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Nine more Jewish families take over Silwan homes in dead of night

If settling Jews beyond the Green Line in Palestinian East Jerusalem is legitimate, why are organizations sneaking in settlers in the middle of the night?

Nine Jewish Israeli families took over two empty buildings in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan in East Jerusalem overnight Sunday. According to the NGO Ir Amim, the families took control over 10 housing units in two buildings in the heart of Silwan. They moved in under the auspices of Ateret Cohanim, a settler organization based in the Muslim quarter of the Old City that works to create a Jewish demographic majority in East Jerusalem.

This latest takeover comes less than a month after settlers moved into seven houses in another part of Silwan, also in the dead of night and backed by heavy security forces, courtesy of Elad, another East Jerusalem settler organization. These new moves double the number of Jews currently living in Silwan, according to Israeli media. There were no reports of confrontations during the takeover Sunday night.

Read also: In Silwan, the settlers are winning — big time

According to Haaretz, the buildings were purchased in the last year by foreign companies at the behest of the Committee for the Renewal of the Yemenite Village, which looks to restore the Yemenite community that lived in the area before the establishment of the State of Israel. This is similar to the warped rationale behind moving Jews back into the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah — which exposes the discriminatory practice in which Jews can reclaim lands from before 1948 in East Jerusalem but Palestinians cannot do the same in West Jerusalem — or anywhere throughout Israel.

Silwan, East Jerusalem (image: activestills)

Silwan, East Jerusalem (photo: Activestills)

Speaking at a dedication ceremony for a road in memory of late Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir on Sunday in Jerusalem, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin addressed the situation in the city, specifically alluding to settlements in Silwan:

Jerusalem cannot be a city in which building takes place in secret, or where moving into apartments happens in the dead of night. We must bear responsibility for keeping Jerusalem sovereign.

We need to take the reins and manage Jerusalem in an active and straightforward way, with care and thoughtfulness. I hope that in Yitzhak Shamir’s spirit, we will know how to stand up for our undisputed right over Jerusalem, and through this right, treat her as a sovereign with all the responsibility that comes with it.

Rivlin is essentially saying that there is no reason to move Jews into East Jerusalem in a clandestine manner since Jews have an “undisputed right over Jerusalem.” He does make a point. If East Jerusalem is the legitimate, uncontested capital of Israel, then why are settler organizations sneaking people in secretly at night? The act is incriminating when, according to the president, there is no crime being committed.

This is the same president who recently appeared in a video with a Palestinian boy from Jaffa calling for equality and tolerance, pretty much the only major political voice in Israel doing so — although as head of state his office doesn’t have any actual political power. During the speech, he does indeed go on to invoke the need for Arabs and Jews to be treated equally:

It is no secret that Jerusalem is volatile. Too many violent incidents occur in East as well as in West Jerusalem. This violence, which boils into terrorism, must be stopped, and dealt with severely by the security forces and police. Even at the cost of forcible action against the rioters – whether Arab or Jew.

Jerusalem cannot be governed by groups with an interest to enflame and stoke the fires at their will. We cannot ignore the conscious attempts by different sides to incite Jerusalem’s citizens, against each other. Jerusalem wasn’t divided into tribes. She was not and will not be anybody’s hostage, or political pawn. Jerusalem must be kept as a sovereign city with a responsibility to all its inhabitants, and maintaining the relations between them.

The president wants nothing more than for Jews and Arabs to get along in Jerusalem and at the same time is supporting the continued occupation of East Jerusalem.

In a statement responding to the takeover, Ir Amim wrote:

The entrance of additional settlers in Silwan is another step toward closing the window for a political solution. It is always done with the backing of the authorities, both directly and through the allocation of millions of shekels in security from the state budget.

Related:
In Silwan, the settlers are winning — big time
Elie Wiesel, Amos Yadlin congratulate E. Jerusalem settlers

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    1. Pedro X

      Mairav calls for racial segregation in the case of Jews in Jerusalem. For her Jews, not even a small number thereof, cannot be allowed to live in neighborhoods which are predominantly Arab. She wants Arab neighborhoods which were ethnically cleansed of Jews in the past to remain ethnically pure and not contaminated by Jewish people so that eastern part of Jerusalem can be sliced off and handed to the Palestinians as part of their state.

      Most Israelis see Jerusalem as their undivided capital city. Jews under Israeli law have a right to live in whatever part of their state they want. These houses and apartments were legally bought and the owners have the right to occupy them.

      That Jews move at night takes into account the reality of Arab violence and the need to minimize the chance for Arab violence to block Jews from exercising their human right to live where they want in their capital city.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Richard

      Answer: because that’s when more people who have a problem with Jews in their neighborhood (including the rock-throwing demographic) are more likely to be asleep. What a silly question – Jews who pay millions and millions to live in an “informal” neighborhood for religious reasons are insecure about their rights because they move in at night?

      Reply to Comment
    3. Rachamim Dwek

      The author asks why Jews are moving into homes in the middle of the night if there is nothing wrong with living past the Greenline. The timing was at the discretion if the Pilice and Borderpolice who wished to avoid being attacked by the area’s Arab residents. Pretty sad isnt it that Jews who legally purchased their homes in a city that has always had a Jewish majority (excepting bans imposed by foreigners) must fear for their safety simply because they are Jews. THAT of course does not bother the conscience of the author who seeks to portray new homeowners as criminals doing something shameful

      So called “East Jerusalem” does not exist outside of ignorance and fantasy. Except for a less than 19-year occupation by Jordan the city of Jerusalem has always been an undivided city. Even the Oslo Interim Agreement listed the issue of so called “East Jerusalem” as “Disputed” and relegated to Final Status Negotiations. Acting as if it is rightfully Palestinian is extremely ignorant and in fact does a great disservice to Palestinians as a whole. Instead of concentrating on actual state-building they are tied up in propaganda campaigns that will never earn them anything. Instead of Economic Takeoff they are obsessing over 140 Jews living in an area that was predominantly Jewish until 1948.

      As for the Greenline, why is it that foreigners and Leftists never obssess over the Purpleline? The Blueline? These too are UN-demarcated Armistice Lin. They are no more “legal borders” than the Greenline.

      Finally, the author- after finally admitting that the area WAS in fact Jewish prior to the Jordanian occupation- admonishes Israel for imagining that Jews should dare to imagine that their returning to their own legally-owned homes should be allowed when Palestinians are denied the chance to do the same to their own lost properties and homss in so called “West Jerusalem.” The fact of the matter is, that is NOT what is taking place in “Silwan.” Arabs residing in Jewish homes and on Jewish properties were awarded “Protected Tenant” status by Israel, a categorisation upheld by the High Court. No Jew EVER evicted an Arab to move back into a home owned prior to 1948. Israel gave Protected Tenants three simple conditions, an annual token rent that never exceeded $40.00 US, and a total ban on exterior modification of structures. Lastly, they had to live in the property themselves and never sublet. This legally protected status was for the lifespan of the family head of household (in 1970), and the lifespan of his eldeat child who would also be subject to the same residency requirement.

      Even in cases where these conditions have been violated it has been extremely difficult to dislodge Arabs with Protected Tenant status.

