Posted in: Israel
Published on Jun 17, 2009 by Phyllis Chesler
End The Illegal Occupation of Jerusalem
I recently met my friend, Helen Freedman, at the U Café. This café on the upper east side is my local watering hole, an oasis, a village well, where I meet people for coffee. Sometimes, when it's quiet, I just sit there and read, as if I lived in Paris, Rome, Warsaw, Vienna, Tel Aviv, or on the lower east side of NYC–but long ago, when a writer had a favorite cafe where he (or she) read their newspapers, pen articles and books, meet other writers to argue, plan revolutions, initiate love affairs, and to dream.
Freedman had just returned from one of her frequent trips to Israel. This time, what amazed her most were "all the illegal Arab settlements" which had grown exponentially "all over Jerusalem."
Illegal Arab settlements?
This information is well documented in journalist Aaron Klein's important new book: The Late, Great State of Israel. How Enemies Within and Without Threaten The Jewish Nation's Survival. Klein's book illuminates, infuriates, saddens, and cries out to both heaven and humanity.
According to Klein, he chose his book's shocking title "with a heavy heart," in order to "awaken people to this very real possibility," to "prod the world into pondering the unthinkable; and to shed light on the scope of the calamitous threats facing the Jewish state."
Klein is not a diplomatic insider, nor is he a scholar; he is a passionate and courageous young journalist who, unlike most of us, including most scholars, talks to Palestinian terrorists all the time.
Klein indicts the world's governments and the global media, including the Israeli government and media, for having conspired in covering up the fact that the late Yasir Arafat's was a bloodthirsty terrorist; for continuing to present Fatah, under Mahmud Abbas, Arafat's right hand man, as a "moderate," when this is not the case; for being so "entrenched in their accepted narratives that they will completely invert the truth or blindly repeat proven falsehoods…(all in order to mask) the murderous ways of their Palestinian or Arab state partners."
I only wish that those who helped President Obama craft his Cairo speech had read Klein's book before they led (or followed) our commander-in-chief down the proverbial garden path. Actually, I wish that American Jews, 72% of whom voted for Obama, understood how very far from fair or balanced or even historically accurate his Cairo speech really was.
It wasn't a pro-Muslim woman speech either as I've previously written.
Klein condemns the media for not covering certain stories: "How the U.S. knowingly funds Palestinian terrorism; how Israel and the international community legitimize the jihadist Hamas movement; how the Jewish state has already essentially forfeited the holy Temple Mount…and allowed hundreds of thousands of Arabs to live illegally on Jewish-owned land."
According to Klein, who has been WorldNetDaily's Jerusalem bureau chief for four years: The city of Jerusalem, like so many European cities, now has its own "no go" areas. "Israeli police units stay off the streets" of certain "densely populated Arab neighborhoods" which, in effect, constitute a "significant terrorist apparatus (which is) now based in eastern Jerusalem. The clear aim is to keep up a steady stream of attacks on western Jerusalem neighborhoods in order to pressure Israel into ceding eastern Jerusalem."
Over the years, Israelis have allowed more than "100,000 Palestinian Arabs to occupy tens of thousands of illegally constructed housing units in eastern and northern Jerusalem." Criminals, mercenaries, soldiers dressed as civilians, human bombs and their terrorist handlers, may all live among them. This other illegal occupation or settlement activity began long after 1967, when Israel won a third war of self-defense launched against it by the major Arab powers. These Palestinian Arab immigrants were not living in these places before 1948 or before 1967. Indeed, Klein documents that under Jordanian rule, one of these Jerusalem neighborhoods, Shoafat, was actually a forest.
These crowded Palestinian Arab housing complexes, schools, villas, palaces, (my friend Helen Freedman just saw a Saudi-built Polo Club! somewhere nearby), are now filled with weapons and fighters. Worse still: According to Klein, these Palestinian Arabs have built their illegal settlements on land owned by the Jewish National Fund, (JNF), which was entrusted to buy land for Jews in the Holy Land.
I, like so many other Jews, once stood on the street corners of Borough Park and solicited for the JNF holding my little blue and white tin canister.
No one has ever exposed or opposed these illegal settlements on JNF land. Not the Israeli government, not the Israeli media, not the world media, not any of the world's activists who demonize only Jewish settlements.
