The Problem with Jerusalem

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These are depressing days, no doubt about it. The Hurva Synagogue, which is in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City, has been rebuilt and has been rededicated, and in response, Hamas has called for a "day of rage." Why? I don't know why. The Hurva Synagogue does not sit atop the Temple Mount; it's not near the Temple Mount. Rumors that the rebuilding has affected the Temple Mount are being spread by people who want to create violence and death in the holy city.

The Hurva holds special meaning for Jews because it was destroyed in 1948 by the Arab Legion, which went on to expel the Jews from the Old City. The fact that Hamas -- and even some in Fatah -- are protesting this rededication means that we might still be at square one, which is to say, where Arafat was in 2000, when he denied the historical Jewish connection to Jerusalem. This is not about building apartments for Jews near Arab villages on the outskirts of Jerusalem. I think Arab East Jerusalem should be the capital of Palestine, and if the price of peace is turning over those apartment buildings to the Palestinian Authority, then so be it. But this is about denying the right of Judaism to exist in its holiest city.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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