Jerusalem Exemplifies Humanity’s Failure To Progress Beyond Ethno-Religious Hatred and Naked Barbari
As part of research for a book, I spent the weekend in Hereford, Herefordshire, which included visiting the 1079 Grade I listed Cathedral with its famous Mappa Mundi. The map, a unique medieval treasure created around the year 1300 — on a single sheet of calfskin vellum measuring 1.59 x 1.34 metres (5’2” by 4’4”) — depicted the destiny, geography, and history of humanity as was perceived in Christian Europe during the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. The inhabited world as it was then known was portrayed within a Christian context encompassing Europe, Asia, and North Africa, with Jerusalem at its centre.
This brought to mind the equally renowned Büting clover map — shown above and also known as “The World in a Cloverleaf” — which was drawn and published in the book Itinerarium Sacrae Scripturae (Travel through Holy Scripture) by Heinrich Bünting, the German Protestant pastor, theologist, and cartographer. The clover leaf shape symbolised the Christian Trinity as well as being a component at the symbolisation of Hanover where Bünting was born.
Both maps depict Jerusalem as the global hub from which the five sacred uniting religious principles — respect for life, respect for dignity, respect for freedom of religion and conscience, respect for freedom of thought and expression, and the Golden Rule of respect for others — were presumably supposed to emanate. The stark reality, however, is that since it was first settled in the 4th millennium BCE — making it one of the oldest cities in the world — Jerusalem has been inclined more towards the temptations of satan, rather than the tenets of God.
Of the 52 times Jerusalem was attacked, 23 times besieged, 44 times captured and recaptured, and twice destroyed, one of the most heinous of those events began when in 1095 the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus sent envoys to the West requesting military assistance against the Seljuk Turks. It was a timely request for the Holy Roman Empire which had itself been harassed for the past two centuries by Norsemen who owned numerous northern trading centres and dominated the sea routes. Furthermore, negotiations between North African and Middle Eastern powers had culminated in 834 with an Arabian delegation visiting Denmark to complete military and trade alliances that left the Holy Roman Empire trapped between two anti-Christian forces.
The Byzantine Emperor’s request therefore provided Pope Urban II at the 1095 Council of Claremont with an excuse to initiate a crusade — as a penitential pilgrimage and a war of conquest — against the infidels with the alleged intent of regaining the Holy Land for Christianity. So with the promise that volunteers would be placed above restrictions of law, receive forgiveness for all their sins, and enjoyment of eternal bliss in heaven without time in purgatory, a ragtag force — consisting mostly of social outcasts and soldiers of fortune — of between 150,000 to 300,000 was assembled.
As the force traversed southern Europe they pillaged, tortured, and murdered with one division slaughtering 10,000 Jews in the Rhineland before abandoning thoughts of the Holy Land and disbanding. Two other divisions perpetrated so many atrocities in Hungary that native soldiers were eventually roused to oppose and wipe them all out. Of the others, thousands died en-route from starvation, disease, or wounds resulting from violence. Those who survived then despoiled the Greeks before making their way to Constantinople where the more powerful of them financed their own existence by selling off the decrepit amongst them as slaves. Of the 7,000 who eventually crossed the Bosphorus, none survived the merciless onslaughts by Turkish forces.
Despite the utter failure of this initial crusade, more were to follow which with hindsight were better organised with seasoned soldiers and fewer penitential pilgrims. For the next 400 hundred years Christian knights in the Holy Land waged wars whose barbarity in the name of God, knew no bounds. One contemporaneous report stated that after laying siege to Jerusalem for one month, the Crusaders rode into the city with their horses “knee-deep in the blood of disbelievers.” Jews were herded into their synagogues and burnt alive, and on the following day Christian knights slaughtered “a great multitude of people of every age, old men and women, maidens, children and mothers with infants, by way of a solemn sacrifice” to Jesus.
The establishment of the ongoing crusades also enabled the Holy Roman Empire to take punitive military measures against Europe’s heathens and heretics so that the sword became the traditional method of Christianising the West at the cost of between 8 to 10 million lives. The Catharan or Albigensian heretics in the Languedoc region of Southern France — who regarded the Roman Church as the Synagogue of Satan and called for a return to the Christian message of perfection, poverty, and preaching — became the recipients of particularly barbaric treatment after Pope Innocent III declared a crusade in 1209 against the Languedoc with the promise that Cathar lands would be given to French noblemen willing to take up arms.
The Albigensian Crusade is still to this day one of the darkest and bloodiest chapters in the history of Christian persecutions. When it was enquired of a papal legate as to how heretics were to be distinguished from the faithful, he replied, “Kill them all; God will know his own.” The ensuing slaughter lasted for twenty years with an estimate of more than a million lives being lost. In trying to justify the scale of such wanton carnage, the best that Christian apologists could come up with was “the Church, after all, was only defending herself.”
And if that spurious European Christian excuse of “self-defence” for crimes against humanity sounds familiar, it’s because European Christianity has more recently allowed itself to be brainwashed into accepting mendacious propaganda by sadistic land-grabbing colonists claiming that their unspeakable ethnic cleansing of Palestine is simply an act of necessary “self defence.” Consequently the civilised and principled Christian World has been complicit for 70 years while standing idly and watching the ruthless persecution of an indigenous Palestinian people which William Boardman succinctly described in a recent article:
“Israel’s deliberate, methodical, selective assassination of unarmed, peaceful Palestinians in Gaza has gone on for years, punctuated by periods of deliberate but random killing with air strikes and artillery. Gaza is a prison, Gaza is a concentration camp, Gaza has been blockaded for a decade, Gaza’s occupation is a perennial crime against humanity, but most of all Gaza is a target. Gaza is a target because it suits the Israelis to have two million captive Palestinian men, women, and children (half of them are children) to despise, starve, deny medical supplies, reduce to inescapable and unlivable conditions, kill, and then brand as “terrorists” for not surrendering and disappearing from the face of the earth 70 years ago. From an Israeli perspective, Palestinians committed original sin by merely existing.”
If you happen to be a person with some degree of compassion and decency, you may well ask why this is being allowed to occur with impunity? In seeking an answer, you may also like to consider how hundreds of millions of Americans tolerate being blatantly lied to on a daily basis by a semi-literate, racist, sexist, psycho president who by irresponsibly and provocatively moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, furthered U.S. legitimisation of Israel’s rape of Palestine in general, and its ancient capital in particular. Irrespective of any conclusions that you may reach, the fact remains that so long as Europeans continue like thoughtless lemmings to follow in the bloody footsteps of Israeli-instigated U.S policies, then humanity’s condition will remain synonymous with with Jerusalem’s hate-filled barbarity.