and Mary were out; Habakkuk, Amos, Enoch, Rebecca and Sarah were in. A Hebrew dictionary (the most complete to date) was produced by the parliamentarian Edward Leigh. The poet and pamphleteer John Milton recommended the teaching of Hebrew in English grammar schools. And in 1653, a radical overhaul of English law was proposed, including the institution of Mosaic Law, with England modelled on biblical Israel. Although nothing ever came of the idea, there was still a drive to create a godly society— an English Zion—where pagan holidays and festivities (Christmas, maypole dancing etc.) were abolished.[8]

Dr. Gerhard Falk, a professor of sociology at Buffalo University, and author of books on Jewish issues, gives a Jewish view on the founding of the American colonies by Puritans on Judaic principles:

In New England these Pilgrims, as they called themselves, founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony, which they organized according to their understanding of the Five Books of Moses and other Jewish themes. They believed that they were the Children of Israel and therefore sought to live by the commandments of God as found in the Torah. Like the Jews, the Puritans enrolled all their children in school so that they could read the word of God, i.e. the Bible…

In the end, the King James Bible was printed and distributed in 1611. There are apparently numerous errors in that translation. Yet, it was this Bible which gave Englishmen access to Jewish history and led the Puritans to establish Israel in the New World. They called Massachusetts “the new Zion” and made every effort to follow the commands of the Torah as they understood them. The Pilgrims also used the Hebrew language when naming towns and villages, such as Medina, meaning community, or Salem, meaning peace. The Puritans also used Hebrew names, including Jacob, Israel, Moses, Joshua, etc.

In 1641 the Puritans adopted a legal code in Massachusetts and in 1650 in Connecticut. These codes were directly taken from the Torah, including Sabbath observance. Puritans believed, like ancient Israel, that they were ruled directly by God and therefore abolished all hierarchies in religion.[9]

Interestingly Dr. Falk regards the “Evangelical Christians” as more avidly pro-Israel than American Jews, and refers to “fifty five million are Christian Zionists.” (This might partly explain President Trump’s zeal for Israel). Falk continues:

The Puritan tradition in the United States is by no means dead or abandoned. It lives on in the Evangelical (Ev = good and angel = messenger, hence Evangelic means good message) movement in American Christianity. Today about 55 million American Christians follow the teachings of Jean Calvin (1509-1564) and John Knox (1514-1572) and practice an altered form of Calvinism on which the evangelical tradition rests.

For that reason these fifty five million are Christian Zionists and, unlike the Jewish community, favor the survival of Israel. The fact is that the most vociferous supporters of Israel in the United States are evangelical Christians and a minority of Jews.[10]

Prior to World War II some in the British ruling classes were heirs to this messianic legacy that identified Britain with Israel. Lord Balfour had been imbued with the Old Testament since his childhood, and he regarded Christianity as owing Jewry a debt of gratitude for its supposed origins.[11] With the destruction of the British Empire by two world wars, neither of which served the British Empire, and shortly caused its collapse under a mountain of debt to the US bankers, and an active program of de-colonialization run by the USA, while attention was turned on the Soviet world-bogeyman, the USA assumed the role of chief global hegemon in ways unimagined by British imperialism or any other type of old-style European colonialism.[12]

With Britain lumbered with a mandate over Palestine after World War I, its position was that of a caretaker, facing the atrocities of Palmach, Irgun, Stern, and Haganah, as the authorities attempted to control the flood of Jewish refugees from Europe, who were encouraged by the Zionist agencies to settle in Palestine. The USA assumed the messianic role from hapless Britain, and was instrumental in having Israel recognized as a Jewish state in 1948. This was at a time when the Irgun, which became the political party Likud as a major political factor in Israel, had as it emblem a raised gun superimposed on a map of a Greater Israel that was depicted as the entirety of Palestine combined into a single Jewish state, with the entirety of the land of Jordan.[13] Ever since, gone is any mention of the (on hindsight) relatively laudable aim of the Balfour Declaration in giving British support for the creation of a Jewish homeland within Palestine, so long as the lives of the Palestinians are not encroached on.[14] It now seems like a sick joke to reflect that this was the supposed intent, for which American lives were sacrificed in World War I.[15]

