By Mason Mattox
A simple Google search will state that Jerusalem is the true capital of Israel. This has become more controversial after American President Donald Trump acknowledged the city to be the official capital of the State of Israel. Many people worldwide, on the other hand, disagree quite strongly.
The city of Jerusalem has stood the test of time through many eras of peace, prosperity, and conflict. It has been under the jurisdiction of many rivaling nations, with the earliest mentions of the city being in Egyptian manuscripts from the 20th century, B.C. Jerusalem could quite possibly be around 10 times the age of the United States alone.
The city has been occupied over the past several thousand years by Hebrews, Greeks, Herodians, Romans, Ottomans, and even the British. Conflict over the area is certainly nothing new to history. American involvement, however, is very new to history, as our own nation has barely begun to dive into the vast timeline of Israeli-Palestinian culture.
“The City of David” is a popular name given to the City of Zion, or Jerusalem, after King David, who captured the land from the Jebusites. The historic documentation of these events is within the Bible itself. The book of Chronicles gives a whole new meaning to ‘don’t come in.’
“David and all the Israelites marched to Jerusalem (that is, Jebus). The Jebusites who lived there said to David, “You will not get in here.” Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion—which is the City of David.” (1 Chronicles 11:4-5, NIV)
While current and past struggles over the city of Jerusalem are occurring over many diverse issues, a key aspect of the city’s value is expressed through Mount Moriah, the epicenter of monotheism.
What is historically Mount Moriah has borne witness to many alleged religious phenomena which have shaped the Abrahamic world throughout the ages. According to tradition, lore, and scripture, it was on that mountain that Abraham nearly sacrificed his son Isaac. Many years later, the Kings of Israel would build temple after temple on the same land, with remnants still being seen today. Jesus would have been presented in one of these temples, adding to their historical and spiritual value for many Christians.
It also is important to Islamic nations. Today, the Al-Aqsa Mosque now stands as a tribute on the temple mount to mark the place in which Muhammad ascended into Paradise. All of these beliefs add immense power to the religious aspect of owning Jerusalem. And if owning Jerusalem gives a nation spiritual power, then political influence will follow. These are the reasons why many people believe that conflict continues to arise over not only the city, but the entire eastern bank of the Mediterranean Sea.
The perspectives of American citizens have changed significantly over the past 60 years, and along with them, perhaps the views of Students at Christ Covenant School are encouraged to think for themselves, search for their own opinions, and justify them through peaceful discussion.
Many students support the President’s decision to acknowledge Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel. “I think it’s awesome. It’s the truth, how it’s been,” tenth grader Margaret Webster said. Indeed, perhaps not in more recent years, but throughout history, Jerusalem has been the capital city of Israel. Tel Aviv, the current center of Israel’s government, only came into existence in 1909.
“It’s a bold move, I can say that. From what I can tell its a sign that the U.S. is going pro-Israel and I am okay with that,” twelfth grader Olivia Warren said. While many students would agree that they are “okay” with the nation moving pro-Israel, some still disagree, and even strongly dislike the idea altogether.
“I don’t think that he should be involved in relations over there,” eleventh grader Kass Cestero said. Many others feel the same way. “I think it’s stupid. It’s not smart because there will be a lot of drama,” tenth grader Morghyn Barhill said. Indeed, Barnhill is not wrong about evoking drama. Stirring controversy over the land has arisen for hundreds of years, and is showing no sign of stopping anytime soon.
Seventh grader Trinity Holler pointed out that “[President Trump] doesn’t own Jerusalem.” Truthfully, the nation which owns Jerusalem is still being disputed.
Regardless of one’s personal beliefs, the city of Jerusalem has been in a state of conflict long before American influences, and will perhaps continue to be in a state of conflict until peace abounds throughout.