• Susan Seligson

    Susan Seligson has written for many publications and websites, including the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, the Boston Globe, Yankee, Outside, Redbook, the Times of London, Salon.com, Radar.com, and Nerve.com. Profile

Comments & Discussion

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There are 6 comments on Jerusalem: How Did It Get to Be the Holy City?

  1. Why is it that Boston University’s publishing body finds it pertinent to speak of Jerusalem’s history rather than its, currently, very hot scene due to the 66 year old Israeli occupation. I am a Jerusalemite, my last 9 great grandfathers from my father’s side and all my great grandfathers from my moms side originitating from within the old city walls of Jerusalem, and I find this article to be biased and out of place with regards to timing. Boston University: stop your attempts at distorting the current headlines that are exposing the occupation.

  2. Dear Ibrahim,
    I understand your frustration. The course about which this article reports ended before the eruption of the current hostilities. The syllabus includes the history of modern Jerusalem, including late Ottoman and British rule, Zionism and Palestinian history, the divided city under Jordanian and Israeli rule, both in defiance of the 1947 UN Partition Resolution, and issues of demography and housing in Jerusalem today, etc. Students at BU can also take other courses, such as a course on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, offered again in the spring 2015 semester, a course on Israel: History, Politics, Culture, Identity, offered in the fall, and many other classes on the Middle East. Many of these have a contemporary focus, but as a rule, academic classes provide background and train students in research skills and analysis rather than provide commentary on current events. In addition we try to foster a culture of respectful, even if passionate, debate. You are welcome to visit and discuss, even challenge what you perceive as distorted.
    Michael Zank, Professor of Religion

    1. Dr. Zank,

      I just noticed that you responded, but as the comment below you mentioned, you did not respond to my comment.

      In my Political Science undergraduate education, I took a class called News, Media and Foreign Policy with the former Israeli prime minister’s brother, Josef Olmert. In that class, we were taught how the timing of the release of publications is a political tool within itself.. This should not be surprising to you for you carry a PhD, thus I am surprised that you are willing to publicly act as though the point I make is not clear.

      Boston University’s publishing body time and time again releases politically targeted articles reflecting its overall bias in support of Israel by attempting to change the topic of conversation away from Israel’s atrocities that are caused by its 66 year illegal occupation.

  3. Professor Zank,

    You have distorted Ibraheem’s point by pretending that it pertains to your class. In fact, he never addresses your class or its contents. Ibraheem clearly, and solely, criticizes the “Boston University publishing body,” and the “timing of the article.”

    Similar attempts to distract and detract from Ibraheem’s point and the atrocities being committed against the civilian population in Gaza is echoed in your Jerusalem blog article posted last Monday. (http://unholycity.blogspot.com)

    In your article you practically suggest that the death of 33 Israelis (3% of whom are civilians) and 700 Palestinians (75% of whom are civilians) in 17 days takes a “disproportionate amount of our attention.” You say that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “pales in comparison” to a host of other issues, among which you list assaults on the environment and shared resources.

    Indeed, it does not. I invite you to study, and academically verify, this conflict’s related death toll on both sides over the past 66 years. Pay considerable attention to the distribution and demographics of the deaths.

    At the end of your comment you invite Ibraheem to challenge what he perceives as distorted. I in turn, respectfully, invite you to revisit your definition of distortion and consider that you are falling in its culprits.

  4. In Hershel Shanks book, The mystery and the meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls, he writes, “One law that particularly caught my aging eye prohibited anyone over sixty from serving as a judge: “No longer shall anyone stand from sixty years and upward t6o judge the congregation, for through human failing his days have become few.” Another law appears to prohibit sexual intercourse in Jerusalem: “Let no man lies with a woman in the city of the sanctuary to defile the city of the sanctuary with their pollution.” (Shanks, Dead Sea Scrolls, p. 104). In an attempt to understand why the Holy City is called Holy.

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