When Jews moving into non-Jewish neighborhoods elicits progressive scorn

photoImagine if Jerusalem authorities forbade Palestinians (those with permanent Israeli residency) from moving into Jewish neighborhoods in west Jerusalem, citing the need to protect the delicate demographic balance of the capital, and keep such neighborhoods entirely Jewish.

Is it even conceivable that journalists and commentators in the UK media would be critical of such Palestinians who decided to legally buy property and move into such Jewish neighborhoods?

Whilst the answer to this question should be obvious, it’s worth noting the furious reaction in 2010 when a few dozen racist rabbis issued a meaningless and unenforceable “religious ruling” forbidding Jews from selling land to Arabs – a ruling widely condemned as racist and illegal by Israeli leaders across the political spectrum.  One Guardian contributor even prophesized in the rabbinical ruling nothing less than a rising tide of religious fascism sweeping the country, and an ominous moral decline which “strikes at the soul of Judaism”.  

Yet, when Palestinians wish to keep predominately Arab neighborhoods ethnically pure, and free of any Jewish presence whatsoever, the coverage is much different.

An Oct. 20th report in the Independent titled ‘Israeli settlers criticised for overnight move into hotly disputed East Jerusalem‘, by Ben Lynfield, about a small number of Jews who moved into property in Silwan – a neighborhood in east Jerusalem reportedly home to roughly 50,000 Palestinians and a few hundred Jews – which was purchased legally.  

Israeli settlers have provoked criticism after moving overnight into a building in the hotly disputed area of East Jerusalem.

“We did it at night because there is less chance of friction with the Arabs,” said Daniel Luria, spokesman for the Ateret Cohanim organisation behind the move.

Ateret Cohanim, which settles Jews in Arab areas of East Jerusalem, said it facilitated the purchase of the two buildings from their Arab owners. Mr Luria said the buildings contain nine apartments and that Jewish families and religious studies students would soon move into the properties, immediately doubling the Jewish presence in that section of Silwan.

Last month Jewish settlers took over six properties in another area of Silwan, in the biggest settler acquisition in the neighbourhood since Jews began moving there two decades ago.  

The White House called the move a provocation…

We of course understand that when the move is characterized as a “provocation”, it’s in the context of fears that an expanded Jewish presence in east Jerusalem (an area, let’s remember, that was only ‘Arab’ after Jordanians ethnically cleansed the Jewish population in 1948) will stymie two-state hopes by limiting the chance that Palestinians will realize their aspirations of claiming that part of the city the future capital of their nascent state.

However, two-state proponents in the media and elsewhere who follow this line of thinking need to ask themselves if they truly think that establishing and successfully maintaining a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem necessitates a city that is completely Jew-free.

More broadly, however, Western commentators who smear Israel with the charge of “Judaization”, “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing” in reaction to efforts by the state to maintain a Jewish majority never seem to follow the same moral logic when discussing the future Palestinian state.  Those who support the creation of a Palestinian state must acknowledge that the new state will certainly be entirely Arab Muslim. There will likely be no Jews and (if trends throughout the region continue) almost no Christians.

While such observations should not be misunderstood as an argument against a two-state solution, those who enthusiastically champion Palestine’s creation should acknowledge that the 23rd Arab State will not embrace diversity, tolerance, religious pluralism or even the broadest understanding of political liberalism.

They of course must also ask themselves how they – and those within their political circles – arrived at the point in history where the reactionary impulse to condemn Jews for moving into non-Jewish neighborhoods can be framed as a ‘progressive’ political stance. 

36 replies »

  1. The Guardian takes the view that Jews do not have the right to live in areas that Arabs claim as their own, which includes historic Jewish immigration into Mandate Palestine. You won’t read anything condemnatory in its contemporary pages about the Hebron massacres or the Arab Bureau for the Boycott of Jewish Goods that pre-dated the Arab League’s Boycott of Israel Office that was its successor from 1948. In fact there is a simple rule of thumb for the Guardian: Arab settlement and immigration ‘good’; Jewish immigration and settlement ‘bad’.