Here with Greater Israel we have the basis for understanding what is happening the Middle East, and why Israel can never, in the character of the Zionist ideology and the manner by which Jewish messianism is interpreted, be a harbinger of peace. Moreover, the Greater Israel depicted as the emblem of the Irgun as the entirety of “Trans-Jordan,” is a very moderate interpretation of ultimate Zionist ambitions. It is the entirety of the region from the Nile to the Euphrates Rivers, the so-called “Deed of Covenant” said to have been promised by YHWH to Abram that is the real goal of Zionism.[16] Because it is said to be a promise by their God, it is an aim which Zionism can never renounce, and any apparent moves towards “peace settlements” initiated or agreed to by Israel cannot be anything other than deception. Christian-Zionists must undertake theological gymnastics to justify the continuation of a discarded covenant which often seems more important to them than that of the new, at least when it comes to Zionist apologetics.

If the Trump Administration accepts Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on the basis of the Jewish religion, and there can be no other justification, ipso facto the principle of Greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates, must be accepted using the same rationale. Is this the raison d’etre for efforts by Trump and prior Administrations in trying to keep the region in a constant state of turmoil, and to finally try to devastate Syria, regarded by Israel as its primary enemy? That course was overtly recommended in a document prepared in Jerusalem by prominent U.S. policy-makers associated with The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000, entitled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm. This was stated to be a blueprint from which to evolve policy.[17] The formulators were “prominent opinion makers, including Richard Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Douglas Feith, Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser.”[18]

It should still be asked why prominent U.S. policy-makers were in Jerusalem formulating policies for Israel, as part of a self-described “Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy”. The document identifies Syria and Iran as Israel’s primary enemies, stating of Syria “Given the nature of the regime in Damascus, it is both natural and moral that Israel abandon the slogan ‘comprehensive peace’ and move to contain Syria, drawing attention to its weapons of mass destruction program, and rejecting ‘land for peace’ deals on the Golan Heights.”[19] The document refers to the elimination of Saddam in Iraq as being an important objective, in conjunction with elimination of Syria: “Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq—an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right—as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.”[20] One strategy is to back rival factions to create destabilization, “supporting the Hashemites in their efforts to redefine Iraq,”[21] and “securing tribal alliances with Arab tribes that cross into Syrian territory and are hostile to the Syrian ruling elite.” This includes support for the Shia, who are linked with the Hashemites.[22] These are strategies have been followed to the present day.

In 2016, right after Trump’s election, Robbie Martin, editor of Geopolitics Alert was pointing out that many “neocons” of the “craziest” type from the Bush era, were jumping aboard the Trump bandwagon. He pointed out that most had favored Hilary Clinton’s “hawkish” foreign policy, which it should be kept in mind included a heavy dose of Russophobia, when Trump was presenting himself as conciliatory towards Russia. The liberal-left “snowflakes” who shed copious tears over the defeat of Clinton, should consider how manic she was in her foreign policy, and would hardly have been more rational than Trump, whose election rhetoric about “America First” foreign policy was fearful to the “neocons.” Martin wrote:

While most Trump supporters had their attention turned to Clinton’s brash hawkishness, they failed to notice that some of the craziest of the neoconservative Bush-era war hawks in Washington had split off from the pro-Clinton neocon consensus and favored Trump. Some examples of this include Michael Ledeen, Bill Bennett, Frank Gaffney, John Bolton, and James Woolsey, signatories to the Project for the New American Century, a think tank co-founded by Kagan during the Clinton administration. PNAC is widely known for developing the roadmap for George W. Bush’s foreign policy agenda that led to the illegal Iraq War and the invasion of Afghanistan. A total of 17 PNAC signatories assumed official positions in the Bush administration.[23]

