Jerusalem and the Holy Places: Legal Aspects
J.D. Course 1026
| 1 credit hours
Jerusalem is the largest city in Israel, with an area of 126.3 square km., and 773.000 inhabitants (at the end of 2009). About 66% of the population are Jewish, and the rest are Arabs, mostly Muslims (264.300) and a certain number of Christians (14.500). About a third of the Jews in Jerusalem are very religious. Jerusalem is situated at the border between Israel proper and the West Bank.
At least in three respects Jerusalem differs from most other places: the city is holy to adherents of three religions, it is the subject of conflicting national claims by two peoples, and its population is heterogeneous to a considerable degree.
In the city one finds Holy Places of Christianity, since according to Christian tradition Jesus lived and was active in various locations in Jerusalem. In Jerusalem he also died and came back to life at the Holy Sepulchre, and later ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives. Under the Islamic tradition, the al-Aksa mosque and the Dome of the Rock as well as the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif) on which they are situated are Holy Places, due to Muhammad's nocturnal visit. Muslims believe that the al-Aksa is the "farthest" mosque mentioned in the Koran; and for the Jewish population the whole city is holy, in particular the Temple Mount (Har Habayit), because of the divine presence (the Shechinah), and because the two Jewish temples stood there.
No wonder that such a complex city has been the cause of severe legal problems. We intend to study the question of sovereignty in Jerusalem, the legal regime of the Holy Places, the heterogeneity of the city, and possible solutions for peace.
The present situation will be analyzed against the background of certain landmarks in the history of Jerusalem. The legal analysis includes the status of the city under international law, Israeli law and Palestinian law.
This course will meet for seven sessions in Fall 2011 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. on the following days: Thursday, Oct. 27, Tuesday, Nov. 1, Thursdays, Nov. 3, Tuesday, Nov. 8, Thursday, Nov. 10, Tuesday, Nov. 15, and Thursday, Nov. 17.
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