Jerusalem’s Confusing Geography

Tensions at Jerusalem’s Old City’s Damascus Gate

Reporting on any story involves a bit of geography; often a bit of map reading. For those of us not naturally skilled at reading maps and taking directions, this can be….well, tough. But Israel is a particular challenge.

The capital city, Jerusalem, even though technically and officially united, is still mentally and emotionally divided between east and west by an invisible “green line.” There are sometimes disputes about what is on which side, and sometimes disputes about what belongs to which side. The City of David is a perfect example of one of the many controversial points in Jerusalem.

Even inside Jerusalem’s Old City, residents of east Jerusalem can sometimes find it difficult to do something as simple as go to the mosque at Al Aqsa to pray. The Old City has ancient territorial divisions between different religions, and when there are security concerns, the Israeli authorities take control and make it harder for everyone to move about.

The key to understanding, navigating, and enjoying Jerusalem is to navigate around major landmarks. As with many things in Israel, it’s seriously complicated.

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