Segev Tom - One Palestine, complete

Author : Segev Tom
Title : One Palestine, complete Jews and Arabs under the British Mandate
Year : 2000

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Introduction: Until We Meet Again. On the southern slopes of Mount Zion, alongside the ruins of biblical Jerusalem, lies a small Protestant cemetery. The path to it wends through pines and cypresses, olive and lemon trees, oleander bushes in pink and white, leading to a black iron gate around which curls an elegant grapevine. Perhaps a thousand graves are scattered over the terraced hill; ancient stones peer out from among red anemones. Not far away, on the top of the mountain, is a site Jews revere as the grave of King David as well as a room in which Catholics say the Last Supper was held; in a nearby basement chamber, they believe, eternal sleep fell over Mary, mother of Jesus. The Muslims have also sanctified several tombs on the mountain. Bishop Samuel Gobat consecrated the cemetery in the 1840s to serve a small community of men and women who loved Jerusalem. Few had been born in the city; the great majority came as foreigners, from almost everywhere between America and New Zealand. Engraved on their headstones are epitaphs in English and German, Hebrew, Arabic, and ancient Greek; one headstone is in Polish.1 When the first of the dead were interred here, Palestine was a rather remote region of the Ottoman Empire with no central government of its own and few accepted norms. Life proceeded slowly, at a pace set by the stride of the camel and the reins of tradition. Outsiders began to flock to the country toward the end of the century, and it then seemed to awake from its Levantine stupor. Muslims, Jews, or Christians, a powerful religious and emotional force drew them to the land of Israel. ...

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Balder Ex-Libris