Why Jerusalem Matters To Palestine & Israel
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF JERUSALEM IN JUDAISM ijs.org.au
“..Jews have lived in the land of Israel for nearly 4,000 years, going back to the period of the biblical patriarchs (c.1900 BCE). The story of the Jewish people, Israel, its capital, Jerusalem, and the Jewish Temple there, has been one of exile, destruction and rebirth. In its 4,000 years of history Jerusalem has been destroyed many times and many times reborn. There has always remained a Jewish presence in the land of Israel and in Jerusalem, and the Jewish people as a whole always dreamed of returning to and rebuilding it, a longing reflected in the concluding words of Israel’s national anthem, ‘Ha Tikvah’ (‘The Hope’):
“The hope of 2000 years: To live as a free people in our own land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem.”
The Jewish Perspective of Jerusalem – YouTube
The Islamic perspective of Jerusalem soundvision.com
“..The city of Jerusalem is very sacred to Muslims. It is one of the three most sacred cities in Islam. Jerusalem is called al-Quds al-Sharif (the Noble Sacred Place). In order to understand the sacredness of this city in Islam, one has to understand the faith structure of Islam. There are three basic principles of faith in Islam:
1. Belief in the oneness of Allah (Tawhid).
2. Belief in the divine guidance through His chosen Prophets and Messengers (Risalah).
3. Belief in the life after death, divine judgment and heaven and hell (Akhirah).
It is the second principle of faith in Islam in Islam that is directly related to our love and devotion to Jerusalem…”
The Significance of Jerusalem to Christians Jerusalem Day Prayer Breakfast speech by Susan Michael By: ICEJ News Posted on: 2 Jun 2011 (All day)
“Jerusalem has always been significant to Christians because of the places there where Jesus ministered and, most importantly, where he died and rose again. This is the obvious and simple significance of Jerusalem to the Christian world. This is why Helen, mother of Constantine, built churches there in the 4th century that commemorated these events in the life of Jesus and is why Christians from every denomination on earth visit Jerusalem and these very churches and sites…”
“..Isaac’s Birth Promised (Genesis 17:13)
15 And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah4 shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover, I will cgive5 you a son by her. I will bless her, and dshe shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” 17 Then Abraham efell on his face fand laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” 19 God said, “No, but gSarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name hIsaac.6 I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. 20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I have blessed him and will make him fruitful and imultiply him greatly. He jshall father twelve princes, and kI will make him into a great nation. 21 But lI will establish my covenant with Isaac, mwhom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.” ..”
All 3 Have in Common
12 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you…”
JITLI 2010: Jewish and arab teens studing koran and bible
The Peacemaker in Jewish-Rabbinic and Arab-Islamic Traditions Daniel Roth
Volume 4. Issue 2, Spring 2011 religionconflictpeace.org
In rabbinic and Islamic law, a distinction is made between a judge engaged in arbitration (tahkim in Arabic, borerut in Hebrew) and a peacemaker engaged in conciliation (pius in Hebrew, solh or sulha in Arabic) or mediation (al wasata in Arabic, peshara in Hebrew).  This paper examines four questions regarding the peacemaker as found in Jewish rabbinic and Arab-Islamic traditions:
Who is the ideal peacemaker?
Should the peacemaker pursue peace only through acts of humility and nonviolence, or do certain situations warrant the use of force?
Should an offender approach a victim directly or send a peacemaker first?
Is the peacemaker permitted to lie in order to promote peace?
Each of these questions is examined in light of normative rabbinic and Islamic legal sources as well as descriptive accounts of peacemakers acting within Arab and Jewish societies. 
The Ideal Peacemaker
In Jewish rabbinic tradition, Aaron, the older brother of Moses and the first high priest of the Israelites, is the ideal peacemaker, known for “loving and pursuing peace.”  Aaron would “pursue peace between a man and his fellow, husband and wife, family and family, tribe and tribe.”  Aaron himself is described as never having fought with anyone: “If a man curses him, he says to him, ‘Peace be upon you!’ Should a man quarrel with him, he keeps silent.”  In rabbinic literature, the high priest (and eventually the rabbi) was the model peacemaker. One early legend found in the Babylonian Talmud tells the following story:
There were once two men who, being egged on by Satan, quarreled with one another every Friday afternoon. Rabbi Meir once came to the place and stopped them from quarrelling and settled them down for three Friday afternoons. When he had finally made peace between them, he heard Satan say, “Alas for this man [Satan] whom R. Meir has driven from this house!” 