The above-named John Bolton, now Trump’s new National Security Advisor, stated to NBC News of the Trump Administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital:

It’s a recognition of reality. If you’re not prepared to recognize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that’s where the American Embassy should be, then you’re operating on a completely different wavelength. I think recognizing reality always enhances the chances for peace.[24]

What John Bolton’s rationalization is for this is not known, and it seems likely there is none. There is no apparent sense to it; the mantra of a fanatic. He had stated: “Whether to move America’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has long been a subject of political debate in the U.S. and abroad. It’s time now to resolve the debate by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and relocating our embassy there on incontestably Israeli sovereign territory.” In this instance he justified the move as one of “diplomatically efficiency.”[25] How seriously is that to be taken? It was a theological question based on a commitment to Jewish messianism; nothing more nor less, and the move followed shortly after the appointment of Bolton as National Security Adviser.

While Trump had alluded in his presidential campaign to moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem “as the eternal capital of the Jewish people,” in October 2017 he was showing hesitation, stating in an interview that he wanted to secure peace before such a move: “I want to give that a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem. If we can make peace between the Palestinians and Israel, I think it’ll lead to ultimately peace in the Middle East, which has to happen.” His attitude was clearly different from that of John Bolton at the time. A report states that four months previously, “In June, Trump signed a waiver on the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which mandates that the embassy be moved to Jerusalem by 1999. Past presidents have also waived the act out of concern that it would derail peace talks.”[26] Although the report quotes sources as being confident that Trump would move the embassy, his prior stated commitment to “peace” before any such move, would have made recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital as elusive as ever. In May 2017 reports were stating that Trump’s lack of enthusiasm was outraging Israelis:

During his first trip to Israel as president, Donald Trump made no effort toward his campaign promise to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That angered Israeli officials, who said that Trump had gone back on his promise. Michael Oren, a former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. who now serves as deputy minister for diplomacy in the Netanyahu government, told reporters in a May 23 conference call after Trump’s visit that he was disappointed that Trump didn’t talk about moving the embassy.[27]

It seems that the implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995[28] was not going to happen any time soon under Trump. Did the sudden promotion of John Bolton signal to World Zionism the imminence of a decision? Were the prime movers Trump’s daughter Ivanka, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner? Who better placed to apply the decisive pressure? They were among the entourage at Jerusalem celebrating the opening of the U. S. Embassy while Palestinians were being shot by the Israeli army. Here they were blessed by Israel’s “chief rabbi,” Yitzhak Yosef, whom the BBC stated has compared Blacks to “monkeys,” and said that non-Jews should leave Israel if they are unwilling to subject themselves to Jews. The rabbi’s office commented that he was just referring to Talmudic edicts.[29] That is the reality of Israel and Zionism, albeit one little understood.[30] These views are the mainstream in Israel, and especially inform the actions of the “settler movement.” These are the “religious lunatic fringe” that is not really “fringe,” but a major influence, while Zionist apologists, including those of the Trump Administration, refer to the dangers of Islam to “world peace.” This is the state that has long had a nuclear arsenal, capable of obliterating European capitals, while the USA feigns outrage at Iran or North Korea having nuclear potential. While there is talk of “mad mullahs” with atomic bombs, should the world be any more comfortable with “mad rabbis” having much greater arsenals? While there is much anguish over an alleged Islamic plot to dominate the world with “Sharia law,” nothing is said of rabbis who believe they are ordained by God to determine that non-Jews are to be ruled according to the “Seven Noahide Laws” recognized by U.S. Congress since 1989 as the basis for “civilized society”?[31]

