Episode:
11
Sept. 27, 2023 at 1pm US EDT, 8pm Israel Time

Dr. Mordechai Kedar "The Struggle for Jerusalem" 🇮🇱 🇵🇸

Jerusalem is a holy city, but which religions consider it holy? Most people think that the three major religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all consider Jerusalem holy, but is that really the case?

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Dr. Mordechai Kedar

Dr. Mordechai Kedar

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Dr. Kedar is an Israeli scholar of Arab culture and a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University, and the vice president of NEWSRAEL. He worked for Israeli intelligence for 25 years, and is now a professor at the BESA Center for Strategic Studies, and Department of Arabic. He gives lectures all around the world about Islam, the Arab states, and Israel. He is an expert in Middle Eastern history, religions, cultures, and geopolitical issues.

Daniel Sadan

Daniel Sadan

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I am the host and producer of live weekly Middle East Events on Twitter spaces. I bring you the top experts on Middle East geopolitics, history, and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. My goal is to lift the veil of lies that has been cast over the geopolitics of the Middle East. "For every shadow, no matter how deep, is threatened by morning light." - The Fountain

Moriya Levy

Moriya Levy

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Dreaming of a new Middle East. Believes in the deepening of ties between Israel, and its Arab neighbors. 🇮🇱🇧🇭🇸🇦🇦🇪🇮🇶🇲🇷🇰🇼🇴🇲🇾🇪🇪🇬🇸🇩

Tom Nisani

Tom Nisani

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Executive Director of Beyadenu. Former Head of Activism of Im Tirtzu.

Israel Advocacy Movement

Israel Advocacy Movement

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We do Zionism. Our mission is counter the increasing hostility Israel is suffering at the hands of the British public. The Israel/Palestine conflict is plagued by huge volumes disinformation circulated by Israel’s enemies. This duplicitous strategy has manipulated many well-intentioned Britons into harbouring underserved prejudices against Israel. We intend to counter this bias by using social media and grassroots advocacy teams to educate about the reality of the Israel/Palestine conflict.

Jay Engelmayer

Jay Engelmayer

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Publisher, Executive Editor, and Publisher, "The Judean" - Former Marketing Executive. In his career, Jay has been instrumental in the massive success of two ‘start-up’ companies he had called home throughout his 20+ years helping to turn ideas into multi-million dollar enterprises. Jay has served in a critical role for a Fortune 100 company, and now brings his substantial skills to bear on combatting misinformation.

Timor David Aklin

Timor David Aklin

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Filmmaker, MMA fighter, and Boxer. Advocate. Timor was born a Palestinian Muslim Arab, and became a religious Zionist Jew.

Event Description

Jerusalem is a holy city, but which religions consider it holy? That is the topic of much debate. Most people think that the three major religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all consider Jerusalem holy. For Jews, it is the site of the First and Second Holy Temples, and it is mentioned hundreds of times in the Hebrew Bible. For Christians, it is the place where Jesus was crucified and resurrected. For Muslims, many people say Jerusalem is the third holiest site in Islam, after Mecca and Medina, but is that the truth?

The struggle for Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians is one of the most intractable conflicts in the world. Both sides claim the city as their capital, but do both sides actually have deep religious and historical ties to it? The Palestinians have only been declared a "people" since 1964, so what kind of historical ties can they truly have to the city? Also, there is an issue of the Banu Umayya, who were banned from Mecca, and thus were forced to improvise, and declared Jerusalem a place of Hajj. So, was Jerusalem truly sacred to the Muslims, or was it made to be so by this clan of the Quraysh tribe in order to maintain their relevancy after being denied access to Mecca?

Recent Conflict Over Jerusalem

The conflict over Jerusalem dates back millenia, but let's stay focused on recent history. In 1947, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. The Arabs rejected the plan, while the Jews accepted the partition, and once the UN voted to recognize the State of Israel in 1948, the Arab League immediately attacked the nascent Jewish State, which led to Israel capturing most of the territory that had been allocated to it under the UN plan, including the western part of Jerusalem. The eastern part of the city was illegally annexed by the Jordanians.

In 1967, Israel recaptured the eastern part of Jerusalem, along with the rest of Judea and Samaria, which Jordan had named "The West Bank" in order to sever Jewish ties to their land. The Gaza Strip was also retaken by Israel in the Six-Day War. Since then, Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel. The Palestinians, however, continue to claim all of Jerusalem as well as the entirety of Israel as their own. When they were offered most of Judea and Samaria, and given the eastern part of Jerusalem (which contains all the holy sites) during the 2000 and 2008 peace agreements, the Palestinians refused, because they did not want to recognize the State of Israel in any way shape or form.

The Importance of Jerusalem in Islam

Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Qur'an at all, and the claim that it is the third holiest site in Islam is highly suspect and contested by many Muslims. Many Muslims even claim that al-Aqsa is not even in Jerusalem, but is actually in Medina.

So what exactly is al-Aqsa, where is it located, and is it at all relevant to members of the Islamic faith? The claim is that al-Aqsa is a mosque, or a complex of buildings that is located on top of the Temple Mount, which is the holiest sites in Judaism, but is it really a complex of buildings, is it really al-Haram al-Shareef, or the entire Temple Mount? We will discuss these issues at length. Some also falsely claim that the mosque is known as the Bayt al-Maqdis, or the Holy House, and it is considered to be the first qiblah, or direction of prayer, for Muslims. However, upon further examination, we will see that Bayt al-Maqdis is just the Arabic version of the Hebrew words Beit Hamikdash, and the reason why Muhammad once changed the direction of prayer from Mecca to Jerusalem was only to appease a group of Jews, but when they spurned his advances, he changed the direction of prayer back to Mecca.

So, can the importance of Jerusalem in Islam be overstated? Yes, it can, and it has been so for many decades now due to various parties starting with Yassir Arafat for his own political gain.

The struggle for Jerusalem is a complex and deeply emotional one. Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem. So, who is right, who is wrong, and who should have control over the city and its holy sites? Come to this event, and find out!

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