Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives
The Temple Mount is the center of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the center of Israel and the entire Middle East.
The Mount of Olives has a commanding view of the Temple Mount across the Kidron Valley, as is visible in this December night shot. The prominent golden dome is the Dome of the Rock Muslim shrine which dominates the Temple Mount.
Every year Christians celebrate Palm Sunday commemorating when Jesus rode the foal of a donkey down the Mount of Olives, across the Kidron Valley and up to the Temple Mount. The Jewish crowds covered the ground with palm branches and shouted “Hosanna” meaning “save us” and hailed him as Messiah. Some even were going to crown him king by force. But when it was clear he didn’t intend to set up an earthly kingdom, the fickle crowds quickly abandoned him. A week later, many of the same crowds shouted “Crucify him!”, and he was crucified on Golgotha between two criminals.