Welcome to our last stop in this journey to better understanding of Israeli politics and society. As you may remember, our historical point of departure in this course was the emergence of the Zionist Movement in Europe and it's role in shaping Israeli state and society today. However, the Zionist Movement itself has chosen a different point of departure, one that goes back 2,000 years to the kingdoms of David and Solomon. It goes back to the first Jewish kingdom to control the territory to which the Zionist movement has strived to return, a kingdom that was built around its capital, Jerusalem or Zion. Tracing the routes of the Jewish nations back to the glorious time of King David and King Solomon, when the 12 tribes were still united, and when, according to Jewish tradition, the nation had thrived, has provided a historical legitimacy for the Jewish people's claim for the right to the territory. In a world in which a nation's right to self determination in a specific territory must be grounded in historical affiliation with the land, the dream to return to their ancestors' land and to its capital Jerusalem, has sparked the imagination and the enthusiasm of Jews around the globe and has instigated the political support of other Bible readers for this national project. Indeed, the Zionist Movement has managed to come back to Jerusalem and established its modern capital on the ruins of King David's capital. The myth of King David's Jerusalem still inspired Jews to come to Jerusalem, and their theological, geographical debates about the history of the city still inform many of the geopolitical struggles in the Middle East. Members of all three monotheistic religions state their historical right to the city and their commitment to fight to the death to secure their control over the city. Jerusalem today is therefore a microcosmos of Israeli society on the one hand and of the Middle East on the other. It is a home for Ultra Orthodox, Orthodox, and secular Jews, as well as Muslims and Christians. It is the home of the Israeli governing apparatuses such as the Knesset, the Prime Minister office, the President's home, and all other ministries. It is the place where ancient meets modern in every corner, where poverty meets great wealth and where emotions are always close to the surface. It is also the home of our university, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It is because of this historical and mythological significance, its importance in understanding Israel's culture, and its place in the Middle East, that I have chosen to conclude our journey with a talk about Jerusalem. Historical geography Ronnie Elenblum will guide us on the story of Jerusalem both ancient and new. Elenblum is a professor at the Department of Geography here at the Hebrew University. He's specializing in the geography, history, and archeology of the Crusades, and in urban geographical history, as well as environmental history. He's the author of numerous books and articles covering the historical geography of the region with a special interest in Jerusalem. Together with Professor Sari Nusseibeh of Al-quds University, he initiated a Jerusalem library as part of the historic city research project. >> In Schillum, I was asked to present Jerusalem, the place of Jerusalem in the Israeli society, and probably not only in the Israeli society, but elsewhere as well. And this is difficult to explain the meaning of Jerusalem for the Israeli society, and actually I tried several years ago. I tried to convene together here in Mount Skopos some of the people who are identified with the idea of Jerusalem to ask them the question, what is the meaning of Jerusalem for them. There were many people. There was Palestinian people, Muslim people, Christian people, Jewish people, holiday people, settlers and left wings, whatever. And I was trying to interview them and to find out what is the meaning of Jerusalem for them, and I found that Jerusalem is several different things for different people. For very modernist people Jerusalem, is just a city. It's an area in the midst of Israel. It is something that can be managed, divided, looked upon. It is something it is a kind of real estate, an important one, but real estate. I think this was the way that some of the politicians in Israel looked at Jerusalem and still regard it, as something that can be managed in such a way. For many religious people, Jerusalem, and it was quite sad for me, because I am also a modernist, for many of the religious people, no matter of what religion, Jerusalem is not real estate. It's not a manageable piece of land. It is an idea, and if asked to define it geographically, it's a spot. It's a singular spot. It is something which is Euclidian dot. Something that cannot be defined, something which is dear to them. It is the gate of heaven. It is the place, it's the idea of the connection between God and humanity, and I've learned a lot from these series of interviews that I made here. And together with you I would like to try and define and to very briefly to understand the meaning or the changing meaning of Jerusalem for all three religions, all three monotheistic religions. And what happened to them in the last 150 years influencing the Israeli society, the Palestinian society, and probably the entire world, as well. How do we start? If we start with the Jewish way of defining Jerusalem, the Jewish way of defining Jerusalem is to identify Jerusalem with the destruction, the destruction of the first temple, the destruction of the second temple, the destruction of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is celebrated, for many centuries, it is celebrated as a kind of a memory. It became a memory for the Jews. We, Jewish people, remind Jerusalem during the Passover feast. We remember Jerusalem during our emergence, and so on and so forth. Jerusalem is identified with its destruction, and actually, the entire Bible can be read as a way of preparing