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Zechariah 12:3 Is Literally Unfolding

By Susan Michael, 3/8/2017

“And it will be on that day that I will set Jerusalem as a weighty stone to all the peoples. All who carry it will surely gash themselves, and all the nations of the land will be gathered against it” (Zech. 12:3).

For the Christian reader, it’s a name that invokes the Psalms describing its beauty, its spiritual significance and the importance of praying for its peace. For others it stirs a wide spectrum of emotions and a quagmire of international disagreement. Here are several reasons for the multilayered controversy over Jerusalem.

The United Nations, War of Independence and Six-Day War

Over the last 150 years, as Jerusalem expanded beyond the ancient walls of the Old City, Jews and Arabs lived interspersed on both the eastern and western sides. A complicating factor was introduced in 1947 when the United Nations drew up the Partition Plan, offering swaths of land for both Jewish and Arab states, and keeping Jerusalem separate as an internationally managed city. The Jews begrudgingly accepted the plan and declared statehood, while the Arabs rejected it outright and, instead of statehood, declared war on the new-found Jewish State.

At the end of the 1948 War of Independence between Israel and the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, armistice lines were drawn on a map with a green pen—still known today as the Green Line. Jerusalem became a divided city: Israel controlled the western part and Jordan controlled the eastern part. For the next 19 years, Jordanians prevented Jews from accessing Jerusalem’s Old City and Western Wall of the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.

In 1967 the Six-Day War broke out with the surrounding countries. Israel won the war, capturing the rest of Jerusalem and, for the first time since 1949, allowing the Jewish people to worship at the Western Wall. Israelis offered Arabs full citizenship and many accepted, while others accepted Permanent Resident status. For 50 years now, an undivided Jerusalem has thrived under Israel’s governance, and all three faiths have enjoyed full access to their holy sites.

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