    How strange then that the Guardian is perfectly happy to see Muslim settlers from Pakistan, Bangladesh and elsewhere turning large swathes of English and European cities and towns into ‘Muslim’ areas. Every day when I am in a certain university city in England I see lots of men in Muslim prayer caps and what I take to be traditional attire and females in hijabs and niqabs (some of the latter still mere children), yet quite honestly, I would be afraid to go out in a kippah.

  2. Jerusalem has ALWAYS been an emotional and religious ties for Jews. Does anyone see “next year in Jerusalem” in the Koran? Mohamad didn’t get there untill 750 AD. Palestinians are the new kids on the block. They have Medina and Mecca, let them pray there!

  3. I am a Palestinian I want to go and live in a settlement. Do you think I can get myself allocated a house in one of the settlements around East Jerusalem.

    • First of all, it’s called a Neighborhood, not a Settlement. So you may want to consider that before daring to move next to a bunch of Yids whom you obviously harbor a lot resentment towards. I say Obviously not because your reasons make any sense but because the last thing your self-serving victimization makes possible is a winning situation for such a flippant loser.

      Want to know why you don’t have your own state? It’s not because Israel has offered you 3 peace offers, but because you refuse to accept peace with the Jewish state. Ergo, you can go fuck yourself. You know, with a chainsaw.

      • You never answered him/her. That says volumes. The question was easy and the world knows the answer. This hate site aside time has run out.

    • Well, if you quit throwing stones and molotovs, calling Jews names and train the manners of civilisation, stop depending on UNRWA or other aid money and work for living, why not?

    • Doesn’t quite work that way, Jamal. As far as I can tell you aren’t “allocated” an apartment, rather it comes on the market and you buy it. One then owns the apartment but not the land where you have an interest in a 99 year lease.

      I have friends in one of these communities – Pisgat Zeev. I’m told that about 4% of the community is Arab-Muslim. Based on my experience walking around I’d say that’s about right, possibly a little low. Next community over, Shuafat, no Jews. Next country over, Jordan, no Jews. Same with the next few countries over as well.

      As for you personally, check with a lawyer. If you already have Jerusalem residency or Israeli citizenship then there’s probably no problem if you can come up with a mortgage.

  4. Over 2000 Palestinians killed by the Jewish democratic Orwellian state of Israel. The state has a deep concern for humanity and particularly children. So, apart from killing over 500 children its military imprisons several hundred children yet it is the most moral army in the world. What an orwellian world we live in or to be precise these Zionists create. Oh I forgot to mention, as Hitler was a vegetarian with a deep concern for animals yet did not care much for his own German Jews, these Orwellian Humanitarian Zionists have deep concern for the Arabs suffering in Syria yet they have no concern on the suffering their Zionist military subjects its own Arabs to. Orwellian or what. Or simple plain racist and fascist trying to get a better press. Not working. Note the vote in London for Palestine,

    • Hey Jamal, why don’t you shoot 3500 missiles at some other sovereign nation and see what the response will be?

      You and your leadership are the only ones making sure you don’t achieve autonomy.

      Personally, I believe any of the 3 offers made since 2000 would suffice, but then I’m not a fucking piece of shit like you are.

    • “yet it is the most moral army in the world. ”
      We agree.

      Maybe the Arabs who embraced the name Palestinian long after the mandate period was over, could teach us all how to be humane. Maybe we could all take lessons from genocidal Islamosupremacist Hamas on just how that’s done? Nah.

      But what concerns me most, Jamal, is your circulation problem. Let’s see if can get your blood going again.


    • Always the same childish complain of never grown ups which only demonstrates their complete incompetence to shoulder a state`s responsibility.
      Don`t fire rockets and mortars from civilian areas at civilian areas, war criminal, don`t use children as weapons and victims, and stop admiring Hitler, then, in a distant future, you might be considered worth of negotiations.

