Jerusalem, the Holy

By Schwartz, Ira | Midstream, January 2001 | Go to article overview

Jerusalem, the Holy


Schwartz, Ira, Midstream


According to an article in the 30 October 2000 issue of The Weekly Standard, p. 16: "On October 13 ... Dr. Ahmad Abou Halabiya, a Sunni theologian in Gaza, was reminding Muslims on Palestinian television that `Almighty Allah' desired them `not to ally themselves with Jews and Christians, not to love them, not to enter into partnerships with them, not to support them, and not to enter into any contact with them.' He went so far as to instruct Muslims `not to pity the Jews but to fight them and to kill them wherever they are to be found.'" Considering the amount of money the United States government has poured into the Palestine Arab entity, I would not be surprised to find that this message directing people to kill me and my family is an example of our tax dollars at work. This is a clear sign to evaluate what our financial and diplomatic support of the Palestine Arabs has accomplished.

Would it surprise the American public that this isn't the first time that Palestine Arabs have advocated and worked for the genocide of Jewish people? The Grand Mufti was a Palestinian Arab leader who worked for Hitler's cause in Europe during World War II. I think it is profoundly sad for anyone to be killed anywhere, including the Holy Land. How could someone not be sickened upon viewing Muhammad al-Darrah's death in his father's arms? It does not change my feelings if the person killed is Palestinian Arab, Israeli, Muslim, Christian, Jew, or an adherent of any other religion. I am a Jew. My religion taught me that all human life is sacred, and the righteous of all people go to heaven. Therefore, I believe that my blood is not more precious than your blood, and I am not "holier" than you are. For those who wish to kill me, I pray for their enlightenment. I will not commit suicide to please you, and I will defend myself whenever necessary.

Although an ignorant person, I do know a few things about my religion and the religion of my neighbors. I know that there is One God Who calls forth righteous action and the pursuit of justice from me. In this secular age, I call God, LORD. I submit to God and God's Will. I recognize that God has many names and many attributes. As there is only one God, then the God of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism is the same God. The task that my ancestors and I accepted is to proclaim the existence of One God, witness God's Presence in the world, and make God's Presence manifest by example or by being made an example. To whatever extent Christianity and Islam have similarly proclaimed the existence of God and made God manifest to the peoples of the world, I am grateful and bless these religions, their leaders, teachers, and practitioners. To me, religions are forms of worship. Each form of worship is important in itself and owed respect; but, what is primary is not one's form of worship. All forms of worship give homage to God. God is primary. I worship God and not my religion. I respect my religion, which provides an ethical path for living that expresses awe and love for God and God's Creation. When a daughter's college roommate said her evening prayers, I felt joy and knew that her Muslim father had a daughter to be proud of, as I am proud of my own children. Yet, my people have suffered through history at the hands of individuals who have called themselves Christian or Muslim. Like many who have called themselves Jew, without behaving that way, the wayward of all faiths have unclean hands and act pagan. Therefore, I do not, can not, and will not believe that those who have assailed us were true Christians or Muslims.

I am neither an Israeli nor a Palestinian Arab. My opinion regarding Jerusalem has not been solicited. This call to attack me and my family makes me a reluctant participant in this conflict. My response is that I call for a Holy Jerusalem. If Jerusalem, the Walled City, is a holy city filled with many holy sites, do the holy sites and this city belong to mankind or to God? …

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