Since Israel’s occupation of Jerusalem in 1967, the issue of “ownership” of the city has been a bitter conflict between the Palestinian and Israeli communities. It has major political, religious, social and legal consequences.
Jerusalem in the centre of the mosaic of St. George’s Church in Madaba, Jordan, the oldest cartographic representation of the city (6th century)
Berthold Werner/Wikimedia Commons
In recent decades, many Israeli governments and Zionist organizations have launched a worldwide crusade to assure that Israel’s political control of Jerusalem translates into exclusive physical and legal possession of the city by specific Jewish groups, such as the control of worship at the Western Wall (Haʾit al-Buraq in Arabic, and ha-Kotel ha-Ma’aravi in Hebrew). Similar efforts—with overwhelming financial and political support from evangelical organizations in the US—exist for the takeover of the Haram al-Sharif (known in English as the Temple Mount, and in Hebrew as Har ha-Bayt).