the reader for the destruction of Jerusalem and the description of the destruction itself. A big part of the Bible are prophecies and things that lead to the destruction of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple. So the destruction of Jerusalem has a very important meaning in the history of the Jewish people and the identity and the self-identity of the Jewish people for many, many years. And it is true, I cannot think about another surviving city of antiquity that was destroyed, conquered, resettled, and re-inhabited as many times as Jerusalem. Jerusalem was destroyed many more times than any other city you can think about. It destroyed more times certainly than Rome, Paris, Athens, any city in Spain. I mean, you can not think about so many kinds of disasters that happen to Jerusalem. Actually, it was destroyed more than any other place in the world. And actually, the way we modern historians and modern archaeologists read the history of the city is from destruction to destruction, or from resettlement to resettlement, each of them following the previous destruction. [INAUDIBLE] The destruction, there is the conquest of David, then there's the destruction of the first temple, the destruction of the second temple. Then there is the distraction after the rebellion against Adrian rebellion, then there is the Muslim conquest, the Crusader conquest and so on, so forth, the Ottoman conquest, the British conquest, Israeli conquest, whatever. We define the history of Jerusalem as the history of a series of repeated destructions and resettlements of the city. Is it true? Can we interpret the entire history through the political events that affected the city itself? Sometimes it is true. Sometimes when the city was destroyed and re-inhabitated, it means a total change in history of the city. In many other events, the destruction or the conquest or the resettlement was just the continuation of the previous trends in the society of occupation of the country, of the same people living in the same place, the same culture and other things. And some of the major changes in the history of the city happened during other periods, which are not associated with destruction and mega political events. Politics is not the only way to explain the history of a city which throughout history became identified with the of the God himself. The political events are not the main way of interpreting such a city, not in the past and not in the present. I will reach the present, don't worry, but I would like to start with the past. Jerusalem became a sacred city according to the Bible during the Davidic time. The Bible attempts to identify the city of Jerusalem with King David. It is kind of a trademarking of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is described in the Bible as the selected city, or for selected king, or for selected people in a selected land, in a selected country. The trademarking of David is apparent also not only in the Jewish way of thinking about Jerusalem but in the catalogical thinking of other monotheistic religions as well. Jesus is a descendent of David. All the things that will happen in the last day, the appearance of the messiah etc, will occur in Jerusalem itself. This will be the place, even according to Islam of the last judgment of all the people. But it is interesting to note that the Bible does not mention, even delete, any mentioning of Jerusalem before King David. Jerusalem does not appear in the Torah. It does not appear in the first books of the Bible. Almost, it does not appear, and there are places in which it should. I mean, when Abraham takes his son to the top of one of the mountains, you feel that it should be written in Jerusalem, but it is not. The Bible does not mention Jerusalem in such cases. It appears and become only in the time of David. David is one of the personalities, the most important personality in all three basic religions. And in some way or another, it is surprising because we have very little remains of the time of King David. King David is very important, but Jerusalem does not contain many remains from the time of King David. We don't see the traces of the temple, maybe it existed but we don't know. We have very little remains of the time of David and Solomon. It is not the city which is described in the Bible, there is a kind of tension between the archeological reality and the mythological stories. Jerusalem becomes Mary becomes more important, more influential during the time since the 8th century BCE. And you can see it in the archaeological remains, you can see it in the written evidence, you can see it elsewhere. In the time of the great prophets Amos, Hosea, which is apparently also the time of Homer in Greece in the mid 8th century BCE. Jerusalem is becoming a center of learning, of thinking, of influencing, and the temple is undergoing a certain change and renovation. And here is the beginning of the culture that can be identified with the Jewish monotheistic culture, the books, the books were revealed and were written and probably the entire bible began to be written. And the entire Jewish tradition began actually in the 8th Century BCE. The archaeology and history are not so important for us. But I would like to describe the beginning of Jerusalem, the identification of a certain site, a certain geographical site, with a transcendental idea of God himself. And with a political, the house of David, which is a political entity. The identification of these three things, the political dynasty, transcendental idea and graphical site began to take shape in the 8th century BCE. And actually continued to exist at it was from the 8th century BCE until the second century BCE. Recent I mean Jerusalem became bigger and bigger during the 8th century. During the 8th century BCE, the 7th century BCE it was destroyed and abandoned in the 6th century BCE. The Jews returned 70 years later. Jerusalem was a small city but the idea of the