Argument: With three religious claims to Jerusalem, how would it be divided?

Issue Report: Dividing Jerusalem


“Should Jerusalem be split between the Israelis and Palestinians?”. Helium Election 2008 – What is Jerusalem? The kingdom of God or a city of stones and bitter memories? Today it is the most holiest land in the entire world with more than 3 major religions having exclusive claim to the land. Looking back in history can yield the answers to the question of “Should we split the city of Jerusalem?”

Long before Islam or Christianity, king David conquered the city of Jerusalem and incorporated the city and its people into Israel. Then his son build the temple that today lies beneath the Dome of Rock. Mount Moriah still bears the scars of Roman oppression and destruction of Jerusalem through the symbolic Western Wall. The tombs of their fathers, including their loved king David lies buried on Mount Zion. But the bitter memories and the tearful hopes of the Jewish people are not alone here.

The Christians look back to the time when Jesus roamed the land, teaching and healing while proclaiming the good news of the Gospel. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Garden of Gethsemane and the site of the last supper are just a few holy sites of the followers of Christ. They serve as sites to be one step closer to God, to walk in the steps of their master and as grim reminders of the sorrowful past.

According to Islam, the prophet Mohammad was miraculously transported from Mecca to Jerusalem, and it was from there that he made his ascent to heaven. The Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aksa (“the remote”) Mosque both testify to their claim, both being build in 7th century.

So who has the superior claim? I say, no one. Which is more holier? The temple’s remnants or the Sepulcher or the Mosque? These are just man-made places of worship in an effort to reach God and to feel his presence. They are not holy in themselves. No, they are not superior at all. It is their purpose that makes them holy – the purpose being to call God and to seek his guidance and benevolence in our daily lives.

So should this Holy City be split between the Israelis and Palestinians? I say no, it should not be. If we were to split the city, how are we to split? Give the Muslim holy sites to Palestinians and give the Jewish holy sites to Israel? Then who will get the Christian holy sites? There is no need to split the city between anyone.