Jerusalem is the Holy City, sacred to the three monotheistic faiths of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Muslims connect her with the Prophet Muhammad’s Night Journey on al-Buraq, his celebrated steed, from Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca to Al-Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem and his ascension to Heaven. For Christians, Jerusalem animates their consciousness as she marks the location of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Retaining a strong presence and influence there are essential for safeguarding the Christian holy places and interests. For Jews, Jerusalem is tied to their religion and culture, symbolizing both connectedness and independence. Over the years, Jerusalem’s religious and spiritual importance has become enmeshed in national and political concerns as we witness today in Palestinian-Israeli relations.
This symposium focused on East Jerusalem and provided details on the current and evolving conditions in the Holy City. It explored practical ways by which resilient development could be stimulated via a robust economy, infrastructural projects, and tourism, as well as sought to identify opportunities to intensify local, regional, and international support for East Jerusalem to safeguard its status.