temple, the connection between the ancient ideas which were shaped in the 8th century BCE did not stop and did not interrupt it until the 2nd century BCE. This was the temple of God according to the ancient traditions. The way I look at the history of Jerusalem between the 8th century BCE through the 2nd century BCE, is of a continuous development of a city which is centered around a temple, and around a very strong ideology of the temple. The temple was managed by a certain clan, a certain dynasty of priest. The priest talk their Zadok, Zadok House of Priests. The laws were different from the later periods and they became stronger and stronger visa vie other rivals to the center of Jerusalem itself. There were other temples in the country. There were other, but there was a constant struggle to keep and maintain the strength of the temple and the idea of the Davidic Dynasty of the Zadokian Dynasty of priests, of the centrality of Jerusalem, and the idea of the monotheistic God. We usually tend to divide this long period according to political events. We refer to the futile attempt of the new Syrian Sennacherib attempt to conquer Jerusalem 701 BCE, in the end of the 8th century BCE. We refer to the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem in 586. We refer to the return of the Jews 70 years later, but culturally, the idea of Jerusalem for Jerusalem itself is this is a continuous period and each of these events is utilized in order to strength the earlier Jerusalem. It is not an end it is just a strengthening. The fact that the Neo-Assyrian Empire did not succeed in conquering Jerusalem in the 8th century BCE is a sign that Jerusalem is unconquerable. And even the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem is also temporary because 70 years later Cyrus the Great conquer Babylon and create a new empire which is more friendly to the Jews. The idea of an immune city dominated by God, and by the political dynasty is strengthen. It's not changed so much by the conquest of the city and its destruction. In my opinion, the major change was made during the Hellenistic period which began of course by the conquest of Alexander Alexander the Great who conquered this country in 232 BC. Alexander started a period which was very synchronistic period. But, the effect of this synchronistic period of the realistic idea of fusion between the Greek culture and the local cultures took place only 150 years after Alexander in 175 BCE. In 175 BCE, this was a major change in the history of the country. It is not so important, the date is not so important. And all the political events that followed are not so important. To make a long story short, in 175, there was a kind of a coup at the temple of Jerusalem. In the beginning, a certain priest named Yason and then a priest named Menelaus succeeded in buying the high priesthood of the temple of Jerusalem from the alienistic ruling, alienistic king in Antios in Northern Syria. And it was the beginning of a creation of a different Jerusalem. Jerusalem which is open to other cultures. Jerusalem, in which there was, according to [INAUDIBLE], book of Macabee. There was all kinds of Hellenistic institutions such as and uuu. And more important there was a change in the high priesthood. Instead of the house of Zadok which prevailed until burning the temple there was a beginning of a new high priests. With different way of thinking which did not change even after the success of the temporary success of the Hasoneans revolt against the Hellenistic kingdom. It was a change in the heart itself, everything was changed. It was not the same, the priests themselves were Hellenistic, were closer to the outer world. It was a fundamental change, I will give just one example. Until 175, the calendar, the Jewish calendar, was a solar calendar. And from 175 onwards the calendar was changed to a lunar calendar which was the calendar of the Hellenistic period, especially of Egypt. Egypt and there was beginning of a new feasts and later, several hundred years later, the invention of a new Jewish feast like Rosh Hashanah. Which was celebrated in the beginning of the Hellenistic year which is September, October. And not as it was until when in passover, together with passover. So, the fundamental change, the opening of Jerusalem to the world began in 175 BC. And the change in the calendar and the change in this way of the people refer to scriptures, of people refer to the outer world, change in Jerusalem went 175. And from then onward for almost 250 maybe 300 years, there was a struggle, a strong struggle within the Jewish people in Jerusalem. The society was divided into sects fighting each against the other. There were always the Hellenized people, Hellenized priesthoods, Hellenized kings. There was the sole majority which became more and more religious, behaving according to strict religious laws. And there were all kind of groups, many groups, tens of them, fighting against each other of different types of extremism. How to react against the outer world, how to react against or not against. How to behave in a way that will please God himself, how to behave in Jerusalem itself. I mean, the periods, the late Hellenistic period and the Roman period were the periods of struggle of the Jewish people. Centered over the idea that many people thought that Jerusalem is the place in which the strictest behavior of all will prevail. And other people who were more open to the entire world, which become more and more globalized in our terms. From 175, more, even more from 63 BCE when the city was conquered by the Romans. And even the time of Harold the Great. Harold the Great in Jerusalem tried to create a kind of compromise. On the one hand, he strengthened the temple. He built the biggest he don't build, because the priests themselves build the temple. But he enabled, he enabled the building of one of the biggest temples of antiquity. He beautified Jerusalem, but he beautified everything