    • How many of these people were militants engaged in the fighting or bombardment in some way? If you want to avoid civilian deaths then it’s up to people like you to dismantle the terror structure of Hamas and Fatah and Islamic Jihad and make peace with Israel. We also know that Hamas lied about the casualty statistics in this and in the two previous rounds.

  5. I don’t quite understand why a British paper needs to print the opinion of the White House regarding land development in Israel other than to say, you know, the Guardian is a piece of shit that can’t seem to cover their mistakes.

    Just to be sure, this construction was decided upon 2 years ago? So much for keeping up to date with the happenings of the Middle East.

  6. Oh please. This is not about “Jews moving into non-Jewish neighborhoods”. It’s about Israel expanding its territory.

    Are you now calling the White House anti-Semitic?

    IDF Reveals Hamas Planned a Terror-Tunnel Massacre for Jewish New Year

    IDF spokesperson reveals planned Hamas attack, originally timed for Rosh Hashana, would have involved an invasion force of 200 heavily-armed terrorists that would have been on an unprecedented scale.
    By Ari Soffer

    The IDF has confirmed rumors, circulating since last summer’s war with Gaza terrorists, that Hamas was planning a massive attack on Israeli communities by hundreds of terrorists who would infiltrate into Israel via the vast network of “terror-tunnels” dug from Gaza into Israeli territory.

    In an exclusive Vanity Fair report, IDF spokesperson Lt. Colonel Peter Lerner finally revealed that in destroying the tunnel Israel may have prevented a coordinated massacre of its civilians on an unprecedented scale.

    “Hamas had a plan,” he said. “A simultaneous, coordinated, surprise attack within Israel. They planned to send 200 terrorists armed to the teeth toward civilian populations. This was going to be a coordinated attack.

    “The concept of operations involved 14 offensive tunnels into Israel. With at least 10 men in each tunnel, they would infiltrate and inflict mass casualties.”

    An unnamed senior military intelligence figure elaborated further on how the attack was meant to pan-out: “First, get in and massacre people in a village. Pull off something they could show on television. Second, the ability to kidnap soldiers and civilians using the tunnels would give them a great bargaining chip.”

    Information about the plan was pieced together by an intensive Israeli intelligence operation, including “electronic intercepts, informants, interrogations of Hamas operatives, as well as computers and satellite imagery obtained from Hamas compounds during the war,” according to the report.

    Among the evidence, Lerner said high-resolution maps pinpointing potential sites in Israel, including civilian areas, were seized by soldiers.

    Hamas’s political leader Khaled Mashaal admitted to Vanity Fair that the tunnels were seen as a way of gaining the upper hand over Israel, which had effectively minimized the threat posed by rocket-fire via the Iron Dome missile defense system.

    “In light of the balance of power which shifted towards Israel, we had to be creative in finding innovative ways. The tunnels were one of our innovations. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention,” he said.

    According to the Israeli Security Agency (Shin Bet), Hamas began building “crude” tunnels under Gaza as early as 2000. But the breakthrough came with the kidnap of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, and the subsequent one-sided prisoner-exchange deal with Israel in which 1,027 terrorists were released.

    “This was a proof of concept for them. Tunnels work,” said a top Israeli military official.

    After that, Hamas created “a secret commando unit”, dubbed Nukhba (the “selected ones”), to train terrorists “to fight and maneuver through the tunnels on foot and on small motorcycles.”

    “They were an elite force… [trained] to execute strategic terrorist attacks… [For the eventual operation, they would be] heavily armed: R.P.G.s, Kalashnikovs, M-16s, hand grenades, and night-vision equipment,” a senior Shin Bet official said. Terrorists also possessed IDF uniforms in order to launch surprise attacks.

