To study Palestinian history in depth requires a familiarity with certain documents that have had an impact upon the unfolding history of the Palestinian cause. The academic responsibility of any researcher necessitates constant referral to different sources of information and a willingness to understand, observe, and analyze facts within the given historical context, both as historical events and as part of a certain political environment, as well as in relation to the different channels of thinking that governed a particular historical moment.
In yet another attempt to facilitate this task, PASSIA undertook a project in the years 1996-97 consisting of the compilation of documents, statements, and other resources pertaining to the Palestine Question in general and the issue of Jerusalem in particular with the intention of providing researchers and anyone else with an interest in the subject matter with a comprehensive resource work on the evolution and course of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict from pre-Ottoman times until the present. The outcome was a volume of documents on Jerusalem and two on Palestine containing the full or partial texts (relevant excerpts) of several hundred statements, documents, and resolutions displaying the attitudes, positions, and proposals associated throughout history with various key players, mediators, and international bodies.
Since all three volumes mentioned above had been out of print for some time due to the great demand for each, PASSIA, in 2006, embarked on a new project, the purpose of which was to research, edit, and publish amended and updated versions of this valuable series of documents.
It was decided, whilst compiling and organizing the huge number of relevant texts to tackle the Jerusalem issue separately due to its special standing within the wider Palestine-Israel conflict. The many proposals put forward over the years in a bid to find a solution to the Palestine Question all recognized the need to pay special attention to Jerusalem be it because of the city’s unique status as the historic site of the Holy Places of the three great monotheistic religions, its symbolic nature, or its significance in terms of the national identity of the peoples of the region.
The Documents on Jerusalem are arranged by source of origin (e.g., Jewish, Christian, Muslim, European, US, Palestinian, Israeli, Arab, UN, etc.) and, within each sub-category, in chronological order.
The four volumes on Jerusalem list the full texts or extracts relating to the issue of Jerusalem of numerous statements, documents, and resolutions mirroring the different attitudes towards Jerusalem as they have evolved throughout history. They are organized as follows:
Part I: Documents with a Religious Background
Jewish Statements and Positions
Christian Statements and Positions
Muslim Statements and Positions
Part II: Political Documents
International, Bilateral, & Other Documents
Documents from Arab/Islamic States and Organizations
Each volume includes an electronic version (CD) of the texts it contains, the purpose of which is to facilitate the search for certain sources, subjects, and documents, as well as an annex listing the entries found in other three volumes.
Although we have endeavored to make this publication as reader/user friendly as possible, one should be aware that there is some inconsistency in terms of the spelling of non-English words - names and places (such as Haram Ash-Sharif or Intifada) – since we adhered, wherever possible, to the original version rather than apply our usual spelling rules. It is for the same reason that the volumes contain a number of minor typographical errors such as the omission of apostrophes, inconsistent capitalization, and spelling mistakes found in the originals.
Footnotes included in the volumes - excluding those marked “the ed.” - are mostly those that appeared in the original texts though the readership note that the numbering will not necessarily be accordance with the original version.
A Final Note
We have done our utmost to uphold our commitment to objectivity and comprehensiveness and thus hope to be excused for entries we may have missed as well as for any other mistakes relating to the production of these volumes.
Passiahopes that the Documents on Jerusalem will serve as a valuable resource of a scope and comprehensiveness that has never before been available in such a form and that this will be of enormous benefit to anyone interested in tracing the events and various stages relating to the issue of Jerusalem.
Finally yet importantly, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the entire PASSIA team whose invaluable efforts and teamwork have contributed to the realization of this project.
Special thanks also go to the Representative Office of Finland, Ramallah, for the kind support that made the printing and binding of this publication possible.
Dr. Mahdi F.Abdul Hadi
Head of PASSIA