Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Given the history of brutality when Israel and Palestinian extremist groups have fought in the past, international groups quickly expressed concern for the safety of civilians in Israel and the Palestinian territories as well as those being held hostage by militants in Gaza. In the first month of fighting, approximately 1,300 Israelis and 10,000 Palestinians were killed. Increasing loss of life is of primary concern in the conflict.

R.E. Slater
February 27, 2024
* * * * * * *

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Updated February 09, 2024

On January 7, Israel announced it had successfully destroyed the fighting force of Hamas in northern Gaza and is shifting its focus to the central and southern parts of the territory. Almost two million Gazans, more than 85 percent of the population, have fled their homes since Israel began its military operation. Attacks on medical infrastructure and a lack of basic supplies have reduced the number of functioning hospitals to only nine, all of which are in the south, and the World Health Organization has warned of disease spread in addition to mounting civilian casualties. Meanwhile, the United States is conducting shuttle diplomacy amid simmering regional tensions. Israel has killed Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon, and increased its air strikes against alleged Iran-linked targets in Syria. Iran-backed groups have launched dozens of attacks on U.S. military positions in Iraq and Syria, and Yemen’s Houthi rebels have targeted missiles at Israel and commercial ships in the Red Sea.


The Israeli-Palestinian conflict dates back to the end of the nineteenth century. In 1947, the United Nations adopted Resolution 181, known as the Partition Plan, which sought to divide the British Mandate of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states. On May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was created, sparking the first Arab-Israeli War. The war ended in 1949 with Israel’s victory, but 750,000 Palestinians were displaced, and the territory was divided into 3 parts: the State of Israel, the West Bank (of the Jordan River), and the Gaza Strip. 

Over the following years, tensions rose in the region, particularly between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. Following the 1956 Suez Crisis and Israel’s invasion of the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria signed mutual defense pacts in anticipation of a possible mobilization of Israeli troops. In June 1967, following a series of maneuvers by Egyptian President Abdel Gamal Nasser, Israel preemptively attacked Egyptian and Syrian air forces, starting the Six-Day War. After the war, Israel gained territorial control over the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza Strip from Egypt; the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan; and the Golan Heights from Syria.

Six years later, in what is referred to as the Yom Kippur War or the October War, Egypt and Syria launched a surprise two-front attack on Israel to regain their lost territory; the conflict did not result in significant gains for Egypt, Israel, or Syria, but Egyptian President Anwar al-Sadat declared the war a victory for Egypt as it allowed Egypt and Syria to negotiate over previously ceded territory. Finally, in 1979, following a series of cease-fires and peace negotiations, representatives from Egypt and Israel signed the Camp David Accords, a peace treaty that ended the thirty-year conflict between Egypt and Israel. 

Even though the Camp David Accords improved relations between Israel and its neighbors, the question of Palestinian self-determination and self-governance remained unresolved. In 1987, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip rose up against the Israeli government in what is known as the first intifada. The 1993 Oslo I Accords mediated the conflict, setting up a framework for the Palestinians to govern themselves in the West Bank and Gaza, and enabled mutual recognition between the newly established Palestinian Authority and Israel’s government. In 1995, the Oslo II Accords expanded on the first agreement, adding provisions that mandated the complete withdrawal of Israel from 6 cities and 450 towns in the West Bank. 

In 2000, sparked in part by Palestinian grievances over Israel’s control over the West Bank, a stagnating peace process, and former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s visit to the al-Aqsa mosque—the third holiest site in Islam—in September 2000, Palestinians launched the second intifada, which would last until 2005. In response, the Israeli government approved the construction of a barrier wall around the West Bank in 2002, despite opposition from the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. 

