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HISTORY AS TOLD BY ELAD

The City of David is one of the most famous tourist sites in Israel. More than 400,000 tourists visit the site annually, with many Israeli students and thousands of IDF soldiers among them. A percipient tourist will probably notice that the official guides focus almost exclusively on the King David and Jewish periods. Poor signposting in the national park tells the Jewish narrative of Jerusalem while neglecting the stories of many other cultures whose part in the city’s history is no less significant than the Jewish one.It is worth examining the decision to design an important national park in the context of a Jewish heritage while ignoring all other cultures. Ironically, findings that prove unequivocally the existence of King David and his city remain to be found. A balanced history would tell a story that relates to most of the world’s population: Muslims, Christians and Jews.

Such a multi-cultural narrative of the chronicles of Jerusalem might encourage tolerance and reconciliation in a split and contested Jerusalem. Instead, today the site is used by Elad as an educative tool to promote an agenda of exclusively Jewish settlement.

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