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What Life Was Like For Christians And Jews When Arabs Ruled Jerusalem

Map of Israel, the Palestinian territories (We...Map of Israel, the Palestinian territories (West Bank and Gaza Strip), the Golan Heights, and portions of neighbouring countries. Also United Nations deployment areas in countries adjoining Israel or Israeli-held territory, as of January 2004. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First published in 2018

Following President Donald Trump’s declaration that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Saeb Erekat quickly shot back and demanded “equal rights for everyone living in historic Palestine.”

Protests over Trump’s move have sparked riots in Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and even violent protests in Europe, from Germany to Sweden. But how exactly did Arab Muslims treat Christians and Jews when they ruled over Jerusalem for 19 years?

It appears Arabs were anything but tolerant toward either. The Daily Caller News Foundation examined Arab rule over the eastern half of Jerusalem from 1949 until 1967, and found that both Christians and Jews were routinely denied religious freedom and often faced persecution at the hands of the Arabs when Muslims were in charge of the eastern half of the holy city.

In 1947, the United Nations approved a partition plan to permit both Jews and Muslims to govern separate sectors. Israel accepted the plan but the Arabs refused it and sent their armies against a group of citizen-soldiers. 

The Israelis won a surprising victory in what they called their War of Independence. In 1949, an armistice was signed by both Jordan and Israel, signaling the end to the conflict.

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