outside the temple including the presence of the temple itself were totally Hellenized. I mean there was the essence, the center was Jewish, the population was Jewish, the architecture was Hellenistic, Hellenistic and Roman. It was kind of an attempt to create something which will appeal to both, but it failed. It failed, and the inner struggle between those who wanted the most behavior in Jerusalem, in the abode of God, in the gates of heaven. And all the pilgrims who came from all over the world, all over the ancient world, to visit the temple. During these three pilgrimage feasts, they all wanted a very strong, very strict Jewish Jerusalem, on the one hand. On the other hand, there were people who wanted different behavior. The mega struggle within the Jewish Israeli society of the beginning of the first century CE, AD. The struggle culminated into open inner war and revolt against the super power of the world at the time against the Romans. And I just want to unite. Harold was a friend of the Roman emperors of the time, of Marcus Agrippa who was the second in charge to Augustus. He calling the city of Tiberius after Tiberius who inherited Augustus. Calling Caesarea, Caesarea, after Augustus was inherited Augustus and it was a kaiser of the time. So the biggest cities that he created were totally Hellenized, totally Romans totally dedicated to the Romans. But not many years after his death the Jews revolted against the Romans. And, as it happens against such empires, it ended was rivers of blood. Jerusalem was destroyed. It is written, Flavius Josephus says that the Romans did not intend to destroy the temple. It was just an accident. But the temple was destroyed. But what I am trying to say is that the destruction of the temple was a major event but not the most important one. Because during the revolt, during the siege over Jerusalem. There was a creation of something else which affected Jewish people from the year 70 CE, AD, until the mid-19th century. There was the creation of a new type of Judaism. I refer to a well-known event when Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai, he was taken out of Jerusalem as a dead person. And he spoke to the, who was going to be the emperor. Promising him that he's going to be an emperor and asking for Yavneh Yavneh and their daughters. Yavneh and their. And for those who are not acquainted with the ancient and modern geography of the country, Yavneh is not an important place. It is just a place. He could have asked for anything else, he ask for to go out and to build a new Judaism in a different place. A place which is not trade mark since the eighth century BCE, or since King David. A place which is nothing to create a new Judaism, and a new Judaism created. Which was totally different form the previous one. No temple, no sacrifice, no priesthood, no sketches. Only oral traditions. Only sages. He took out, not the extremist Jews and he tried to avoid any type of furious discussions. Even intellectual discussions were forbidden. If there is a discussion between and will prevail. No discussions. No fighting, and no questioning about the calendar, the yearly calendar. Everything was changed. The beginning of the year was moved to Rosh Hashanah, a new feast was created, the feast of Rosh Hashanah. Is was in Passover before. Everything was changed, Judaism was changed. But the main effect of the change. And not because of the destruction. But because of what preceded the destruction was the diminishing place of Jerusalem In the mentality of the Jewish people. The mentality of Jewish people was moved elsewhere. Jerusalem became instead of the center, instead of the world, [FOREIGN], a place of memory. Something like the pictures of my grandparents. Something that is there, we remind them, we remind Jerusalem in our face. We did not forget it altogether. But since 70 and even more seriously since the Jewish revolt of, the second Jewish revolt of the second century AD. Jerusalem disappeared as a real place from the central thinking of central Jewish thinking, it became [FOREIGN]. It became something that we, [SOUND] we think about it. We love Jews. We remind, the destruction of Jerusalem mind you. Not the beauty of Jerusalem. We remind ourselves that Jerusalem is destroyed every time. We don't wish to rebuild Jerusalem. Jewish people abandoned the idea of Jerusalem for many years. Even in centuries when it was possible for Jews to come to Jerusalem. Even when a trickle of Jews came back to Jerusalem. In the end of the 15th century AD when hundreds and thousands of Jews were expelled from Spain and went, you name it. Constantinopolis, Allepo, Greece, Romania, wherever, they didn't, only very small trickle came to Jerusalem. Jerusalem was not, I mean, we try to convince ourselves that we always dreamed about coming back to Jerusalem. In my opinion, it's an invention of the last two centuries. There was Judah and Levi of course. There was the Ramban who came to Jerusalem of course, to visit not to settle. Jerusalem was abandoned. And it was rescued and it was rebuilt, not by Jews but by other people. First, by the most Hellenistic of Roman Emperors, Hadrian, who was very well versed in Greek culture. After the destruction of Bar Kokhba revolt he built Jerusalem again. Of course he forbade the Jews coming back to Jerusalem. But this is not the reason why the Jews did not come and did not create a new center of Jerusalem. There was, Judaism went elsewhere. Went from a place of cult to the idea of knowledge. It was a new and different Judaism, Judaism of the sages. Judaism of the wise people. Hadrian built Jerusalem anew. And Jerusalem was inhabited by Roman people, regular Roman people who came to Jerusalem. And it was rescued by other monotheistic religions. That were more adaptive to the Hellenistic world to the entire world by the Christian people who build the city in the late Roman and this in time period. To build the shrines in the temple mount