      Lastly, Arabs do in fact have the right to seek indenification- and/or return of properties located in so called “West Jerusalem.” The author is completely unaware of this and other points I have raised.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        Ms. Zonszein is not very smart. Haven’t you guys noticed that by now? Her logic is always poor and fuzzy and she is ALL of the timed about raw racial/ethnic sentiments and emotions based on “facts” created out of thin air.

        Reply to Comment
        • Sarah

          Which facts were created out of thin air?

          Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            “Rivlin is essentially saying that there is no reason to move Jews into East Jerusalem in a clandestine manner since Jews have an “undisputed right over Jerusalem.” He does make a point. If East Jerusalem is the legitimate, uncontested capital of Israel, then why are settler organizations sneaking people in secretly at night? The act is incriminating when, according to the president, there is no crime being committed.”

            1. It is NOT in dispute that the apartments were purchased and paid for;

            2. It is NOT in dispute that said purchase is based on an agreement between two consenting, mentally healthy adults;

            3. It is NOT in dispute that said agreement is call a contract;
            It is NOT in dispute that said contract is based on the Laws Of The State Of Israel;

            4. It is thus NOT in dispute that there is NOTHING “incriminating” about any of the stuff Ms. Zonszein writes about (and it would take brazen stupidity to assume otherwise);

            5. It is NOT in dispute the Arabs in E. J’lem are violent and will use their juvenile/teenage children to attack, maim and/or kill the new families along with their children;

            6. It is equally NOT in dispute that to prevent such violence and bloodshed from taking place, the Israeli police will have to protect the new families from their attackers and may be forced to use deadly force. If that happens, it is logically not in dispute that such will lead to more riots and several deaths (of Arabs) in the Capital and create international incident.

            8. It is thus NOT in dispute that Jews did their utmost best to avoid physical harm to- and/or the death of the Arabs of E. J’lem. Hence – the families moved into THEIR OWN apartments at night. One need not be a rocket scientist to understand that.

            The entire message of the article is based on pure conjecture and a very bad one at that – that has no basis in fact! It is that simple. If Ms. Zonszein knows all of the above but still chose to misrepresent the truth, then she know exactly what she is: a liar. If she does not know that, then she is ….. (you decide!). Beyond that, Pres. Rivlin did not say what Ms. Zonszein attributed to him (as relayed in quotation-marks in my current post) – regardless of who Pres. Rivlin believes has “undisputed right over Jerusalem”. .

            Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            Ginger,

            You write as though this were the normal sale of property between two free, equal, independent individuals.
            Whereas this is about a portion of land that could end up part of a Palestinian state and at least be part of negotiations. This is a fact you cannot avoid.
            Maybe you don’t like the article’s premise that doing this under cover of darkness looks dishonest. Ok. And certainly, there are security concerns.
            Unfortunately, the way these decisions are made by the courts of Israel depends on whether the people who want the property are Jewish are not. This is biased and undemocratic. In other words, it would never fly in another democracy like the U.S. with anti-discrimination laws… Do you get what I’m saying?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            “That’s exactly the point. The Israeli court makes allowances for Jews who want to buy property and do not make the same allowances for Palestinians or Muslims who want to buy property”.

            There is no scintilla of evidence to support this claim, Sarah. I am astonished and insulted that you would say such a thing, Sarah. Israeli Courts are fiercely independent as in for example the United States of Germany, while at the same time as liberal as in The Netherlands. Unlike in the UK, The Netherlands, etc. the Israeli Court has the power to strike down any law from the government. The last time this actually happened was just few weeks ago!

            “Israel has a long way to go before it can be compared with other democracies in the world.”

            Please tell me how, for example the UK, France or Germany is in any way better than Israel when it comes to democracy and the protection of human rights (even disregarding the basic fact that all those nations don’t have security situations comparable to Israel’s).

            “Also, the properties often in question have the potential to be part of negotiations for Palestinian state which is why the analogy you gave does not work so perfectly”.

            No, Sara, we will give the Palestinians anything but J’lem. The “potential” you talk about is non-existent. Palestinians want J’lem because of her importance to Jews. Other than that, she is of no value to them. They (Muslims) have Mecca and Medina. They pray facing Mecca, while pointing their behind to Jerusalem. The toilets in their homes are constructed in such a way that they will not have to face towards Mecca while “doing their thing” (that would be haram, i.e. BIG SIN), instead, they face toward J’lem while naked and doing their thing (and that’s no haram). Imaging that!

            “I have actually sat long and hard with my discomfort as I have come to realize that Israeli history and policy is not so pure of heart and motivation as I had been led to believe. It was a painful thing to come to terms with”.

            What exactly do you mean, Sarah?

            “While there are major challenges when it comes to the fundamentalists (on both sides of the conflict), the more I learn about Israeli policies towards Palestinian residents in neighborhoods like Sheikh Jara, and the settlement programs, the more disenchanted and angry I become.”

            The Palestinian residents in neighborhoods like Sheikh Jara and entire East J’lem have been offered Israeli Citizenship. More than 10.000 Arabs of East Jerusalem have accepted full Israeli Citizenship and have the same rights as their Jewish and Christian counterparts in Israel. The rest has refused to do so. We should not blame Israel for everything.

            “And if you are worried about equality and justice, it should make you mad, too. (Whether you are “progressive” or not.)”

            Indeed, I support the right of Palestinians to rule over themselves and be masters of their own destiny. Unfortunately, the Palestinians have been given 100% of Gaza and the equivalent of 100% of Judea and Samaria. But Palestinians rejected all that. Imagine that! Indeed, Palestinians are the masters of their own fate. They want nothing short of all of Israel. But they won’t get it and the harder they try, the greater and more destructive their misery and it is unfair to blame Israel for that. Israel is willing to do anything – short of national suicide – for peace. My feeling is that you are fundamentally a good person who has supported Israel in the past. Before you abandon us, pls. look at the facts closely. There is NO society more open than Israel; there is NO society more criticized by its own citizens than Israel; there is no society more criticized by the outside world than Israel. And yet, Israel stands out and is the envy of nations and a major role model. Stand With Us, Sarah.

            Reply to Comment
    4. Kolumn8

      Why are they moving into the apartments they own in the middle of the nights?

      Because otherwise there would be a massive riot and a bunch of people would get shot dead. Then you would be complaining why this was done during the day when it is known that it causes confrontation. Hypocrisy much?

      I am certainly glad that you people have stopped with the nonsense about the houses not being purchased by Jews. And having pointed out that your newest complaint about them moving in at night is complete garbage, I hope you actually reveal the real reason why you want Jews to be banned from moving into this neighborhood – because you want to keep this neighborhood Jew-free.

      Reply to Comment
      • Sarah

        Your comment is kind of silly. None of the articles on 972 advocate for “Jew-Free” neighborhoods.

        But it is obvious that many of ideas that are presented on this site make you really uncomfortable. You should sit with that for a while. Sort of try and understand why it is you just can’t bear these articles and authors. Get to the core of your strong reaction. What is it that makes you so mad that you find it necessary to distort what is being said?
        It’s good to feel uncomfortable sometimes. You might learn something about yourself.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn8

          If the articles and authors on 972mag reject Jews buying property, building houses, or moving into homes in some Jerusalem neighborhoods, then yes, they are advocating Jew-free neighborhoods.

