Putting it on the Line for Jerusalem
There are no shortage of people in this world who have opinions, and that is doubly true within the Jewish people.
Much rarer is the individual who is prepared to stand behind those opinions - those beliefs - when they are not popular, and when it places one squarely within the minority.
King David, who, throughout his life, embodied such a quality, wrote in Tehillim (119; 46):
I will also speak of Your (G-d's) testimonies before kings, and shall not be ashamed.Recently, over 100 million people had the opportunity to witness a more modern example of such conviction...
Dr. Mordechai Keidar, a professor at Bar Ilan University's Dept. for Arabic Studies was recently interviewed by Al-Jazeera's top journalist, Jamal Rayyan. (The interview can be found above).
In the interview, Keidar was asked if Israel's decision to continue building throughout Jerusalem - in areas over the "Green Line" - represented the metaphorical nail in the coffin for the peace process.
"To tell you the truth I don't quite understand this. Must Israel ask permission from some other authority in the world? It has been our capital for 3,000 years. We have been there since the time your forefathers used to drink wine, bury their daughters alive, and pray to multiple gods.Rayyan then asserted Islam's claim to Jerusalem, as stated in the Koran. To which Keidar responded that Jerusalem is not mentioned even a single time in the Koran.
So then, why must we speak about this? It has been our city for 3,000 years and will be for eternity."
Rayyan decided to try a different approach:
"Let's talk politics, please. Doesn't this decision oppose the Road Map, which determines that Israel will halt construction of the settlements in Jerusalem?"To which Keidar responded:
"The Road Map does not mention Jerusalem. Jerusalem is outside of negotiations. Jerusalem belongs to the Jews, Period! We cannot discuss Jerusalem in any way. You return to this issue time and again, but Jerusalem is not referred to in the Road Map. My brother, go and read the Road Map...How refreshing to see how one can assert the right of the Jewish people to a Jewish state in Israel, not through apologetics and guilt, but out of conviction and pride. To know that our right to a Jewish state in Israel is not limited to history dating back 60 years - to the Holocaust - but that our connection to this Land predates that of the Christians or Muslims by thousands of years.
My brother, Israel does not involve itself in housing that Qatar constructs in the Qatar Peninsula. What do you want with Jerusalem? Jerusalem is ours for eternity and no one, not Al-Jazeera or anyone else, has any say in it. Jerusalem is solely a Jewish city and no one else has any connection to it."
And to do so in front of 100 million viewers who don't agree with a word of what you're saying...
King David would be proud.