The Fight for Jerusalem: Rad­i­cal Islam, the West, and the Future of the Holy City

Dore Gold
  • Review
By – March 30, 2012
Dore Gold, pres­i­dent of the Jerusalem Cen­ter for Pub­lic Affairs, exam­ines the posi­tion of Jerusalem in the three monothe­is­tic reli­gions and its cur­rent role in the Arab-Israeli con­flict and world pol­i­tics. He shows that while Jerusalem remained cen­tral for Judaism since King David made it the cap­i­tal city of his king­dom, its posi­tion in Chris­tian­i­ty and Islam was usu­al­ly mar­gin­al, and it tem­porar­i­ly took cen­ter stage only as a result of polit­i­cal devel­op­ments with­in the two lat­ter reli­gions (e.g., dur­ing the Ummayad peri­od in Islam and dur­ing the Cru­sad­er Wars of Chris­tian­i­ty). The first three chap­ters ana­lyze the role of Jerusalem in Judaism, Chris­tian­i­ty, and Islam. This is fol­lowed by an exam­i­na­tion of the diplo­mat­ic strug­gle over Jerusalem, its posi­tion among the Pales­tin­ian Arabs and under Hashemite rule, and the role of Jerusalem in the Arab-Israeli peace process. Gold then exam­ines the role of Jerusalem in rad­i­cal Islam, show­ing how the con­quest of Jerusalem is regard­ed as a pre­lim­i­nary step toward the con­quest and Islamiza­tion of the West. Elab­o­rat­ing on the fail­ure of Mus­lim regimes and inter­na­tion­al bod­ies to guar­an­tee free­dom of wor­ship and move­ment in Jerusalem, Gold con­cludes that these free­doms can be guar­an­teed only by Israel. He believes that giv­ing parts of Jerusalem to a Mus­lim regime will not guar­an­tee peace and secu­ri­ty; on the con­trary, this will be regard­ed as vic­to­ry on the way to a uni­ver­sal Islam­ic state. While strong in its well doc­u­ment­ed his­tor­i­cal analy­sis, the book is vague regard­ing the imple­men­ta­tion of the desired out­come. Illus­tra­tions, index, maps, and notes.
Ruth Seif is a retired chair­per­son of Eng­lish at Thomas Jef­fer­son High School in NYC. She served as admin­is­tra­tor in the alter­na­tive high school division.

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