chapter  1
Pages 26

Holy city, holy places, holy conflict? Two themes have dominated Jerusalem1 through much of its long history: sanctity and conflict. The two are often linked, with some blaming the former for the latter. Jerusalem’s status as a world holy city is due to its veneration by the three major monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam and, in a number of cases, their conflicts have become Jerusalem’s, as well as vice versa. But it is also fair to say that Jerusalem’s conflicts have been many and varied, reflecting its geopolitical location just beyond the eastern end of the Mediterranean (Plate 1), with conquest, destruction, occupation, rebuilding and re-conquest imposed from both East and West.