Factionalism among the Palestinians flared up when Hamas won the Palestinian Authority’s parliamentary elections in 2006, deposing longtime majority party Fatah. This gave Hamas, a political and militant movement inspired by the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, control of the Gaza Strip. Gaza is a small piece of land on the Mediterranean Sea that borders Egypt to the south and has been under the rule of the semi-autonomous Palestinian Authority since 1993. The United States and European Union, among others, did not acknowledge Hamas’ electoral victory, as the group has been considered a terrorist organization by western governments since the late 1990s. Following Hamas’ seizure of control, violence broke out between Hamas and Fatah. Between 2006 and 2011, a series of failed peace talks and deadly confrontations culminated in an agreement to reconcile. Fatah entered into a unity government with Hamas in 2014.

In the summer of 2014, clashes in the Palestinian territories precipitated a military confrontation between the Israeli military and Hamas in which Hamas fired nearly three thousand rockets at Israel, and Israel retaliated with a major offensive in Gaza. The skirmish ended in late August 2014 with a cease-fire deal brokered by Egypt, but only after 73 Israelis and 2,251 Palestinians were killed. After a wave of violence between Israelis and Palestinians in 2015, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah announced that Palestinians would no longer be bound by the territorial divisions created by the Oslo Accords.

In March of 2018, Israeli troops killed 183 Palestinians and wounded 6,000 others after some Palestinians stormed the perimeter fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel and threw rocks during an otherwise peaceful demonstration. Just months later, Hamas militants fired over one hundred rockets into Israel, and Israel responded with strikes on more than fifty targets in Gaza during a twenty-four-hour flare-up. The tense political atmosphere resulted in a return to disunity between Fatah and Hamas, with Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party controlling the Palestinian Authority from the West Bank and Hamas de facto ruling the Gaza Strip.

The Donald J. Trump administration reversed longstanding U.S. policy by canceling funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency, which provides aid to Palestinian refugees, and relocating the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Trump administration also helped broker the Abraham Accords, under which Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates normalized relations with Israel, becoming only the third and fourth countries in the region—following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994—to do so. Similar deals followed with Morocco [PDF] and Sudan. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah rejected the accords, as did Hamas.

In early May 2021, after a court ruled in favor of the eviction of several Palestinian families from East Jerusalem properties, protests erupted, with Israeli police employing force against demonstrators. After several consecutive days of violence, Hamas, the militant group which governs Gaza, and other Palestinian militant groups launched hundreds of rockets into Israeli territory. Israel responded with artillery bombardments and airstrikes, killing more than twenty Palestinians and hitting both military non-military infrastructure, including residential buildings, media headquarters, and refugee and healthcare facilities. After eleven days, Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire, with both sides claiming victory. The fighting killed more than 250 Palestinians and at least 13 Israelis, wounded nearly 2,000 others, and displaced 72,000 Palestinians.   

The most far-right and religious government in Israel’s history, led by Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu and his Likud party and comprising two ultra-Orthodox parties and three far-right parties, was inaugurated in late December 2022. The coalition government prioritized the expansion and development of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, endorsed discrimination against LGBTQ+ people on religious grounds, and voted to limit judicial oversight of the government in May 2023 after a delay due to nationwide protests in March. 


Following the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas on October 7, 2023, President Joe Biden made a strong statement of support for Israel. On the same day that Israel declared war against Hamas, the United States announced that it would send renewed shipments of arms and move its Mediterranean Sea warships closer to Israel. While the UN Security Council called an emergency meeting to discuss the renewed violence, the members failed to come to a consensus statement. Given the history of brutality when Israel and Palestinian extremist groups have fought in the past, international groups quickly expressed concern for the safety of civilians in Israel and the Palestinian territories as well as those being held hostage by militants in Gaza. In the first month of fighting, approximately 1,300 Israelis and 10,000 Palestinians were killed. Increasing loss of life is of primary concern in the conflict.

While the United States said there was “no direct evidence” that Iranian intelligence and security forces directly helped Hamas plan its October 7 attack, Iran has a well-established patronage relationship with Hamas and other extremist groups across the Middle East. Israel has exchanged artillery fire with Iran-backed Hezbollah almost daily and struck Syrian military targets and airports, prompting concern that the war could expand north. To the south, Yemen’s Houthi rebels have launched multiple rounds of missiles at Israel as well. Meanwhile, the Islamic Resistance of Iraq, a coalition of Iranian-backed militias, has claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks on U.S. military targets in Iraq and Syria since the war began.