          Thanks for the psychobabble. If the desire of 972mag authors to have certain Jerusalem neighborhoods be Jew-free doesn’t bother people who deem themselves ‘progressives’ and ‘liberals’ then they really should sit down and think through why they are not uncomfortable and whether it makes any logical sense for them.

          Imagine a NY journalist/activist that was railing against black people buying property in a specific neighborhood, against black people moving into that neighborhood, and was completely supportive of white racists rioting when the black people were moving in (feel free to reverse the colors if you want it shouldn’t make much of a difference). How long would that journalist/activist be welcome in polite society? There is absolutely zero difference between that and the line pursued by the 972mag authors. Yet here come the progressives to defend their racist positions.

          Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            That’s exactly the point. The Israeli court makes allowances for Jews who want to buy property and do not make the same allowances for Palestinians or Muslims who want to buy property. And that is discriminatory. I agree, this would not be acceptable in a democratic society like the U.S. Israel has a long way to go before it can be compared with other democracies in the world. Also, the properties often in question have the potential to be part of negotiations for Palestinian state which is why the analogy you gave does not work so perfectly.

            I have actually sat long and hard with my discomfort as I have come to realize that Israeli history and policy is not so pure of heart and motivation as I had been led to believe. It was a painful thing to come to terms with.
            While there are major challenges when it comes to the fundamentalists (on both sides of the conflict), the more I learn about Israeli policies towards Palestinian residents in neighborhoods like Sheikh Jara, and the settlement programs, the more disenchanted and angry I become. And if you are worried about equality and justice, it should make you mad, too. (Whether you are “progressive” or not.)

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn8

            I am forced to simply call bullshit on your entire reply.

            1) Arabs can and do buy houses and apartments in the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem. They dont need the police to move in nor are the people that sell them the houses afraid of being tortured to death in a Ramallah prison. So, lets start with the fact that you arguing discrimination as the reason for the outrage is cleverly shrouded bullshit.

            2) You can be as outraged as you want about Israeli government actions without becoming a bigot that demands Jew-free neighborhoods. This is a very simple case that there is an attempt to shroud in layers and layers of garbage. Jews legally purchased houses. The Arabs do not want Jews in their neighborhood. This is a test of everything you insist you care about. If you choose to side with the bigots that insist that no Jews should live in this neighborhood then you need to sit down long and hard about were you went wrong when ‘equality’ and ‘justice’ mean to you that a Jew should be prevented from buying and living in a house in Jerusalem.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            “That’s exactly the point. The Israeli court makes allowances for Jews who want to buy property and do not make the same allowances for Palestinians or Muslims who want to buy property”.

            There is no scintilla of evidence to support this claim, Sarah. I am astonished and insulted that you would say such a thing. Israeli Courts are fiercely independent as in for example the United States of Germany, while at the same time as liberal as in The Netherlands. Unlike e.g. in the UK, The Netherlands, etc. the Israeli Court has the power to strike down any law from the government that e.g. violates the principle of equality and has in fact done so several times in the past (the last one took place just a few weeks ago!).

            “Israel has a long way to go before it can be compared with other democracies in the world.”

            Please tell me how, for example the UK, France or Germany are in any way better than Israel when it comes to democracy and the protection of human rights (even disregarding the basic fact that all those nations don’t have security situations comparable to Israel’s).

            “Also, the properties often in question have the potential to be part of negotiations for Palestinian state which is why the analogy you gave does not work so perfectly”.

            No, Sara, we will give the Palestinians anything but J’lem. The “potential” you talk about is non-existent. Palestinians want J’lem because of her importance to Jews. Other than that, she is of no value to them. They (Muslims) have Mecca and Medina. They pray facing Mecca, while pointing their behind to Jerusalem. The toilets in their homes are constructed in such a way that they will not have to face towards Mecca while “doing their thing” (that would be haram, i.e. BIG SIN), instead, they face toward J’lem while naked and “doing their thing” (and that’s no haram). Imaging that!

            “I have actually sat long and hard with my discomfort as I have come to realize that Israeli history and policy is not so pure of heart and motivation as I had been led to believe. It was a painful thing to come to terms with”.

            What exactly do you mean, Sarah?

            “While there are major challenges when it comes to the fundamentalists (on both sides of the conflict), the more I learn about Israeli policies towards Palestinian residents in neighborhoods like Sheikh Jara, and the settlement programs, the more disenchanted and angry I become.”

            The Palestinian residents in neighborhoods like Sheikh Jara and entire East J’lem have been offered Israeli Citizenship. More than 10.000 Arabs in East Jerusalem have accepted full Israeli Citizenship and have the same rights as their Jewish and Christian counterparts in Israel. The rest has refused to do so. but still enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedom that is available to every Israeli. We should not blame Israel for everything.

            “And if you are worried about equality and justice, it should make you mad, too. (Whether you are “progressive” or not.)”

            Indeed, I support the right of Palestinians to rule over themselves and be masters of their own destiny. Unfortunately, the Palestinians have been given 100% of Gaza and the equivalent of 100% of Judea and Samaria. But Palestinians rejected all that. Imagine that! Indeed, Palestinians are the masters of their own fate. They want nothing short of all of Israel. But they won’t get it and the harder they try, the greater and more destructive their misery and it is unfair to blame Israel for that. Israel is willing to do anything – short of national suicide – for peace. My feeling is that you are fundamentally a good person who has supported Israel in the past. Before you abandon us, pls. look at the facts closely. There is NO society more open than Israel; there is NO society more criticized by its own citizens than Israel; there is NO society more criticized by the outside world than Israel. But Israel stands out and is both the envy of nations and a major role model. Stand With Us, Sarah.

            Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            What about my comments makes you think that I do not Stand With Israel, Ginger?

            It is sad that you think that a critique of policy is the same as being disloyal.

            There should be room for critique and peaceful protest in a true democracy.

            Peaceful protesters are routinely shot at (sometimes rubber bullets, sometimes real ones) and jailed in the West Bank and J’lem. And that’s just one example of how Israel is an inferior democracy to the ones you listed.

            Reply to Comment
    5. Stevie Twofingers

      Jews should be banned from Arab-majority areas, but Arabs should NOT be banned from Jewish-majority areas. This is the logic of 972mag, apparently? Neo-nazis and jihadists have this same logic, you realize, right?

      Reply to Comment
    6. Sarah

      Each comment above mentions these Jewish Israelis’ “legal” purchase of the property.
      Legal on what grounds? Are you aware of the phoniness of these cases, and the special allowances given only to Jews?

      This is the Israeli gov’t taking full advantage of the opportunity of the presence of radical fundamentalist settler ideology to manipulate demography in its favor.

      Arguably, the most important point in the article is the following:

      “This is similar to the warped rationale behind moving Jews back into the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah — which exposes the discriminatory practice in which Jews can reclaim lands from before 1948 in East Jerusalem but Palestinians cannot do the same in West Jerusalem — or anywhere throughout Israel.”

      There is no justice in this.
      Israel proclaims it is a democracy. These types of so-called “legal purchases” continue to prove the opposite.

      Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        Chillax, Sara, (and I could care less whether or not you are a Muslim-Arab). Jerusalem is once again united with her sons and daughter. Jerusalem blooms and rejoices as in the time of Kind David. Jerusalem will never again fall into the hands of Gentiles. So It Is Said, So It Is Written. Let’s celebrate Jerusalem, Sara. Rejoice and dance with me for Jerusalem – the Eternal Capital Of The Jewish People. Here we go:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nm1g8FFRArc

        Reply to Comment
        • Sarah

          Ginger,
          Are you wondering if I am a Muslim-Arab?

          What an odd comment.

          Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            No, Sarah, I am not wondering if you are a Muslim. I said I don’t care whether or not you are a Muslim.

            Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            If you don’t care whether I am Muslim or Arab, then why did you bring it up?

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Just to let you know.

            Reply to Comment
    7. Khaled Cheema

      Rivlin is just using a delay and confuse tactic with this “Get Along” sentiment when no Zionist has any intention of “Getting Along” in creating a Jews-Only Disneyland.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Bruce Gould

      Information: probably the largest and most influential Israeli human rights organization is B’Tselem; they are meticulous in their reporting and documentation.

      http://www.btselem.org/

      Information on East Jerusalem:

      http://www.btselem.org/topic/jerusalem

      Reply to Comment
    9. Ginger Eis

      “Jerusalem cannot be a city in which building takes place in secret, or where moving into apartments happens in the dead of night. We must bear responsibility for keeping Jerusalem sovereign. We need to take the reins and manage Jerusalem in an active and straightforward way, with care and thoughtfulness. I hope that in Yitzhak Shamir’s spirit, we will know how to stand up for our undisputed right over Jerusalem, and through this right, treat her as a sovereign with all the responsibility that comes with it.

      “Rivlin is essentially saying that there is no reason to move Jews into East Jerusalem in a clandestine manner since Jews have an “undisputed right over Jerusalem.” He does make a point”.

      Gee, you figured that one out! What a genius! Except Prez. Rivlin never said or even implied any such thing.

      Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        There’s Klink again with that lovely rational, respectful, non-petty, tone, practicing what Rivlin preaches and lecturing others on it. Has the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities gotten back to you yet on the risible out of date concept of “the other” they are currently conferencing on? We’re anxious to know. Why are the settlers moving in the night? Because that’s when thieves steal stuff.

        Reply to Comment
    10. Ginger Eis

      By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.

      Upon the willows in the midst thereof we hanged up our harps.
      For there they that led us captive asked of us words of song, and our tormentors asked of us mirth: ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion.’

      How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a foreign land?

      If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.

      If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
      Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I remember thee not if I set not Jerusalem above my chiefest joy …

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-EBMCMeUjM

      Reply to Comment
    11. Average American

      I have no idea why my country supports Israel. It’s not about the Bible, because Jews think Christians are idolators and spit at them. It’s not about The Holocaust, in which Jews were not the only people. It’s not about having a cooperative satellite state, because Israel is not that. What could it be? What is this common goal or unbreakable bond we hear about? Arms trade? Most of USA foreign aid comes back to Jewish companies in USA? Banking? Rothchilds won’t lend to USA if we don’t go along with Zionists? Cannot fathom it.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Ray

      Just so I know, could somebody explain to me where Mairav writes “I want East Jerusalem to be Jew-free?” Because otherwise, I’m going to go with the assumption that that is not the conclusion she comes to, or wants the reader to come to.

      Reply to Comment
      • Yvette

        Yes of course. “Jew-free” is as you know the manipulative device employed. It goes like this: I steal your house. I happen to be Jewish. When the owner attempts to have me removed by law, I scream “he wants the house Jew-free! The horror!” It sounds amazing but it really is what goes on when you strip away all the pretense. And if one points it out as I am it means one must be an “anti-Semite.” I am not making this up.

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn8

          Yvette, Where in this article did you get the notion that the houses were “stolen”? The article explicitly points out that the houses were legally purchased. Either you are incapable of reading or you believe Jews paying for houses constitutes “theft”. Either you are illiterate or an anti-Semite. Pick one.

          Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Really you have no device except a cheap, worn out “anti semitism” card. It’s so obvious.

            http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.622029

            Thwarting any chance of a solution in Jerusalem

            There can be no two-state solution without a compromise in Jerusalem. The latest moves to expand Israel’s presence in the eastern part of the city will make such a compromise impossible.
            By Lior Amihai | Oct. 22, 2014 |

            …Thus, the penetration of settlers into Silwan is not just another act that will make a solution in Jerusalem more difficult. As opposed to Jewish neighborhoods that were built and that penetrated the Palestinian area of East Jerusalem, the entry of settlers into Silwan is penetration of the Palestinian neighborhoods themselves. In fact, the settlers of Silwan are trying to make Silwan Jewish to prevent it from becoming part of the Palestinian state, and are thus actually torpedoing the Clinton plan. Their violent entry, accompanied by armed private security guards and police, with the intention of damaging the character of the village and the fabric of its life, only underscores this aspiration. Since the settlers entered Silwan, there has also been disproportionate development of Jewish tourism, such as the archaeological excavations under the homes of Palestinians who are also under permanent threat of removal from their homes.

            The claim that the settlers have a right to live in Silwan because they bought apartments there legally is a mockery. The law might work in their favor, but that is the distorted nature of the whole story. Everything works in their favor, not only the law. Their move to the Palestinian neighborhood would not have been possible if not for direct support by the government, the municipality, the police, planning and construction policy, tourism policy, the transfer of funds and the way the police work….

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn8

            “There can be no two-state solution without a compromise in Jerusalem”

            This may or may not be true. I personally think that it is, but that is fundamentally beside the point, nor do I think that Silwan (or Shiloah in its original Jewish name) will be part of the Palestinian state.

            Yet, the potential future of partition into two states is not what offends most people here, is it? Notice that it didn’t even come up in the article and is barely mentioned in the comments. This is probably because the author (obviously) and her audience (mostly don’t believe in a two state solution and so all that you have here is ranting about how awful it is that Jews purchased apartments and have moved into an “Arab” neighborhood. So, the overall impression is that the underlying desire here is to effectively prevent Jews from purchasing houses and living in some neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

            You can certainly argue that these people are hidden supporters of the two state solution and this is why Jews moving in offends them, but a cursory reading of the article and the comments would likely lay that theory to rest. For example the comments screaming about the “theft” of houses by Jews despite the article and everyone else being quite explicit about the Jews legally buying the houses.

            So, what is left? We are stuck with people insisting that Arabs have the right to ‘spaces free of Jews’ (as per Amira Hass) and that Jews moving in ‘damage the character of the village and the fabric of its life’ (as per your quote). Replace the word ‘Jews’ with any other ethnic group and see how well that plays to ‘progressive’ audiences and you will understand the hypocrisy of the issue. Not just hypocrisy, but blatant racism towards a specific group. Call it what you want.

            Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn8

        If someone opposed Jews buying houses in East Jerusalem, building houses in East Jerusalem, and moving into East Jerusalem then wouldn’t the logical conclusion be that the person wants to not have any Jews live there?