    Regarding rumors that the planned massacre was meant to be timed for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, a top intelligence official admitted it was a possibility – but that Hamas had changed its plans after the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in June sparked an escalation in hostilities with Israel.

    “It may have been, but ultimately everything was moved up. Hamas’s grand plan for the tunnels failed because the kidnapping set things in motion before Hamas had everything ready.”

    After initially denying (but praising) the abduction and murder of Naftali Frenkel, Eyal Yifrah and Gilad Sha’ar, Hamas eventually took responsibility for the attack. However while that “operation” was ordered by senior Hamas leader Salah Al-Arouri, it was evidently not coordinated with the group’s military command in Gaza.

    Khaled Mashaal admitted as much in the interview, explaining that individual terrorist cells in Judea and Samaria are given a significant degree of autonomy in the kinds of attacks they carry out.

    “It turned out that a Hamas field group in the West Bank had killed those three settlers. This was a legitimate operation . . . [but] we never gave orders to execute this operation, or to stop that one. We present general policies.”

    But even after the tunnel threat has been neutralized in the south (at least for now), the IDF has immediately turned its attention northwards.

    As recent Arutz Sheva reports have noted, the IDF is seriously concerned that Hezbollah – which is known to possess an extensive network of tunnels inside Lebanon – is digging its own “terror tunnels” into Israel to carry out attacks against communities and military outposts along the northern border.

    Despite trying to play down the threat, the army is actively working to scour the region for signs of such tunnels by Hezbollah – signs which some residents say couldn’t be obvious, with some reporting clearly hearing the sounds of heavy digging equipment from the ground beneath their own homes.

    Syrian rebels have also been learning from Hamas’s success, using tunnels with increasing frequency to target static Syrian regime positions – and to at least some extent they were aided in their efforts by Hamas operatives.

    As one rebel commander put it: “They said they had some success in Palestine, so I decided to try it.”

  8. pretzelberg, Jerusalem is the Capitol of Israel. They have every right to move there.
    The Arab head choppers that don’t like it can move to Jordan, Syria, or Egypt.

  9. This neighborhood of Silwan was established in the 19th century by Jewish immigrants from Yemen and most of its residents were Jewish. The Yemenite Jews living in Silwan were evacuated by the British authorities in 1938, during the Arab riots.

  10. Israel please take your land and make it beautiful for all the world to see. It is your right to live anywhere you desire in your land. Jews only have one land the beautiful State of Israel so please do not give it up. Hold your head up and look at all of the success you have experienced in such a short time. The enemies are jealous transplants trying to live off of your success. You and the whole world remember how barren and desolate the land was before the rebirth of Israel.

  11. Here is a must see video on Youtube about Jerusalem always belong to Israel.

    Dr. Mordechai Kedar reveals: “Moslems fabricated myths to make Jerusalem holy for politics”

    • They fabricated loads of myths, e.g. the myth of ‘Palestinians’ and of ‘Naqba’. In fact, the whole ‘poor victim’ myth.

  12. Abbas introduces his Nuremberg laws
    Abbas toughens law against Palestinians selling land to Jews
    Following East Jerusalem acquisitions, PA ups penalty to hard labor for life; Fatah spokesman calls land solicitors ‘traitors destined to die a humiliating death’
    October 21, 2014

    Reacting to a number of high profile sales of Palestinian homes to Jewish organizations in East Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has toughened the penalty for citizens selling property to Israelis.

    According to the official Palestinian Wafa news agency, Abbas on Monday imposed a sentence of hard labor for life on “anyone diverting, renting or selling land to an enemy state or one of its subjects.”

    Jordan’s penal code number 16 article 114, applicable in the Palestinian territories, previously subscribed “temporary hard labor” to perpetrators of the crime.

    Palestinian government and civil society reacted angrily to the recent acquisition of 26 apartments in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan by Elad, an Israeli foundation dedicated to the settlement of Jews in the historic City of David.

