|The ruined Tiferet Yisrael synagogue, 1949|
From the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine.report from April, 1949:
15. Since the presentation to the General Assembly of the Commission's first report to the Secretary-General, the Special Committee on Jerusalem has continued to work actively. In particular, it has held interviews with representatives of Arab and Jewish central and local authorities. On the basis of new instructions given to it by the Commission, the Committee is endeavouring to formulate, in conformity with the terms of paragraph 8 of the resolution of 11 December 1948, proposals which will at the same time be acceptable to both parties. The Commission is aware that acceptance by the two parties is not mentioned in the terms of reference which it received from the General Assembly on the subject of the international regime for Jerusalem. Nevertheless, the Commission feels that such acceptance would facilitate considerably the establishment and functioning of such a regime. In this connexion, the Commission is happy to report that, during its conversations in Beirut with the Arab delegations, the latter showed themselves, in general, prepared to accept the principle of an international regime for the Jerusalem area, on condition that the United Nations should be in a position to offer the necessary guarantees regarding the stability and permanence of such a regime. On the other hand, the Governments of the Arab States have reserved their right to give their final opinion after they have been acquainted with the text of the proposals which the Commission is to submit to the General Assembly.Today's Arabs say insist that Jerusalem is wholly Arab, and it is inconceivable that any non-Arab control the city. But in 1949, when Transjordan did control half of Jerusalem and Israel the other half, the other Arab countries liked the idea of an international regime controlling Jerusalem.
16. The religious representatives mentioned above also emphasized to the Commission, during the Beirut meetings, the importance which they attach to the application of those paragraphs of the resolution which concern Jerusalem and the Holy Places. Some of them expressed a further desire to see the international regime extended to cover Nazareth.
And they even wanted to extend that regime to Nazareth, inside Israel.
What has changed between then and now? It is obvious: Nothing. Both then and now, Arabs didn't care about who would administer Jerusalem as long as the people who controlled it weren't Jews. They wanted to reduce, however they could, the amount of land that Jews controlled - hence the absurd idea of not only including Nazareth in the corpus separatum, but also the corridor that would need to be created to travel there from Jerusalem - cutting Israel nearly in half.
There is no rich Arab history in Jerusalem. It was never an Arab capital. The city was a terrible place to live when under Muslim rule.
The only time Muslims showed interest was when either Christians, during the Crusades, or Jews nowadays, controlled the city. Otherwise, the city was all but ignored, with only occasional pilgrims passing through.
The Palestinian Arab obsession with Jerusalem, plastering photos of the Dome of the Rock on every surface, is a new phenomenon. Jerusalem is not even mentioned in the original PLO charter written in 1964!
Trump's speech did not affect the Palestinian claim to Jerusalem one iota. What it did was strengthen Israel's claim to part of Jerusalem. That idea, that Jews have any rights to any part of Jerusalem, is what is behind Mahmoud Abbas' temper tantrum today - and it can be traced back to how the Arab nations looked at Israeli control of the "New City" of Jerusalem in 1949.
The Palestinian Arabs'' true interest is in taking Jerusalem away from the Jews, just as the Arabs wanted to in 1949.
And both times by cynically using international instruments to accomplish that goal.