We recently posted about a stunning omission at the Guardian, an entry at their data blog which in effect erased the plight of hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees in the latter half of the 20th century from the pages of history. The July 25th report, edited by Mona Chalabi, was titled ‘What happened to history’s refugees?‘, and included, in a supposedly complete list of history’s refugees, the following events: Israelites: Canaan (740 BC), Edict of Fontainebleau (France 1685), Muhacirs (Ottoman Empire 1783), Pogroms (Russia 1881), WWI (Europe 1914), WWII (Europe 1945), and the Nakba (Palestine 1948).
It then skipped right over the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Arab lands and listed, as the next refugees crisis in the 20th century, Idi Amin’s Order (Uganda 1972) – Amin’s expulsion of more than 50,000 Asians from the country.
The Guardian data blog completely omitted the expulsion of more than 800,000 Jews from Middle Eastern and North African countries between 1948 and 1972, an undisputed event in which Arab leaders (beginning in 1948) conspired to target the Jewish populations in their respective countries. This antisemitic persecution included confiscating Jewish property and assets, and stripping Jews of their citizenship – forcing them to flee their homes and surrender their nationalities. Whereas in 1948 there were 850,000 Jews in Arab states, today there are less than 7,000.
This Arab collective punishment against innocent Jews was initiated of course to exact revenge for the ‘sin’ of the Jewish state’s rebirth.
Additionally, Harriet Sherwood published a report at The Observer (sister publication of the Guardian) on Saturday which again erased the Arab expulsion of Jews in the period after Israel’s birth. The piece is titled ‘The new Jerusalem‘, July 27, and focuses on “the problem” of Jews who are (legally) purchasing property from Arabs in eastern Jerusalem – imputing, naturally, the darkest motives to everyday commercial transactions in the Israeli capital. Indeed, as the following passage from her report indicates, Sherwood seems intent on characterizing Jews’ desire to live in neighborhoods outside of the 1949 armistice lines as something akin to ethnic cleansing.
Around 1,000 Jewish settlers now live among 31,000 Palestinians in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, taking over homes that have been inhabited by Muslim families for decades or even centuries, and flying Israeli flags from the walls and rooftops of their properties. They are the frontline fighters in a broader battle – backed by the Israeli government, city authorities and security services – to ensure Jewish control of Jerusalem and to drive its Palestinian population down to a minimum.
Sherwood of course doesn’t provide much in the way of details about this ‘Israeli plan’ to drive Palestinians from Jerusalem, but suffice to say that if there were such a scheme population figures would indicate that it is failing miserably.
Over the years, there has been an evident decline in the proportionate size of Jerusalem’s Jewish population, with a concomitant increase in the proportion of the Arab population. The proportion of the Jewish population fell from 74% in
1967 to 72% in 1980, to 68% in 2000, and to 64% in 2009. Simultaneously the Arab population rose from 26% in 1967 to 28% in 1980, to 32% in 2000, and to 36% in 2009.
But, not only does Sherwood suggest, without evidence, an Israeli attempt to purge the city of Palestinians, but when in the course of her narrative there’s an opportunity to provide balance and context, and detail the expulsion of Jews from eastern Jerusalem in 1948, the Guardian reporter merely writes the following:
at the end of the war following the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948, Jerusalem was divided, with the Old City on the Jordanian-controlled eastern side of the armistice line, known as the Green Line. The Jewish population within the ancient stone walls sank to zero.
Why the Jewish population “within the ancient stone walls” magically “sank to zero”, she of course doesn’t say.
Readers aren’t told that on May 28, 1948 the Jewish Quarter of the Old City fell to the Arab Legion and upon its capture Jews were expelled from eastern Jerusalem and barred from returning, or even visiting Jewish holy places – and that the Jewish Quarter of the Old City was all but destroyed.
Fifty-eight synagogues—some hundreds of years old—were destroyed [by the Jordanians], their contents looted and desecrated. Some Jewish religious sites were turned into chicken coops or animal stalls. The Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, where Jews had been burying their dead for over 2500 years, was ransacked; graves were desecrated; thousands of tombstones were smashed and used as building material, paving stones or for latrines in Arab Legion army camps. The Intercontinental Hotel was built on top of the cemetery and graves were demolished to make way for a highway to the hotel. The Western Wall became a slum area.
In short, any trace of Jewish life was destroyed. The misnomer “historically Arab East Jerusalem” is of course based on this 18 year historical blip when the city was forcibly rendered Judenrein – a moral injustice which was only brought to an end when Israeli soldiers liberated the city on June 7, 1967.
Did the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent really not know any of this?
In an over 1800 word story, did she not consider providing her readers with even a brief mention of the cleansing of Jews, or that such context would help readers understand Israel’s hesitancy to relinquish sovereignty over the birthplace of Judaism, a city representing nothing short of the spiritual epicenter of their faith?
For the second time in a week the Guardian has attempted to expunge from the public record an indisputable saga regarding the ethnic cleansing of Jews – innocent victims of Arab malevolence who reluctantly continue to assume the role of history’s forgotten refugees.
- 800,000 missing Jews: Guardian ‘refugee’ history includes glaring omission. (cifwatch.com)
- Telegraph reporter lazily asserts that “settler” Jews violate Geneva Convention (cifwatch.com)
- Guardian refers to ‘Judea and Samaria’ as a “right-wing” geographical designation (cifwatch.com)
- BBC’s ‘Obstacles to Peace’: wrong on right of return – Part 1 (bbcwatch.org)