Tuesday, December 5, 2017

On Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Sar Shalom

So it looks like President Trump will actually do something positive and recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Predictably, every Palestinian and Arab potentate is complaining that doing so will prejudice the peace negotiations and threatens Islam's holy sites. Also predictably, most of the West's chattering class is taking the Arabs' claimed reason for their objection at face value.

What we need to do is repeat more often the actual reason that the Arabs are so enraged by the impending recognition. It is the same reason why the Arabs responded to a group of Jews sitting down in front of the Western Wall on Tisha B'Av in 1929 with a pogrom in Hebron. In both cases, the "provocations" are attacks on one more manifestation of Islam's supremacy of Judaism. They have accepted the loss of many such manifestations. However, each time a new loss looms, they threaten to, or actually do, erupt in rage.

The pundits could invoke Occam's razor to say that the simplest explanation for why the Arabs claim their sentiment for Jerusalem is the reason for their rage is that their sentiment for Jerusalem is the reason for their rage. To demonstrate that the real reason for that claim is because western do-gooders would have more sympathy for that claim than for their real motivation of lording Islam's supremacy over Judaism, some history is needed. Islam's veneration of Jerusalem started in 682 when a rebellion cut off the Umayyad Caliphate of Damascus from Mecca. In order to maintain the ability to fulfill the requirement of Haj while cut off from Mecca, Umayyads built the mosques in Jerusalem and invented the story of Muhammed's travel there to justifying substituting Jerusalem for Mecca as the destination for the Haj. Within a few decades, the Islamic world was reunified, allowing all Muslims to go to Mecca, and Jerusalem was ignored until the Crusades. During the Crusades, the reconquering Muslims revived the tale of Muhammed's travel in order to rile up their population to join the effort to retake Jerusalem. Once the Crusades were ended, the Muslims ignored Jerusalem again until the British took Palestine following World War I until Jordan's conquest of eastern Jerusalem during the Independence War. Following Jordan's conquest of eastern Jerusalem, Jerusalem was again ignored by the Islamic world until Israel conquered it from Jordan, at which point Jerusalem became of "supreme importance" to the Islamic world until today.

What this timeline shows is that when Islam's ability to lord its supremacy over Judaism and Christianity by excluding them from Jerusalem is not challenged, Jerusalem was ignored. However, when that ability is challenged, the Muslim world waxes poetic about how important Jerusalem is to their faith.


  1. "actually do something positive" is a stretch. He's been a part of the movement by important Arab states to a realpolitik that may be durable.

  2. Gee, I pray this move doesn't jeopardize the Mideast Peace Process and destabilize the region. Oh, wait. Silly me.

    1. We have to save the peace process! Oh my god! What about the peace process! What about the Oslo Accords! This is tragic! Oh, the humanity!


      I tell ya, man, they've been peace processing Israel to death since Clinton.

  3. You got it.

    Daniel Pipes has an article (somewhere) in which he goes into some detail showing how Arab-Muslim interest in Jerusalem rises and falls almost entirely for political reasons over the centuries.

  4. "The NYT will publish a hundred more op-eds..."

    Check out Shmuel Rosner's op-ed in today's NY Times.

  5. He actually did it. Watching it live. Go Trump go. Steel backbone.

  6. Brilliant move by Trump. Now the Muslims have to decide whether to react with civilized protest or bloodthirsty outrage. Either option is a win for Trump.

    1. Definitely a step in the right direction.

      It's been interesting to note the various objections coming from the pro-Israel camp.

      Many Israelis resent this whole thing. They know where their own capital is. They don't feel some groveling need for validation from Big Daddy.

      A lot of Jews, in general, are concerned about violence and oppose the acknowledgment on those grounds... but that's pure ghetto mentality... although, once again, it's easy for me to say. My family's ass is not on the line.

      Others hate the whole thing primarily because it's coming from Trump. If Obama had done this they would have had orgasms.

      Y'know, I don't even know if I want to write about this, because everybody is going to write about this.

      It will be interesting to see how the enemies of Israel frame their arguments, tho.

      But, yeah, I'm happy!

    2. This is a big deal. Yes, of course Israelis know where their capital is. And so do we. Now it gets somewhat harder for others to deny.