While any idiot with the right backing might become a president or prime minister, how did real estate tycoon Jared Kushner qualify as senior White House adviser? He had no prior political experience. Kushner is an adherent of what is called “Modern Orthodox Judaism,” which seeks dialogue with modern secular society, while remaining resolutely Jewish and committed to Zionism and Israel. However, despite the secular interaction, its teachings are influenced by the late Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, an adherent Kabbalistic mysticism. Also despite the Modern Orthodox interaction with the outside world, the strictures against marrying outside remain. In 2005 Ivanka and Jared split[32] because the latter’s parents were perturbed by their son’s intention to marry a non-Jew. Ivanka converted to Judaism in 2010, but conversion is not usually acceptable to Orthodox Judaism. Rabbi Kook, one of the most influential of Orthodox rabbis, and the first Ashkenazi rabbi in Palestine under the British mandate, according to a reputable Jewish source, Haaretz, wrote that “the difference between the Israelite soul… and the souls of all non-Jews, no matter what their level, is bigger and deeper than the difference between the human soul and the animal soul.”[33]

How then did Ivanka marry Jared, despite the parents’ objections? Citing rabbinic opinions there is an indication as to how Ivanka became acceptable:

[S]ince in our generation intermarriage is common in civil courts, we are often forced to convert the non-Jewish partner in order to free the couple from the prohibition of intermarriage. We must also do so in order to spare their children who would otherwise be lost to the Jewish fold. If we are faced with a de facto mixed marriage we are permitted to convert the non-Jewish spouse and the children, when applicable. If this is true when a couple is already married, it is obviously true before they have begun a forbidden marriage relationship. The conversion could offset future transgressions and religious difficulties.[34]

Further it was considered that,

It is better to choose the lesser of two evils, even when the choice is not ideal. It is better to stop adding fuel to evil now, rather than risk an increase in transgression. As was stated earlier, if we are permitted to convert one who is already married to a Jewish mate, we may certainly convert one who wishes to marry a Jewish partner in the future. Even if we know that the main and perhaps only reason for the conversion is marriage, yet when all is said and done such a conversion is still halakhically valid… [35]

Now through the alchemy of conversion Ivanka becomes a Jew, and would presumably be able to obtain instant citizenship as an Israeli by the “Law of Return,” as would her children, assuming rights denied Palestinians including the prohibition of any right of return by Palestinian refugees. So Ivanka could with heartfelt conviction when arriving in Jerusalem for the opening of the U.S. Embassy, state that it was with a “feeling of great joy,”[36] that her people were gaining recognition of their ancient capital. Moreover, Jerusalem’s top Israeli football team, “Beitar” renamed themselves in honor of her father, so that he can help make Israeli football great again.
Historical Antecedents of Jerusalem Not Jewish

The Zionist dream for Palestine is based on three primary aims that are of messianic intent: (1) Greater Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates rivers, (2) Rebuilding of the Temple of Solomon on the site of the present al-Aqsa mosque, (3) Jerusalem not only as the capital of Israel, but as the central seat of universal law. The first point has already been considered.

The rebuilding of the Temple of Solomon on the third holiest site of Islam is as contentious as the claim over Jerusalem. However it is at the very heart of the messianic Zionist dream. It also remains a constant source of conflict between Israelis and Muslims, with Muslims accusing Israelis of undermining the foundations of the al-Aqsa Mosque in an effort to demolish it.[37] Jewish zealots including members of the Knesset perform rituals at the mosque compound under police protection, in violation of an agreement between Israel and the Muslim custodians of the mosque.[38] The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement exists to agitate and prepare for the expulsion of Muslims from al-Aqsa in order to recreate the Temple of Solomon. Jewish messianic teaching claims that their messiah will not appear until the Temple is built. The Temple Mount movement frankly states what messianic Zionists believe:

Consecrating the Temple Mount to the Name of G‑d so that it can become the moral and spiritual center of Israel, of the Jewish people and of the entire world according to the words of all the Hebrew prophets. It is envisioned that the consecration of the Temple Mount and the Temple itself will focus Israel on:

(a) fulfilling the vision and mission given at Mt. Sinai for Israel to be a chosen people separate unto G‑d, a holy nation, and a nation of priests (Exodus 19:6), and

(b) becoming a light unto all the nations (Isaiah 42:6) so that the Name of G‑d may be revered by all nations and the biblical way of life may be propagated throughout the world.[39]

