I’ll explain below. Like many things Middle East, this is another PR battle won by the Arab lobby.
Oh, I know, you’ve been led to believe there is a monolithic Israeli power structure that dictates everything (that, my friends, is the oldest antisemitic screed in the world – right out of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, Tzar Nicholas’ famous forgery).
In fact, it is petro dollars that dictates everything. The Saudis spend more lobbying in a week, than all the money supporting Israel in a year. If there was no oil issue in the United States, the absurdity of the situation would be openly discussed and support for Israel would be deep and unfettered. The lies about “occupation” or anything else, would just stop magically.
Ok, back to those 1967 lines.
What does this phrase mean? Simply stated, the 1948 lines.
Why? Because what the Arabs are referring to are the armistice lines that held UNTIL the start of the June, 1967, 6 day war in which Israel recaptured the Sinai, “West Bank” and Gaza Strip from Egypt and Jordan (another PR battle Israel has lost. The west bank? Really, is half of a country the banks of a river? That IS what they are referring to, of course).
The critical part of this rests ONLY, and exclusively in Jerusalem.
During the Jordanian occupation of Jerusalem – remember, in 1948 when the UN recognized “2 states” the Arabs famously immediately rejected, and attacked. Even without an army, Israel managed to survive, but lost Jerusalem and much of it’s other territory which now became known as the West Bank.
In 1964, when King Hussein of Jordan massacred thousands of Sunni Arabs (Hussein and his monarchy are Hashemite Muslims, a sect that views itself as basically the priestly class) and made it clear that they would never have full rights, we FIRST heard about “Palestinians” referring to Arab residents of the former mandate. Until then, it was the British term for the Jews of that region.
So, in violation of the UN dictate that Jerusalem remain an open city, what did the Jordanians do when entrusted with the old city of Jerusalem?
OK, take a step back.
A little more history. In biblical times, cities were walled. Why? To keep out invading armies.
Jerusalem was originally a Jebusite city until captured by King David for the Jews of the bible.
His son Solomon, built the first Temple.
Herod the Great, built the Temple Mount that we see today approximately 450 years later.
Over the millenia, the walled city, the original city of Jerusalem, WAS Jerusalem.
Outside the wall remained the provenance of desert bandits, bedouins, and other nomadic peoples.
However, beginning in the 14th and 15th centuries, but accelerating in the 18th and 19th, Jewish pilgrims began coming back.
The reason for this was simple. For Jews, the Temple is the holiest place in the world. In Biblical Judaism, there were times during the year (those times are marked by the blowing of the Shofar – Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, and Passover – which Christians came to know as the last supper, and Easter) when prayers could ONLY be made at the Temple.
So, when the various invading empires allowed Jews to return, the Jews of the “Diaspora” would send a representative of the village, shtetl, ghetto, etc, to go to Jerusalem, settle there, and make the prayers for the entire community from which he came.
By the 1800’s there were simply too many of these pilgrims for the old walled city to handle. So, these new pilgrims began building outside the walls of the old city. Constructing what is now modern Jerusalem.
The city had had a renaissance under Suleiman the Magnificent which culminated with the control over it by the Egyptian dynasties in the 1800’s. A railroad connecting it to Jaffa was built in 1892.
By the late 1800’s the majority population of Jerusalem was Jewish once again (yes, that’s right, 1800’s NOT after WWII )
OK. Flip back to the 1948-1967 period.
The armistice that had been drawn up, now split the city.
The Israelis had barely held on to small portions of what was now called the “NEW CITY”, that modern city that had been built up in the last hundred years or so. The UN Armistice required that the city be an International city with all of the religious sites open to all. The Jordanians immediately violated this agreement.
Jordan kept “The old City” that part that was the original city with ALL of the Holy Sites.
This began to be called “East Jerusalem”.
The only exception was that Jews were supposed to be allowed to maintain control over Mt. Scopus where Hebrew University and Hadassah hospital are.
In addition, Israel was supposed to have control and access to the famous Jewish Cemetery on the Mt. of Olives which has been used for 3000 years. The Jordanians, specifically recreating the roads the Nazis had paved to the death camps (as seen in Schindler’s List) desecrated the cemetery and used the headstones to pave a road up the side of the Mount.
Instead, what happened was that the Jordanians not only cut off access to the holy sites for all but Muslims, contrary to the terms of the armistice agreement, Israelis were denied access to Jewish holy sites, many of which were desecrated. 34 of the 35 synagogues in the Old City, including the Hurva and the Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue, were destroyed over the course of the next 19 years, either razed or used as stables and hen-houses. Many other historic and religiously significant buildings were replaced by modern structures. The Jewish Quarter became known as Harat al-Sharaf and was occupied by refugees from the 1948 war. In 1966 the Jordanian authorities relocated 500 of them to the Shua’fat refugee camp as part of plans to redevelop the area.
Jordan allowed only very limited access to Christian holy sites. Worse, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was also used as a manger.
During this period, the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque underwent major renovations.
So, when the 1967 lines are referred to, THIS is what they are talking about.
And this is what the world is happily endorsing. Closing Jerusalem to all.