Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Palestinian Mythology: "Arab East Jerusalem"

With Jerusalem Day tomorrow I thought it was time to debunk the most commonly repeated bit of Palestinian mythology. The idea the eastern Jerusalem is an Arab city, or that Jerusalem as a whole was ever truly an Arab city, is a lie that has been repeated so many times that most of the world seems to believe it. Straight faced reporters on major networks all over the world will speak of "Arab East Jerusalem" as if it is an undisputed fact of history and of present circumstances. It isn't.

During Ottoman rule, from the late 15th through the early 20th century, Jerusalem had either a Jewish plurality or an outright Jewish majority. In 1854 Karl Marx was a reporter for the New York Daily Tribune. His article of 15 April 1854 reported the population as follows:...the sedentary population of Jerusalem numbers about 15,500 souls, of whom 4,000 are Mussulmans [Muslims] and 8,000 Jews.At the time Jerusalem was little more than the old, walled city. Jewish settlement outside the walls wasn't permitted by the Ottoman rulers until 1865. The entire Jewish population was in the old city. If we judge east and west from the 1949 armistice line (pre-1967 borders) then the entire Jewish population was in what is now referred to as "Arab East Jerusalem".

What made east Jerusalem Arab? 19 years of illegal Jordanian occupation ending in 1967. In 1948 when Jordan captured the old, walled city they destroyed 58 synagogues. 58! I somehow don't think Arabs were worshiping in those synagogues. Yep, in 1948 there were still lots of Jews in "Arab East Jerusalem".

Here is a description of how Jerusalem was divided until the Six Day War written by former Israeli President Chaim Herzog in his 1982 book The Arab-Israeli Wars:...Jerusalem had been divided between two warring elements: barbed wire in profusion, fortifications, trenches and battlements cut through the city...

Mount Scopus
[was] an Israeli enclave on the site of Hebrew University and Hadassah Hospital; it had been completely surrounded in 1948, but held out against all Arab attacks. The second enclave was Government House, which had been the residence of the British High Commissioner of Palestine...
So... there were Israeli and U.N. enclaves surrounded by Jordanian held territory in "Arab East Jerusalem" rather than a clean east-west, Jewish-Arab devision. Does this sound like workable, defensible borders as envisioned in UN Resolution 242? Not to me, it doesn't.

Yes, the majority of the eastern part of the city today is Arab. That's true, in part, because Jerusalem has grown and swallowed up several Arab villages and, in part, through natural population growth in the Arab community. There are also a number of Jewish neighborhoods in the eastern part of the city.

It may be possible, someday, after a period of peace, to separate Arab areas that aren't part of the historical city and place them under Arab rule. Right now, though, I don't see this is practical. I do not support dividing the city again and I do not accept the idea that any part of Jerusalem is intrinsically Arab and must be ceded.

If you, like I, support keeping Jerusalem united you may wish to visit OneJerusalem.org. Tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. To me, that is something to celebrate and cherish.

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Hamas and the Daleks

Exterminate! Exterminate! Annihilate! Has anyone else noticed that Hamas sounds an awful lot like the Daleks lately? For those not familiar with the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, the Daleks are supposed to be the most evil creatures in the universe. They were introduced in the series' first season in 1963 and have appeared in almost every season since, including the 2006 season. The Daleks scream "Exterminate!" and on rare occasions "Annihilate!". The most frequently heard Dalek utterance: "You will be exterminated!" That's the same promise Hamas made to the Jewish people last month. The Dalek's goal: to commit genocide, killing everyone and everything that isn't a Dalek. Sounds a lot like Hamas, doesn't it?

Hamas does have it over the fictional Daleks in one way: the Daleks never promised to drink their enemies' blood the way Hamas promised to drink Jewish blood. Maybe Hamas members are really the most evil creatures in the universe.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

We Will Annihilate the Jews!

