SECTION SEVEN
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COLUMN SIXTY-FOUR, OCTOBER 1, 2001
(Copyright 2001 Al Aronowitz)

FROM A MOSLEM SOURCE

Subject: Forgotten History
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 12:26:16 -0500
From: jo grant <jgrant@bookzen.com>
To: Recipient List Suppressed:;

Just received the following article by a fellow from the University of Chicago. Somewhat different perspective on the history of Israel.

Jerusalem

By Denis Mueller

The Israeli historian, Zev Vilney, cites the age of Jerusalem as 5,000 years. During the Bronze Age, 3000 B.C., Jerusalem saw its first settlements. Archaeological evidence establishes that the Canaanites were the first people of the land we call Palestine. These people, along with the Amorites and Jebusites, founded the first permanent settlement.

The name, Urusalem, is an Amoritic name. The first rulers of the land were identified by American archaeologist W.F. Al- bright as Amoritic. The Amorities spoke the same language as the Canaanites and were of Semitic stock. The Bible agrees that the original people were from the land of Canaan. Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem. Thy birth and thy origin are of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother a Hittite. (Ezekiel, 16:1)

In the second millennium, the Jebusites inhabited Jerusalem. They built a fortress, Zion, in Jerusalem. Zion is a Canaanite word that means "hill or height." This culture flourished for nearly 2,000 years. They are the decedents of the Palestinian Arabs who settled in the land before the Israelite invasion. Historian Delacy O'Leary writes: "The majority of the present Palestinian peasants are descendants of those who proceeded the Israelites."

The majority of people who are Palestinians, both Christians and Arabs, were there before the wave of Islamic-Arab conquests of the 7th century. The city saw the next wave in about 1200 B.C. They were the Israelites. They lived side by side all throughout the reign of David and then King Solomon until they were conquered by the Babylonians. The people rebelled and Nebuchadnezzer reconquered the land and exiled the Jews from the city. In 538 B.C., the Persians overthrew the Babylonians and Jerusalem became the capital of the Persian province. The Jews were then allowed to return. These conquests were followed by the Seleucids, the Hasmoneans, the Maccabeans and finally the Romans, who expelled the Jews again after the revolt of 135 A.D.

The Jews were not allowed to return until after it was conquered by the Islamic-Arab armies in 638 A.D. The Muslims established guarantees, which came to be called the Covenant of Omar. This guaranteed the lives, property and freedom of worship throughout the non-Muslim population. Under Islamic rule, coexistence and tolerance were established. This continued until the Crusaders arrived and slaughtered both the Muslim and Jewish population.

After the Muslim's recaptured the city, the Jews were allowed to return. This continued through the rule of Islam and then the Ottoman Empire, which came from what we now call Turkey. The Ottomans were defeated in World War I, and then were replaced by the English. Great Britain then set forth the Balfour declaration, which, in essence, divided the land again. So as you can see, and may very well be surprised at, the Islamic rulers and those who proceeded them who were of Palestinian decent always practiced tolerance. May those days of tolerance soon come again. 

Sources: Rashid Khalidi, University of Chicago  ##

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