Two reports (Canadian Globe and Mail and BBC) focus on the extreme fear felt by Israelis in Jerusalem and one on the shock felt by new French immigrants that they do not feel the promised security. Whether Palestinians have similar fear we don’t know, though they are far more likely to be killed (latest figures given). And we get a new euphemism from Jeremy Bowen: what is going on in Jerusalem is a sincere effort to ‘unify’ all the people in one city.
Whatever happens, the routines of people in Jerusalem re-assert their way of life. Shops re-open. The light railway resumes service, stone-throwing Palestinian youth continue to throw stones. Only the closure of the Old City to Palestinians is new and alarming. But get used to it says Nir Hassan.
Amjad Iraqi argues that “the only permanent cure to Jerusalem’s sickness lies not just in ending the occupation (the foremost and most urgent step), but in ending the nationalist-religious mantras of ownership of the city in both Israeli and Palestinian social and political thought.”
The heads of mission of EU countries have sent in their annual report advising that it must act more firmly to stop the causes of the violence seen in Jerusalem last autumn. Heavy-handed policing and continued settlement building are cited. The diplomats say there will be no 2-state solution if the polarisation gets more severe.
The great rememberer, Uri Avnery, looks back on the history of Jerusalem, supposedly the holiest of cities and treated with universal reverence; in practice, rarely at peace or a sanctuary.
Teenage girls with pepper-sprays, boys shouting that all Arabs must go, men with knives: all actions of Israeli citizens, not just in response to the synagogue killings but going back to last summer when the Jewish push to control all Jerusalem, and Palestinian resistance, began in earnest.
Larry Derfner writes about the movement to rebuild the Jewish Temple on the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque: “The Temple Mount movement is and always has been a movement not for religious equality, but for Jewish religious domination and contempt for Muslims and Islam.”
And reflecting on fundamentalist conflicts in Jerusalem in the last few days, Avram Burg, former head of the Jewish Agency and no stranger to controversy in recent years, reflects on what he calls the Jerusalem syndrome, the way in which “Its victims are suddenly possessed by a deep spiritual conviction that they have divine or messianic powers”. It has, he fears, become a mainstream Israeli party…
The status of Jerusalem as a demilitarized city under the aegis of the United Nations Trusteeship Council was an integral element of the UN’s 1947 partition. The IDF gained control of western Jerusalem in the ensuing war, and seized control of East Jerusalem in 1967. Neither act changed the international status of Jerusalem. Now a federal court has upheld the right of the President to affirm the neutrality of Jerusalem. This means Americans born in Jerusalem can no longer go on declaring themselves to be Israeli-born.
The mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, said this week that Palestinians should rename Ramallah ‘northern Jerusalem’ and leave actual Jerusalem to sole Jewish rule. Two fifths of the population of Jerusalem are Palestinians.
The official – if barely legal – policy of the mayor of Jerusalem is simple and brutal: keep the ratio of Jews to Arabs at 70 to 30. Ben White describes the measures taken to ensure this result. An extract from Israel’s founding declaration, on equality for all, is included at the end.
There is no doubting the increase in applications for Israeli citizenship by Arabs living in Jerusalem. The question is why. Here Yehudit Oppenheimer (1st) of Ir Amim argues that it is a survival strategy while Khaled Abu Toameh, 2nd, suggests Israeli citizenship confers more rights than the impotent PA is able to provide.
There has been a mosque on Temple Mount since the eighth century. It is the third holiest centre in Islam, as well as having religious significance for Jews and Christians. For the last month it has been under attack by Jewish zealots who claim the right to pray and practise Jewish rituals there – endorsed last week by a Jerusalem magistrate. Calls are growing for an Arab summit to protect the Muslim site.
The Arab residents of Jerusalem have been confined behind a wall in the eastern part of the city where they lack most amenities. To enter the main city, where the services are, they have to have a permit. Now the director-general of the municipality has asked the IDF to take control of providing sanitation and supervising construction in what is becoming a cramped and unhygienic ghetto. Ben White reports.
Unlike EU countries and the USA, it appears quite OK for political figures in Israel to issue hate speech against black people and Muslims. The violent attacks on a poor district in Tel Aviv last month broke out in Jerusalem this week with an arson attack on Eritreans. Quotes from +972, Ynet on Ministerial incitement, Netanyahu’s plan for mass expulsions, Harriet Sherwood on growing intolerance
At huge expene Israel is creating a new map of the West Bank through separate Israeli/Paleinian roads and checkpoints. The hub of the new lines of division is Jerusalem whose Palestinian residents will now come under the authority of the Civil Administration instead of the Jerusalem muicipality.
Jerusalem, sprawling metropolis, split into two unequal parts – store the factsheet if only for the figures which speak of the tremendous inequality between East and West. First an account of the continuing demolition by the Israeli authorities of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem.
This seems a skimpy story: men in Jerusalem demand a shield against the sight of dancers’ feet but, like the fulminations of the Taliban and Iranian police who want all women enclosed in cloth bags, it signifies what sort of society the (increasingly powerful and numerous) ultra-religious want in Israel
Lost for meaningful words, the Israeli government – like the settlers – resorts to physical force. Over 50,000 new homes for Jews and Israeli citizens are to be bult in occupied East Jerusalem 1), on Beit Zala (Palestinian Christians) land 2). Ancient sites are threatened by Israeli claims that all belongs to ‘their heritage’ (3
Long Netanyahu’s best ally in Europe in blocking UN recognition of Palestine , Angela Merkel is very angry that all her moves to get talks restarted have been thwarted by the announcement of a new 1,100-home Jewish settlement in Jerusalem
Documentary maker Eli Ungar-Sargon, aware that Palestinians are seen in the US and srael as very anti-Semitic, set out to investigate racism amongst Israelis – and found a disturbingly high level of anti-Arab feeling – and ignorance of the political options – which, unlike the ‘marginal’ anti-semitism of Palestinians, is ‘mainstream’ in Israel