Jerusalem: Whose Town Is It, Anyway? by Bob Yermus

by Bob Yermus (12/31/18)
I could not help but laugh when I read the headline that the United Nations General Assembly was set to disavow any Jewish connection to Jerusalem. It reminded me of when several years ago it was reported that the Church of Mormon was converting the souls of Jews murdered in the Holocaust. How is it that so many people can be so, well, ridiculous?
With time to give the matter some thought, I realized just how absurd this idea actually is. I have lived in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Je(w)rusalem since 1986. To live here is to be directly affected every day by the connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem.
Anytime one goes out in of the Old City in a car, one runs the risk of not having a place to park upon return. One of the reasons parking is limited is because to dig down in this neighbourhood is to discover history, which means delays and more money. (This is true pretty much all over the country, but other places do not usually affect one’s ability to park one’s vehicle.) If one arrives by bus, one is subject to delays caused by a lot of traffic, and a lot of that traffic is caused by buses full of tourists. It is safe to say that no one comes to Israel without coming to Jerusalem in general and to this part of Jerusalem in particular. From backpackers to busloads of kindergarten children to high schoolers; from literally every continent on the planet, identifiable either by the clothes they wear, the flag they fly or the language they speak, they make their way here. Even the Rolling Stones took the time to see stones bigger and older than they are.
The reason that everyone comes here is to partake for themselves in the cradle of history that is this city. The values that they espouse and revere come from here. The Judeo-Christian base for western democracy, and the fervent religious faith that Christian and Moslem tourists (every Friday a group from Turkey comes) hold got their start here, with us.
It is here that the ridiculousness of the UNGA’s resolution becomes evident. Did they suddenly realize that the events by which they lead their lives took place two millennia ago in (Jeru)Salem, Massachusetts? Or possibly Oregon?
One hundred and forty-eight countries voted in favour of this resolution. That is a lot of leadership not facing reality.
They would not be where they are without us having been here. To suggest that there is no link between Jerusalem and Jews is utter and unmitigated nonsense, and should be related to as such.