But as historians describe within the Source Original Series “Jerusalem: City of Faith and Fury,” the capital’s historical past of non secular and political stress reaches far past the 20th century. It goes again millennia.
“The history of Jerusalem is a very complicated story,” says Laura Schor, a professor of historical past at Hunter College, within the Source sequence. “And if you don’t know it in its complexity, it’s very hard to understand what’s going on there today.”
Then there’s the truth that Jerusalem can also be “the center of national aspiration of two communities: the Israeli community and the Palestinian community,” explains Smith College faith professor Suleiman Mourad within the “Jerusalem” sequence. “That adds another layer of complexity.”
The problem of unraveling centuries of battle could also be daunting, however “it’s impossible to imagine fixing the present and building a better future for Jerusalem without understanding the many stories of its past,” Schor provides.
“Jerusalem: City of Faith and Fury” presents a spot to begin by specializing in a half-dozen important moments within the metropolis’s evolution. Below is a timeline of these six key conflicts and rivalries, with professional commentary from the sequence.
Circa 1,000 B.C.: David vs. Goliath
Here’s why this well-known saga is so pivotal to the historical past of Jerusalem: In the Hebrew Bible, this is not only a feel-good story. It’s a foundational turning level within the institution of a kingdom.
39 B.C.: The rise and fall of Herod the Great
In the centuries that cross after their deaths, energy buildings shift however Jerusalem stays a fascinating stronghold. And by 39 B.C., one other ruler had ruthlessly taken management: Herod the Great.
Backed by the highly effective Roman military, Herod violently put in himself on the throne and set about “making himself the most successful king, not just of Judea, but of the whole Mediterranean,” Montefiore explains.
Herod’s reign is an influential second in Jerusalem’s historical past, each due to the cruel political machinations that marked his rule — together with a rivalry with Egypt’s Cleopatra — in addition to his monumental efforts to rebuild Solomon’s temple and broaden the town. It was Herod, writer Montefiore says, who “created the Jerusalem we know today … The Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque are built on Herod’s sacred precinct.”
1099 A.D.: The Crusades
More than 1,000 years after the loss of life of Herod the Great, Jerusalem was caught between two different religions: Christianity and Islam.
Jerusalem is sacred for Christians as a result of “this is a place where Jesus died, where he walked the Via Dolorosa,” notes Anthea Butler, an affiliate professor of non secular research on the University of Pennsylvania, within the Source sequence. “He was crucified outside of the city.”
“For Muslims,” provides historian Jonathan Phillips, “it’s the site of the prophet (Mohammed)’s Night Journey and his ascent to heaven.”
“The legacy of the Crusades in Jerusalem, among the Arabs in general, is a horrible, horrible legacy,” says Smith College professor Mourad. “We have the way a European would remember it, as a chapter of Medieval Europe, and there is also the way the Arab, or the Muslim remembers it, as a form of pre-modern colonial attack and occupation.”
1914: The First World War
On the opposite aspect stood the British Empire, which “badly wanted to control the Holy Land, to bring it under Christian influence at a time of Ottoman Islamic rule,” says Bruce Hoffman, the Director of the Center for Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University.
As the conflict unfolded, there was born what at first appeared an alliance, as Arabs in revolt towards their Ottoman rulers discovered assist from the British.
In actuality, says Ali Qleibo, an anthropologist and author for This Week in Palestine journal, Arab rebels hoping to come back out from underneath Ottoman rule “were lured and lied to by Britain. They thought it’s simply liberation; they did not know it was preparatory for an occupation.”
The new settlement made it no simpler on Jerusalem. “To a large extent,” says Simon Davis, a professor of historical past on the City University of New York’s Graduate Center, “the main outcome of the First World War for Jerusalem was that the Israeli-Palestinian dispute that we know so much about today is really instituted, unwittingly to a degree, by British multiple promises.”
1948: Independence and defeat
At the time, Palestine was nonetheless underneath British rule, and tensions flared between all sides. Arab and Jewish communities every had separate nationalist visions of claiming Palestine as their homeland, and each populations needed to see an finish to the British administration.
Not lengthy after the tip of World War II, a beleaguered Britain made plans to drag out of Palestine, and the newly shaped United Nations stepped in with a proposal to the query of who ought to management the territory.
When Britain formally withdrew in May 1948, the impartial state of Israel was declared with David Ben-Gurion as prime minister.
“It was a very emotional moment for many,” says Michael Brenner, Director of the Center for Israel Studies at American University. But “there was no time, or no opportunity, of reflection. On May 15, five Arab states declared war against Israel.”
“For Israelis,” Brenner continues, “it’s the War of Independence. It’s a kind of triumphant naming. For the Palestinians, it’s not; it’s their catastrophe. It’s their real defeat.”
Roughly 750,000 Palestinians have been displaced, prompting the UN to launch a Palestinian refugee aid company.
And Jerusalem? It grew to become “a Berlin-like divided city,” describes Daniel Seidemann, a Jerusalem-based legal professional, within the sequence.
1967: The Six-Day War
Tightly wound tensions erupted once more nearly 20 years into Israel’s statehood as a sequence of escalating confrontations led to the Six-Day War of 1967.