    On Sunday night, Jews entered 10 apartments in two buildings bought by another Israeli nonprofit, Ateret Kohanim, in a different part of the neighborhood.

    The Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported the buildings were sold by their owners to a man named Shams al-Din al-Qawasmi, who sold them to Jewish groups.

    An Ateret Kohanim spokesperson said the nonprofit facilitated the purchase on behalf of an overseas company called Kudram. Haaretz reported the purchases were made through a straw man.

    In the closing statement of a conference Monday night, Fatah’s Revolutionary Council accused Palestinians who sold their Jerusalem Palestinian properties of “high treason,” calling on the government and legal system to “take the necessary steps to deter them.”

    The movement also called on the public to “boycott and humiliate them on all popular levels.” Abbas’s decision was issued immediately afterward.

    “Those whose sick souls allowed them to sell their land or homes, or enable such sales to the enemies of the Palestinian people, are a gang of traitors to their nation and religion,” said Fatah spokesman Osama al-Qawasmi in a statement published by Wafa. “They have brought shame and scorn upon themselves in this world and in the afterlife.”

    “One would rather die than sell his honor and betray the most sacred land in the world, saturated with the blood of prophets and martyrs throughout history,” he added. “Those traitors are destined to die a humiliating death.”

    Indeed, the PLO’s Revolutionary Penal Code (1979) applies the death penalty both to traitors and to those accused of “transferring positions to the enemy.” Since the late 1990s, Palestinian courts have been dealing out death sentences to convicted land dealers, though Abbas has not authorized the implementation of executions since his election in 2004.

    But details of the suspected property salesmen of Silwan have been disseminated on Palestinian social media Monday.

    While Palestinian law does not apply in East Jerusalem, Bassem Eid, a Jerusalem-based Palestinian civil rights activist, says he has followed cases of Jerusalemites kidnapped in the city and tortured to death in Ramallah by the Palestinian Authority’s Preventive Security Agency.

    In 1997, Farid Bashiti, an Israeli citizen, was enticed to Ramallah and murdered for his involvement in property sales. An Israeli court recognized Bashiti as a terror victim in February 2000. Another person, once a resident of the Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem, Eid recalled, was abducted from Damascus Gate in the Old City and died of torture in a Ramallah prison.

    “I didn’t see Israel raise hell over the arrest of these men,” Eid noted. “If a Jew were kidnapped in Ramallah, I presume Netanyahu would shut the city down.”

    According to Eid, the Palestinian Authority takes advantage of Israel’s complacency about Jerusalem residents to intimidate and persecute those suspected of property soliciting. But the new law will do little to stop the phenomenon, he said.

    “Those who want to sell land don’t go consulting Abbas,” Eid said. “The PA only finds out about them when they leave the country and go live abroad.”

  13. This infernal huge FUSS over Jerusalem and Western Palestine will end up in ww3 if Jews keep accepting to discuss this matter further! Israel MUST take ACTION now and stop arguing as this stupid rating has shown its limits long ago after about 50 years since the 6 days war and even longer if we take in account many arabs could have been expelled in 1948 already if the isrtaeli labour had not been so foolish as to maintain them into Israel’s borders! Even the most anti Israel lefters such as jack straw admit the 2 States proposal is NOT meant to come up with peace but to destroy Israel which is plain truth for once. When will Israel’s leaders in particular LIKUD understand this matter needs ACTION ie expelmling arabs not endless arguments which is netanyahu’s specialty? After their transfer to Jordan (and Sinai all the more easy since Gen.Sissi offered to take those “palestinians” he can take care of better than Israel…) peace will be EASY with arab states. Instead those ever ranting politicians want precisely what will never bring peace ie negociate with “palestinians”!

  14. There are ZERO ‘Palestinians’ in Silwan. There are, of course, many Arabs.
    Why perpetuate the antisemitic canard of ‘Palestinians’?