If I Forget Thee, O Jerusalem

The most astonishing and terrifying thing has just happened in Israel. I'm getting only partial information from my friends and colleagues on the scene, but apparently the Knesset -- the actual building, not  its members -- has disappeared into an enormous hole in the ground. The same thing has happened to the Supreme Court, and the prime minister's office, and the President's House as well. Gone, all gone. No lives were lost, and in fact, the government is convening right now in Israel's new eternal and indivisible capital, Afula, to discuss this terrible development.

Observers on the scene blame the collapse of Jerusalem's governmental infrastructure on the platform of the Democratic Party, which, for the first time since the reign of Herod the Great, has failed to mention that Jerusalem is, indeed, the capital of Israel. This was too much for Jerusalem to bear. It could not go on without the approval of Robert Wexler and Debbie Wasserman Schultz. I, for one, am shocked by this development. I thought that Jerusalem, and the Jewish people's relationship to Jerusalem, wasn't nearly so brittle as it apparently is. Who knew that the widely-ignored DNC platform could be so powerful as to change history? It's always been my feeling that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel not because the Democratic Party, or the Republican Party, say that it is the capital, but because the Jews, and Jewish history, say that it is the capital. But I was wrong. I certainly hope President Obama doesn't have anything bad to say about Afula. That could spell catastrophe.

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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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