Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and its largest city in both population and area. Located in the Judean Mountains, between the Mediterranean Sea and the northern tip of the Dead Sea, modern Jerusalem has grown up outside the Old City.
The city has a history that goes back to the 4th millennium BCE, making it one of the oldest cities in the world. Tradition says that King David first chose it as Israel's capital. It is considered a Holy City by members of three religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
"Next Year in Jerusalem" was the motto of the Second Irgun, a statement of hope that one day, Jerusalem would again be part of the reconstituted Israel. The murders committed by Yakov's Irgun cell inspired Jewish rioting in Jerusalem, but not enough to achieve their goal of a general uprising against the Arabs.
Hierosolyma was the principal city of occupied Moab. Unlike modern cities such as Gaza, it was still built with local golden limestone and wood and brick. It looked as though it had been in existence forever and had, in fact, been taken by the Philistine champion Lord Goliath, some 3000 years prior, before being sacked by the Turks of Babylonia, wrecked by the Romans, occupied by the Persians and besieged by Philip of Macedon.
During Pheidas' tour of duty as a conscript in the Philistinian Army, he was based in Hierosolyma and went on foot patrols to help keep the perpetually rebellious Moabites cowed, and root out terrorist infiltration by fanatics of the Sword Buddhist religion, who were backed by the Turks.
Jerusalem fell to the barbarian tribesmen led by a strange chieftain known as the "Son of God", and his second-in-command, the Rock. The siege lasted for three days and nights. On the third night, the hillsmen succeeded in entering Jerusalem and slaughtering the entire Roman garrison and any people seen as collaborators.
When the Avar and Slav sorcerers invoked a fire-goddess for a spell which put out all the fires in besieged Thessalonica, George had the idea that the Jews of Thessalonica might have been immune to the spell. He went to the Jewish Quarter and found that it was indeed so, and got from his Jewish friend Benjamin the Coppersmith a burning flame with which he re-lighted fires in the Christian part of the city. Benjamin compared the Jews' immunity to the fire-spell with an earlier miraculous event - in the aftermath of the Jews' rebellion against Hellenist rule in Jerusalem, a small cup of consecrated oil had been enough to feed the fire in in the Temple for whole eight days. George was of course familiar with the city of Jerusalem, where Jesus Christ was crucified, but he did not hear before of this particular miracle which was part of Jewish history rather than Christian one. However, George saw no reason to doubt the story, having seen with his own eyes the effectiveness of the Jewish God's care for His worshipers.
Jerusalem was a city in the Race's colony of Palestine, sensitive for its importance to several rival human religions, a fact that the Race was slow to appreciate due to having had no other religion than Emperor-worship for so many centuries. The city became also well-known for the international hospital established there by Moishe Russie for comparing human medical practices with those of the Race. Russie Medical College was the hospital's school.
The Arabic residents were the least resigned to the Race's rule, and were a restive lot. Around 2021, Chaim Russie (grandson of Moishe) was killed in an Arab terrorist attack. It was not known whether he was the intended target.