The Jewish Connection to Jerusalem Is Ancient and Indigenous

Today is Yom Yerushalayim—Jerusalem Day—which celebrates the liberation of the Old City and its holy sites from Jordanian occupation during the Six-Day War. As riots, fueled by anti-Semitic incitement and slander, mar the city’s peace, challenges to Israel’s claims to Jerusalem, and those of the Jewish people, still have much purchase across the world. Two year ago, Michel Gurfinkiel examined the persistent and impractical vision of removing the city completely from any nation’s sovereignty in his essay, “The Mirage of an International Jerusalem.” He concludes that the city’s legal and demographic history

rebuts the widely held idea that Jerusalem’s status is the subject of an international “agreement.” That idea is nothing but a myth—a myth that serves the political purposes of certain interested parties. Those parties argue that Zionism was an interloper in the city, a newcomer throwing chaos into the mix of a calm, stable, mostly Arab-Muslim town that for centuries had existed sometimes under Christian control, at other times with a heavily Christian element.

None of this is true. The truth is that, even in earlier times, Jerusalem was always in ferment, a kind of Wild East in which all major groups, not just arriviste Jews, were scrambling to build something for themselves. As for the modern proposal to “internationalize” the city, it was first and foremost a device to please the Catholic Church, then in itself a formidable world power and a foreign one in the Holy Land. In this context, the idea of Jerusalem as an “international city” is a piece of Western “colonialist” history, while the Jewish connection to Jerusalem is ancient and indigenous.

Read more at Mosaic

More about: International Law, Israeli history, Jerusalem

Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security