The Green Line Through Jerusalem.

When the United Nations considered dividing Israel into an Arab State and a Jewish State in 1947, it sought to remove the contentious religious sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims into a distinct “corpus separatum” which would be under international control. The area of Greater Jerusalem and Greater Bethlehem was to become a “Holy Basin,” and a unique model from the nascent United Nations.

The Arabs rejected partition and five Arab armies invaded Israel. At wars end in 1949, armistice lines with Egypt, Syria and Jordan created new boundaries in the region. Jordan took control and soon annexed the area it seized, including three-quarters of the Holy Basin. The division for the Jordanian frontiers were marked in green and it became known as the “Green Line.”

The division of Jerusalem in the 1949 Armistice agreement between Israel and Jordan.

The Israeli portion of the map was marked in blue and Israel applied sovereignty up to that line. The space between the blue and green lines was considered “no man’s land.”

The Jordanian side included the entirety of the Old City of Jerusalem. The line ran right along the western side of the city, including the Jaffa and New Gates up to the Damascus Gate. The Jordanians forbade Jews from living in, visiting or praying at their holy sites in the city.

The map above is from the United Nations and marks the city’s sacred locations. Note that even though the city is only considered the holiest for Jews, the Jewish locations are listed last. The holiest location, the Jewish Temple Mount, is not even marked as sacred to Jews. The Western Wall is marked as holy – to both Jews and Muslims.

The map lists the Christian holy places first and includes numerous locations including each station of the Cross. It lists but does not show the various sacred spots in Bethlehem.
Muslims have the fewest holy sites of the three monotheistic religions, but occupy the dominant platform of Jerusalem. Uniquely among the monotheistic faiths, Muslims have no sites subject to “the status quo” according to the map.

The only holy location on the Israeli side of the lines is the Tomb of David, curiously listed as the only site holy to all three religions.


The world’s vision of Jerusalem from 1949 to 1967 was a place dominated by Christianity in terms of reverence, by Muslims in regards to prominence, and lastly by Jews, whose holiest spot was not even acknowledged and their basic human rights to live and worship were ignored.

Yom Yerushalayim – Jerusalem Day.  credit: International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

Jerusalem Day is a day to mark the upending of that dynamic, at least in part.


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  1. People like to forget that the Greenline was an Armistice Line, And an Armistice Line is purely where hostilities stopped in 1948, until they began again 1967. Israel regained it’s rightful, legally assigned Territory from the illegal Occupation, Annexation and in the case of the Golan, the results of British thieving and illegal reassignment of Mandatory Lands.

    Until there were Treaties between the High Contractors involved, e.g., Jordan, Egypt, and full Annexation of the Golan, (as Syria still enjoys pretending they have any rights over the Golan), there will only be Wars if the High Contractors involved choose to make it so.

    It’s time to quit the fantasy that the Arabs of the south Levant will accept being loyal to a non Muslim, non Arab Sovereign.

    • I actually think that many people think the Green Line is the border of the fictitious State of Palestine.!

  2. The “State of Palestine” is nothing but a work of fiction, a public relations ploy in an attempt to eliminate the State of Israel. Israel’s neighbours have tried and failed a number of times to defeat Israel on the battlefield. After the Six Day War of 1967, Yasser Arafat, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization and an Egyptian by birth, stated that the organizations aim was to eliminate the Zionist (Jewish) entity from the region and liberate it. This is when the concept of a Palestinian people and state was born. Up until this time, most of the world saw Israel as David fighting against Goliath. This new strategy has reversed the roles and the fictitious “State of Palestine” has become the beleaguered David fighting against an oppressive Israeli Goliath. World and public opinion is very easily manipulated.
    How different would the history of “Palestine” be if a predominantly non Jewish population lived in the area? “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” should really end with –Judenfrei!” because,boiled down to the bones, this is anti-semitic Jew hatred.