Regardless of what any Israeli government states, these are the ultimate objectives which messianic Zionists believe are ordained by their God. They will never be relinquished. For example the first prime minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion, a “moderate,” and a socialist, asked by Look to describe his vision of the future, alluded to this:

…In Jerusalem, the United Nations (a truly United Nations) will build a shrine of the prophets to serve the federated union of all continents; this will be the seat of the Supreme Court of Mankind, to settle all controversies among the federated continents, as prophesied by Isaiah…[40]

Meanwhile Zionist messianists and Christian-Zionist cattle farmers in the USA keep alert for the miraculous birth of a red cow that can be sacrificed at the “Temple Mount” in Jerusalem and so pave the way for the return of the messiah. Haaretz commented:

According to some Jews, the Messiah cannot come and hail the End of Days without the Third Temple arising in Jerusalem, and since the Temple cannot be built without proper purification, a red heifer must be found. The Temple Institute, an organization dedicated to preparing the groundwork for the construction of the Temple (where the Dome of the Rock is inconveniently standing) has been looking for years. Every few years a red heifer is announced, but is then rejected due to a non-red hair being found…. Some fundamentalist Christians believe that the Second Coming of Christ requires that the Temple be rebuilt, thus they too anticipate the birth of a red heifer as a sign of the coming of the end of days.[41]

To inaugurate the coming of the Jewish messiah, according to the messianic tradition, a red cow must be slaughtered at a third Temple of Solomon to be constructed on the site of al-Aqsa mosque. But do Jews have any more historical claim on Jerusalem than Ivanka Trump has to become an Israeli citizen under the Law of Return? When Benjamin Netanyahu said that Jerusalem had been the Jewish capital for 3,000 years, the Israeli prime minister was challenged in Haaretz on this claim: “Jews have been unquestionably connected with the city for millennia, yet it functioned as their capital only for short periods in history.” The occupation of the site is placed at 7,000 years. By 1350 BC “Salem” was a major center of the Canaanites. The first record of “Israelites” in ancient texts is at 1210 BC. The time assumed to be that of David and Solomon at Jerusalem is not verifiable by empirical evidence. A united Israel was brief, and after Solomon’s death the tribes were split again circa 930 BC. While Jerusalem remained the capital of Judah, the capital of the northern tribes was Samaria. Samaria, not Jerusalem, was also the center of the YHWH cult, and there is no certainty that Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem.[42]

Jerusalem was not founded by any Israelite or Hebrew tribe or ruler, and the occupation of Jerusalem by Israelites has been sporadic in comparison to its relationship with Christians and Muslims. However one interprets the meanings of the words “Jew,” “Hebrew” or “Israelite,” those claiming any such descent have lived far longer outside the Biblical boundaries of “Israel” than within. From the expulsion of Jews by Rome in 135 A.D. until the early 20th century, few Jews existed there, and the Jewish scholar Moses Maimonides wrote of his travelling to Jerusalem circa 1165AD where he could find only two Jewish families. By 1492 there were about 5,000 Jews in Jerusalem after their expulsion from Spain. By 1900 there were approximately 35,000 Jews throughout Palestine.[43]