A 2023 effort by the United States to help broker a normalization accord between Israel and Saudi Arabia was thrown into chaos by the October conflict. Saudi Arabia has long advocated for the rights and safety of Palestinian Arab populations in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Especially in Gaza, those populations are now in the path of IDF operations, jeopardizing the progress the Israelis and Saudis made toward a common understanding. However, the United States says the Saudis have indicated they are still interested in the deal.

Recent Developments

In early October 2023, war broke out between Israel and Hamas, the militant Islamist group that has controlled Gaza since 2006, in the most significant escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in several decades. Hamas fighters fired rockets into Israel and stormed southern Israeli cities and towns across the border of the Gaza Strip, killing more than 1,300 Israelis, injuring 3,300, and taking hundreds of hostages. The attack took Israel by surprise, though the state quickly mounted a deadly retaliatory operation. One day after the October 7 attack, the Israeli cabinet formally declared war against Hamas, followed by a directive from the defense minister to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to carry out a “complete siege” of Gaza.

Since then, the two sides have traded daily rocket fire, and Israel ordered more than one million Palestinian civilians in northern Gaza to evacuate ahead of a ground invasion that began on October 28. Israeli forces have encircled Gaza City, cutting it off from southern Gaza and squeezing Hamas. Hundreds of thousands of civilians remain in the city. Gazan health officials say the war has killed 10,000 Palestinians, including more than 4,000 children. The territory is also desperately low on water, fuel, and supplies as Israel has rejected humanitarian pauses and limited the amount of aid that can enter.

The displacement of millions more Palestinians presents a dilemma for Egypt and Jordan, which have absorbed hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the past but have resisted accepting anyone during the current war. They fear that Gazans, many of whom were already displaced from elsewhere in Israel, will not be allowed to return once they leave. Egypt also fears that Hamas fighters could enter Egypt and trigger a new war in the Sinai by launching attacks on Israel or destabilizing the authoritarian regime of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi by supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. So far, negotiations have resulted in only 1,100 people exiting Gaza through the Rafah border crossing to Egypt. The other 1.5 million displaced Gazans—70 percent of the territory’s population—have nowhere to go and face increasingly dire living conditions and security risks.

The History of Jerusalem since its Destruction

The Greeting – As Salaamu Alaykum, Peace Be Upon You: Is Altruistic Salaamism since It Implies ‘I am Responsible for Your Safety’ |  source

The History of Jerusalem
since its Destruction in 70 AD

by R.E. Slater

A friend observed that Palestinians never owned Israel's land. That the land of Canaan has been theirs since Moses, when dying, left Josua in charge to lead Israel's 12 tribes into Canaan (aka, the Promised Land) which God Promised to the Jews since Abraham.

However, if dispossession is wrong at all times then:

(1) did God sin by acting evilly upon the Canaanites?

Or, (2) if God is a God of love can we say Israel's kind of God acted more like the warring Semitic kingdoms around Israel... or even,

(3) That Israel itself used the God-card to justify their warring actions of seizure and removal?

But then (4) people cry foul and exclaim, "Canaan's sin lost their lands!" And with that argument we could all point fingers at each other and nation after sinful nation whose sin should be met by God's vengeance.

I think then, we need to back up and rethink our flat statements and unethical religious dogmas which appear more self-righteous and self-justifying than fair and loving...

 - res

My Response

After Rome decimated Jerusalem there were very few Israelis who remained. The last 2000 years have seen awave after wave of regional wars between Europeans and Muslims which has led to the state of Palestine today (2024).

This legendary centuries-old enmity between two monotheistic brothers (Esau and Jacob, who stole Esau's birthright by trickery) has gone unresolved and is currently tearing the Middle East apart leaving hundreds of innocents on both sides to suffer harm and loss.

As the horrific European Crusades genocidally removed whole regional populations in Europe, and then in the Middle East, Christianity's claim of radical love was shown to be mere words without action no less today as parts of the Christian Church continues to forment civil rebellion into the United States and institutionalized-initiated strife through support of hard line governments across Europe (Hungary, Italy) and the Middle East (Israel's current administration) and into South America (Brazil).

