+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

Defusing incitement about Jerusalem

Israeli leaders like to claim that Jerusalem has never been an Arab or Muslim capital, and vowing that it never will be. But are they guilty of performing linguistic gymnastics and a selective memory of Israel’s legal commitments about the holy city?

By Lorenzo Kamel

The Jerusalem skyline. (Photo by Shutterstock.com)

The Jerusalem skyline. (Photo by Shutterstock.com)

At a Jerusalem Day ceremony on May 17, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that Jerusalem has always been the capital “of the Jewish people alone, not of any other people,” adding that Israel “will fight incitement, which stems from denial of our attachment to Jerusalem and our heritage.”

A decade earlier Ehud Olmert, Israel’s PM from 2006 to 2009, delivered a similar talk that might today help to better understand the sense of Benjamin Netanyahu’s words. Jerusalem, Olmert pointed out, “has never been a capital for any Arab or Muslim entity and will never be any part of a capital or any Muslim entity.”

Anyone with an interest in the eastern Mediterranean area will often come across analysis of this kind. These are theses often proposed by well-known figures within the international cultural and political landscape. Each of them, beside not bringing any real benefit to the interested parties, is vitiated by the transposition of values, uses and traditions negligible within the realities to which they refer to.

To claim that Jerusalem has never been the capital (from the Latin caput, ‘head’) of any Arab or Islamic entity is to ignore that the notion of ‘āsima, which in modern Arabic indicates the capital of a state, but which was unknown in classical Arabic, at least in its contemporary political–administrative meaning. This is even truer for citizenship, the concept that commonly indicates political belonging in the West and recalls the Greek polites (‘citizen’) and Latin cives.

Until the recent past, Middle Eastern languages offered no term to indicate such concepts. If in modern Arabic, the word jinsīya (from the root j-n-s, which in classic Arabic indicated – depending on the case – gender, race and class) was adopted, this may be traced to the necessity of introducing an idea functional for the interpretation of the locals by outsiders.

Al-‘āsima (singular form of al-‘āwāsim, “defenses,” “fortifications”), literally “the protector,” originally indicated the line between southern Turkey, Iraq and northern Syria, which divided the Byzantine Empire from the caliphates. This does not mean that in the Eastern Mediterranean notions for expressing the particular importance of a certain city were not acknowledged. For instance, writing in the early 9th century, Islamic scholar Yazīd al-Kalā‘ī (764–854) argued that “the holiest place [al-Quds] on Earth is Syria; the holiest place in Syria is Palestine; the holiest place in Palestine is Jerusalem [Bayt al-Maqdis].”

In the literary genre of Faḍā’il al-Quds (The Merits of Jerusalem), composed halfway through the 11th century and rich with material from the 7th and 8th centuries, the preminence of al-Quds (Jerusalem) and of the holiest places in the region were clearly praised. On top of this, it is important to remind that not only Baghdad or Damascus, but also Jerusalem, in the first period of Islam, played a role comparable with that of a “capital.”

The (mis)use of the concept of “capital” – like the equally frequent one regarding concepts such as state, border, citizenship and private property – should not serve as a tool for denying or undermining others’ attachment to Jerusalem. This is even more the case considering that since when the Jebusites founded Uru-Salem about 5,000 years ago, the Holy City had never been inhabited by a single people or religious group.

But well beyond historical and religious considerations, are the legal constraints to further confirm the problematic nature of the claim that only one people should have the right of self-determination in Jerusalem. The San Francisco Conference (April-June 1945) stipulated in Article 80 of the Charter that the United Nations had the necessary power to conclude trusteeship agreements that could alter existing rights held under the pre-existing Mandate for Palestine. In the Partition Plan (Resolution 181, November 29, 1947) the UN General Assembly clarified the will to establish an international trusteeship regime in Jerusalem.

Israel became a member of the UN only on May 11, 1949. Its first attempt to be accepted as a member state was rejected by the Security Council on the grounds that the issues of refugees, borders and the status of Jerusalem had not been settled. The admission was only approved after a second application, which followed Abba Eban’s official commitments (1915-2002) in front of the UNGA on May 5, 1949. “Negotiations,” Eban assured the UN, “would not, however, affect the juridical status of Jerusalem, to be defined by international consent.” None of the historical events of the last 65 years have the legal power to erase these assurances.

Lorenzo Kamel is a Middle East historian at Bologna University and a Research Fellow (2013-2016) at Harvard University’s CMES. Among his most recent publications: ‘Imperial Perceptions of Palestine: British Influence and Power in Late Ottoman Times’ (I.B. Tauris 2015) and ‘Arab Spring: The Role of the Peripheries’ (Special issue of Mediterranean Politics, May 2015, co-edited with D.Huber) 

Newsletter banner

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

    COMMENTS

    1. Pedro X

      I have to laugh at all this nonsense. For instant the writer writes:

      “the Jebusites founded Uru-Salem about 5,000 years ago”

      This would put the Jebusite founding of a place called Uru-Salem at about 3,000 BCE. The Hebrew bible is the only source which locates Jebusites at Jerusalem and their possible inhabitation only dates to around 1200 BCE when the archeological evidence shows Jerusalem was sacked. One only has to read the Amarna letters from the 14th century BCE. The city of Jerusalem is Urasalimmu”. The king is not a Jebusite. King Abdi-Heba’s name denotes he is the servant of a Hurrian goddess and he does not address the King of Egypt in the Amarna letters as the King of Jebusites.

      Nor has Jerusalem ever served as the administrative center of the Arab peoples. Never. Muslim fairy tales of flying horses and prophets in Jerusalem are just that fairy tales for the gullible and the mentally infirm.

      Reply to Comment
      • rose

        This is an excellent article.

        Pedro, you don’t address any of the article’s arguments. It is irrelevant if the city was an “administrative center”: it does not diminish in any way “the Merits of Jerusalem” (fadail al quds) in the eyes of its local majority (at the time). As for “Muslim fairy tales”, I suggest you to focus on the “fairy tales” of the “others” too.

        The short sentence on which you put almost all your energies stresses that Jerusalem is 5,000 years old and that it has never been inhabited by a single people or religious group. This is the argument that you should tackle, if you wish so. The Jubusites were a Canaanite population (btw, even pro-Israeli sources argue that “The Jebusites inhabited the ancient site of Jerusalem, perhaps as early as 3200 B.C.E.” http://www.meforum.org/1713/palestinians-jebusites-and-evangelicals#_ftnref3 ). If you like, switch the word Jebusites with Canaanites. It is irrelevant.
        What it matters is that the Canaanite established Jerusalem about 5000 years ago and since then did never belong to one single people in its history. And btw, Uru-Shalem was mentioned already in the Egyptian Execration texts that date back about 5/6 centuries before the Amarna letters (14th century BCE).

        Reply to Comment
        • BigCat

          Rose,

          It is unclear what your point is. For starters, this is what your source states:

          “A Myth Created

          The claim to Jebusite heritage within the Palestinian community is a recent construct. For many Muslims, Jerusalem became important as a result of the Prophet Muhammad’s night journey. Ghada Hashem Talhami, a former editor of Arab Studies Quarterly and, at present, a professor of politics at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois, explains, “The story of Muslim regard for Jerusalem begins with the Prophet Muhammad’s nocturnal journey, as it is referred to in the Qur’an, and ascension to heaven.”[16] Even then, the Qur’an mentions neither the Jebusites nor, for that matter, the city of Jerusalem.[17]”

          Reply to Comment
          • rose

            BigCat, I am not sure if you read my comment. Here no one is discussing the “claim to Jebusite heritage within the Palestinian community”, nor if the “Qur’an mentions the Jebusites…”. And that one is hardly “my source”. Please, if you can or want, re-read what I have written and, possibly, stick to my arguments.

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            Good, Rose. Glad we cleared that one up, because my claws were already inching out gradually. But here is another problem: very little remains of your “argument” and that ‘very little’ is this:

            “What it matters is that the Canaanite established Jerusalem about 5000 years ago and since then did never belong to one single people in its history.”

            That claim is the core of your argument, the point of which is unclear – yet. But, even then, that claim is demonstratively false. Jerusalem was political and administrative seat of the Jewish kingdom from around 1000 BCE and remained so until the destruction of The Second Temple in 70CE. Do the math, Rose, and do not forget to subtract the 50yrs. Babylonian galut. From the galut, Jews continued living in Jerusalem. From the 1800s Jews started forming relative to absolute majority again in Jerusalem – till to date.

