Argument: Jerusalem was founded by King David so belongs to Israel

Issue Report: Dividing Jerusalem


Chavie Cyn. Should Jerusalem be split between the Israelis and Palestinians? Helium. – Jerusalem became a city in 1010 B.C.E. when King David defeated the Jebusites. King David made that city his seat of government.In fact, King David loved Jerusalem that he brought the sacred Ark of the Covenant into that city and stripped the so-called twelve tribes of Israel of some of their spiritual and administrative functions.

King David developed that city. He wanted to build a temple for G-d and he foresaw Jerusalem as a permanent place where the Ark of the Covenant would be. Because David was a great warrior, it was inevitable that he had to kill. That was why G-d told him, at least from the Biblical account, that he would not be the one to build the temple. But his son King Solomon did. King Soloman build the temple which became the place where the Jews would gather and worship G-d.

Why do I refer to history and the Bible account? Because the Torah or the Bible (Old Testament) is the History of Israel. Jerusalem historically was created and founded by an Israeli and I see no logical nor historical reason why Palestinians would have any right to the same city founded even before Jesus existed on earth. I would even daresay that there were no Palestinians then, so I find it illogical to have to “return” Jerusalem to people who never owned it in the first place. The Palestinians have no right to Jerusalem as much as they have no right to make Washington DC their capital. Jerusalem has nothing to do with the Palestinians at all.

Opposing quotations

The State of Israel was dispersed and lost sovereignty in 587 BCE, after invasion by the Babylonians (this information can also be found in the Old Testament, or from secular historical archives). Jerusalem, specifically, was captured and the temple constructed under King Solomon’s rule was largely destroyed and removed of religious artifacts. Jerusalem, and the territory now recognized as the State of Israel, passed between the hands of a series of empires including that of Caliph Abd el-Malik, who built the Dome of the Rock in the city (and also the Ottomans). During this period, both Arabs (mainly Palestinians) and Jews lived in the city, by and large peacefully (excepting the occasional crusade).

In 1948, the British (who were currently in control of the territory which would become Israel, but was then called Palestine and was a British protectorate acquired after the Allied victory over the Ottoman Empire in WWI, partitioned the area into the states we now know as Israel and Jordan. While Jerusalem may have technically been founded by a Jewish king, the intervening years saw more rule by non-Jewish peoples than not. Furthermore, the communities living there, particularly the Muslim populations, also built their own religious monuments and sights there, most notably the Dome of the Rock (the site of the Prophet Muhammad’s ascension to heaven is Islamic teachings).

While it is technically true that the first founders of Jerusalem were Jewish, this in no way established a de facto right to that city. Arguing this ignores the many many years of control that followed the founding of Jerusalem. It ignores centuries of cultural and religious heritage that subsequent, and more contemporary, populations have developed in Jerusalem, and it ignores the equally valid claims other groups have to Jerusalem.

It cannot be disputed that the Israelis have cultural heritage and history in Jerusalem, but it equally cannot be ignored that the Palestinians (and indeed others as well), have an equally long (if not longer) history of continued existence in and connection to Jerusalem (and the greater State of Israel). While it would clearly be unfair to give the capitol entirely to the Palestinians, it must also be recognized that their claim must be recognized as having equal legitimacy as Israel’s. If Israel claims it deserves the city because of history and religious signifigance, then the Palestinians can say the same thing right back.