Outsiders often erroneously equate media pronouncements with public sentiment. Media, however, are removed from the people in Arab countries no less than in the West. Jihadist rhetoric on Hamas TV amuses Gazans, but hardly draws volunteers. On the other hand, the relatively peaceful rhetoric of Jordanian newspapers doesn’t square with the common Jordanians’ extreme animosity towards Israel. It is a mantra among Arabs and Israeli peaceniks that Jordan colluded with Israel and that their military confrontations were phony. Jordan, however, systematically razed synagogues in Jerusalem, which testifies to its burning hostility to Jews better than any military action. Jordan hosted the PLO for years, and supported every Arab group subversive of Israel.

During its occupation of Jerusalem, which lasted until 1967, Jordan moved all its administrative offices to Amman and neglected the city; the Islamic concern over Jerusalem is fake. Jerusalem was not tremendously important either to Jews or Arabs until the mid-nineteenth century. Jews longed for Jerusalem theoretically, but settled in towns such as Tzfat, and even the impure Tiberias, which was built upon a cemetery. Arabs expressed no religious interest in Jerusalem whatsoever. The tremendous growth of Jerusalem in the late nineteenth century is attributable to Jews, Muslims, and Christians, but their reasons were entirely different. Arab Christians were transforming Jerusalem into a trade hub, while foreign Christians built primitive tourist infrastructure in the city. Muslims flooded Jerusalem mainly because of their society’s urbanization. Landless Muslims moved to Jerusalem (as to the other towns) in search of jobs, and Muslim notables made the city into a sort of administrative capital. Only the Jews beefed up their presence in Jerusalem for entirely religious reasons. There were 22,000 Jews living in Jerusalem in 1870, well before Zionist immigration took off.

Jerusalem in Palestinian mentality