In this story Rabbi Meir, one of the most respected rabbis of his time (second century CE, Palestine), made peace between the two individuals just by staying with them, thereby exorcising Satan from the house. 
One of the primary roles of the local rabbi, or hacham, was to promote peace in the community. In the sixteenth century, however, a small Jewish community under Ottoman rule believed it better for the communal peace that they not have a hacham. As time went by, communal conflicts increased and the community came to the realization that only a hacham could unite them all again and “mediate the peace, love and brotherhood” between them. 
In Jewish rabbinic tradition, the peacemaker was not always a holy or religious leader. Even jesters, according to a legend in the Babylonian Talmud could bridge differences:
Rabbi Beroka Hoza’ah was standing in the market of Debey Lapat. Elijah came and appeared to him. [R. Beroka] asked, “Who, in this market, has a share in the world to come?” He replied “No one.” … In the meantime, two [people] passed by and [Elijah] remarked, “These two have a share in the world to come.” [Rabbi Beroka] asked them, “What is your occupation?” They replied, “We are jesters. When we see people depressed we cheer them up; furthermore, when we see two people quarrelling we strive to make peace between them.” 
These jesters, while not appearing to the human eye to be particularly righteous or holy, are identified by the prophet Elijah as having a share in the world to come for their meritorious deeds, such as making peace through the use of humor.  In a similarly-themed legend, a distinguished character, though not a rabbi, identifies himself as a peacemaker; according to the legend, he is portrayed as more righteous than the rabbinic figure in the same story who focuses solely on the study of Torah. 
In Jewish history, there were individuals referred to as rodfei shalom (pursuers of peace) or mitavchey shalom (peace mediators). These peacemakers were active in communities from eleventh-century Muslim Spain through fifteenth-century Christian Prague and until twentieth-century Morocco. Unlike earlier traditions, such as Aaron, the pursuer of peace, these peacemakers were not holy or religious leaders but generally well-respected laypeople. Also in contrast to Aaron, these peacemakers did not act alone in their pursuit of peace.  It is interesting to note that mentions of these community peacemakers ended with the immigration of Jews to Israel from North Africa in the 1950s.
In Islamic tradition, Muhammad, known as the Prophet and Allah’s Apostle, is considered the ideal peacemaker. For example, in the hadith of Sahih al-Bukhari, several accounts of Muhammad making peace are narrated by Sahl bin Sad:
There was a dispute amongst the people of the tribe of Bani ‘Amr bin ‘Auf. The Prophet went to them along with some of his companions in order to make peace between them. … Once the people of Quba fought with each other till they threw stones on each other. When Allah’s Apostle was informed about it, he said, “Let us go to bring about reconciliation between them.” 
In several Arab-Islamic societies today, such as rural Jordan,  northern Israel,  Bedouin groups of Israel’s Negev region, and Sunni communities in Lebanon,  the mediator or peacemaker is a well-respected lay leader.  These peacemakers may be referred to as members of the jaha (delegation), which in Arabic, according to Elias Jabbour, a peacemaker in northern Israel, “suggests that these people have attained a high level of respect in the region.”  The respect given to the peacemaker may be due, for example, to his advanced age, leadership position in the community, or wealth.  These peacemakers almost always act as part of a delegation and not alone. 
Alternatively, in some Arab-Islamic societies, the peacemaker is a holy or religious leader. For instance, amongst the Berber Bedouin in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, it is insufficient to be a respected member of society; to be a peacemaker one must also be born into the sect of the “saints.”  According to Gellner, these saints serve the Bedouin people living around them, “not only to mediate with God, but also to help with inter- and intra-tribal political mediation.”  Gellner also writes that the saints “claimed not to feud or litigate at all. A mediator who was himself involved in a network of hostilities and alliances would not be much use for mediation and sanctuary.”  According to Ginat, the saint, as opposed to the peacemaker of Bedouin and rural Arab societies, works alone in mediating conflicts. 