and I will not repeat all the history of Jerusalem. It's a different course about the crusaders, which is my profession or the Mamluk in which I'm also well versed and Ottoman periods. I would like to go to the end of the same story. This is something which is connected to the society. The Zionist movement in the 19th century, acted along the lines which were very common by the big nationalistic movements of the periods. I mean, first choosing a name, choosing a period in the past, which defeats the movement's ideology and aspiration and hopes and whatever. I mean, just for example, the Greek nationalistic movement, which was created after the liberation of Greece from the Turks. They did not choose the Byzantine period, although all the people in Greece were actually Byzantines. They spoke Greek. They were Eastern Christians. They were Byzantine, but they created a different past, a more glorious past, which was totally not what the common Greek people believe. They choose the ancient Greek people. The classical period, Athens. The language was different. Their aspirations were different, but all the ancient Greek culture was created within Greece itself and it was possible and they created a national past which was centered over the glorious period of classic Hellenic Greece. And it was possible to choose a city like Athens, which was just this small village, partially destroyed village in 1831 and to build the capital in Athens. I can repeat what happened to the [COUGH] creation of the new country, and so on and so forth. The Jews when creating the national movement choose the idea of Zion, which is Jerusalem. It is another name of Jerusalem. It's another name of the temple mount. They believed that they can create a new secular movement, which will be based on the glorious past when Zion and Jerusalem were the center of the Jewish people. Without entering all the madness of people believing that they live were God also believes or in the abode of God, or people believing that they know what God Himself wants and they created the idea. They created the idea of Zion. They created the idea that we return to this glorious path. When forced to choose the symbol of the country, they choose the symbol of the menorah taken from the Triumvirate of Titus in Rome, which was a symbol of the destruction. Did not mentioning the fact that Jews abandon the idea of Jews. Not the locus of Jerusalem and not the location of Jerusalem, but the very idea of Jerusalem. Believing that we secular, national Jews, open minded. We can handle the idea of Zion without falling into the trap off fundamentalistic Jerusalem. Is it true? Is it really possible to release such a leopard from its cage and to be sure that you can handle it? I am not so sure. One of the division lines of the easily societies nowadays. A very serious and for me, personally, even frightened. The vision line is not between those who leftist or rightist, but between the fundamentalist who want to renew old Judaism. To renew the connections between, to renew sacrifice, to renew the temple, to renew priesthoods, to renew to the elite, 2,000 years of Jewish Civilization and to return to the civilization of the eighth century BC. Maybe I don't know, but probably the. When we come to think about this division line, as a central division line. And in my own view, one of the most frightening division lines between the Israeli society, then you can think about different types of cooperation or is in one kind or is located in the other. For example, of this is like myself and how did people are in the same camp. Which Believes in the eternity, Of, or in the legacy at least, of Jewish civilization of the sages and not the civilization of the priests. Whereas the not so people who believe in the renewal of the temple, the fundamentalist of this guide are afraid. So that the vision, the building of the Israelite society, the building of Zionism, and I must admit, there is no Zionism. It was impossible to find another glorious period in the past which is not, A past of Jews inside the temple, inside it. There is no Zionism without that. But there is a threat and this very strong threat and a very strong division line within the Israeli society nowadays. Thank you. >> Thank you Ronnie for this provocative and thought provoking conclusion for our course. We started this journey with the Zionist Movement and the processes of nation building it instigated for the Jews and the Palestinians who came to share a single territory. We wanted to know more about the process of state and nation building that have taken place in Israel, about the construction of national identity and collective memory. And about the cleavages and conflict characterizing Israel and constituting a constant challenge for the possibility of creating a single, homogeneous society. We have learned that in parallel with this process of nation building, other identities have been constructed as well, national, ethnic and religious. We saw how these different and other colliding identities led to the establishment of a political system that seeks to bridge these profound divides. And how they allow for political representation for the many minorities that constitute Israeli society. We have talked about tradition and modernization, war and peace, and poverty and prosperity. And we were able to start scratching the surface of the rich and profound academic knowledge that has evolved in recent years in the social studies of Israel. I hope that you have enjoyed our journey together and that we were able to provoke your interests. I hope that you are now better equipped to analyze the news coming from Israel and the region. And that you have the initial infrastructure that would allow you to keep enriching your understanding of Israel and its place in the world. If you are taking this course as part of your official academic studies, please do not forget to complete your assignments. Goodbye from Jerusalem.