Last month Hamas called for the extermination of the Jewish people worldwide on their website. Now CNN has spent a great deal of time over the last two or three days discussing a children's program on Al-Aqsa Television which, of course, is run by Hamas and broadcasts to Palestinians in Gaza. It seems they have a big mouse named Farfur. He looks almost exactly like Mickey Mouse. His message, though, would horrify the people at Disney. Farfur tells young children "We will annihilate the Jews!" and adds "I will commit martyrdom." Al-Aqsa Television children's programming also shows very young children with machine guns and other weapons. The New York Daily News also expressed it's disgust.

Where is the international outcry at preaching hatred and genocide? Israelis, Jews, and American bloggers have been all over this but most of the rest of the world has been silent. Where is the condemnation of trying to convince very young children to become combatants in Hamas' terror war against Israel? Why are human rights groups almost always mute to Palestinian abuses?

When children are taught to hate and kill and taught that genocide is something to strive for what hope is there that there will ever be peace? In my view there is no such hope and that is the real tragedy of our times.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Disturbing Increase In Anti-Semitism

Monday, April 16, was Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day. Germany's Deutsche Welle TV news program Journal had excellent coverage of the events of the day, ranging from observances in Israel to footage of the March of the Living at Auschwitz. They also had a truly disturbing report on the worldwide increase in anti-Semitic incidents worldwide. These incidents include not only desecrations and destruction of property but also a shocking increase of violence directed at Jewish people.

Where was the biggest increase? Not surprisingly it was in the U.K. where a recent report detailed that the Holocaust is no longer even being taught in many schools for fear of offending Holocaust deniers. Holocaust denial is particularly popular in the Britain's Muslim minority. Other countries which had large increases in anti-Semitic attacks according to the DW TV report include Australia, France, and Canada. German Jews were quoted as feeling they couldn't live normal lives due to the security measures now needed at schools, community centers, and synagogues.

Why is there such a rise in anti-Semitism? DW TV blamed it on the Arab-Israeli conflict and pointed out that the majority of such incidents are carried out by Arab immigrants to these countries. I guess it really is terrible that we Jews have the chutzpah to insist our country not be wiped out by hostile Arabs or Iranians. If we just let them kill all the Jews in Israel, my family included, there would be no problem, right? Pardon my dripping sarcasm but I am frustrated and fed up with all of it. Arab and leftist media continue to equate Jewish self-defense with Nazism. Funny, we Jews don't want to commit genocide. It's the very people making the accusation who do.

I keep reading over and over again that anti-Semitism is now at levels not seen since the years leading up to World War II and the Holocaust. If "Never again" is to mean anything then world Jewry needs a safe haven. This is why I am such an ardent Zionist and why having a strong Israel is so very important.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What's Happening In Iraq Is All Israel's Fault

What's happening in Iraq, all the violence and the killing, is all Israel's fault. Really, it is. After all Lebanon's Future TV news wouldn't tell anything but the absolute truth, would they?

Future TV ran a news report a few weeks ago which was most enlightening. Do you remember the South Lebanon Army? They were a Lebanese Christian militia allied to Israel. When Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon 2500 members of the SLA found sanctuary in Israel as well. With Hizbullah firmly in control of southern Lebanon it was that or be killed. Anyway, Future TV reminded us of this militia and reminded us that their leader was sentenced to death in absentia.

Anyway, according to Future TV those 2500 SLA fighters are now in northern Iraq along with agents of the Mossad. They are working for the interests of Israel and the United States, of course. Best of all, it turns out that the SLA and Mossad are responsible for most of the violence in Iraq. Al Qaeda in Iraq? Nah, not mentioned. The Mahdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr? Those must be the good guys. The Badr Brigades? Baathists? Nope, it's all those evil Israelis and expatriate Lebanese Christians causing all the trouble.

In the west very few people believe any of this. OK, Cindy Sheehan claimed that her son died fighting for Israel in Iraq. I guess some on the far left do believe it. So does much of the Arab and wider Muslim world. Conspiracy theories are all the rage there, aren't they? Where will it all end? More anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism and conflict that won't be resolved anytime soon.

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