            In case you are wondering where the “Palestinians” came from, here is a hint from HAMAS-leader: There was never a Palestinian People. There never was a Palestinian Land. Hamas minister admits on TV: There is no Palestine or Palestinians, March 23, 2012:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B5hKbDdkU4

            If you need more on the subject, I will be glad to supply.

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            BigCat, I don’t think that we had anything to clarify. You mentioned a topic that no one was discussing, but this of course does not make it less relavant.

            “Jerusalem was political and administrative seat of the Jewish kingdom from around 1000 BCE and remained so until the destruction of The Second Temple in 70CE”:
            You may remember that in 586 BCE the Babylonians under Nebuchadnessar captured the city, exactly as many previous invaders, Israelites included, made in the previous and following centuries and millennia. Alexander the Great conquered Jerusalem in 333 BCE. Ect…, To claim that between 586 BCE and 70CE “Jerusalem was the political and administrative seat of the Jewish kingdom” ignores quite a lot of history.
            It is true that “Jews continued living in Jerusalem”, as many other populations and religious groups did. This is why the “right of exclusivity” is not only immoral but also historically inaccurate. Again, Jerusalem was never inhabited by one single religious group in its entire history. So it never “belonged” to 1 single popolation or religious group, and never will do.

            “In case you are wondering where the “Palestinians” came from”: I could write quite a lot on this topis, but I am not sure that it would make any sense. I suggest you to read Haim Gerber’s “Remembering and Imagining Palestine”: it is a very informative starting point. Finally, I quote Maxime Rodinson:

            “The Arab population of Palestine were native in all the usual senses of that word. Ignorance, sometimes backed up by hypocritical propaganda, has spread a number of misconceptions on this subject, unfortunately very widely held. It has been said that since the Arabs took the country by military conquest in the seventh century, they are occupiers like any other, like the Romans, the Crusaders and the Turks. Why therefore should they be regarded as any more native than the others, and in particular than the Jews, who were native to that country in ancient times, or at least occupiers of longer standing? To the historian the answer is obvious. A small contingent of Arabs from Arabia did indeed conquer the country in the seventh century. But as a result of factors which were briefly outlined in the first chapter of this book, the Palestinian population soon became Arabized under Arab domination, just as earlier it had been Hebraicized, Aramaicized, to some degree even Hellenized. It became Arab in a way that it was never to become Latinized or Ottomanized. The invaded melted with the invaders. It is ridiculous to call the English of today invaders and occupiers, on the grounds that England was conquered from Celtic peoples by the Angles, Saxons and Jutes in the fifth and sixth centuries. The population was “Anglicized” and nobody suggests that the peoples which have more or less preserved the Celtic tongues – the Irish, the Welsh or the Bretons – should be regarded as the true natives of Kent or Suffolk, with greater titles to these territories than the English who live in those counties.”

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            You are a very confused liar, Rose, which is what happens to all those who have no mind of their own, but instead copy and paste the opinion of others, while neither acknowledging their source nor understanding the point of what they copy and paste.

            1. The firsts quote I gave you I copied and pasted from the link YOU provided. That link says that the idea that “Palestinians” are descendants of the Jebusites, etc. is a MYTH!

            You denied both YOUR OWN link and it’s content when you said the following:

            2. Roses:
            “BigCat: I am not sure if you read my comment. Here no one is discussing the “claim to Jebusite heritage within the Palestinian community”, nor if the “Qur’an mentions the Jebusites…”. And that one is hardly “my source”. Please, if you can or want, re-read what I have written and, possibly, stick to my arguments.”

            I accepted your above claim, BUT – you came back and said this:

            3. Rose
            “BigCat, I don’t think that we had anything to clarify. You mentioned a topic that no one was discussing, but this of course does not make it less relavant. (…).“The Arab population of Palestine were native in all the usual senses of that word. Ignorance, sometimes backed up by hypocritical propaganda, has spread a number of misconceptions on this subject, unfortunately very widely held. It has been said that since the Arabs took the country by military conquest in the seventh century, they are occupiers like any other, like the Romans, the Crusaders and the Turks. Why therefore should they be regarded as any more native than the others, and in particular than the Jews, who were native to that country in ancient times, or at least occupiers of longer standing? To the historian the answer is obvious. A small contingent of Arabs from Arabia did indeed conquer the country in the seventh century. But as a result of factors which were briefly outlined in the first chapter of this book, the Palestinian population soon became Arabized under Arab domination, just as earlier it had been Hebraicized, Aramaicized, to some degree even Hellenized. It became Arab in a way that it was never to become Latinized or Ottomanized (…)”.

            4. Question:
            a. Are you a dunce, Rose? What exactly is the point you want to make with all your copy-and-paste stuff?
            b. What is the primary source of all you copied and pasted? The link(s) would be enough.

            Reply to Comment
          • Rose

            BigCat, not sure what you mean. I wrote, “Finally, I quote Maxime Rodinson”, and then I provided the quotation. Would you mind to highlight for me where I “copied and pasted the opinion of others”?

            As for your points:

            1) Yes, you copied and pasted a quote from the link that I provided. The problem is that the argument that you copied and pasted was not discussed by anyone on this page. I provided that link not because I endorse all the arguments that are mentioned on it (hardly so), but because I wanted to show that even many very pro-Israeli sites or think tanks quite often refer to the Jebusites (other times to the Canaanites) as the funder of Jerusalem. I didnt intend to discuss the topic “Palestinians=Jebusites”, but instead that there is a certain consensus, both among pro-Pals and pro-Israelis, that the city was established by the Jebusites (or Canaanites). I do apologize if I was not clear enogh.

            2) “I accepted your above claim, BUT – you came back and said this….”:
            In my “claim” I simply wrote that you opened a new window that was irrelevant in this page. I mentioned that it was anyway very relevant for the broader context. And I quoted Maxime Rodinson in order to try to show you that the issue might be a bit more complex than how it looks to you.

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            Deny, deny, deny. Brilliantly Clintonian, Rose. But here is the problem with that tactic, Rose: at the end of the day, no one knows what your position is/where you stand! You have distanced yourself from the “alternative view” others/your supporters thought you believed in and were presenting as a result.

            For what it’s worth, what I said you copied and pasted without acknowledging the source is e.g. the entire last/4th paragraph of your post. Since you have said that you do not believe the content of that paragraph to be true and that you merely posted it for other reason(s), I see no need to continue the discussion. What the HAMAS leader said in the video clip I provided, speaks for itself. I merely presented a FACT in posting it, not an opinion of some “scholars”. Most people know where they came from and you should not doubt them when they tell you where they came from IF they have no reason to lie about their origin. The HAMAS leader had no reason to lie about what he said in that clip.

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            BigCat, call them Jebusites (as also many pro-Israeli sites do) or Canaanites: they built Uru-Salem about 5.000 years ago. This is the point.

            “..the entire last/4th paragraph of your post…”: could you please write the paragraph to which you are referring to?

            ” What the HAMAS leader said… I merely presented a FACT in posting it, not an opinion of some “scholars”:
            I could never have suspected that you are an Hamas follower. I guess that you trust and support the opinions of each of their ‘leaders’. If the HAMAS leader said so it must be true. But please ask anyway to the person on which you are relying on if when Al-Din al-Ramli (born and rised in the Palestinian city included in his family name, Ramle) wrote in the 17th century ‘Filastin biladuna’ (Palestine our land) he was referring to the Middle East or to elsewhere. If you go to Damascus, for instance, you will find plenty of families with Palestinian family names (nabulsi, ramli…). This simply proves that was a bordless region, or, in Adel Manna’s words:

            “A Palestinian who moved to south Lebanon or a Lebanese who moved to Palestine – or a Syrian or a Jordanian, for that matter – is surely not a foreigner because he is part of the culture of the society .. Its was common and natural for a Palestinian to go study in Al Azhar for instance, and remain there; or for a Hebronite merchant to go to Cairo and live there; or go to Damascus or other places, whether to study or to live.. This was a natural phenomenon”.

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            “BigCat, call them Jebusites (as also many pro-Israeli sites do) or Canaanites: they built Uru-Salem about 5.000 years ago. This is the point.”

            False! But let’s ASSUME for the sake of argument that it is true, what exactly then is your point, Rose? Jerusalem is what it is because of The Covenant Between G-d And The Jewish People. Without said Covenant of which Judaism is the epitome, there would be no Jerusalem. Jerusalem and Judaism cannot exist independent of each other! Do the math, Rose, and quit copying and pasting complete nonsense.

