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The Middle East principals at Camp David haven’t reached the end of their road, but they can see it plainly and put a name on it: it’s the question of sovereignty over the holy city of Jerusalem — the divided capital of the monotheistic world.

It is the city where the Jews of the Old Testament returned from captivity in Babylon and rebuilt their great temple; the city where Jesus Christ carried the cross to his death on Calvary Hill; the city where the prophet Muhammed preached in the 7th Century; from which he ascended into heaven.

So Jerusalem is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims around the world, kindred people of the book; but it’s the very point where ecumenical slogans break down, where the spiritual becomes territorial, where fundamentalism and fanaticism flourish, and symbolism can trump common sense.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Karen Armstrong, author of Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths

Charles Sennott, Boston Globe correspondent in Jerusalem.