Hamzeh has noted that in Shia communities in Lebanon there has been a shift in recent years from the model of respected lay leader as peacemaker to the model of religious leader associated with the Hizbullah as peacemaker.  Abu-Nimer also notes that in Gaza, the peacemaker is often a religious leader, such as an imam who may be “the most trusted person in the community because of his strict observance of Islamic values and traditions.” 
Both Jewish rabbinic and Arab-Islamic traditions regard the identity of the peacemaker in two ways. One way is that of the religious and holy leader—a high priest, rabbi, saint, or imam, for example—who acts alone in making peace. The second is that of the respected lay leader who generally acts as one member in a delegation of peacemakers. Both of these models sharply contrast with the Western image of the peacemaker or mediator where the peacemaker rejects any claim to power or authority over the conflicting parties; The peacemaker is, instead, responsible only for the mediation process itself. 
Humility and the Peacemaker..”
Hundreds of Israeli Jews and Arabs rally for peace
Around 700 people form human chain in north of country, call for coexistence and condemn violence By JTA and TOI staff October 16, 2015, 9:39 pm timesofisrael.com
“…Approximately 700 Jews and Arabs held hands in a chain in the central Galilee to call for reconciliation amidst a wave of violence throughout Israel over the past few weeks.
The symbolic gathering on Friday afternoon was organized by Givat Haviva, an educational organization that promotes Arab-Jewish coexistence. ..
After the event, entitled “Choosing to Engage,” Givat Haviva held a small ceremony with discussions.
Givat Haviva issued a declaration before the event titled “Call for a Secure and Shared Life in Israel” that condemned “any attack on body, soul or property, as well as any expression of physical or verbal abuse.”…”
Peace when Jews and Arabs educate their children togetherBy Rebecca Bardach March 22, 2017 22:02 jpost.com
“…Golda Meir was one of my heroes growing up – a smart Jewish woman who worked tirelessly, selflessly, on behalf of the Jewish People to secure the establishment and security of the State of Israel. So I was taken by surprise when my children’s school principal, Nadia Kinani, came in to school one day deeply upset after visiting another local school, which had these oft-quoted words of Golda Meir embedded in a huge mural at the school’s entrance: “We will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”
Nadia is an Arab mother. She has spent the past 20 years of her life helping found and develop a Jewish-Arab integrated bilingual school in Jerusalem. At the time, this was almost unprecedented in Israel. She and other teachers had to innovate pedagogical approaches so students could learn each other’s languages, traditions, cultures and histories, while helping them commit to a shared future. Even now there are only nine such Jewish-Arab schools in all of Israel…”
The Jewish-Arab Peace Song (w/ English subtitles) – YouTube
Arabs, Jews play in symphony of peace – YouTube
Jerusalem: Three religions, three families | Faith Matters
Unity gives Jerusalem a prayer: Jews, Muslims and Christians join for worship Hannah Ellis-Petersen in Jerusalem Saturday 24 September 2016 02.00 EDT theguardian.com
Eight religious leaders brought their congregations together for eight days in one room. It was a dangerous move
“..Last week, and for just eight days, a music school in the lowest valley of Jerusalem was transformed into a communal house of prayer, named Amen, bringing together Jewish, Muslim and Christian religious leaders and their congregations to worship together in one room. It was a sight rarely seen in this segregated city.
The project, part of the Jerusalem season of culture, was initiated by Elad-Abblebaum and the Muslim Sufi Sheikh Ihab Balah almost a year ago. They reached out to six other religious figures – two rabbis, a Franciscan monk, a Catholic priest, a Coptic deaconess and a female Muslim community leader – who were very traditional in their beliefs and practices, but also open to discussions with other faiths…”
Jews and Arabs play soccer for peace Eitan Goldstein|Published: 17.08.16 , 12:44 ynetnews.com
“…A soccer camp for Israeli kids wrapped up with a world cup-style tournament last Thursday. 100 children, aged 12 – 13, were split up into six different teams each representing a “world cup” country. The tournament was made all the more unique for being held in the Israeli-Arab town of Baqa al-Gharbiyye.
