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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Photo Essay: The Jewish People Will Not Be Expelled from Jerusalem Again

The Library of Congress is a treasure trove of history.  View this massive photo archive of photos of life in Palestine from the beginning of the 1900s.  It includes construction of Tel Aviv and Jewish "colonies and settlements"  throughout Palestine.  The collection contains photos of Turkish soldiers in Jerusalem prior to 1917 (and here), the bloody scenes afterArab pogroms against Jews in 1929, and pictures of Jews praying at the Western Wallalmost 100 years ago (and here). 

As I skimmed through the pictures, one theme caught my eye -- the expulsion of Jews from Jerusalem.  Time and again.  

Arch of Titus in Rome showing the spoils of Jerusalem
We have all seen the ancient Arch of Titus relief of the Temple vessels carried by Jewish captives in Rome after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE.  

But in the Library of Congress collection, we can also find pictures of Jews being evacuated during Arab riots and pograms in 1929 and 1936, as well.  In 1948, Life Magazine's John Phillips photographed the heart-wrenching pictures of Jews of the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem captured by Jordanian soldiers or being expelled. 

70 CE.  1929,  1936.  1948. Too many times.
Jewish evacuation from Jerusalem's Old City after 1929 pogroms
Jews evacuating the Old City during the 1936 Arab revolt against Britain
The expulsion of Jews from the Old City under the guns of Jordanian soldiers (John Phillips)
 Policy-makers in European capitals and in Washington oppose Jewish construction in all sections of Jerusalem.  Radical leftist tourists fly in to Jerusalem to join Palestinian demonstrators protesting Jews returning to homes they were chased from in 1929 and 1936.  

The actual photos presented here may not be seared into the Jewish people's collective memory.  But they are permanent scars on their collective heart.  It's a fact that those policy-makers should bear in mind.  It's another important emotion behind the declaration, "Never again." 

Jews streaming into the Jewish Quarter 2011
This picture on the right was taken earlier this month in Jerusalem during Jerusalem Day celebrations commemorating the reunification of the city during the 1967 war.
For millions of Jews, it represents actualization of the age-old prayer, "And to Jerusalem, Your city, in compassion may You return, and may You abide within it as You have spoken.  May You rebuild it soon in our days as a structure that is eternal..."

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