The Problem with Jerusalem

By Jeffrey Goldberg

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.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/03/the-problem-with-jerusalem/37529/