            Btw,
            It is obvious that your still pretending not to know what you yourself copied and pasted without acknowledging the source. Let’s try it again. Here you go:

            a. Start counting your posts ABOVE chronologically;
            b. Your third post is what I meant;
            c. That third post has 4 (FOUR) paragraphs. The 4th (FOURTH) paragraph is ALSO the last paragraph. That 4th-/last paragraph is in quotation marks and begins with: “The Arab population of Palestine were ……”, and ends with: “…the English who live in those counties”.

            Is that clear to you now? Good. Now, provide the source of that quote.

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            BigCat, “Good. Now, provide the source of that quote”. I already provided it: double-check it. It is a quotation by Maxime Rodinson, one of the major scholars of Islam of the last century.

            TO claim that Jerusalem would not exist without Judaism is utter nonsense. Jerusalem was established at least 2000 years before the rising of Judaism.

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            Source, Rose, Source! Please give us your source!

            All I ever asked for is a link. I want to click on that link as you did and read it as you read it. I am sure you can post us your link so that we can click on it and read it for ourselves and make our own judgements, can’t you? Good, then, Rose, pls. let’s have your link – unless there is something you are hiding and are afraid of, Rose?

            Btw Rose
            Without Judaism, there would be no Jerusalem. Jerusalem was named “Jerusalem” by Jews. The Jubsites were named “the Jebusites” by Jews. We do not know what “the Jebusites” called themselves. We do not know that “the Jebusites” called the place captured by Kind David which Jews called “Jerusalem”. We do not know which language the Jebusites spoke. Without Judaism, “Jerusalem” would be completely meaningless for both Christians and Muslims, would have vanished as all cities of that period did and we will not be having this discussion here today. Instead of copying and pasting, maybe you should start THINKING, Rose.

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            BigCat, it is a book, not a link: M. Rodinson, Israel and the Arabs, Penguin, 1982, p. 319.

            Uru-Shalem (the Canaanite god of dusk) was mentioned in the Egyptian Execration texts when Judaism was not even born. This is not an opinion.

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            The more I get to know you, the more dishonesty I find in you, Rose.Your quote is NOT contained in “M. Rodinson, Israel and the Arabs, Penguin, 1982, p. 319”. Absolutely disgusting! If you demand the evidence I shall willing provide it. But I am sure you don’t want to embarrass yourself more. Put that aside. Here is your source which you lie about: http://www.marxists.de/middleast/israrab/part1.htm. Go to paragraph 16 and you will find the quote you copied and pasted and lied about. Evidently a radical Jewish Marxist and virulent anti-Zionist by the name of Maxime Rodinson from Poland/Russia who has managed to publish numerous UNVERIFIED and UNVERIFIABLE mumbo jumbos (as evidenced e.g. in his writing which I linked) is your authority in these kind of matters. Why not throw Shlomo Sand in the mix as well? I will ask you again: are you a dunce, Rose?

            And somehow the myth you read somewhere that that claims that “uru-shalem” was mentioned in the “Egyptian Execration texts” and that somehow there is a link between Jerusalem and ‘uru-salem is now turning into a fact you rely on, Rose? And I guess you have a link to your source, because your claim is not mentioned in “M. Rodinson, Israel and the Arabs, Penguin, 1982, p. 319”, you confused liar!

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Hey jackass: Click on the link “Conflict” at the top of the page, which takes you back one page:

            ————————-
            This is the concluding chapter of Israel and the Arabs (Second Edition), Penguin Books 1982.
            The text is Copyright © Maxime Rodinson 1968, 1970, 1982.
            Translator: Brian Pearce
            ————————–

            Your incredibly rude, asinine behavior is one part malevolence, one part dishonesty, and one part sheer stupidity.

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            Brian alias “Ben” alias “David T.” alias Dekkers, alias etc.

            Still on +972 mag psychotically obsessing about Jews instead of finding a job to support your psychotic self, Brian? You don’t have to “click on the conflict” to know where the quote is from, you psychotic moron, that’s not the point. The caption of the link I MYSELF PROVIDED you reads: “Maxime Rodinson: On the General Nature of the Conflict”. Seems you are getting nervous because your fellow FRAUDSTER is being exposed, huh? Rose claimed she did not copy and paste when confronted with her copy-and-paste-job. Rose pretended not to know what she copied and pasted when asked to provide a source. Rose claimed that there is no link to her source when she was continually asked to provide her source.

            But behold I found her source for her: a piece from a radical Jewish Communist and virulent anti-Zionist from Poland/Russia who publishes pure fantasies disseminated on Communist blogs!

            We are also waiting for the “uru-salem” source. Now, help Rose out and provide that source.

            We are waiting…..

            Btw, Brian, Rose has alraedy distanced herself from that quote. She claimed she posted it for other reasons and not because she believes what she copied and pasted to be correct. Don’t forget that, psychotic freak!

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            BigCat,
            I am afraid that I dont get what the problem is. I provided a quotation writing the name of the author. The quotation is included in the book (take a sentence and put it on google books) as well in many sites and probably also on other books. But who cares? Why not focusing on the content? Maxime Rodinson is one of the 2/3 most important scholars of Islamic studies of the last centuries. I would suggest you to focus on what he wrote and non on your opinion about Marxism or his life. Anyway, I stop here because this conversation is not productive. Usually people are offensive when they know to be weak.

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            Rose

            In summary, this much sums it all up: Without Judaism, there would be no Jerusalem. Jerusalem was named “Jerusalem” by Jews. The Jubsites were named “the Jebusites” by Jews. We do not know what “the Jebusites” called themselves. We do not know that “the Jebusites” called the place captured by Kind David which Jews called “Jerusalem”. We do not know which language the Jebusites spoke. Without Judaism, “Jerusalem” would be completely meaningless for both Christians and Muslims, would have vanished as all cities of that period did and we will not be having this discussion here today. That you have not disputed, nor can dispute reasonably.

            The myth you read somewhere that claims that “uru-salem” was somehow mentioned in the so-called “Egyptian Execration texts” and that because of that somehow there is a link between Jerusalem and “uru-salem” is also not based on facts. You have yet to provide the source of that myth.

            The mumbo jumbo from the radical Jewish Communist and virulent anti-Zionist Maxime Rodinson which you copied from the comment sections of other websites and pasted here that somehow “Palestinians” are natives who were “Hebraicized”, “Aramaicized”, “Hellenized”, “Latinized”, “Ottomanized” and ‘Arabicized’, etc. is pure fantasy that has no basis in facts. What a metamorphosis! Even the “Palestinians” vehemently disagree with that, and YOU yourself has said that you do not believe that and other stuff you copied and pated to be true, but merely copied and pasted them for other reasons!

            At the end of the day, NOTHING remains of your entire copy-and-paste-job on this site.

            Btw. Rose,

            I challenged you below to provide the primary source of the quote you posted in response to Joel Cantor’s comment. We are still waiting for your source……

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            “Usually people are offensive when they know to be weak.”

            In one sentence Rose sums up the entire BigCat oeuvre. She’s so clearly over mastered BC that he/she has to resort to the incredibly rude and dishonest games he/she has always played and Rose is smart enough to set boundaries.

            BC linked to a page that is obviously Part One of an Internet-transcribed copy of the final chapter of precisely the book by the distinguished historian Rodinson that Rose from the beginning referenced. And Rose knows that it is page 319 in that book because she owns the actual hardcopy of that book.

            This is the kind of juvenile troll nonsense with which BigCat has always liked to distract everyone because, as Rose says, he/she knows he/she is weak when it comes to substance.

            Rose has driven some folks here to conniption fits. “The link!!! Show me the link!!!” Bigcat is aghast. “A book?! WTF?! I’ve never read a book in my life!” Gustav for his part, not in the same class as BC when it comes to stupidity, knows when to fold ’em, as he did below.

            Never had so much Hasbara been shown to be untrue in so few polite and devastatingly knowledgable posts. What a breath of fresh air Rose has been here. And that’d be no “rubber stamp,” that’d be “an objective observation.” Rose has, with remarkable grace, poise and politeness, raised the level of the conversation, and dispelled so much hot air.

            Something offensive, faintly misogynistic and unfaintly adolescent is sure follow that plays on the apparently female quality of Rose’s name. Wait for it. Which only raises the still unanswered question–BigCat, exactly why did you used to call yourself “Merav” hereabouts? Before you got banned. Hmmmmmm?

            Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            Another rambling hysterical mumbo jumbo from Brian alias “MuslimJew” alias “David T.” alias “Dekkers”, alias etc. The comments speak for themselves and you are not even worth a spit on the face – let alone a response.

            Go find a job and start supporting your empty self instead of depending on food-stamps provided by the United States Government with my tax dollars. After that, start focusing on the problems of YOUR OWN country and quit fixating on- and obsessing with Jews and Israel 24/7, both of which are in no way, shape or form any of your business, you psychotic moron!

            Btw.
            It seems you are still hallucinating about Rose and know what she has and does not have, huh? Soon Bar, Susan, Ginger and Merav might start posting and you will start acting even more strangely. Keep whacking it. Just not too fast – else you get hurt, you psychotic freak!

            Reply to Comment
        • Pedro X

          Rose, you get it wrong by referring to an article which links to pieces written by evangelical archeologists of the 1930s.

          You say that

          “The Jubusites were a Canaanite population”

          Major historians such as Nadav Naaman and Lester Graabe indicate Jebusites were from Anatolia and migrated to Canaan in the end of the late Bronze age (circa 1200 BCE). Therefore the Jebusites did not found Jerusalem 5000 years ago. (see Graabe “Ancient Israel What do we know and how do we know it” and Naaman “The Conquest of Canaan” and “The Hurrians and the End of the Late Bronze Age (Canaan in the Second Millennium Bce”.)

          The Jebusites are not mentioned in the Elba documents, the Mari correspondence, the Ugarit texts, the story of Sinhue, on the Merneptah Stele and not in the Armana letters, even though Jerusalem appears in eight letters. These are sources from the 3rd and second Millenium BCE in which Jebusites do not make an appearance in the bronze age.

          There is scant evidence that Jerusalem was founded 5000 years ago. The presence of remains of housing around the Gihon springs in 3500 BCE does not indicate a settlement at Jerusalem. There is evidence of house structures in Jerusalem around 2200 BCE and a Jerusalem in or about the 19-18th century BCE. We have archeological evidence of a wall and fortifications protecting the Gihon spring to allow access only from Jerusalem. What we know about the people who lived there is not great. We refer to them as Canaanites because they lived in Canaan.

          Our most intimate look at Canaanite Jerusalem comes from the Amarna letters from about 400 years later. The king appears to be of Hurrian background.

          Then we have Jebusite Jerusalem, which Lehmann says was of a size of only 300-600 people in Iron Age I. It is not a large center and is not the capital of any nation state.

          The Israelites, whom Graabe states were as Canaanite as any other Canaanite group, took Jerusalem. Jerusalem served as an administrative capital and capital of Judea and then of Judea and Samaria for a short period of time. It became the capital and administrative city of a nation state of Jewish people calling themselves Israel. The Canaanite people were subsumed into Israeli, Greek Philistine and Phoenician cultures. The Philistines disappeared followed later by the Phoenicians.

          The Israelis formed a unique culture, with their own religion, language and customs. Jerusalem served as their administrative, religious and cultural capital until the Romans destroyed it. Even then it lived on in the memory of the Jewish people as the capital and homeland of the Jewish people.

          Jerusalem did not serve as the capital of the Arab people, in either an administrative or cultural sense. It was never the center of its religion.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Bruce Gould

      Resource/information: EWASH (Emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene in the Occupied Palestinian Territory) is “… a coordination body founded in 2002 after the emergency situation following the Israeli incursion to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which aims to coordinate the work in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector to avoid duplication and help ensure optimum results.” Go here for info on the water situation:

      http://www.ewash.org/en/

      Reply to Comment
    3. Gustav

      “in the eyes of its local majority (at the time)”

      Since around 1850, at least, Jews were a majority of the population of Jerusalem.

      “it has never been inhabited by a single people or religious group”

      And no conqueror in history has ever willingly given up it’s jurisdiction over Jerusalem. We are not going to be the first one to break that trend. We have at least as much history and connection to Jerusalem as the Arabs and probably more. Moreover, the Arabs have 22 other capitals but we have ONLY Jerusalem. Jerusalem is our capital and that’s that.

      Reply to Comment
      • rose

        Gustav, “Since around 1850, at least, Jews were a majority of the population of Jerusalem”. Certainly not an absolute majority, but a relative one. The large majority of Muslims and Christians were Arabs. Also regarding the relative majority, sources are far from being univocal. Joseph Schwarz, for instance, wrote in the mid-19th century that in Jerusalem there were 7.500 Jews, 15.000 Muslims and 10.000 Christians.

        “We have at least as much history and connection to Jerusalem as the Arabs”: no one here claimed something different. This is why the city should not belong to 1 side only.

        “the Arabs have 22 other capitals but we have ONLY Jerusalem”: I am sure that a Palestinians feel much relief thinking that Algeri is the capital of Algeria. They are all “Arabs”, so who cares.

        “Jerusalem is our capital and that’s that”: yes, but Jerusalem is much more than just your capital. The others exist too.

        Reply to Comment
        • Gustav

          ROSE:”Gustav, “Since around 1850, at least, Jews were a majority of the population of Jerusalem”. Certainly not an absolute majority, but a relative one. The large majority of Muslims and Christians were Arabs. Also regarding the relative majority, sources are far from being univocal. Joseph Schwarz, for instance, wrote in the mid-19th century that in Jerusalem there were 7.500 Jews, 15.000 Muslims and 10.000 Christians.”

          GUSTAV:I don’t know about Joseph Schwartz but this is what Karl Marx wrote in 1854:

          “the sedentary population of Jerusalem numbers about 15,500 souls, of whom 4,000 are Mussulmans and 8,000 Jews.

          https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1854/03/28.htm

          GUSTAV:“We have at least as much history and connection to Jerusalem as the Arabs”:

          ROSE:”no one here claimed something different. This is why the city should not belong to 1 side only.

          GUSTAV: Really? Then where were people like you between 1948 and 1949 when Jordan occupied East Jerusalem and they expelled it’s entire Jewish population, desecrated our holy sites and refused any Israeli access to The city? The silence of people like you was deafening between 1948 and 1967.

          GUSTAV:“the Arabs have 22 other capitals but we have ONLY Jerusalem”:

          ROSE:”I am sure that a Palestinians feel much relief thinking that Algeri is the capital of Algeria. They are all “Arabs”, so who cares.”

          GUSTAV: I have as much sympathy to them as they had to us between 1948 and 1967 when they barred all of us from East Jerusalem.

          GUSTAV:“Jerusalem is our capital and that’s that”:

          ROSE:”yes, but Jerusalem is much more than just your capital. The others exist too.”

          GUSTAV: You mean like we existed between the years of 1948 and 1967 and the dear Palestinians ignored OUR existence? In fact we are treating THEM better because we do allow THEM to live in Jerusalem unlike they who kicked us all out. In fact, unlike them, we offered the Arabs of East Jerusalem Israeli citizenship. But what did they do to us between 1948 and 1967? They kicked us out of East Jerusalem and they didn’t allow even a single Israeli to visit Jewish holy sites which they desecrated.

          Reply to Comment
          • rose

            Gustav, “I don’t know about Joseph Schwartz but this is what Karl Marx wrote in 1854”: you might know that Marx never visited Jerusalem. He copied the sentence that you mentioned from a work published the previous year, that is: C. FAMIN, L’Histoire de la rivalité et du protectorat des Églises chrétiennes en Orient, Frères, Parigi 1853. On top of this, I am not sure how this contribute to our discussion. As I mentioned, there are many and sometimes contradictory sources. But 1 thing is sure: in 1850 cannot be other than a relative majority.

            “The silence of people like you was deafening between 1948 and 1967”. How exactly is this connected to what we mentioned? Anyway, what happened is shameful indeed. But you can also put your words in a broader context encompassing the consequences of 48′s War, when 5 mixed cities, 9 fully Arab cities and 500 enterely Arab villages were occupied. Afterward Israel razed to the ground about 400 of these 500 villages and distributed that land. On the other hand, “the war” has deprived of their home 750,000 Pals, Christians and Muslims. And while between 1948 and 1967 Jews didn’t have access to the Wailing Wall, for those Palestinians refugees and their descendants, now amounting to several millions of human beings, there was and still remains the denial of access to their lands and their homes in Israel.

            But again, I have really no clue why you started to discuss a different topic.

