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Jerusalem has been the heart of Israel and of world Jewry for 3,000 years, and there has been a virtually unbroken Jewish presence there for all that time. When modern statistics are on record, they show Jews as the majority in the city:

* 1860: 11,000 Jews, 6,500 Muslims, 4,500 Christians
* 1906: 40,000 Jews, 13,000 Christians, 7,000 Muslims
* 1999: 633,000 Jews, 200,000 Mulsims and Christians

Jews around the world turn toward Jerusalem when they pray. Muslims turn toward Mecca. Jews and Christians make religious pilgrimages to Jerusalem. Muslims make religious pilgrimages to Mecca.

Jerusalem is not mentioned at all in the Koran. It does not appear on lists of Muslim holy cities. Caliphs and sultans ruling from afar paid little or no heed to Jerusalem; it dwindled to a dirty, dilapidated and poverty-stricken village — scarcely to be expected in any city that is loved or revered.

Arabs built little in Jerusalem, with the exception of the Dome of the Rock, that a caliph built in the Seventh Century — on the site of the First and Second biblical Temples. It is now being alleged that those Temples never existed, and while one might suppose this too preposterous to require rebuttal, the historically illiterate minions of the news media may repeat it with quite serious mien.

During the Jordanian occupation of the Old City of Jerusalem, the Jewish residents were killed or driven out. For 19 years, Jews of all nationalities were banned from their holy places and historical sites, while ancient synagogues and cemeteries were wrecked or crudely desecrated. Now, the Muslim religious authorities still permitted to administer Temple Mount are relentlessly unearthing and destroying every relic of the Temples they say never existed — a program dubbed “archaeological terrorism”.

Tzemach News Service (TNS) is a ministry of Tzemach Institute for Biblical Studies (http://www.tzemach.org)

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