By and by Israel's claim became severely nullified under Lenin's pograms and Hitler's Nazism making Israel returned to the land inevitable, and by Jewish thinking, a necessary reclamation in lieu of purposeful genocide. That is, having no where to, dispossed Jews returned either to Palestine or to free democracies in Europe, America, Australia, India, and so forth.

Personally, I do not know if Israel took Palestinian land (most possibly) or paid for it (probably not; they were unorganized, without an official government, and had nothing as refugees). So part of the rub is how fleeing refugees dispossed landed Palestinians (themselves with a weak or negligible government) when reclaiming a land removed from them since Rome's extermination in 70 AD.

Secondly, unlike how the United States attempts to welcome and reverence refugees fleeing to America's shores - though the rightwing church is making assimilation extremely difficult and is forcing citizens to forcifully execute naturalization or to prevent it altogether under inhumane white nationalism and supremacy) - Israel may not have wanted to assimilate with Islam and vice versa.

Hence, there may not have been any effort of goodwill on either side so racism and cultural discrimination went both ways. Then over the years Israel bullied Palestine and Palestine responded in kind. And all this might be blame on British control of the region as its churches attempt a forced resurrection of Israel to its Promised lands based upon a God of Moses stating it was there's due to Canaan's sin.

Neither side has been innocent... and when reading of Palestine's treatment over the years by Israel it's hard to not have sympathy upon the loss of their own land to flering refugees feeling a deep terror to their own lives and fighting for whatever chance of survivorship they could find.

And so we watch two stubborn monotheistic religions fighting it out between one another as brother to brother. Both are stubborn. Both unyielding. Both reciprocating ill upon ill upon the other. Both sure of their human rights. And both sure of their claims.

Firstly, the God they each claim as become a sour God of violence and damnation. I do not recognize this God nor do I understand how this God intended for Moses to enter Canaan without some form of injustice to its acclaimed "wicked" inhabitants to Israel's own acts of wicked dispossesseion in the books of Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, etc.

Further, the grievances of the ancient past must be put to bed. Today's unholy wars are displeasing to humanity and discontinuous with this false God of War as acclaimed in the bible. Certainly we all want justice both religious and non-religious. But war, grievance, and theft is not tge way for two mature religious brothers to act towards one another.

Nor do we wish these brothers to further harm each other. I, personally, am grieved by their enmity and unforgiving spirit each harming the other in displays of hatred and evil. We would plead for the brothers to reconsider each other in other terms than avenging judgment. To revise their faiths and the God they follow.

We would propose Rewriting their faith history in loving terms and Rewriting their violent god as a false god not worthy of the Loving, redeeming God whom Jesus envisioned and perhaps Muhammad had envisioned too, though I do not know my Muslim history as well on this point nor how the Koran could be interpreted.

But what I suspect Christians with their Holy Bible, and Jews with their vast assortments of Torah interpretation, and the brotherhood of Muslims with their Holy Koran, must do is to reform their religion as religions of love and not enmity. I would suggest setting each faith upon a process theology of love as begun by A.N. Whitehead in his process philosophy of how nature works. And by this common philosophic theology reset each religious faith around love and not vengeance.

I might also suggest various forms of restitution to so many who have been harmed or killed by their own religion or another's. Peace must be made. The scornful and strivings put away. Tools of war turned to plowshares and plowshares but to work to revive, renew, reclaim, redeem, and resurrection the many injustices placed upon the brotherly lands Abrahamic progeny.

Let then peace become each nation's faith marked in goodwill and restitution. Let these ancestral hatreds cease and remove all elements who speak against peace and love. Let their be brotherly love unlike the rivalry of Jacob and Esau of years and years and years ago.