Around 3000 BC the center was called Roshlamem and was occupied by the Jebusites until conquered by David circa 1000 BC. The city was captured by the Babylonians ca. 586 BC, and the Temple built by Solomon was destroyed. In 538 BC King Cyrus of Persia permitted the Jews to reoccupy the city, and rebuild the Temple. Rulership passed to the Macedonians, to the Ptolemic dynasty, and then the Seleucids (Macedonian led Persian empire), who Hellenized it. After the success of the Maccabean revolt the Hasmonean Kingdom was established in 152 BC with Jerusalem as the capital. Rome established Herod as a puppet ruler, under whom the Temple was expanded. In 96 AD, Hadrian Romanized Jerusalem and renamed it Aelia Capitolina, and Jews were prohibited from entering until the 4th century AD. Hadrian renamed the whole province Syria Palaestina after the Philistines. Up to the 7th century Jerusalem came under the Roman, Byzantium and Sassanid (last pre-Islamic Persians) empires. The Jews were permitted to return when the Islamic Caliphate extended its rule over the city in 638. Jerusalem was captured in 1099 by the Christian crusaders, becoming the Kingdom of Jerusalem, fell to Kurdish Sunni Muslims under Saladin in 1187, was regained for Christendom in 1229, and recaptured by Islam in 1244. It then came under Mamluk rule, until the rise of the Ottomans and their capture of Egypt in 1517. Under Mamluk rule, both Jews and Christians were permitted to worship. The Ramban Synagogue, the oldest in Jerusalem, was permitted to be built in Old Jerusalem in 1267.

It seems that through the many successions of rulers and inhabitants in “Jerusalem” since the Bronze Age, the Jews were the more minor and transient, and lived there when permitted by conquerors. Their fortunes in the city seemed to have been best respected by Muslims—a tradition which Zionism has not reciprocated. The foundations of Jerusalem seem to have been built by non-Israelites, and it is questionable whether the famous Temple of Solomon was built by Judaeans. No such mighty nation of Israel under David or Solomon is recorded by Egyptian or Assyrian texts. There is no archaeological evidence for the Kingdom of Israel. B.S.J. Isserlin, Head of the Department of Semitic studies at Leeds University, wrote that “Solomon… in the eyes of Israelite historians, marked the apex of Israelite achievement. Curiously,no reference to him or his father David, or their empire in a non-Israelite source is known …”;[44] “… in Jerusalem nothing has as yet been brought to light which can be ascribed to Solomon with certainty.”[45] Among academics, there is no agreement that there ever was an ancient Israelite state under Solomon and David. Philip Davies, professor emeritus of biblical studies at Sheffield University, states:

If we did not have bible stories about a “United Monarchy,” would any archaeologist ever suggest such a thing existed? Why are possible Iron Age structures in Jerusalem assigned to David and not Saul? It’s because the history of Judah is not solely in the hands of academic archaeologists but religious believers and Zionists, who have their own history—one that the rest of us do not believe in.[46]

It is also suggested by archaeologists that what is assumed to be Jewish constructions in Jerusalem were built by the Jebusites. Professor Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University states, according to the Haaretz report, “if anything, David and Solomon ruled over little more than a village located on the Temple Mount.”[47]


[1] A multi-volume rabbinic commentary on the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament) that forms the basis of Orthodox law and life.

[2] Evelyn Kaye, The Hole in the Sheet: A Modern Woman Looks at Orthodox and Hasidic Judaism (New Jersey: Lyle Stuart Inc., 1987), 79.

[3] The ruling dynasty of Judea.

[4] Frederick D. Bruner, Matthew: A Commentary – Volume 2: The Churchbook, Matthew 13-28 (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007), 102.

[5] International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, 5: Character of the Galileans, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1939), online:

[6] Joseph Roddy, “How the Jews Changed Catholic Thinking,” Look, Vol. 30, No. 2, January 25, 1966.

[7] Nicholas Hagger, The Secret Founding of America (London: Watkins Publishing, 2007).

[8] Richard Mather, “’Our English Zion: Oliver Cromwell and the Jews,”

[9] Gerhardt Falk, “The Puritan States of America,” Jewish Buffalo on the Web,

[10] Ibid.

[11] Douglas Reed citing Balfour’s niece, Mrs Dugdale, in The Controversy of Zion (Durban: Dolphin press, 1978), 228.