        Reply to Comment
        • Sarah

          No Kolumn8. The problem is not that Jews are buying property. The problem is that Jews can buy property in dominant Arab neighborhoods, and Arabs can’t buy property in dominant Jewish neighborhoods under the same conditions. Do you see the unfairness there? Can you see that that is discrimination?
          (If you admit that this is unfair, it won’t make you anti-Israel or unsupportive of the Jewish struggle.)

          Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn8

            I would admit it was unfair if it were true, but anyone that is familiar with Jerusalem knows that it isn’t. Arabs can and do buy property in the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

            So, what we are dealing with is not a call for fairness. It is a demand to keep neighborhoods free of Jews. So, yes, I see the discrimination.

            The better question is whether you see the bigotry that passes for being hip, liberal, and progressive on this site?

            Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            What I see on this site is a tendency to be snide and distort facts that are inconvenient to one’s mythologized, idealized version of a country. You must be delusional if you don’t admit to a certain amount of segregation in Israeli society (some of it may be self-imposed, but it is there nonetheless). Hello-I’ve lived in Jerusalem, ok? I know the city well. I know the country very, very well.

            I see a tendency to try to call the writers and visitors to this site “progressive” or “hip” as a way to detract from what they are saying; as if their first concern is to be trendy.

            Please find me evidence of Palestinians who were allowed to move into a spot that belonged to them before 1948, the same way the settlers above were allowed to do so in Silwan and Sheikh Jarra? If you find me a few instances of that, I’ll give you 2 points.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn8

            Sarah, I have lived in Jerusalem as well, so I am pretty familiar with the situation. There are Arabs living in a bunch of “Jewish” neighborhoods. You would know this if you had lived here. They don’t require special police protection, and those that sold them the apartments, or rented them the apartments, do not have to move abroad to avoid being tortured to death, which is the common fate for an Arab selling a house to a Jew.

            The Jews in Silwan purchased the houses from the Arabs. If you can find me anything in Israeli law that prevents Arabs from buying houses in the “Jewish” neighborhoods of Jerusalem I’ll give you ten points.

            “You must be delusional if you don’t admit to a certain amount of segregation in Israeli society (some of it may be self-imposed, but it is there nonetheless)”

            You must be delusional if you don’t admit that there is a certain amount of self-imposed segregation in any society, so this comment is meaningless.

            The reason why I am throwing around such words as “liberal”, and “progressive” is because these are terms that the authors of 972mag and their like-minded readers would consider to be descriptive of their view of the world. They would consider themselves to struggle for “equality” and “justice”. At the same time they continue to insist that it is legitimate to insist that Jews be prevented from living in “Arab” neighborhoods. That isn’t surprising given that their heroes in Israel like Amira Hass believe that the Arabs have the right to “safe spaces free of Jews”. To anyone with half a brain this stinks to high heaven of rank racist hypocrisy.

            Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            Thanks Kolumn8.

            While you may know some Arabs who live in Jewish neighborhoods, you did not find me evidence of Palestinians who have provided proof of owning a space prior to 1948 and then the courts allowing them to purchase and move into a space based on that proof.
            So you do not get the 2points!

            Comments like that of Amira Hass are reactions to the inherent discrimination that does exist towards Arabs. I don’t agree with that statement. But I don’t think you’ve made a compelling argument that proves there aren’t major problems of discrimination or inequality in Israel. Saying that there is segregation in every society just deflects the argument away from itself. It is not constructive.

            Israeli society is segregated, yes, some of it self-imposed; and much of it government-imposed. You are just too entrenched in your belief system to see it and/or admit it publicly.

            Also, there is a common mistake of conflating Muslim-Arabs who are Israeli citizens with Palestinians. They are two very different populations with different experiences. Although, Arab Israelis are discriminated against plenty.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn8

            I know that more than a “few” Arabs live in “Jewish” neighborhoods in Jerusalem. And as far as I can tell we are talking here about a straight purchase of houses by Jews from Arabs, with no reference to Jews or Arabs owning the land before 1948. Hence that entire line of argument is a tangential dodge of the issue at hand.

            Can Arabs purchase property in “Jewish” neighborhoods of Jerusalem? Yes, and they do so often. As you have basically conceded that point you don’t get your ten points. And in doing so you have effectively accepted that an insistence on not allowing Jews to purchase property in the “Arab” neighborhoods is rank hypocritical discrimination. Now the only question that remains is how someone who insists on making arguments on the basis of “equality”, “justice”, and an opposition to discrimination can continue to insist that discrimination against Jews, because they are Jews, is in any way justifiable?

            I am perfectly comfortable admitting that there is discrimination and inequality in Israel. And once again I am perfectly comfortable pointing out that this is not a problem isolated to Israel, and even more so even if it were a major problem, it is irrelevant, once again, to the issue of why it is wrong for Jews to buy houses in Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

            As such, you have tried, and I have pointed out as such, to deflect the argument into at least two tangential side arguments which have no relation to the issue at hand. This is hardly constructive.

            The question at hand is why the author of this article, many commenters, and you yourself, appear to insist that it is legitimate to keep certain neighborhoods of Jerusalem Jew-free? Because once you have removed all the irrelevant red herrings that have been thrown around during this conversation, including by you, that is all that you have left – an insistence by some people on this blog that the very entry of Jews into certain Jerusalem neighborhoods is a horrible, evil and terrible thing.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Zionists here (K8, Pedro, Whiplash, Ginger et al) are famous for trying to turn the tables by inverting the argument. They do it all the time. Opposing removing Arabs to make room for Jews then becomes making the area ‘not Judenrein’. Pathetic twits. They convince no one but themselves.

            It’s so transparent I even wonder why they try. I suppose they believe in their own lies.

            Meanwhile those behind this form of ethnic cleansing must laugh their heads off at these useful idiots.

            Reply to Comment
          • Aaron

            Gert,

            It’s understandable. My mother thinks the same way. One of my uncles works for a prominent lobby group where I’m from.

            But in my opinion, those who share their views are becoming the minority, especially among the younger generation.

            In the meantime, it’s absolutely no use arguing with them on the I/P issue specifically.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Sarah, your argument doesn’t follow, because it is (a) factually incorrect, (b) internally inconsistent and (c) lacks legal merit.

            a. As to the facts: it is no secret that Jews pay plus/minus ten times the market prize to lay their hands on property in the City of David. Reuters for example reports: “Hoping to cement Israel’s claim on all of Jerusalem, far-right Jews have been paying top dollar for Silwan properties, often through Arab middle-men to circumvent Palestinian taboos on such sales”. So again, Sarah, you have two consenting parties engaging in a business transaction: The Arab wants “top dollar”, while The Jew places – what to the Arabs amounts to – incomprehensible value on properties that worth’s absolutely nothing to The Arab.

            b. As to the law: there is no law in Israel that denies “Arabs” the right to buy property in dominant Jewish neighborhoods. If you know of any such law, please point it out (by stating the official name so that I can find it and if possible post it here). Israeli law is based on the General Principles of Law Of Civilized Peoples, among which the principle of equality of ALL before the law stands out.

            c. As to the internal logic of your argument: if you assume (and I mean assume) that Arabs are not allowed to buy property in predominantly Jewish neighborhoods, surely the remedy/response is not- and may not be to ban Jews from buying property in Arab neighborhoods. That would, would it not, be discrimination, racism and apartheid. I have been lectured on this site that “two wrongs don’t make a right. Surely you agree with that. So, Sarah, let’s support the right of Jews to buy property anywhere in J’lem, while making sure that the law does not discriminate against Arabs.

            Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            This documentary on Sheikh Jara by NGO Just Vision refutes what you claim. Many of the court decisions with regard to property rights are dubious. I highly recommend you watch it.

            http://www.justvision.org/myneighbourhood

            The Israeli gov’t is concerned about demographics. That is why those who move to settlements are given money and support from the Israeli govt’t.

            While you may hope and pray that East Jerusalem will not be a part of a future Palestine, there is no evidence that it is or will be off the table.

            Take a look around these 2 websites to find out where Israel might be lacking in the democracy department.

            http://www.btselem.org/topic/jerusalem

            http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/

            Reply to Comment
          • Yvette

            It’s illegally occupied territory you twit.

            Reply to Comment
          • Noe

            No. Jerusalem has been annexed by Israel. It is inside Israeli territory.

            Reply to Comment
          • Yvette

            You know full well an illegal annexation does not confer legality. We really are not stupid.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Define “legality”, if you can, Yvette. You might discover that you indeed are – in your own words – “stupid”!

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            By the letter of the international law, only terrytory which belongs to a state can be ‘occupied’. Palestinian Arabs never had anything even remotely similar to a state, therefore the territory where they live can not be occupied, by definition.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            False. That may be the concocted Israeli right wing argument but it is most definitely NOT the letter of international law. The International Court of Justice and Supreme Court of Israel have both ruled that the West Bank is occupied. The US State Department also defines the West Bank and Gaza Strip as occupied.

            Reply to Comment
          • The Trespasser

            Rulings and decisions that you had mentioned are in clear violation of the 4th Geneva Convention, specifically, the part where ‘belligerent occupation’ and ‘occupied’ are discussed.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Hilarious. The zionist fanatic invokes the 4th Geneva Convention. Hilarious. You can’t make this stuff up.

            Reply to Comment
          • To say that Arabs are not allowed to purchase apartments in Jewish neighbourhoods is a gross distortion of the facts. For starters, if I wanted to sell my Tel Aviv apartment to an Arab from, say, Haifa, there is not only no law that could prevent me from doing so, there is also no law to prevent him from taking up residence there. If I were to sell to an Arab from, say, Jenin, he might have difficulty getting a residence permit within the Green Line, but that’s a different matter entirely.

            Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            Yes, exactly. Please differentiate Arab Israelis from Palestinians.

            Identity is complex in the region. People show pictures of women walking around in hijabs (Muslim head-covering) to prove that Israel has a diverse population with no problems of inequality.

            But the question is can a Palestinian move to a place that was theirs before 1948 the same way Jews can move to a place that was theirs before 1948?

            A Palestinian needs special permission from some random commander in order to go to a doctor or a wedding in another village inside the West Bank, let alone to buy property from a Jewish owner inside Israel.

            The property described in the article above is located in East Jerusalem which could be part of any negotiations for a Palestinian state which is why it is wrong. If it was a business deal between Arab and Jew located in Haifa, it would not be interesting.

            Reply to Comment
          • Kolumn8

            And again, you are trying to change topics. A Palestinian from Silwan can purchase any house anywhere in Jerusalem without distinction to who may have owned it before 1948, 1908, or 1808. At that same time there is an underlying insistence by the author and other commenters that Jews should be prevented from purchasing apartments in Silwan. No amount of obfuscation or deflection is going to change the fact that what is being insisted upon here is rank racist discrimination against Jews. Even if you watch numerous left-wing documentaries on unrelated matters that you wish to pontificate on, this issue is so simple that it is mindboggling that you are still here insisting that it might be legitimate to prevent Jews from living in certain neighborhoods of Jerusalem.

            Reply to Comment
      • Ginger Eis

        I am well aware of all the links you posted. They contain nothing either true or new. Thanks anyways for posting.

        There are claims and counter claims. Right now, you have heard the Palestinian side (from the links you posted). All I ask of you is to hear both sides (not just one side) with open mind. I am not asking for your sympathy. I demand that you reason (as you may also demand of me). This is the only way you can make an honest and balanced judgment.

        To aid you in that endeavor, I will point out the following:
        a. Before 1948, Jews formed the majority in East Jerusalem. Jews also lived in Judea & Samaria. The lands they lived on in both territories were theirs;
        b. During the 1948 war all the Jews in East Jerusalem were either slaughtered or expelled by the Arabs. After the war NOT ONE SINGLE Jew was left! The synagogues and Holy Places were set ablaze and properties looted. The ethnic cleansing/genocide was complete and total. Imagine that, Sarah.
        c. During the 1948 war all the Jews in Judea & Samaria were either slaughtered or expelled. After the war NOT ONE SINGLE Jew was left! Between 1948 and 1967 there lived NOT ONE SINGLE Jew in Judea & Samaria! The ethnic cleansing/genocide was total and complete. Imagine that, Sarah.
        d. The majority of Palestinians currently living in East Jerusalem are not from East Jerusalem. They were refugees whom the Jordanian government and the UN decided to house in looted and vacant properties of Jews who were either massacred or fled to escape certain death. These Palestinians did not buy any of the stolen lands that were handed to them on a silver platter and have no legal ownership of said lands.
        e. 99% of the houses now being “taken over” by Jews are NOT owned by the Palestinian occupants who get kicked out, but by the Palestinian home owners who sold the houses at jaw breaking prizes to Jews, took the money they got, moved to either Switzerland, England, Germany, Canada or USA and bought luxurious mansions in either Zurich, Geneva, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin, New York or Florida, etc. while the Jews who bought their useless houses invest additional tens of millions of dollars to begins cleaning out the mess in a desperate effort to restore the City of David to its former glory! The remaining 1% regards houses in which a Jewish person has documents from the Ottoman and/or British era to prove that the property legally belongs to him/her.
        f. No single Palestinian gets SUDDENLY kicked out of his “home”. The evictions are preceded by very lengthy court battles. Sometimes the Palestinians win (you don’t hear about those) and the Jew licks his wounds and moves on, sometimes the Palestinians loose, but when they lose they cry foul. Additionally, before anyone gets kicked out of his/her “home”, he/she gets several months to vacate, several notices to vacate, several warnings to vacate and offers of alternative housing if he/she decides to vacate without commotion (you don’t get to hear about that). The tragedy is that some specific anti-Israel political NGOs disguised as “human rights” orgs. such as Betselem, Zochrot, Ta’Ayush, etc. advise the Palestinians to ignore Court orders and several warnings to vacate and use said Palestinians as guinea pigs in their dirty international media battle against Israel. What you see in the video clips you linked are pure propaganda. Only Israelis and Arabs understand that game. Well meaning Europeans are too naïve to understand the Middle Eastern culture of lies and deceit and always fall prey to the Arab propaganda and marketing of manufactured, phony “Palestinian” victim-hood. It is quite unfortunate, but Israel will not be intimidated by “guilt-trippers” nor dictated to by anyone – let alone political NGO’s that beg for money from hostile foreign governments and depend on Israel’s goodwill to survive and at the same time fight Israel.