Shalom Aleichem (Jewish)
As-Salaam-Alaikum (Islamic)
“Peace be with you.” (Christian)

R.E. Slater
February 27, 2024

* * * * * * *


History of Jerusalem since its Destruction

History of Jerusalem since its Destruction in the First Century

Here is a brief history of Jerusalem since its destruction in AD 70:

After the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in AD 70, the city lay dormant and unoccupied except for a few Roman military camps. Jerusalem was so thoroughly destroyed that much of the rubble was left in place. But eventually, new buildings were built on top of the old. This cycle has repeated itself many times. As a result, the ground level of Jerusalem has been raised significantly over the last 2,000 years. For example, some of the exposed streets that go back to the Roman period are more than 10 feet below the level of the current city streets.


After tearing the city apart, Roman Emperor Hadrian rebuilt it on a Roman plan. This included the usual cardo (or “main street”), which went north and south, a forum, Roman temples, etc. He also expanded the city walls to extend further north. These walls reached several blocks beyond the northern boundary of the “Old City” walls we see today.

Another huge change to the city occurred after Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. He began to pour resources into the region. This started what is now known as the Byzantine era. During the Byzantine era, the population of Jerusalem increased. Many new buildings, including churches, were constructed during the 4th through 6th centuries. The most famous of these churches include the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Church of the Apostles, and the Nea Church. But all of these churches suffered damage or destruction in later invasions by Persians and Muslims.

History of Jerusalem since its Destruction – The Last Thousand Years

While much of Jerusalem suffered destruction from these later attacks, the outline of the walls remained about the same. Eventually, the walls were rebuilt and the city was well fortified when the Crusaders came to retake Jerusalem from the Fatimid Islamic rulers in 1099. Following the Crusader takeover of Jerusalem, the size of the walled city shrank considerably—even smaller than the Old City walls of today. This was due to the smaller population, more limited resources, and need to rebuild the fortifications to guard against impending attack.


Jerusalem was re-conquered by the Islamic Ayyubid dynasty under Saladin in 1187 and some rebuilding was done. Then, over the next three centuries, Jerusalem suffered from various attacks and conquests by the Tartars, Muslims, Crusaders, and probably even suffered from the bubonic plague. During this period, there were various building projects, but no significant expansion of the walls.

Eventually, the Ottoman Turks took the city in 1517 under Suleiman the Magnificent. He rebuilt the city walls, and his layout is what we see today around the “Old City.” These walls continued to be repaired and rebuilt over the 400-year period of Ottoman rule. Today, certain sections of the walls give a visual history of Jerusalem reaching back over 2,000 years.

So, that’s a brief history of Jerusalem since its destruction during the first century AD. All of these events have left their mark on the “Old City” of Jerusalem you see today. Jerusalem is like no other city in the world with regard to its historical significance. Everywhere you look, there is a story to tell.

History of Jerusalem since its Destruction

Israel-Palestine conflict: A brief history in maps and charts


News|  Israel War on Gaza  <-- article link

Israel-Palestine conflict: A brief history in maps and charts

As Gaza reels from Israel’s devastating bombardments, here’s a brief history of the conflict using maps and charts.

Israel’s deadly bombardment of Gaza has killed nearly 15,000 people, including 10,000 women and children, in over 50 days, making it the deadliest war for the besieged Palestinian enclave till date.

Israel has rebuffed calls for a ceasefire as a four-day humanitarian truce comes to an end on November 28. It is unclear whether the truce will be extended.

The devastation of Gaza and the mounting death toll has triggered worldwide protests, bringing the decades-long issue to the centre-stage of global politics.

The Balfour declaration

The Israeli-Palestinian issue goes back nearly a century when Britain, during World War I, pledged to establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine under the Balfour Declaration. British troops took control of the territory from the Ottoman Empire at the end of October 1917.

Map of Palestine before the British mandate.

Jewish immigration to Palestine

A large-scale Jewish migration to Palestine began, accelerated by Jewish people fleeing Nazism in Europe. Between 1918 and 1947, the Jewish population in Palestine increased from 6 percent to 33 percent.

Palestinians were alarmed by the demographic change and tensions rose, leading to the Palestinian revolt from 1936 to 1939.

