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Jerusalem Day: W. J'lm businesses shutter in solidarity with Palestinians

Each year on Jerusalem Day, Palestinian businesses located along the route of the March of the Flags are ordered by police to shut up shop during the parade. This year, Jewish business owners in West Jerusalem closed up early in solidarity.

By Yael Marom

A restaurant in West Jerusalem, closed in solidarity with Palestinians traders affected by the 'March of the Flags,' May 24, 2017.

A restaurant in West Jerusalem, closed in solidarity with Palestinians traders affected by the ‘March of the Flags,’ May 24, 2017.

On Wednesday afternoon, as on every Jerusalem Day, Palestinians in and around the Old City’s Muslim Quarter were under police orders to shutter their shops and homes during the “March of the Flags,” which sees tens of thousands of young Israeli Jews descending on the occupied city. The day, and the march, celebrate what the Right insists on calling the “unified” city of Jerusalem.

This closing of businesses, and the loss of revenue that results, is a yearly occurrence for Palestinian traders whose businesses are located along the route of the march. This year, however, around 50 owners of shops, bars and restaurants in West Jerusalem decided to act in solidarity with their Palestinian colleagues, signing a petition in protest of the impact of the march. Several displayed signs expressing solidarity with Palestinian business owners, and some even decided to shut up shop while the march was ongoing.

The owners of Falafel Mullah, in the Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem, explained: “It’s unacceptable to us that any store should be closed for security reasons — it’s difficult as it is to make a living here. We have many partners in the east of the city and when they lose out and are deprived of basic rights, we’re affected too.

“Difficulties involving finances and security cross borders, so merchants in West Jerusalem are standing in solidarity with residents in the east of the city whose income and basic rights are affected by this march.”

Daniella, whose restaurant Barood is also part of the initiative, said: “The March of the Flags is a violent, ugly procession, which disturbs the Jerusalem public.

“This day affects traders across the entire city, as do other citywide events. It’s difficult to support oneself in this city. Solidarity between traders is important, not only today, but every day of the year,” she added.

“The March of the Flags on Jerusalem Day brings the complexity of Jerusalem to a peak — the violence, the racism and the hatred that extends throughout the city,” said Noam of Hamarakia, another restaurant taking part in the initiative.

“The violence reaches its height in East Jerusalem, in particular the Muslim Quarter in the Old City, which is on the parade route. Instead of protecting Palestinian business owners who are exposed to violence, the police force them to close their businesses, which is another act of violence against them,” Noam continued.

“I don’t envisage a situation in which the police coerce a business owner in West Jerusalem in the same way, taking the side of the rioters instead of protecting the city’s residents. Today, we, Hamarakia, are choosing to close our business in solidarity with Palestinian merchants.”

Yael Marom is Just Vision’s public engagement manager in Israel and a co-editor of Local Call, where this article is also published in Hebrew.

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    1. Itshak Gordin Halevy

      I am just back from Jerusalem center. I saw thousands of these young boys and girls with Israeli flags singing and dancing. They were really wonderful. Our patriotic and proud youth is really great. I wish you all the best in our united Jerusalem. Hag Jerushalaim sameah!

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Moshe Feiglin is an avid admirer of the youth as you are:

        ‘…In describing Adolf Hitler, Feiglin is quoted to have told her, “Hitler was an unparalleled military genius. Nazism promoted Germany from a low to a fantastic physical and ideological status. The ragged, trashy youth body turned into a neat and orderly part of society and Germany received an exemplary regime, a proper justice system and public order. Hitler savored good music. He would paint. This was no bunch of thugs. They merely used thugs and homosexuals.”

        The time has come to break free from the shackles of politically correct speech and call these people – Feiglin and his cronies – by their explicit name. They are not “radicals” but fascists by any acceptable definition. And had they not been born – through no fault of their own – to Jewish mothers, they would have been damn anti-Semites to boot.

        “There can be no doubt that Judaism is racist in some sense,” Feiglin went on to say in that interview. “And when they asserted at the United Nations that Zionism was racist, I did not find much reason to protest. The people who take racism to mean a distinction between races – and this is a very primitive distinction – must argue that Zionism is racist.” …’


        Reply to Comment
    2. i_like_ike52

      Thank you for posting the names of the establishments that are closing in sympathy with the Arabs of Jerusalem. I will be sure not to patronize them. Their spewing out of the usual “progressive” epithets regarding the Jerusalem Day marchers as “violent, extremist, racist, blah, blah, blah” discredits their claims.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        Tell me, when did throngs of aggressive men marching and vandalizing and screaming “Death to Arabs!” become not racist and violent? I missed that change in our mores. And when did this not become racist and violent too?:
        “Instead of protecting Palestinian business owners who are exposed to violence, the police force them to close their businesses, which is another act of violence against them…“I don’t envisage a situation in which the police coerce a business owner in West Jerusalem in the same way, taking the side of the rioters instead of protecting the city’s residents.”

