Jerusalem History

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Jerusalem has occupied an important position in both Israeli nationalism (Zionism) and Palestinian nationalism theologies.  Ideology has the history of jerusalem ( tower of david)always been of prime importance to historians studying its 5,000 years of inhabited history. Its Jewish history is important for Jewish Israeli citizens, while the Christian, Islamic periods of the city’s history are cherished by Palestinian nationalists, who state that modern Palestinians descend from multitude of gifted people who inhabited the region. Thus Jerusalem has always been politicized and argued upon by the two sides so that one may overpower the other and claim the city as theirs.  Different writers and historians have placed uneven stress and focus on the various eras and events in its history.

Cananaanites in the 17th century BC, built massive barriers and walls (26 feet high with 4 and 5 ton boulders) on the eastern side of Jerusalem in view of protecting water system of their ancient land. Abdi-Heba, King of Urusalim (Jerusalem in the Late Bronze Age) wrote the Amarna letters. At this time Jerusalem had a huge population harboring ability to construct complex building projects. For some 400 years, Jerusalem was capital of Kingdom of Judah. An Assyrian siege in the year 701BC by SennacheribIt caused destruction and war shed. Despite this Jerusalem survived. This was in contrast to Samaria, capital of northern Kingdom of Israel, which had been destroyed twenty years back. The Bible attributed this survival to an angel who wiped out 185,000 men belonging to Sennacherib’s army. It was hailed as a miraculous event. The personal account of Sennacherib pertaining to the event is conserved in Taylor prism, which is the writing considered pivotal to the event. It describes King of Judah called Hezekiah being “locked up in city like a incarcerated bird” and eventually convinced Sennacherib to depart by offering him “thirty talents of gold as well as eight hundred talents of silver, diverse resources, a rich as well as immense booty”.

Violent uprising arose when the British arrived. Arabs were rebellious to the British rule and incoming Jewish immigrants (one in every six Jews of Palestine lived in the city of Jerusalem by 1948). This led to anti-semiotic riots in the city of Jerusalem during 1920, 1929 as well as the 1930s causing significant morbidity and mortality. In retaliation the community of Jews consequently joined forces in self-defense. Other Jewish groups also carried out attacks and bombings against British. Their main emphasis was to remove restrictions on the immigration during the World War II which was implemented by White Paper in the year 1939. Violence was on the rise throughout 1930s as well as 1940s. Moreover, in the July of 1946, it escalated to an extent that the members of underground Zionist group known as Irgun destroyed a section of King David Hotel, wherein the British forces had been temporarily allocated.

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