Meanwhile, Zionist organisations continued to campaign for a homeland for Jews in Palestine. Armed Zionist militias started to attack the Palestinian people, forcing them to flee. Zionism, which emerged as a political ideology in the late 19th century, called for the creation of a Jewish homeland.

Chart showing Jewish immigration to Palestine.

The UN Partition Plan

As violence ravaged Palestine, the matter was referred to the newly formed United Nations. In 1947, the UN adopted Resolution 181, which called for the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, handing over about 55 percent of the land to Jews. Arabs were granted 45 percent of the land, while Jerusalem was declared a separate internationalised territory.

A map showing the division of Palestine based on the UN Resolution 181.

The city is currently divided between West Jerusalem, which is predominantly Jewish, and East Jerusalem with a majority Palestinian population. Israel captured East Jerusalem after the Six-Day War in 1967 along with the West Bank – a step not recognised by the international community.

The Old City in occupied East Jerusalem holds religious significance for Christians, Muslims, and Jews. It is home to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which is known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif and to Jews as Temple Mount.

In 1981, the UN designated it a World Heritage Site.

INTERACTIVE_Jerusalem divided city

The Nakba

Leading up to Israel’s birth in 1948, more than 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from their homes by Zionist militias. This mass exodus came to be known as the Nakba or catastrophe.

A further 300,000 Palestinians were displaced by the Six-Day War in 1967.

The map of Palestinian exodus following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

A map showing Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Israel declared the annexation of East Jerusalem in 1980, but the international community still considers it an occupied territory. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

The Oslo Accords

In 1993, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signed the Oslo Accords, which aimed to achieve peace within five years. It was the first time the two sides recognised each other.

A second agreement in 1995 divided the occupied West Bank into three parts – Area A, B and C. The Palestinian Authority, which was created in the wake of the Oslo Accords, was offered only limited rule on 18 percent of the land as Israel effectively continued to control the West Bank.

Maps showing the distribution of the occupied West Bank after the Oslo Accords were signed.

Israeli settlements and checkpoints

However, the Oslo Accords slowly broke down as Israeli settlements, Jewish communities built on Palestinian land in the West Bank, grew at a rapid pace.

The settlement population in the West Bank and East Jerusalem grew from approximately 250,000 in 1993 to up to 700,000 in September this year. About three million Palestinians live in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

INTERACTIVE Occupied West Bank Palestine Israeli settlements
(Al Jazeera)

The building of Israeli settlements and a separation wall on occupied territories has fragmented the the Palestinian communities and restricted their mobility. About 700 road obstacles, including 140 checkpoints, dot the West Bank. About 70,000 Palestinians with Israeli work permits cross these checkpoints in their daily commute.

Settlements are considered illegal under international law. The UN has condemned settlements, calling it a big hurdle in the realisation of a viable Palestinian state as part of the so-called “two-state solution”.

INTERACTIVE_Checkpoints in West Bank

Blockade of Gaza

Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza in 2007 after the Hamas group came to power. The siege continues till date. Israel also occupies the West Bank and East Jerusalem – the territories Palestinians want to be part of their future state.

Israel imposed a total blockade on the Gaza Strip on October 9, cutting its supplies of electricity, food, water, and fuel in the wake of a surprise Hamas attack inside Israel. At least 1,200 people were killed in that attack.

INTERACTIVE Gaza 16 years of living under blockade-OCT9-2023

Israel and Palestine now

This is what Israel and Palestine look like now.

INTERACTIVE_Size of Palestine and Israel

Today, about 5 million Palestinians live in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem and 1.6 million Palestinians are citizens of Israel. This makes up about half of their total population. The other half lives in other countries, including Arab countries. There are about 14.7 million Jews around the world today, of which 84 percent live in Israel and the United States. The rest live in other countries including France, Canada, Argentina and Russia.

INTERACTIVE_Where are the Palestinians today

INTERACTIVE_Where are the Jews today

Here is an account of Palestinian and Israeli lives lost to the violence between 2008 and 2023.

(Al Jazeera)

Data compiled by Sarah Shamim