Jewish Studies experts opposing the statement concerning ירושלים!

[Hat tip Krakower]

I’m scratching my head trying to understand why it is that seemingly only academic left wingers fail to understand the bleedingly obvious realpolitik of Jordanian Arabs who live in Israel and who post 1967 considered themselves the only Palestinians. Even if I don’t understand why the chardonnay left shuns their own basic identity in favour of some feel-good Reconstructionist manifesto, they would do well to listen to Israel’s left-wing paragon, David Ben Gurion. Ben Gurion didn’t live outside Israel in the plush and dislocating comfort of a University Judaic Department. Let them listen to the father of the left-wing, and what he has to say about giving ירושלים עיר הקודש or הגולן

After consuming that video, even the secular Ben Gurion felt it was a bridge too far to abandon even part of ירושלים עיר הקודש.

As self-described University Scholars, they can be expected to have read basic history. Here is the case, laid out in simple but compelling terms. Is Danny Ayalon wrong?

By now, you must be asking yourself, Nu!, what is this statement all about. [Edited emphasis is from me].

We write as Jewish Studies scholars to express our dismay at the Trump administration’s decision to reverse decades of bipartisan U.S. policy by declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and authorizing the relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv, outside of a negotiated political framework that ends the legal state of occupation and ensures respect for the rights of all Israelis and Palestinians to Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is of immense religious and thus emotional significance to Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike. It is the focus of national aspirations for both Israelis and Palestinians. We hope one day to see a world in which all inhabitants of the land enjoy equal access to the city’s cultural and material resources. Today, unfortunately, that is not the case.

As the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem* has documented, Palestinian residents of Jerusalem endure systematic inequalities, including an inequitable distribution of the city’s budget and municipal services, routine denial of building permits that are granted to Jewish residents, home demolitions, and legal confiscation of property for Jewish settlement. In addition, Palestinians in the West Bank, unlike Jewish Israelis resident in that territory, require a special permit to visit Jerusalem’s holy sites.

In this context, a declaration from the United States government that appears to endorse sole Jewish proprietorship over Jerusalem adds insult to ongoing injury and is practically guaranteed to fan the flames of violence. We therefore call on the U.S. government to take immediate steps to deescalate the tensions resulting from the President’s declaration and to clarify Palestinians’ legitimate stake in the future of Jerusalem.

You can see the embarrassing list signatories here. (Can you find the well-known Melbourne signatory in the first ten? Shocked?) Perform a search across random names, you will find a common thread, and it isn’t ירושלים עיר הקודש.

We in Australia, should feel ‘honoured’ and not surprised by the current number 5. Even the Saudis suggested that Abu Dis had as much meaning for the Arab Palestinians as Jerusalem. Obdurate countries will admit privately that only Israel can guarantee religious freedom to all religions as they have done.

Let’s make just a few observations about the highlighted emphases in the letter.

  1. It is not alike
  2. B’Tselem! Funded by the New Israel Fund (for those who aren’t aware, they considered the existing charities “too right-wing”. In addition, B’Tselem received NIS 30,950,388 from foreign governmental bodies between 2012-2017! As sensationally noted by ngo-monitor: “In October 2016, B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai Elad appeared before a special session of the UN Security Council initiated by Egypt, Malaysia, Venezuela, and Angola, asking the UN to take “decisive international action” against Israel. In his presentation, Elad made no mention of Palestinian terror attacks or incitement.”
  3. Yes, they do need a special permit because they regularly commit terror acts and cannot simply be let loose on the peaceful civilian residents.
  4. Ongoing injury? It will always be that way because they will never agree that Israel is the Jewish Homeland. End of Story.
  5. Guaranteed? Hardly. After the expected “rage” from that paragon of democracy, Erdogan of Turkey and his mates, one can hardly say that this has given birth to massive flames of violence. It will settle and that is known.

One more thing: the Scholars write about decades of USA “bi-partisan” agreement about Jerusalem. That is true. Both the Democrats (too right-wing?) and the Republicans had actually voted to move the Embassy. It was only successive presidential fiat that stopped this happening. Why did presidents not carry out the democratic will of the Congress and Senate?  Was there a letter from the Scholars about the threat to democracy?

Finally, unless Trump is going to build the embassy in East Jerusalem, why would anyone but a self-hating Jew have an issue with the reality that a modern state of 70 years has a right to host embassies on unoccupied (according to the holy UN) tracts of Western Jerusalem. Clearly not doing so has failed miserably.

It can be most cogently argued that the only way to make peace is for the other side to accept the reality that Israel is the homeland for all Jews.

Surely the Scholars aren’t bluffed and know that settlements aren’t the reason Arafat and Holocaust-denier Abbas, fail to accept this fact! For them, we all know that Tel Aviv, Haifa etc are also settlements.

Even J-Street were forced to come out and make statements condemning those who consider Tel Aviv … West Jerusalem as settlements.

The argument is patently simple. If an embassy is built at non settlement Tel Aviv, then why oh why should it not also be moved to non settlement (West) Jerusalem in the least? The answer is obvious. Tel Aviv is a settlement too in their eyes.

Author: pitputim

I'm a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia although my views have naught​ to do with my employer. I skylark as the band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel.

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