Israel Keeps Stranglehold on Jerusalem

By Ruether, Rosemary Radford | National Catholic Reporter, March 1, 1996 | Go to article overview

Israel Keeps Stranglehold on Jerusalem

Ruether, Rosemary Radford, National Catholic Reporter

Attempts by some Jews and Christians to make exclusive claims on Jerusalem have plunged the city into crisis.

Recognizing a growing problem, a conference in East Jerusalem in late January stressed the rich cultural diversity of the city throughout its long history and the equal rights of all three Abrahamic faiths-Judaism, Christianity and Islam--to religious attachment there.

Theological reflection on Jerusalem as a city for many peoples and three faiths,in contrast with exclusive claims, was the meeting's key. Specifically, the conference-envisioned as a positive step to express a prophetic vision and to raise awareness internationally--was about "the significance of Jerusalem for Christians and Christians for Jerusalem."

Organizers were aware of the most recent territorial and demographic reshaping of Jerusalem, which began with the Israeli capture of East Jerusalem and the West Bank in 1967 and continues at a rapid pace today.

In 1967 the government of Israel not only annexed East Jerusalem as defined under Jordanian rule but expanded its boundaries to 10 times its I former size. Israel drew a gerrymandered territorial boundary around Palestinian East Jerusalem. Authorities avoided areas of Palestinian residency but defined open land owned by these Palestinians as state land or "green spots" on which Palestinians could not build. These areas with in expanded Jerusalem have continually been redefined as areas of"public utility" for the construction of exclusively Jewish settlements. Remaining Palestinian communities between these settlements have been denied the right to expand, isolating and suffocating them.

There has also been an extensive Judaization of the Old City. After 1967, the Moroccan quarter was completely razed to create a plaza in front of the Waiting Wall. Many Palestinian homeowners were expelled from an expanded and rebuilt Jewish quarter. In the past decade and a half, there has been a house-by-house takeover of properties in the Muslim and Christian quarters by militant Jewish settlers, many of whom belong to religious groups that are awaiting the destruction of the Muslim Dome of the Rock, a mosque that is the oldest extant Islamic monument, in order to rebuild the Jewish Temple in its place. These settlers see themselves as preparing the way for this "redemptive" event.

The October 1993 Oslo Peace Agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation' Organization postponed a decision on the disposition of Jerusalem until May 1996. But Israel has only accelerated the building of settlements in the past three years in what seems to be a frantic rare to consolidate a commanding Jewish presence in East Jerusalem and the marginalization of the remaining Arabs. Even today. the large settlement of Har Homa for 30,000 residents in its first stage is being planned. for the remaining forested area north of Bethlehem on land taken from the villages of Beit Sahour and Um Tuba.

In addition to expanding settlements within the territory annexed in 1967, Israel has also been shaping a second ring of settlements reaching beyond Ramallah in the north. almost to Jericho in the east and down to Hebron in the south. and is engaged in defining this zone as "Greater Jerusalem." All together. this ring of settlements around former East Jerusalem encompasses some 30 percent of the former West Bank. Israel is also engaged in major projects of confiscation of Palestinian agricultural land to build bypass roads that link these various Jewish settlements to one another, while Palestinian towns are isolated from one another and denied access to Jerusalem.

Beginning with the Gulf War in January 1991 and accelerating with the peace accords of 1993, Israel has been tightening the noose around West Bank Palestinian communities near Jerusalem as well as marginalizing those Palestinians who live within the area. Numerous fortified roadblocks have been thrown up on the roads that lead from Palestinian communities such as Ramallah, Bethany and Bethlehem. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Israel Keeps Stranglehold on Jerusalem


Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

    New feature

    It is estimated that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, and in an effort to make Questia easier to use for those people, we have added a new choice of font to the Reader. That font is called OpenDyslexic, and has been designed to help with some of the symptoms of dyslexia. For more information on this font, please visit

    To use OpenDyslexic, choose it from the Typeface list in Font settings.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search


    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.