        You might want to read this site for additional info: http://zionism-israel.com/his/Hadassah_convoy_Massacre-4.htm. the info contained therein are also available on non-Zionist websites – just in case.

        Reply to Comment
        • Ginger Eis

          Sarah, you might also want to take a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzCAqXrBGtU; just food for thought. What you see in that video clip is just a fraction of the violently brutish nature of the Palestinian society.

          Reply to Comment
        • Sarah

          Hi Ginger,

          Thank you for the info. I don’t need a history lesson, though. And I don’t need to see the other side. Do you know why?
          Because I come from the other side.
          I am very well-versed in Jewish history, I am well-versed in israeli history, and Israel is very dear to my heart. I lived there for years. I have friends and relatives who live there. I have seen the Israeli side and argued the Israeli side many times. I consider myself pro-Israeli. Actually, more than “pro-Israeli”, I am “pro-solution-to-the-conflict-through-nonviolent-means”.
          You do not need to convert me to see your side. I am beyond aware of the scary aspects to Palestinian culture and lived through waves of suicide bombings and I know the terror. I have educated myself over the years on the Palestinian experience. And I know now that there are many layers to that society, and that they do not all call for death to jews or destruction of Israel. They want to live normal lives. Palestinians to a great degree have been dehumanized in Israeli society. Even exposing what is happening, describing the injustice, what is written on 972 and what I have written in my comments can easily have you branded a traitor. I have learned, to my sadness, the way the Israeli govt and military courts manipulate events for its benefit and not always on the side of morality, equality or democratic values. I speak up because I expect better from my beloved Israel and because I know she can do better. It takes courage to admit that Israel is not infallible. Whatever the security concerns, much of what happens to the Palestinian residents of the West Bank and East Jerusalem is inexcusable.

          Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Wow. There’s nothing like true authority and integrity.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Thank you for the info. I don’t need a history lesson, though. And I don’t need to see the other side. Do you know why? Because I come from the other side.

            I am proud to call you one of us, Sarah.

            “I am very well-versed in Jewish history, I am well-versed in israeli history, and ISRAEL IS VERY DEAR TO MY HEART” (emphasis mine).

            Kolhakavod! You made my day. I definitely feel a lot better now, truly.

            “I consider myself pro-Israeli. Actually, more than “pro-Israeli”, I am “pro-solution-to-the-conflict-through-nonviolent-means”.

            We all do! Over 80% of Jewish Israelis does, Sarah! We are tired of constant wars. But we will fight – if we must. Let there be no illusions about that.

            “You do not need to convert me to see your side. I am beyond aware of the scary aspects to Palestinian culture and lived through waves of suicide bombings and I know the terror. I have educated myself over the years on the Palestinian experience. And I know now that there are many layers to that society, and that they do not all call for death to jews or destruction of Israel”.

            Thanks for shearing. This kind of stuff needs to be said by others who genuinely want a solution and find that the absence of solution is not all the fault of the bad, bad, evil Jew. Folks like Ms. Zonszein and her fellow Ta’Ayush thugs could never ever have the courage to say what you just said.

            “They want to live normal lives. Palestinians to a great degree have been dehumanized in Israeli society”.

            I am certain you mean well, Sarah, but this is exactly what the Israeli left has been telling us for decades. The left told us that Yasser Arafat and the PLO have renounced terror and are now doves; that all the Palis want is to have a normal life – put food on the table for their children and send them to good schools if only they are given a State of their own in Gaza and Judea & Samaria; the left brought back Yasser Arafat and the PLO. Look where we are today: the PLO was and remains a large terror and criminal enterprise; thousands of Israel (children, women, men) dead; thousands of Israelis either bedridden or wheelchair bound (some of them too you to understand that they are Jews); thousands of Israelis with permanent serious disabilities as a result of Arab terror; the Israeli left is devastated, while Israeli international security situation worsens, etc. The folly of the left that wallows in the illusion that it knows better than everyone else has brought immense sorrow and misery to Israelis and the State Of Israel.

            “That’s why the le Even exposing what is happening, describing the injustice, what is written on 972 and what I have written in my comments can easily have you branded a traitor.”

            No, Sarah, no one here has suggested that you are a traitor. We disagreed with some of the stuff you said and gave several reasons why. You did not refute any of said reasons with counter-arguments; all we got in reply was several links from you. At worst I said that you are “fundamentally a decent person who has supported Israel in the past” (those were my exact words) and maybe about to abandon Israel now which is why I have invested time and energy to convince you otherwise. I would not have don that if I did not detect the decency in you (regardless of whether or not we agree on specific points). And now, knowing that you care deeply about securing Israel’s place as a light unto the nations over-joys me. So, I am happy now (regardless of whether or not we agree on tactics). BUT +972mag, and all of its columnists (with the exception of Ms. Scheindlin), btselem, etc. sure are traitors in thought and expression. They aid the enemies of Israel, though not in a material way! They have every right to be that and we have every right to equally oppose them in thought and expression as well. That’s the true face of democracy!

            “I have learned, to my sadness, the way the Israeli govt and military courts manipulate events for its benefit and not always on the side of morality, equality or democratic values. I speak up because I expect better from my beloved Israel and because I know she can do better. It takes courage to admit that Israel is not infallible.”

            I do not agree, Sarah, because it does not take any courage to admit that Israel is not infallible. In fact, criticizing and demonizing Israel has become a very lucrative business for far leftist Jews who abuse their Jewishness to lend credibility to their anti-Zionism that sometime either borders on Antisemitism or are outright anti-Semitic. All one needs is to set up an NGO and write abominable stuff about Jews/Israel and money starts flowing in from (hostile) European governments and rich and powerful global leftist NGOs (Oppenheimer started of as a very poor, skinny ugly dude, today he is a millionaire, fat, potbellied but still very ugly looking man). In some parts of some European countries, the more virulently anti-Israel/Jew, the more votes from the (far) left, closset anti-Semites, Islamists and neo-Nazis! Israel there is no courage in that. Additionally, Israel is being criticized on a daily basis by Israelis themselves. In no other Western society is the degree and quality of political discuss as vivid and firebrand as it is in Israel (ask the much hate BBC that calls it “red-hot democracy”!). No Western democracy has its own version of Haaretz, btselem, etc. The other day, Prez. Rivlin called Israel a sick society (we all know what he meant by that, but the usual lunatics took his words out of context and are knock themselves out right now with it). Without disputing the truth/essence of your statement re the IDF, one may not lose sight of the indisputable fact that NO OTHER military in the history of mankind has a better morality than the IDF. Our IDF is not perfect as you said and no sane person will argue with that, but the IDF sure is better than any other army on earth re morality. Surely IDF can do better than it does currently when it comes to the protections of INNOCENT civilians in combat zones, but the best way to do that is not through slander and blood-libel as specialized in by +972mag and its columnists. War is a very very ugly and chaotic stuff. The slightest mistake can be devastating for innocents. Like you, we all expect better/perfection from our IDF, but we have to be careful not to create the impression and let such impression stand that the IDF is not the best or even less moral than others, because that would be grossly incorrect.