[12] F. A. Guimarães, “The United State and Decolonisation of Angola,” Lisbon, October 2003,

Africa-America Institute,

[13] See for example:

[14] “The Balfour Declaration,” Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

[15] The Balfour Declaration, a letter written by Lord Belfour to Lord Rothschild, was the product of an agreement between the British War Cabinet and the World Zionist Organization, whereby in exchange for British support for a Jewish homeland, Jews would mobilize their influence in the USA to bring America into the war against Germany. The Zionist lobbies had no compunction about sacrificing American lives for their cause, in such vast numbers. The background of the agreement between the British War Cabinet and Zionist organization is disclosed by the Zionist official Samuel Landman in Great Britain, The Jews and Palestine (1936). This can be read online:

[16] Genesis 15: 18-21.

[17] A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,

[18] Ibid., 1.

[19] Ibid. , 3.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid., 4.

[23] Robbie Martin , “Trump Promised to ‘Drain the Swamp,’ but he’s Filling it with Bush Era Crazies Instead,” MPN News, November 23, 2016;

[24] Luis Sanchez, “Bolton: Recognizing Jerusalem as Capital of Israel ‘Enhances the chances for peace’,” The Hill, May 13, 2018;

[25] “Amb. John Bolton: America’s Embassy in Israel Should be Moved to Jerusalem – NOW,” Christians United for Israel,”

[26] Alison Colburn, “Trump signals step back from Israeli embassy plan,” October 9, 2017;

[27] Franco Ordonez, “Israelis angry at Trump’s failure to move U.S. embassy to Jerusalem as promised,” McClatchy DC Bureau, May 22, 21017;

[28] Senator Robert S. Dole (sponsor) Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995,

[29] Alina Polianskaya, “Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner ‘blessed’ by top Israeli rabbi who compared black people to ‘monkeys’,” The Independent,

[30] See the books of Jewish scholar Israel Shahak, Jewish Hispory/Jewish Religion (London: Pluto Press, 1994), Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel (London: Pluto Press, 1999).

See also: Bolton, “Grave Desecrations, Rabbi’s Death Show Rare Glimpses of Israel’s Religious Fanaticism,” Foreign Policy Journal, October 17, 2013;

[31] “Government Leaders Encourage Adherence to the Seven Noahide Laws,” Jewish Institute for Global Awareness,

[32] “Jared Kushner once broke up with Ivanka Trump over ‘religion issue’,” Jerusalem Post, August 17, 2016.

[33] Yair Sheleg, “A Dark Reminder of the Dark Ages,” Haaretz, June 28, 2005;

[34] Rabbi Marc D. Angel, “Leniency within the Orthodox Movement,” My Jewish Learning,

[35] Ibid.

[36] “Ivanka Trump in Jerusalem for embassy opening as Gaza braces for bloodshed,” The Guardian, May 14, 2018;

[37] “PA minister accuses Israel of exploiting attack to dig under Temple Mount,” Times of Israel, July 17, 2017;

[38] “4 Palestinians detained, 2 Israelis evacuated from Aqsa on Jewish holiday, Ma’an News Agency, June 12, 2016;

[39] “Objectives of the Temple Mount Faithful,”

[40] Look, January 16, 1962.

[41] The Temple Mount Red Heifer Saga: Engineering the Apocalypse? Haaretz, July 19, 2015;

[42] Philippe Bohstrom, “Jerusalem: The Not-so-eternal Capital of the Jewish People,” Haaretz, May 17, 2018;

[43] George W. Robnett, Conquest Through Immigration: How Zionism Turned Palestine into a Jewish State (Pasadena: Institute for Special Research, 1968), 41.

[44] B. S. J. Isserlin, The Israelites (London: Thames & Hudson, 1998), 72.

[45] Ibid., 81.

[46] Philippe Bohstrom, “Did David and Solomon’s United Monarchy Exist?,” Haaretz, November 21, 2017;

[47] Ibid.

Originally published on 2018-05-24

About the author: Kerry R Bolton is a Fellow of the Academy of Social and Political Research (Athens), and the Institute for Higher Studies on Geopolitics and Auxiliary Sciences (Lisbon). He has doctorates in theological studies, Ph.D. h.c. and certifications in psychology and social work studies. He has been widely published by the scholarly and wider media on a variety of subjects.

Source: Foreign Policy Journal

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