Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Jerusalem-blog is a place for thought and information on Jerusalem, a city holy to Jews, Christians, and Muslims contested between Israelis and Palestinians.

I don't advocate radical solutions. To the contrary, the goal of this blog is to provide mental and verbal space for the advancement of moderation and compromise.

Here are some more radical solutions that I've considered in the past but don't believe are practical.

1) Hand the city over to FIFA, play soccer turnaments every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Anyone who does not like it should move to Damascus or Tel Aviv. (Rejected because of FIFA's alleged corruption.)

2) Flatten the city and build another one in its place. (Rejected: Neo-Babylonians tried this, but then the Persians overthrew them and allowed the Jews to rebuild. The Romans did it, but then they revived the city and turned it into a major Christian pilgrimage site, forbidden to Jews. As long the memory of Jerusalem lasts, no attempt to erase it will succeed.)

3) Eliminate all holy scriptures so as to cause believers to forget why they raise such a fuss about the city. (Book burnings have been tried by the Catholics and the Nazis. This also isn't very practical or successul at erasing every possible memory, other than in science fiction.)

I am inviting everyone to post alternate solutions to the Jerusalem problem, which will continue to trouble and engage us for the foreseeable future.

Michael Zank

Michael Zank is  professor of religion at Boston University where he teaches classes in Jewish Studies, western religion (Bible, Moses, Jerusalem) and philosophy of religion. He holds a graduate degree in Protestant Theology and a doctorate in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies (Brandeis University 1994) and is currently writing a brief history of Jerusalem. For more, see HERE.


  1. Jerusalem should take a long vacation from being the Holy City. The Iraqi army could forcibly relocate the city's inhabitants to Iraq, only to free them after at least a half a century has passed. The neo-Babylonians tried this, and seem to have thoroughly failed, but everyone deserves a second chance, right?

  2. Michael, I heard you were in the process of writing something about the aftermath of the holocaust - if this is the case, how can a person purchase??

  3. Dear PaddyLovesSwaggy:
    Thanks for your interest! Please see, More recent research is in progress.

  4. Please feel free to use our annual Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem (the one for 2013 will be published next week on Yom Yerushalaim). It is full of interesting data regarding most topics of interest related to Jerusalem. Please feel free to quote us and use any of our data. If any topic is of specific interest to you I am happy to condense the data, send you a summary or even provide and infographic for you to publish.