            “Whatever the security concerns, much of what happens to the Palestinian residents of the West Bank and East Jerusalem is inexcusable.”

            You need to (a) point to specific situations, (b) make arguments as to why Israeli actions are “inexcusable” regardless of “whatever the security situation” and (c) what responsibility if any the Palestinians have in the situation! I find this view strange and outrageous and so: I respectfully disagree – most vehemently. You need to present arguments to justify this position.

            Reply to Comment
          • Sarah

            Ginger,
            I didn’t say that you had called me a traitor. I said that it is easy to be branded a traitor (by other Jews and Israelis, particularly those on the right wing side of things) when one speaks up about the unjust and unequal policies of the israeli govt and courts.
            I don’t need to waste time pointing to specific examples…when there is an article above and all over this website showing examples. Also see the work of ACTIVESTILLS.
            Also peruse the site of JUSTVISION. Also, read the works of Ilan Pappe.
            Also, take a look at the website PALESTINEREMEMBERS. Also check out BETSELEM—you say you are very familiar with it, but then you ask me to list specific examples. Also, see BREAKINGTHESILENCE.
            Watch the movie Five Broken Cameras. Watch My Neighborhood by Just Vision.
            And there are many, many other resources to find specific examples. If you choose to be in denial after seeing all of this, there is not much more I can say to help.

            Thank you for condescending to me and saying that I “mean well” when I say that most Palestinians want to live normal lives. Unfortunately, the radicals and Islamists (to use the term of choice these days) play perfectly into the Israeli govt’s hands; and any hope of a state is lost when voting in the likes of Hamas.

            But the Israeli military also quashes and hides the non-violent struggle. Take a look around the JUSTVISION site to see how non-violent resistance in the West Bank is met regularly with violence and arbitrary arrests or by prohibiting people on the West Bank completely from protesting. This leaves very little room for a non-violent movement to take root. But people like Ayed Morrar courageously continue their cause without the use of violence and alongside Israelis who have come to know and defend this side of Palestinian life and struggle.

            I see you have a very strong idea of all the motivations behind “leftist”, “trendy” Jews who apparently, in your view, only want to make $ from a political cause. This is preposterous to me, when you consider the highly profitable industries of war, the fear-mongering of the right, the Israel lobby (highly lucrative work, mind you) in the U.S.
            So we will agree to disagree. I’m sorry to hear you try to group all so-called “leftists” together into one as though they are all clones of each other and are all out to get you; and I’m disappointed to hear you use the term “anti-Israel.” I don’t consider myself a leftist; I believe in standing up for what is right regardless of politics or party.

            And as for the idea that there are no other countries with groups like Betselem—this is silly. Israel is not so exceptional. Sorry to break the bad news. Believing that Israel is exceptional and so highly moral and above other countries in its motivations and actions is one of its handicaps.

            The U.S. has dozens of groups that expose and criticize different aspects of life, culture and politics. And Israel has the central issue of continuing to incentivize settlers to move to contested land and all the problems and double standards that arise from that. So, naturally, a group like Betselem crops up.
            Thanks for the discussion. I wish you the best. And I wish only for a future of non-violence and mutual understanding for all of us.

            Reply to Comment
          • Ginger Eis

            Thanks for the discussion, Sarah. I did not mean to be condescending as you put it and apologize that my words came across that way. We both hold Israel dear and close to our hearts (you cant imagine how happy I was to hear you say that). We both want the best for Israel. We both want an end to the conflict through non-violent means. We differ on some of the tactics and the share of responsibilities for the absence of a solution by the warring parties. I guess reasonable people can disagree on those points. At the end of the day the Jewish People, I and you, my children (if and when I have them) and your children (if you already have) will live with the consequences of the choices we make and/or refuse(d) to make individually and ultimately as a People through holistic democratic processes (when Rabin brought back Yasser Arafat in the early 90’s, I was still too young to understand, but today, I see Rabin’s decision as my decision as well even though I disagree with it). So we are in this together – regardless of our political affiliations. No side has a monopoly of wisdom. As we move forward building an Israel that must be a light unto the nations and a global super power in education, innovation, science and technology, while in search of the best way out of the quagmire of the conflict, we will together share the joys and sorrows of bringing peace to Zion. This is the much I have to say. I wish you well and hope you return to Israel at sometime in the future. Am Yisrael Chai!

            Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        The JUSTVISION link is wonderful. Thanks for providing it.

        Reply to Comment
    13. Brian

      http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.622029

      Thwarting any chance of a solution in Jerusalem

      There can be no two-state solution without a compromise in Jerusalem. The latest moves to expand Israel’s presence in the eastern part of the city will make such a compromise impossible.
      By Lior Amihai | Oct. 22, 2014 |

      …Thus, the penetration of settlers into Silwan is not just another act that will make a solution in Jerusalem more difficult. As opposed to Jewish neighborhoods that were built and that penetrated the Palestinian area of East Jerusalem, the entry of settlers into Silwan is penetration of the Palestinian neighborhoods themselves. In fact, the settlers of Silwan are trying to make Silwan Jewish to prevent it from becoming part of the Palestinian state, and are thus actually torpedoing the Clinton plan. Their violent entry, accompanied by armed private security guards and police, with the intention of damaging the character of the village and the fabric of its life, only underscores this aspiration. Since the settlers entered Silwan, there has also been disproportionate development of Jewish tourism, such as the archaeological excavations under the homes of Palestinians who are also under permanent threat of removal from their homes.

      The claim that the settlers have a right to live in Silwan because they bought apartments there legally is a mockery. The law might work in their favor, but that is the distorted nature of the whole story. Everything works in their favor, not only the law. Their move to the Palestinian neighborhood would not have been possible if not for direct support by the government, the municipality, the police, planning and construction policy, tourism policy, the transfer of funds and the way the police work….

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      • So you are saying that a Palestinian State cannot come into being unless it includes at least part of Jerusalem?
        Why not?

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    14. Sarah

      Exactly, Brian. Thank you for posting.

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      • Brian

        In should also like to call more attention to your important post today, Oct. 23, in response to Kolumn8 (Oct. 21) before it gets lost in the stream: “What I see on this site is a tendency to be snide and distort facts….”

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        • Sarah

          Brian, Thanks a lot for your comments. Somehow I missed them the other day!

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    15. Brian

      Gideon Levy has written a masterpiece, on Jerusalem. It must be read in full:

      http://www.haaretz.com/cmlink/2.576/opinion/.premium-1.622206

      Jerusalem, the capital of apartheid
      Mass arrests, violent settlers, expulsion, and dispossession: With that as the lot of Jerusalem’s Palestinians, no one should have been surprised with Wednesday’s terror attack.

      …Jerusalem is engulfed by lies. It has become the Israeli capital of apartheid….

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    16. Brian

      Game over? Nothing but the bleakest future in this: a long twilight struggle against apartheid inside a “one state” mess. Israel R. I. P.:

      After the briefing, Netanyahu said that “united Jerusalem was, and will remain, the capital of Israel forever … Every attempt to harm its residents will be met with the harshest of responses.”

      All very consistent with what Lior Amihai explains in the post above.

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