Jewish-Arab Women’s Peace Group Delivers Political Message While Avoiding Politics Judy Maltz (Barta’a) Oct 10, 2016 8:38 PM haaretz.com
During the ‘March of Hope,’ Palestinian and Jewish women walk from northern Israel to Jerusalem in support of a peaceful solution to the conflict.
“..About 40 women are participating in the two-hour hike from Katzir, a mainly Jewish town in the Wadi Ara region, to Barta’a. Roughly half of them are Women Wage Peace activists taking part in the entire 200-kilometer trek from Rosh Hanikra to Jerusalem, which began the night after Rosh Hashanah. The rest are joining them for the day…
Women Wage Peace is a grassroots organization founded two years ago, right after Israel’s last war in Gaza.. The group drew its inspiration from Four Mothers, another anti-war movement founded close to 20 years ago, which has been credited with Israel’s ultimate pullout from Lebanon.
How to Be ‘Pro-Jesus’ in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Interview by Timothy C. Morgan| January 27, 2014 christianitytoday.com
What one leading Israeli Arab evangelical thinks American Christians can do to promote Mideast peace.
“A leading Israeli evangelical, Botrus Mansour, head of the 77-year-old Nazareth Baptist School, is attempting the impossible: to be realistic and hopeful at the same time about peace between Israelis and Palestinians….
.. Inside Israel, the messianic community is becoming larger and more visible. Is it possible for Arab Christians and Israeli messianic believers to work together?
It’s a good idea. We are part of one body of Christ. Messianic Jews and Arab evangelicals might agree on 90 percent of theology. This relationship is a testimony that in Christ we can become one. The barriers and animosity have been demolished, not just with God through Jesus Christ, but also between one another…
Jesus talks about peace, human dignity, and dealing with the other, created in the image of God. Give the other something so that he will not say, “I have nothing to lose. You put me in the corner, so I’m going to fight. I’m going to kill. I’m going to explode myself.”…
Pray that God will preserve the Jews and take care of them. We’re not against the Jews. I’m an Israeli citizen. I’ve known Jews all my life. My personal story is involved with the Jewish people. They have visited my home all my life. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem including Arabs and Jewish people…”
Israel’s Future Steven E. Meyer 03-02-2015 By Steven E. Meyer March 2, 2015 cpjustice.org
Europe and the United States have added to tensions in the region and to Israel’s growing isolation. The Europeans have become strong supporters of the Palestinians and several European states have withdrawn economic and financial aid to Israel, scaled back trade, and condemned heavy-handed Israeli military action. Consequently, European policies have enabled Palestinian violence and compelled Israel to dig in deeper.
American efforts to bring peace to the region have been pusillanimous and conflicted. Congress—the heartbeat of American support for Israel—stymies the meager efforts by Republican and Democratic administrations alike to force even the mildest restrictions on both sides, thereby emboldening Israeli intransigence and reinforcing Palestinian resentment. Most recently, the House of Representatives has invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to address Congress on March 3 just before the Israeli election. This not only seems designed by the House leadership to affect the outcome of the Israeli election, but it intrudes into the realm of foreign policy, normally the prerogative of the executive branch.
Peacemaking and Principled Pluralism
The Israeli-Palestinian (Arab) issue is a particularly appropriate peacemaking challenge for Christians. For one, the church has been intimately entwined with the region for centuries as the place of origin of the Gospel. However, the ongoing tensions and conflicts there have led to the dispersal of Arab Christians and the decline of the church. Of the three major religions that claim Jerusalem as a special place, only Christianity lacks a concrete role in its governance. Christians should have a vested interest in peace in the Middle East and a desire to rebuild Christian influence. Christians should have a stake in the outcome of peace efforts, including a role in the administration of Jerusalem. Although placing Jerusalem under international control benefits Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, Christians have been forced to back off because of heavy pressure from Jews and Muslims. This has created additional hurdles to overcome for Christians contributing to peacemaking…”
*see Protecting Israel openbible.info
Blessed are the Peacemakers: Israelis and Palestinians … – YouTube
What are other ways we can bring peace?
Jews & Arabs Refuse To Be Enemies facebook.com