            Reply to Comment
          • Rose

            Gustav, you may know that Marx never visited Jerusalem in his life. He copied that passage from a book written one year earlier by French diplomat Famin. See C. Famin, L’Histoire de la rivalité et du protectorat des Églises chrétiennes en Orient, Frères, Parigi 1853, p. 49. As I mentioned, there are several sources, many of them are contradictory, but this only confirms the reason why the city should not belong to 1 side only.

            ” Then where were people like you between 1948 and 1949 when Jordan occupied East Jerusalem and they expelled it’s entire Jewish population… they didn’t allow even a single Israeli to visit Jewish holy sites which they desecrated”:
            Not sure why you are bringing this issue in, it is disconnected from what we were discussing. Anyway, what you mentioned was indeed terrible. But I suggest you to assess things in their context.

            True, Israel justified its conquest of East Jerusalem in 1967 also if not mainly with the fact that between 1948 and 1967 Jews were not allowed to access to the Wailing Wall. Israel attributes this ban to Muslim intolerance. Actually this refusal of access, which lasted twenty years, didn’t have any Muslim motivation, as Jews had been given free access to Jerusalem in the previous twelve centuries of Muslim rule of the city, while the same access was forbidden under Christian domination (Byzantines and Crusades as well).
            The issue of the Wailing Wall fell among the consequences of 48′s War. During it 5 mixed cities, 9 fully Arab cities and 500 enterely Arab villages were occupied. Afterward Israel razed to the ground 400 of these 500 villages and distributed that land and about 700.000 Pals were deprived of their homes.
            And while between 1948 and 1967 Jews didn’t have access to the Wailing Wall, for those Palestinians refugees and their descendants, now amounting to several millions of human beings, there was and still remains the denial of access to their lands and their homes in Israel.
            I would also consider that approximately 73% of West Jerusalem is pre-1948 Palestinian property. Katamon, Malha, Silwan, Ayn Karim and MANYother districts in West Jerusalem were fully all almost fully Palestinian. And between 1948 and 1967 were under martial law. Since 1967, Israel has expropriated 35 percent of the area of East Jerusalem (around 24 square kilometers). To accept the Israeli citizenship in East Jerusalem means to make legal an occupation that is considered as illegal by all the countries of the world, except 1.

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            @Rose

            In politics, what you are doing here with your long winded copy and paste jobs is known as philibustering. Nevertheless, I will respond…

            ROSE:”Gustav, you may know that Marx never visited Jerusalem in his life. He copied that passage Sent from my iPhone

            What you are saying here does not negate in any way Karl Marx’s claim that the Jews were a majority in East Jerusalem in 1854. Unless of course you object to him quoting a reputable primary source. Don’t you know that historians do that all the time?

            In any case, you were the one who made the following statement…

            “in the eyes of its local majority (at the time) [and you meant the Arabs]”

            But now you do admit that at the least, it is contestable to claim that the Arabs constituted a majority in Jerusalem at least since the mid 19th century. I am glad we settled that point.

            ROSE:”but this only confirms the reason why the city should not belong to 1 side only.”

            I don’t see how. It always did when past conquerors ruled Jerusalem. Why should it be different when we rule it? Just because Jerusalem belongs to us, we don’t bar others from living here, unlike the Arabs who barred us when they conquered it in the 1948 war.

            GUSTAV:”Then where were people like you between 1948 and 1949 when Jordan occupied East Jerusalem and they expelled it’s entire Jewish population… they didn’t allow even a single Israeli to visit Jewish holy sites which they desecrated”:

            ROSE:”Not sure why you are bringing this issue in, it is disconnected from what we were discussing. Anyway, what you mentioned was indeed terrible. But I suggest you to assess things in their context.”

            You are not sure? Are you saying that being barred from Jerusalem, by the Arabs, a city which we had historical connections to for 5000 years, should make us want to relinquish control of that city after we liberated it in the 1967 war? A war in which Israel was attacked again with the stated aim by the Arabs of eliminating Israel once and for all? Would anyone in our place be willing to relinquish control of that city after such a recent history? Do you take us for fools who can be just shoved aside and be told to do as we are told?

            ROSE:”True Israel justified its conquest of East Jerusalem in 1967 also if not mainly with the fact that between 1948 and 1967 Jews were not allowed to access to the Wailing Wall. Israel attributes this ban to Muslim intolerance. Actually this refusal of access, which lasted twenty years, didn’t have any Muslim motivation”

            You got that all wrong Rose. We attribute it to Arab nationalist motivation and their hatred of the Jewish state of Israel.

            ROSE:”as Jews had been given free access to Jerusalem in the previous twelve centuries of Muslim rule of the city”

            Not quite. We were always third class citizens in those twelve centuries. It was very much a mixed bag between some degree of tolerance and outright hatred and persecution.

            ROSE:”while the same access was forbidden under Christian domination (Byzantines and Crusades as well).”

            So in the 20 years between 1848 and 1967, the Arabs barred us from Jerusalem and desecrated our holy sites. During twelve centuries of Muslim rule we were barely tolerated while previously Christians treated us even worse in Jerusalem but now that we control the city you want us to relinquish it? Are you serious?

            ROSE:”The issue of the Wailing Wall fell among the consequences of 48′s War. During it 5 mixed cities, 9 fully Arab cities and 500 enterely Arab villages were occupied. Afterward Israel razed to the ground 400 of these 500 villages and distributed that land and about 700.000 Pals were deprived of their homes.”

            Yes, in a war which the Arabs started and which we did not want and which also resulted in up to one million Jewish refugees.

            ROSE:”And while between 1948 and 1967 Jews didn’t have access to the Wailing Wall, for those Palestinians refugees and their descendants, now amounting to several millions of human beings, there was and still remains the denial of access to their lands and their homes in Israel.”

            So let us summarize. You mentioned 12 centuries of at best, bare tolerance, at worst, outright persecution of Jews in Jerusalem followed by a war of extermination by the Arabs against us, resulting in millions of refugees on both sides. After all this we control Jerusalem and we allow both Arabs and Jews to live in Jerusalem. Not only that, but unlike the Arabs who desecrated Jewish holy sites we respect all religious sites, Christian, Muslim and Jewish. But you want US to move out of the way and give up control of Jerusalem? You are joking aren’t you?

            ROSE:”I would also consider that approximately 73% of West Jerusalem is pre-1948 Palestinian property. Katamon, Malha, Silwan, Ayn Karim and MANYother districts in West Jerusalem were fully all almost fully Palestinian. And between 1948 and 1967 were under martial law. Since 1967, Israel has expropriated 35 percent of the area of East Jerusalem (around 24 square kilometers).”

            By 1948, indisputably, the Jews were a clear majority of the population in Jerusalem. There were about 100,000 Jews and about 60,000 Muslims/Christians. But you say 73% of West Jerusalem and all of East Jerusalem was Arab owned? That just does not add up, Rose.

            Here, loook at this…

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_history_of_Jerusalem

            “To accept the Israeli citizenship in East Jerusalem means to make legal an occupation that is considered as illegal by all the countries of the world, except 1.”

            You mean considered illegal for expediency to politically please the large Arab/Muslim block in the UN.

            Oh and if you want a semblance of what is legal then you should mention UN Resolution 181 which was passed in 1947 and which was ignored by the Arabs. It made Jerusalem an international city. Not the capital of an Arab Palestinian state which is what the Arab demand is.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            The Palestinian demand is for a capital in EAST Jerusalem. The Palestinians are not “demanding Jerusalem.” And more complex confederation arrangements have been put forth by smart people of good will like Bernard Avishai. Why can’t Jerusalem be shared in the context of a well-designed final status agreement? And why on earth should the Palestinians trust the Israeli administration of the city? Your premise is that the Palestinians in Jerusalem have not been and are not now second and third class citizens under Israeli control. This is simply false.

            Sarah Kaminker, a city planner in Jerusalem for more than thirty years, describes a decades-long regime of the rankest discrimination in land use, planning, development, draconian bureaucratic measures, and what amounts to a whole bag of dirty tricks:

            http://faculty.history.umd.edu/BCooperman/NewCity/Arabsonly.html

            “…There are literally a hundred other discriminatory practices that ruthlessly prevent Palestinians from building homes in Jerusalem. There are unjustiably huge charges for building licenses that are imposed only on Arabs…
            …The Israeli government claims that it has no choice but to punish the “scofflaws” in East Jerusalem who build illegally. If only they would ask for a license, the municipality would issue one. The government says it gets about 150 requests from Arabs each year and dutifully supplies them with building licenses. What the municipality does not tell us is that over one thousand Arabs each year ask a special team of Arab civil servants in the city engineer’s office for information about the planning regulations that apply to their land. About 150 of them have land where housing construction is permitted. These lucky few apply for and gain building licenses. The others, having been told informally that their land is not zoned for housing, never get into the data bank, allowing the municipality to continue to claim that it issues licenses to all applicants….”

