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Fear, self-loathing, and denial of history

Reader comment on item: Pretending Tel Aviv Is the Capital of Israel

Submitted by Rob G. (United States), Feb 6, 2014 at 16:26

Those are some of the basic reasons for the hesitancy of some political and spiritual leaders to pretend ignorance about the status of Jerusalem. Once powerful and moralistic countries shudder in fear at offending radical Muslims, a growing percentage of some populations. Combine that with a growing atheism in our modern, scientific, technological and oil-thirsty materialistic age, and it's easy to say "who cares about history?" And yet those Christian leaders who should care the most about the future of Jerusalem, are, as usual, mute, as they also are about the daily cleansing of Christianity from Muslim lands. And much as they were when Jews were being cleansed from Christian lands.

Mark Twain, who visited Jerusalem 120 years ago, wrote thousands of words about his trip there in his book, "The Innocents Abroad." While he might be shocked and saddened at today's leaders' ignorance of history, he would likely also be proud that today's Israel has restored Jerusalem's place in the modern world. What he wrote a 120 years ago:

Renowned Jerusalem itself, the stateliest name in history, has lost all its ancient grandeur, and is become a pauper village; the riches of Solomon are no longer there to compel the admiration of visiting Oriental queens; the wonderful temple which was the pride and glory of Israel is gone, and the Ottoman crescent is lifted above the spot where, on that most memorable day in the annals of the world, they reared the Holy Cross. . . . and the "desert places" where thousands of men once listened to the Savior's voice and ate the miraculous bread sleep in the hush of a solitude that is inhabited only by birds of prey and skulking foxes. Palestine is desolate and unlovely.

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Daniel Pipes replies:

Much has changed since Mark Twain published that description in 1869.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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