Jun. 12, 2017
The Jewish Connection to Jerusalem – David Suissa (Jewish Journal of Los Angeles)
With all the talk of renewed diplomacy in the Middle East involving Israel, one of the most emotionally charged issues will be the status of Jerusalem. I attended a multi-media presentation the other night at the Museum of Tolerance titled, “Jerusalem United: Fifty Years of Freedom, Three Thousand Years of Jewish History.”
The presenter, Ambassador Dore Gold, who is now President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, made a compelling and visual case for the deep, uninterrupted, 3,000-year Jewish connection to Jerusalem using artifacts from biblical times, ancient scrolls, recent archeology discoveries, and legal documents from international bodies that appeared on a large screen.
Discussing international efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state, he brought out legal documents that show that “Israel is the most legitimate state in the UN. It is the only state whose legality was recognized even before it was founded by both the League of Nations and the United Nations.”
And like a good attorney, he didn’t skip the emotional part. I mean the sense of outrage that Gold feels towards anyone who denies a Jewish connection to Jerusalem. International bodies like UNESCO have had no problem passing resolutions denying a Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall. Gold is acutely aware of this pervasive movement to negate Jewish history and strike at the core of Jewish identity.
Gold also reminded us that attacks on Jewish legitimacy and identity are nothing new. “The Romans understood that to wage war and defeat their enemies, they needed to attack their identity, not just their physical bodies. After crushing the last Jewish rebellion against them, they renamed Jerusalem ‘Aelia Capitolina,’ and Judea was given a new name: ‘Syria-Palestine.’ They wanted to erase the memory of Jewish self-rule forever.”