            B’Tselem likewise documents an indisputably distantly second class status for Arabs versus Jews under Israeli administration of Jerusalem. For decades and with no end in sight. M So why should the Palestinians trust the Israelis?

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            Hi Gustav,

            “You mean considered illegal for expediency to politically please the large Arab/Muslim block in the UN.”:
            no, I mean that the UN Security Council, the United States, the EU, the International Court of Justice, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and all the international organizations refer to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as occupied Palestinian territory or the occupied territories. The International Court of Justice and the Supreme Court of Israel make reference to a ‘military occupation’. On top of this, no state in the world, except 1, recognize as legal the occupation.

            “But you say 73% of West Jerusalem and all of East Jerusalem was Arab owned?”. West Jerusalem represented the 84,13 percent of “Mandate Jerusalem”. Between 1948 and 1967, only 11,48 percent remained in Arab hands, since the remaining 4.39 percent was a buffer zone between the two sectors. I never claimed that “all East Jerusalem was Arab owned”.

            “It made Jerusalem an international city. Not the capital of an Arab Palestinian state which is what the Arab demand is”:
            good point. The city should be internationalized. If this is not possible, it must be the shared capital of 2 states.

            “But now you do admit that at the least, it is contestable to claim that the Arabs constituted a majority in Jerusalem at least since the mid 19th century”:
            there were about 411.000 people in Palestine in 1860: about 91% of whom were Arabs. In 1857 Herman Melville confirmed that ““all who cultivate the soil in Palestine are Arabs”. In Jerusalem, a sui generis case in comparison to the rest of the region, Arabs (Muslims and Christians) were a majority until about 1860s/1880s: non one knows for sure the year in which they ceased to be a majority in Jerusalem, but we know for certain that it was around that years. This should further suggets us that Jerusalem cannot belong to 1 single people.

            “It always did when past conquerors ruled Jerusalem”:
            in legal terms there is no “right of conquest” in our times. 1980 UNSC – res. 476: “acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible….reaffirms the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem”. This was a simple call for withdrawal, without reference to any conditions.

            Jerusalem “a city which we had historical connections to for 5000 years”: 5000 years? Jews in Jerusalem 5000 years ago? So Uru-salem was established by Jews?

            “We attribute it to Arab nationalist motivation and their hatred of the Jewish state of Israel”:
            This roots of this conflict are not related to nationalism. This conflict started at the beginning with the exclusivistic logic imported from Europe at the time. In particular, in 1907, the 7th zionist congress established a department for the colonization. Its head, arthur ruppin, was aiming at (his words): “the creation of a Jewish milieu and of a closed Jewish economy, in which producers, consumers and middlemen shall all be Jewish”. The local majority had the full right to try to oppose this strategy. Nonetheless, they failed.

            ” We were always third class citizens in those twelve centuries”:
            The situation was not white and black . First, Jews were treated in a extremely different way under Sunis than under Shias. Not by chance when Maimonides was expelled from Spain he decided to go to Egypt, and not to France or to England, under Saladin. Saladin so respected him that he appointed him as the president, the “Nagid,” of the Jewish community in Egypt, an official post in the government.
            “I believe – wrote in 1857 British consul James Finn (1806-1872) – there are few countries in the world where in spite of appearances to the contrary, there is so much of practical religious tolerance as in Palestine”. William T. Young, Finn’s predecessor, wrote in 1839 that a Jew in Jerusalem was not considered “much above a dog”, but added that in case of danger a Jew would have found a shelter “sooner in a Mussulman’s house than in that of a Christian”.

            “in a war which the Arabs started and which we did not want”

            1) So you justify the right to raze to the ground hundreds of villages and to expell hundred of thousand of people. Furthermore, in Uri Avnery’s words:

            “No one asked the Arab Palestinians whether to accept or reject anything. If they had been asked, they would probably have rejected partition, since – in their view – it gave a large part of their historical homeland to foreigners. The more so, since the Jews, who at the time constituted a third of the population, were allotted 55% of the territory – and even there the Arabs constituted 40% of the population.
            The governments of the Arab states rejected partition, but they certainly did not represent the Palestinian Arabs, who were at the time still under British rule (as were we).
            As a matter of fact, during the war there was no effective united Palestinian Arab leadership, nor was there anything even remotely resembling a united Palestinian fighting force”.

            “and which also resulted in up to one million Jewish refugees”:

            1) Avraham Burg: “Look at the difference,” Israeli propagandists have maintained. “Whereas we took in our millions of refugees from the Arab countries, housed and rehabilitated them for the greater glory of the State of Israel, they – the Arabs – never lifted a finger in aid of their refugees. To this day they dwell in wretched camps, eternal clients of UNRWA, incessantly multiplying, downtrodden and neglected.”
            But that is a hollow argument. Because Jewish Israel did nothing for the Palestinian refugees within the country. It is our obligation to remember that, according to Zionist rhetoric, olim – Jewish immigrants to Israel – are, by definition, not refugees. Aliyah – “ascent” to Israel – is a positive ideological decision, while refugee status is a negative result of expulsion, flight and defeat. In contrast to the Zionist olim, large numbers of the Israeli Palestinians are refugees in every respect.” (end quotation)

            2) Jews from Arab countries have been already more than compensated. A relevant majority of the Jews that arrived in Israel from the Arab States were absorbed because they took the houses of thousand of palestinians that were obliged to leave. Just make a tour in places such as Ein Houd. Palestinians, on the contrary, don’t live in “Jewish houses”. Jews that arrived in Israel from the Arab States were absorbed because they took the houses of thousand of palestinians that were obliged to leave. Musrara is just an example, but it explains quite well why the “madbarot” didn’t last long.

            3) The Palestinians are not responsible for the expulsions that happened in other parts of the world. Palestinians and Iraqis and Egyptians are not the same people. I hope that you are aware of it.

            4) It does not justify any possible kind of violence, but you should also mention that among the Jews that escaped from the Arab countries many did so in order to reach the “Jewish State” and others thanks to what Naemi Giladi called “Cruel Zionism”. Giladi was part of it and wrote about it.

            5) “[T]he [Iraqi] government issued a law that any Iraqi – they wrote `Iraqi’ rather than `Jew’ specifically – who wanted to leave the country, could leave if he registered by a certain date, but would have to surrender his citizenship…. Out of the 130,000 Jews in Iraq, 100,000 registered, including my father. (…) We are not refugees, nobody expelled us from Iraq, nobody told us that we were unwanted.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Ben

            Gideon Biger, professor emeritus of geography (in Haaretz):

            “…Jerusalem, according to scientific research, has existed for about 4,000 years. During the first 1,000 years it had no connection to the Jewish people. Even in the Bible, the Book of Genesis tells about Melchizedek, the king of Salem, who came out to bless Abraham, who had no connection to Jerusalem. During the time of the patriarchs, Jerusalem did not figure in their activity at all. Even when the Israelites were in Egypt, Jerusalem was never mentioned, and when they wandered in the desert they spoke about the Land of Canaan – but not about Jerusalem.

            The conquest of “the land” by Joshua, son of Nun, did not include taking over Jerusalem. It was actually the king of Jerusalem who organized the coalition of five monarchs against Joshua, and at the time the city was apparently the capital of another nation, not the Israelites.

            The conquest of Jerusalem by the tribe of Judah, following the death of Joshua, led to the burning of the city rather than to settlement of the tribe there. Later on it was inhabited by the Jebusites, and only 1,000 years after its establishment did King David capture the city and turn it into his capital.

            The city maintained the status of capital of the Jewish people during the reign of David and his son Solomon, and at the beginning of the reign of his son, Rehoboam. During the latter’s rule, the Israelite kingdom separated from Jerusalem, which became the capital of the small Judean kingdom. It no longer served as capital of the Jewish people as a whole during the entire period of the First Temple.

            Four-hundred years after the destruction of the Temple, with the establishment of the Hasmonean state, Jerusalem once again became the capital of the Jewish people, but for only 100 years, until the Romans conquered it and crowned Herod its king. Following the destruction of the Second Temple, Jerusalem once again did not serve as a capital city for the Jews, just as it wasn’t the capital of the Romans, the Byzantines or the Arabs who conquered it. However, in 1099 the Crusaders succeeded in their conquest of it, making it the capital of Crusader Jerusalem, which of course was not Jewish.