        Daniel Seidemann could be describing you, Ike:

        ‘No longer satisfied with simply turning a blind eye to the unpleasant truths of occupation, Netanyahu’s Israel is on the offensive against any who acknowledge the existence of occupation and the threats that it poses.
        Netanyahu seeks to address occupation by silencing, vilifying and pursuing any who expose it and seek to end it, by picking gratuitous fights with our closest allies, and by orchestrating an assault on the very foundations of Israeli democracy: the courts, the press, the Arab minority, and civil society. All of these add up to a coherent effort to bully both Israelis and Israel’s allies into a parallel universe in which “occupation denial” reigns supreme.’
        read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.791532

        Reply to Comment
    3. Ben

      “…there is one basic distinction between the view of official Israel and that of the international community. “Undivided Jerusalem” is a fantasy that simply does not exist, while the occupation of East Jerusalem manifests itself in every facet of Israeli rule over East Jerusalem. The adherence of official Israel to “undivided Jerusalem” is an article of faith that is impervious to empirical evidence. Nowhere on the planet is there a Prime Minister and a mayor so utterly detached from the realities of what they deem to be their nation’s capital.
      There are two national collectives in Jerusalem, one endowed with political rights and the other permanently disenfranchised and disempowered. In 1967, Israel annexed the land, but not the population. Palestinian East Jerusalemites are not citizens of Israel, nor may they vote in national elections. You will be told they were offered citizenship, or entitled to receive it. False. They may apply, and we may say no. They don’t apply – and we generally say no.
      For protracted periods of time, the occupation of East Jerusalem was a disease in remission. No longer. Collective punishment – part of Israel’s policies in East Jerusalem since 1967 – was in the past episodic, and is now becoming systemic. Occupation is metastasizing, and the international community sees with crystal clarity that to which official Israel is blind: a house divided against itself – half occupied and half free – cannot stand.”
      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.791532

      Reply to Comment
      • Lewis from Afula

        Ben, the free world is getting tired of Arab fanaticism. Arab suicide attacks in Manchester, Stockholm, London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin and the bulk of Western Europe. Multiple knife attacks while Muslim gangs rape literally tens of thousand girls all over the place. Within a few years time, these countries will be forcibly repatriating their Arabs back to wherever they came from. At that point, Israel will also solve OUR JORDANIAN SQUATTER PROBLEM.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ben

          The problem you and Mr. Feiglin have, Lewis, is that the free world actually makes intelligent distinctions. It is not like you. And unlike you, the free world and I are not rooting for Isis. You are. That makes you a bad guy.

          Reply to Comment
    4. Itshak Gordin Halevy

      Thank you for giving us the names of these restaurants. We will immediately launch a boycott.
      Not only among Jews but worldwide among Christian friends of Israel.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ben

        So you’re out to destroy Jewish shopkeepers who kept their shops open in sympathy and solidarity with victims of a violent march of thugs. You’re expressing your “popular democratic” right to “popular” free speech but denying that right to Jewish shopkeepers who dissent from the “popular” line. Hmmm, where have we seen this before?
        And this now by the very same people who tell us that boycott of the settlers’ “enterprise” is absolutely, categorically a horrible, horrible anti-Semitic thing.
        Got it.
        Your ideological brother in arms, Moshe Feiglin salutes you, Halevy. (As does Ike52.)


        ‘…Note the principled basis behind those harsh statements: A communal democracy represents the essential will of the people. Hence, any person objecting to the actions of the state is ipso facto not truly of the people. Actually, it is almost impossible to criticize government in a communal democracy, because such criticism automatically excludes the critic from the community of citizens the government represents, and therefore also from the community of citizens entitled to its protection and to civil rights. For, how can a loyal citizen criticize the actions of a government representing his will? If his will is different from that of the government, he is certainly not a loyal citizen.
        Such disloyal citizens are either foreigners, i.e. not members of the people; or they are members of the people, but ones needing re-education. One may recall the fate of such citizens from “popular” regimes in the past. In the Israeli case, even today left-winged people are sometimes reffered to as Erev Rav or Amalek, derogatory religious terms signifying traitors within or simply entities who are pure evil. This kind of people undermine the expression of the will of the people, the same will which can be assumed is known to Feiglin….”

        Reply to Comment
        • Scott

          you can boycott, we can boycott as well. I dont believe these establsihments are kosher. I know Barood serves shrimp

          Reply to Comment
    5. Ben

      Someone here said to me that he didn’t get my focus on Feiglin these days (he called it an obsession). He said that he didn’t see what the fuss was about as Feiglin was no longer in the Knesset. But many another Feglinist is indeed in the Knesset. The Knesset is filled with them. Poster boy for them is Bezalel Smotrich.

      The Israeli Lawmaker Heralding Genocide Against Palestinians
      Deputy Speaker Bezalel Smotrich’s admiration for the biblical genocidaire Joshua bin Nun leads him to adopt values that resemble those of the German SS
      “Tomer Persico quoted remarks that MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) made recently at a conference of religious Zionists, where he presented his plan to offer the Palestinians three options: leave the territories, continue to live there with second-class status, or continue resisting, in which case “the Israel Defense Forces will know what to do.” These are chilling words that are liable to lead Israel into committing the horrific crime of genocide.
      It’s hard to believe that an elected representative of a party in the governing coalition could raise the option of genocide if the Palestinians don’t accept the terms he’s willing to offer them: either emigration, or life under an apartheid regime based on principles of Jewish law, which would be even worse than the one that existed in South Africa. Smotrich, a deputy speaker of the Knesset, is the most senior government figure to date to say unabashedly that the option of genocide is on the table if the Palestinians don’t agree to our terms – and it’s clear they won’t agree…..”

      One of the things that recalled Feiglin to me and opened my eyes was not just the crass Lewis from Afula but someone less blunt, more indirect and euphemistic but heading towards the same goal, I realized, while hiding it under the cover of pedantic civics lessons and approving references to the fate of French Huguenots, and shoutouts to Vlad Putin. One day he let it drop that all he in his innocence wanted to do was protect the Palestinians from genocide or mass transfer. It was a veiled threat.
      I have come to realize that most of the right wing commenters in these pages, no matter how they dress it up, can be best understood as being driven by the same “popular Jewish democracy” ideology of Moshe Feiglin and driving towards the same inevitable Feiglinist goal. Truly understanding this ideology and its place is illuminating.

      Reply to Comment