Its name means Place of Peace but it has caused endless misery and chaos in the world. From the time King David wrested it from the indigenous Jebusites, through the religious wars known as the Crusades, to President Trump’s recent recognition of the city as Israel’s capital, Jerusalem has conflicted mankind more than it has given us peace. Many lessons have been learned but Jerusalem still holds many secrets.
Jerusalem is at the heart of the Zionist rebuilding of Eretz (Greater) Israel – that mostly fabled land stretching from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River. I say fabled because it lasted only sixty years during the reigns of kings David and Solomon. After that, it all fell apart.
Our own Italic ancestors delivered the coup de grâce in A.D. 70 when Judean Zealots fought to replace the Pax Romana with a fanatical theocracy. The Romans not only destroyed their Temple and evicted all Jews from Jerusalem, but renamed the country Palestine.
Two millennia later, Zionists lobbied the British – who had captured Jerusalem from the Turks in 1917 – for a homeland in Palestine. That promise was fulfilled in 1948 when the United Nations voted to partition Palestine into Jewish and Palestinian states. According to author Rich Cohen (Israel is Real, 2010), that vote may have been fixed by Samuel Zemurray. Known as “Sam the Banana Man,” Zemurray knew his way around the banana republics of Central America, all voting UN members, via his prosperous banana plantations. Cohen suggests that Zionism and bananas mixed well.
In our own time, the United States has underwritten Zionist dreams with $140 billion in grants since 1973, and by weakly protesting Israeli settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
But enough politics. Jerusalem’s archeology is challenging many myths and revealing some strong connections to the Italic people.
Just as Judaism and Christianity contain elements of human sacrifice – Abraham’s plan to kill his son Isaac and Jesus’s preordained crucifixion took place at Jerusalem – our own heritage depended on a Jerusalem sacrifice. There would be no Christianity as we know it without the Roman destruction of Herod’s Temple in A.D. 70 – Jerusalem had to die so Christian Rome could be born.
That may be a strange concept for many but it is quite valid. After Jesus’s death, Jewish-oriented “christianity” was struggling to survive in Jerusalem under the control of Peter and James the Just. James was the brother of Jesus (Catholic theologians made him disappear but Orthodox churches consider him a step brother, a son of Joseph from a previous marriage). In A.D. 62, James, like his brother, was condemned by Jewish priests for heresy. Peter then fled to Italy where Paul was preaching. When the Temple was destroyed eight years later, the successors of Peter and Paul phased out their Judaism to make the church more appealing to Greek and Latin-speaking pagans. Rome became the center of the new and romanized Christian Church.
In today’s Jerusalem a major flashpoint is the Temple Mount, that disputed platform upon which stands Islam’s Dome of the Rock and, allegedly, Herod’s Temple. The Rock is actually the peak of Mount Moriah around which the Temple Mount was raised. In 1996, Israeli architect Tuvia Sagiv shocked both Jews and Muslims by claiming that our Roman ancestors, not Herod, actually created the Temple Mount from debris of Herod’s Temple. Sagiv believes Herod’s Temple is buried fifty feet below the surface of the Mount. He further claims the Dome of the Rock is built upon a Christian church erected by Emperor Constantine which itself was built on Emperor Hadrian’s temple to Jupiter which was built on the Pontius Pilate-era Fortress of Antonia. In short, the temple Mount should be as sacred to Italians as to Jews or Muslims! The evidence is compelling. (You can visit Sagiv’s website at www.templemount.org.)
But, we certainly don’t want to muck up Jerusalem any worse than it is. -JLM