            Jerusalem was the capital of the Crusader kingdom for 88 years. Afterward, and indeed for hundreds of years, the city did not serve any political entity, until British Mandatory forces captured it in 1917, and later turned it into the capital of the political entity called Palestine (Eretz Israel). Jerusalem was then capital of the people living in the land – the majority of whom were Arabs.

            Only after the establishment of the State of Israel did West Jerusalem become the country’s capital (but not the capital of the Jewish people per se!)….”

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            ROSE:”Hi Gustav,

            GUSTAV:“You mean considered illegal for expediency to politically please the large Arab/Muslim block in the UN.”:

            ROSE:”no, I mean that the UN Security Council, the United States, the EU, the International Court of Justice, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and all the international organizations refer to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as occupied Palestinian territory or the occupied territories. The International Court of Justice and the Supreme Court of Israel make reference to a ‘military occupation’. On top of this, no state in the world, except 1, recognize as legal the occupation.”

            My above comment still stands. To consider it illegal for Jews to return to live in a place called the JEWISH QUARTER, a name which it had for a couple of thousand years, and from which Jews were only absent for 19 years (between 1948 and 1967, during the Jordanian conquest) is just a joke. A very bad joke. It smacks of politics.

            GUSTAV“But you say 73% of West Jerusalem and all of East Jerusalem was Arab owned?”

            ROSE:”West Jerusalem represented the 84,13 percent of “Mandate Jerusalem”. Between 1948 and 1967, only 11,48 percent remained in Arab hands, since the remaining 4.39 percent was a buffer zone between the two sectors. I never claimed that “all East Jerusalem was Arab owned”.

            I am sorry Rose but your above obscure maths does not add up to 73% Arab ownership of West Jerusalem, which was your original claim.

            GUSTAV:“It made Jerusalem an international city. Not the capital of an Arab Palestinian state which is what the Arab demand is”:

            ROSE:”good point. The city should be internationalized. If this is not possible, it must be the shared capital of 2 states.

            First: since Jerusalem was not internationalized in 1948 because of Arab resistance to it, the horse has now bolted.

            Second: Both Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert offered to share the city with a Palestinian state but since the Palestinian Arabs have not accepted the offer, again the horse has now bolted.

            Third: The UN resolution (181) which internationalized the city in 1947, was a non binding resolution so Israel is not obliged to abide by it. Much like the Arabs didn’t when they had control of East Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967.

            GUSTAV:“But now you do admit that at the least, it is contestable to claim that the Arabs constituted a majority in Jerusalem at least since the mid 19th century”:

            ROSE:”there were about 411.000 people in Palestine in 1860: about 91% of whom were Arabs….”

            Please cut out the irrelevant and boring statistics. You already admitted that what I said above is correct. We ARE talking about Jerusalem, not the rest of What was Palestine.

            ROSE:”…non one knows for sure the year in which they ceased to be a majority in Jerusalem, but we know for certain that it was around that years.”

            See what I mean?

            ROSE:”This should further suggets us that Jerusalem cannot belong to 1 single people.”

            Jerusalem can come under the sovereign jurisdiction of one people, namely Israel, so long as the sovereign power, Israel, respects the rights of others to the holy places and non Jewish residents. And Israel has.

            GUSTAV:“It always did when past conquerors ruled Jerusalem”:

            ROSE:”in legal terms there is no “right of conquest” in our times. 1980 UNSC – res. 476: “acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible….reaffirms the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem”. This was a simple call for withdrawal, without reference to any conditions.

            Not even in a war of self defence? Also, the conquest was from Jordan who were not the legal owners of Jerusalem. They were conquerors of it themselves.

            GUSTAV:”Jerusalem “a city which we had historical connections to for 5000 years”:

            ROSE:”5000 years? Jews in Jerusalem 5000 years ago? So Uru-salem was established by Jews?”

            OK, Jerusalem was conquered by King David at the 11th century BCE. The Jebusites who lost the city to King David, no longer exist. We do.

            GUSTAV:“We attribute it to Arab nationalist motivation and their hatred of the Jewish state of Israel”:

            ROSE:”This roots of this conflict are not related to nationalism. This conflict started at the beginning with the exclusivistic logic imported from Europe. The situation was not white and black . First, Jews were treated in a extremely different way under Sunis than under Shias. Not by chance when Maimonides was expelled from Spain he decided to go to Egypt, and not to France or to England, under Saladin. Saladin so respected him that he appointed him as the president, the “Nagid,” of the Jewish community in Egypt, an official post in the government.
            “I believe – wrote in 1857 British consul James Finn (1806-1872) – there are few countries in the world where in spite of appearances to the contrary, there is so much of practical religious tolerance as in Palestine”. William T. Young, Finn’s predecessor, wrote in 1839 that a Jew in Jerusalem was not considered “much above a dog”, but added that in case of danger a Jew would have found a shelter “sooner in a Mussulman’s house than in that of a Christian”.”

            I am sorry but you are just plain wrong. The conflict between Jews and Arabs in Palestine has been and still is a nationalist conflict.

            The Arabs wanted and still want all of historic Palestine for themselves. In other words, to be under Arab control. And we too wanted and want at least part of historic Palestine to be under Jewish control.

            That, in anybody’s language is a nationalist conflict between two peoples.

            By the way, the fact that Christians treated Jews worse than how the Muslims treated Jews historically, is irrelevant. Jews were not treated well by Muslims either. Certainly not at all times. That is why we now insist that we want self determination and our own independent state!

            GUSTAV:“in a war which the Arabs started and which we did not want”

            ROSE:1) So you justify the right to raze to the ground hundreds of villages and to expell hundred of thousand of people. Furthermore, in Uri Avnery’s words:

            I justified nothing. I only justify our rule over Jerusalem. Stop putting words in my mouth or I will do the same to you. How would you feel if I would claim that you are justifying the desecration of Jewish holy sites by the Arabs between 1948 and 1967 when they controlled East Jerusalem?

            ROSE:“No one asked the Arab Palestinians whether to accept or reject anything. If they had been asked, they would probably have rejected partition, since – in their view – it gave a large part of their historical homeland to foreigners.”

            Really? And only the opinion of the Arabs mattered? The opinion of Jews had nothing to do with what should have happened?

            ROSE:”The more so, since the Jews, who at the time constituted a third of the population, were allotted 55% of the territory”

            I thought the topic was Jerusalem but you want to to talk about everything else. So be it…

            What you forget to mention is that the 55% of the land which the Jews were allocated, included the Negev desert. Get it? The desert. In other words, the fertile land was only about 27% of the land while most of the 45% of the land which was allocated to the Arab state was fertile land.

            ROSE:”– and even there the Arabs constituted 40% of the population.”

            You are making it even worse for yourself. What your last sentence reveals is that about the Jewish state which had the majority population (of Jews and Arabs) got 27% of the fertile land of Palestine while the Arab state which consisted nearly of 100% Arabs and very few Jews got around 45% of the land which was mostly fertile. But you are saying that the Arabs were dudded?

            Oh but wait, what about Jordan? Before 1929, it too was part of historic Palestine but Britain sliced it off and gave it to the Arabs. And that land, which was known as Eastern Palestine was 4 times the size of the rest of Palestine.

            ROSE:”The governments of the Arab states rejected partition, but they certainly did not represent the Palestinian Arabs, who were at the time still under British rule (as were we).
            As a matter of fact, during the war there was no effective united Palestinian Arab leadership, nor was there anything even remotely resembling a united Palestinian fighting force”.

            If you are saying that the Palestinian Arabs did not reject the UN partition, then you are wrong! They rioted on the same day that the announcement was made.

            GUSTAV:”And which also resulted in up to one million Jewish refugees”:

            1) Avraham Burg: “Look at the difference,” Israeli propagandists have maintained. “Whereas we took in our millions of refugees from the Arab countries, housed and rehabilitated them for the greater glory of the State of Israel, they – the Arabs – never lifted a finger in aid of their refugees. To this day they dwell in wretched camps, eternal clients of UNRWA, incessantly multiplying, downtrodden and neglected.”

            I am not Avraham Burg. If you want to have a debate with him, please do, Rose. But if you are debating with me, please stick to the points that I make.