In an exchange with Klein, (which Klein duly reports), Russell Robinson, the CEO of the JNF, insisted that, yes, the land in question had been acquired by the JNF in the early 1900s but it was subsequently either under Jordanian rule and/or is now under the Israel Land Authority and that the entire matter is "more complicated." Klein persuasively disputes both of Robinson's claims.
According to Helen Freedman, there has been no outcry about any of this because "Jews and Israelis do not want to be seen—many do not even want to be, discriminatory or "racist" in terms of Palestinian Arabs.
Well, many good Jews believe in the importance of treating the stranger in our gate with kindness, fairness. In the past, I, too, wanted full citizenship as well as existential and "identity" rights for Israeli Palestinian Arabs who, even if they were and still are second class citizens, a fact which id entirely unacceptable, nevertheless do not wish to leave Israel to live with their brethren in Gaza or on the West Bank. Like Jews, (but for a very different reason), they, too, have not been welcomed as citizens in any of the 22 Arab Muslim states.
I signed petitions and demonstrated against "the occupation" and for a "two state solution" for years—well before it became fashionable. And yet, it turns out that I was both a dreamer and a fool, tricked by master propagandists and by my own desire to do good, alleviate human suffering. To paraphrase the Israeli left writer, my friend and colleague, Yorum Kiniuk: "My peace partner, with whom I was dancing, turned out to be a suicide bomber."
Thus, to expect, nay, to demand, that Israel "make peace" with a people who are armed to the teeth, who will not disarm on their own, who will not disarm non-violently, even under international supervision, is nonsense. For Jews and Israelis to call for a further Palestinian right of return and for a two-state solution is, perhaps, suicidal, given that there is only one tiny Jewish state in all the wide, wide world while there are 57 Muslim (and Muslim-dominating) states in the world, 22 of which are in the Middle East. No Jews, including "politically correct" two-state solution Jews, can safely live in any one of the 22 Muslim Arab states in the Middle East.
Until recently, Jews, if they were very wealthy, could live well, perhaps only in Tunisia and Turkey, but that happy little chapter may be drawing to a close. And, although the 35,000 Jews held hostage in Iran publicly insist that they are quite happy there, let's remember that Jewish-American diplomat, Dennis Ross, is not acceptable as an American envoy to Iran presumably because he is Jewish. The Obama White House has re-assigned him.
Muslim countries are totally "apartheid" nations states.
Israel, on the other hand, has accepted 1.2 million Muslim and Christian Palestinian Arabs as Israeli citizens. Palestinian Arabs are Members of Knesset and sit on the Israeli Supreme Court. Israel has safeguarded the places of worship of all religions and have given the Ba'haii, who fled Iran, a safe harbour in Haifa. In contrast, Palestinian Arabs have desecrated and destroyed Jewish and Christian places of worship. Klein has a horrific chapter on the barbaric Palestinian destruction of Joseph-the-Dream-Interpreter's Tomb.
All things being equal, I, (and most Israelis), would have no problem with Israel's having Muslim or Christian Palestinian Arab residents in Jerusalem or anywhere else–just as long as Jews could also live safely and openly in Nablus, Ramallah, Hebron, Amman, Cairo, Damascus, Mecca, Baghdad, Teheran, etc. That is: Without armored troops to accompany them to and from peaceful prayer services or to the market to buy fruits and vegetables. It is precisely this lack of reciprocity which causes the blood to boil, especially when our leaders, (President Obama, for starters), fail to mention and refuse to criticize such a glaring and obvious disparity.
Does this mean that President Obama is in favor of Islamic religious apartheid but opposes, selectively, what he views as Israeli Jewish "apartheid?" If so, why? Does Obama oppose the right of a Jewish state to exist? If not, then why would he support the The Arab League, Iran, and its terrorist proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah, as well as the bloody Palestinian Authority under Abbas, who all wish to surround, isolate, and destroy Israel demographically, economically, reputationally, and militarily by a non-stop barrage of rockets, missiles, human bombs, truck bombs, tractors, bullets, and nuclear weapons if possible?
How can President Obama, a graduate of the Harvard Law School, not understand that the catch-phrase "two state solution with the Palestinian right of return," by definition, means the death of the Jewish state?
I strongly recommend the Klein book. If you are young, read it quickly, absorb it right into your bloodstream. If you are a leftist, reach for your smelling salts. And, if you are older, and more conservative, reach for your blood pressure medication.
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