Today in Middle Eastern history: General Allenby comes to Jerusalem (1917)

and that's the way it was

British General Edmund Allenby enters Jerusalem in 1917 (Wikimedia)

Edmund Allenby was the first Christian commander to capture Jerusalem in battle since the leaders of the First Crusade managed the feat in 1099. There had been brief periods during the later Crusades, after Saladin captured Jerusalem in 1187, when the city nominally came back under Christian control via negotiations, and there was technically a “Kingdom of Jerusalem” in the Levant until the fall of Acre to the Mamluks in 1291, but that stuff was mostly for show. Now obviously World War I wasn’t a religious crusade, and Allenby wasn’t there to establish a new Christian kingdom in the Holy Land, but I do think there’s something to be said for the parallel, and the fact that Jerusalem remained (remains) so symbolically important.

The Battle of Jerusalem was an almost six-week affair that began in mid-November, when…

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