            ROSE:”But that is a hollow argument. Because Jewish Israel did nothing for the Palestinian refugees within the country. It is our obligation to remember that, according to Zionist rhetoric, olim – Jewish immigrants to Israel – are, by definition, not refugees. Aliyah – “ascent” to Israel – is a positive ideological decision, while refugee status is a negative result of expulsion, flight and defeat. In contrast to the Zionist olim, large numbers of the Israeli Palestinians are refugees in every respect.” (end quotation)”

            Nonsense Rose. The fact that Israel welcomed the Jews which were hounded out of Arab countries, does not negate the fact that those Jews lost all their money and assets in the process. Those Jews were refugees by anyone’s definition of refugees. I am sorry but your reasonning is just pure spin!

            ROSE:”2) Jews from Arab countries have been already more than compensated. A relevant majority of the Jews that arrived in Israel from the Arab States were absorbed because they took the houses of thousand of palestinians that were obliged to leave. Just make a tour in places such as Ein Houd. Palestinians, on the contrary, don’t live in “Jewish houses”. Jews that arrived in Israel from the Arab States were absorbed because they took the houses of thousand of palestinians that were obliged to leave. Musrara is just an example, but it explains quite well why the “madbarot” didn’t last long”

            Oh, and the Arab countries could not have done the same with the Jewish assets and properties which they confiscated? They could have allocated those to Palestinian Arab refugees.

            ROSE:”3) The Palestinians are not responsible for the expulsions that happened in other parts of the world. Palestinians and Iraqis and Egyptians are not the same people. I hope that you are aware of it.”

            They are definitely culpable though. They are culpable because of the atmosphere of incitement which they created after the war that they started against us.

            ROSE:”4) It does not justify any possible kind of violence, but you should also mention that among the Jews that escaped from the Arab countries many did so in order to reach the “Jewish State” and others thanks to what Naemi Giladi called “Cruel Zionism”. Giladi was part of it and wrote about it.”

            Are you saying that the Arab Jews had nothing to fear in Arab countries? Are you saying that they did not face persecution and an atmosphere of hate? Or even pogroms? Because if you are saying that, then I have to say that you are lying.

            ROSE:5) “[T]he [Iraqi] government issued a law that any Iraqi – they wrote `Iraqi’ rather than `Jew’ specifically – who wanted to leave the country, could leave if he registered by a certain date, but would have to surrender his citizenship…. Out of the 130,000 Jews in Iraq, 100,000 registered, including my father. (…) We are not refugees, nobody expelled us from Iraq, nobody told us that we were unwanted.”

            The Iraqi government started arresting prominent Jewish leaders. They even executed some of them. There was an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. There were even pogroms against Jews. Any sensible Jew quickly came to the conclusion that there was no future for Jews in Arab countries. Stop trying to beautify what happened.

            Reply to Comment
    4. Ben

      Rose, please comment here more often. You’ve just dispatched nicely and with a nice tone and spirit two misleading and obfuscating contributions on this page.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        LOL.

        Benny our super hero rubberstamp man strikes again.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          You know, Gussie, your stiff-necked jealous acidity reminds me of the words of Philos and Ari Shavit that you found so unfortunate.

          Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Jealous? Jealous of whom? You, Benny? LOL.

            Reply to Comment
    5. Margot Dunne

      To Rose: your comments are excellent, both historically & ethically – thank you for following up the sanity in the original article. Shame the original UN “will to establish an international trusteeship regime in Jerusalem” faltered & dissipated. Jerusalem belongs to us all.

      Reply to Comment
      • Gustav

        A poll conducted by Palestinian Center for Public Opinion and American Pechter Middle East Polls for the Council on Foreign Relations, among East Jerusalem Arab residents in 2011 revealed that 39% of East Jerusalem Arab residents would prefer Israeli citizenship contrary to 31% who opted for Palestinian citizenship. According to the poll, 40% of Palestinian residents would prefer to leave their neighborhoods if they would be placed under Palestinian rule.[27]

        One has to wonder why even the majority of the Arabs of East Jerusalem would rather live under Israeli rule than Arab rule? Maybe we are not quite the monsters that we are painted to be by our haters in sites like these?

        Reply to Comment
    6. Joel Cantor

      Asima, shmashima. Where is Yerushalyim mentioned in the Koran?
      It isn’t.

      But it is DIRECTLY mentioned 669 times in the Torah.
      That’s why it is OUR Capital – all of it and for ever.

      Reply to Comment
      • rose

        I could quote a few hundred of sources of scholars but I stick to 1 mentioned in the article: Yazīd al-Kalā‘ī (764–854): “the holiest place [al-Quds] on Earth is Syria; the holiest place in Syria is Palestine; the holiest place in Palestine is Jerusalem [Bayt al-Maqdis].” To deny others’ attachment to Jerusalem shows ignorance regarding this topic.

        Reply to Comment
        • BigCat

          1. Those who make this claim never provided a primary source of their quote.

          Question
          Can you or the author of this article provide the primary source for the quote? I am not saying that the quote is- or is not a fabrication/manipulated, etc.

          2. The attributed quote claims e.g. that Yazīd al-Kalā‘ī (764–854) “argued” that Syria is “Al Quds”, NOT Jerusalem. It would also be interesting to know if Yazīd al-Kalā‘ī used the word Jerusalem, which you guys call ‘al quds’ even though Yazīd al-Kalā‘ī is telling you that Syria is “al quds”, etc.

          Don’t run away, Rose. Time to start defending your copy-and-paste-job!

          Reply to Comment
    7. Ben

      Indeed more like Rose should be encouraged to comment here more often. Rarely have I seen so many peddlers of the cliches of hasbara sent home with their tail between their legs and their claws inching back in, and so politely and authoritatively. (And that’d be no “rubber stamp,” that’d be “an objective observation.”) A breath of fresh air. The larger point is this: The contributions upon this page illustrate how so much hasbara depends upon confidently held misinformation, upon so many knowing so many things that aren’t so.

      Reply to Comment
      • BigCat

        Brian alias “Ben” alias “David T.” alias “Dekkers”, alias etc.,

        All you need to do is go find a job, start taking care of yourself instead of depending on food-stamps provided by the United States Government with my own tax dollars. Then start focusing on the problems of your own country and quit you clinical fixation on- and obsession with Jews and Israel none of which is in any way, shape or form any of your business, you psychotic moron.

        Btw,
        Rose has not said anything of value – yet. She robotically copies and pastes without knowing the point of what she copies and pastes nor the point she herself wants to make with that. Playing the usual sycophant and cheering at her pointless copy-paste-job just show what a freak you are, Benny.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          Rose is very smart and knowledgable. And SO much more cultured and polite than you. Which is not hard. Which is why I capitalized “so.” You’re way out of your league. Way.
          No, sorry, no troll biscuits for you today, Schnauzer. You’re on a diet. Your troll poundage is unsightly. Back to your cage now. Attagirl.

          Reply to Comment
          • BigCat

            Another psychotic mumbo jumbo. You always start hallucinating each time you see a lady around here such as Bar, Ginger, Suzan, etc. now it’s Rose? Oh dear….Keep whacking it, you psychotic freak!

            Reply to Comment
          • Gustav

            Super hero rubberstamp man Benny…

            Rose is right. Why is she right? Because Rose is right. But why is she right? Because that’s what Benny wants to believe even though Rose evades or ignores every argument which negates her position and just repeats her refuted arguments.

            Oh but wait, she is very polite, says Benny. Yeah, that makes her right?

            Reply to Comment
    8. Hostage

      Re: Nor has Jerusalem ever served as the administrative center of the Arab peoples. Never. Muslim fairy tales of flying horses and prophets in Jerusalem are just that fairy tales for the gullible and the mentally infirm.

      During the Arab “Golden Age” Syria was divided into five administrative districts called Junds. http://www.archive.org/stream/palestineundermo00lestuoft#page/24/mode/1up

      Even the Israeli MFA admits that Ramla was founded at the beginning of the 8th century by the Umayyad Calif Suleiman ibn Abd el-Malik and that it served as the Umayyad and Abbasid capital of “the Province of Palestine (Jund Filistin)”. http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/israelexperience/history/pages/ramla%20-%20arab%20capital%20of%20the%20province%20of%20palestine.aspx

      By the 13th century, the Fatamids had moved the capital of “Filastin” to Jerusalem. See page 29 of Palestine under the Moslems; a description of Syria and the Holy Land from A.D. 650 to 1500. http://www.archive.org/stream/palestineundermo00lestuoft#page/29/mode/1up

      Reply to Comment
    9. Click here to load previous comments

The stories that matter.
The missing context.
All in one weekly email.

Subscribe to +972's newsletter