Jerusalem Day Haunted by P.A. Statehood Bid

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Gina Meeks

jerusalem dome of the rock

Jerusalem Dome of the Rock
As Israelis observe Jerusalem Day Wednesday, a
holiday commemorating the Jewish state’s 1967 recapture of Jerusalem,
Palestinian leaders continue to wrestle with the decades-old victory.

In September, Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas plans to take his case directly to the United Nations. His
request: a Palestinian state with the eastern half of Jerusalem as its
capital. But is there more under the surface?   

“We know that the goal of the Arabs is not just to
have eastern Jerusalem,” said Chaim Silberstein, president of Keep
Jerusalem (Im Eshkachech in Hebrew), a group committed to keeping the
capital city under Israeli sovereignty.

“The goal of the PLO, the Palestinian Liberation
Organization, has said all the decades of their existence is to wipe
Israel off the map,” he told CBN News.

Silberstein says dividing the city would harm both Jews and Christians.    

“Jerusalem is the cradle of Jewish civilization,” he
explained. “Jerusalem is the heart of the Jewish people and the heart
of the State of Israel. It’s also very important to the Christian

“Forcing us to give away these areas would first of
all delete and disconnect the whole of the Christian world as well as
the whole of the Jewish world from the very essence of their faith and
their belief,” he said. 

The fate of Jerusalem often centers on the future of the Temple Mount. 

It is the holiest place in the world for the Jewish
people, the site of the first and the second temple, the last one
destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. Today the Temple Mount is under
Islamic religious control. 

Recently CBN News was granted a rare look on the Temple Mount and inside both the al-Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. 

“This is the center of the universe and this is
where everything revolves around,” Alan Baker told CBN News.  “If we
manage to solve the issue of the holy places in Jerusalem, then they’ll
no longer be a Middle East problem.” 

Baker participated in the 2000 Camp David talks. The stumbling block at that meeting was the Temple Mount.     

of the issues that they fell through was because of the issue of the
sovereignty over the holy places.  Arafat wanted Palestinian
sovereignty. Israel wanted Israeli sovereignty,” he explained.

Those talks fell apart and now more than 10 years
later Jerusalem stands in the center of the argument.  Many believe what
happens here will affect not only the Middle East but the world.

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