Guardian

Guardian publishes essay falsely charging Israel with ethnically cleansing Jerusalem Palestinians


There are multiple distortions, errors and misrepresentations of fact throughout an 1800 word essay published by Teju Cole at The Guardian on April 17th, titled ‘Slow violence, cold violence – Teju Cole on East Jerusalem.  However, the most egregiously false charge leveled at Israel by Cole – a writer and literary critic who has contributed to the New York Times, New Yorker, Financial Times, and The Atlantic – is that Palestinians are being ethnically cleansed from Jerusalem. 

Here are the relevant passages.

As in other neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem – Har Homa, the Old City, Mount Scopus, Jaffa Gate – there is a policy at work in Sheikh Jarrah. This policy is two-fold. The first is the systematic removal of Palestinian Arabs, either by banishing individuals on the basis of paperwork, or by taking over or destroying their homes by court order.

The second aspect of the policy is the systematic increase of the Jewish populations of these neighbourhoods

This two-fold policy, of pushing out Palestinian Arabs and filling the land with Israeli Jews, is recognised by all the parties involved. And for such a policy, the term “ethnic cleansing” is not too strong: it is in fact the only accurate description.

First, it’s important to note that Jews were the ones ethnically cleansed from east Jerusalem following the Jordanian occupation of that section of the city in the aftermath the 1948 war.  That’s the only reason why east Jerusalem was Jew-free between 1949 and 1967, thus giving rise to the media misnomer of a “historically Arab east Jerusalem”.  (Since King David established Jerusalem as the capital of his kingdom in 1004 BCE, there has been an almost continuous Jewish presence in Jerusalem.)

Second, all residents – be they Jewish Israeli, Arab Israeli or Palestinian residents – are free to live anywhere in Jerusalem. 

Third, to suggest that a dynamic in which some Palestinians are legally evicted from their Jerusalem homes and Jewish families move into those same homes – in neighborhoods that were once free of Jews – represents an act of ethnic cleansing is a gross abuse of the term. 

Finally, the charge that Palestinians are being ethnically cleansed from east Jerusalem is easily contradicted by population statistics. Whereas in 2007 there were 208,000 Palestinians in east Jerusalem, today there are roughly 293,000.  So, over the course of merely seven years, the Palestinian population of east Jerusalem has increased by over 40%.

Additionally, if you look at Jerusalem as a whole (both east and west), the increase in Jerusalem’s Arab population has outpaced the growth of the Jewish population. Whereas in 1967 Arabs constituted 26% of the overall population of Jerusalem, by 2011 they constituted 36% of the city’s population. 

Whatever you want to call recent demographic changes in the holy city, the charge that Palestinians are being ethnically cleansed – in Jerusalem or anywhere in Israel for that matter – is the opposite of the truth. 

26 replies »

  1. Obviously his hate of the Jews cleansed Cole’s head of any braincells and journalistic integrity.

  2. “Whereas in 2007 there were 208,000 Palestinians in east Jerusalem, today there are roughly 293,000. ”
    This is a combined demographic of Arab Israelis and Palestinians, i.e., the total Arab population, no?

  3. “Whereas in 1967 Arabs constituted 26% of the overall population of Jerusalem, by 2011 they constituted 36% of the city’s population.”
    That can only mean the percentage of Jews has been decreasing. Call the Guardian editors! I have an ethnic cleansing story to tell ! (It’s a ‘narrative’!) I’ll call it the current relative ethnic cleansing of Jews from Jerusalem narrative. Because it’s a narrative it’s automatically equal to all other narratives. No one can argue otherwise, or they’ll be a ‘racist.’

    • @peterthehungarian –

      In that article by Maurice Solovitz ( Why I began labeling Guardian Readers and their ilk “The Fascist Left” ) he gives no link or cross-reference to support his central complaint that…

      “It was when [Madeleine Albright’s] family history was mischievously ‘revealed’ by Britain’s Guardian Newspaper that I became forever alienated from that racist publication. They editorialized that the knowledge of her antecedents made for an unbridgeable conflict of interest between her Jewish past’ and her senior American administration position as Secretary of State and therefore she had no choice but to resign from that position.”

      The earliest Guardian article I can find referring to Albright’s Jewish past is by Andrew Osborn in 2001 ( Madeleine Albright, the woman who brought Milosevic to book @ http://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/jul/05/gender.uk ), which states that the “revelation” was made in a 1997 WASHINGTON POST story.

      “The revelation apparently came as a surprise for Albright herself although some commentators claimed she had deliberately hidden the truth in order to mediate more effectively in Middle East peace negotiations,” Osborn wrote.

      That’s hardly evidence of Guardian “ediltorializing” – either directly or by obliquely “aligning” with those commentators – and especially since Osborn’s concluding paragraph is more than somewhat complimentary to her: “Albright’s contribution to world affairs is such that she is likely to go down in the history as someone who made a qualitative difference and as someone who couldn’t abide dictators, particularly communist ones.”

      I may, of course, have simply failed to find the “editorial” Solovitz so sloppily cites, but my strong suspicion is that his recollection is both faulty and deeply distorted.

      • Miranda have you ever missed any opportunity of whitewashing antisemitism? I don’t think so…
        Only for you there is an other pearl by your brothers in Jew-hate:
        Amnesty rejects call to campaign against antisemitism
        Naturally the reason given by AI is a lie.
        Amnesty International UK press officer Neil Durkin said: “After a really interesting debate where everyone condemned discrimination against all ethnic and religious groups, our membership decided not to pass this resolution calling for a campaign with a single focus.
        and the same time…
        In April 2012 the charity published a report into discrimination against Muslims.
        The report titled Choice and Prejudice Discrimination against Muslims in Europe said:
        “The aim of this report is to focus on discrimination on grounds of religion or belief and to illustrate some of its consequences on Muslims in Europe.”

        • @peterthehungarian –

          “…have you ever missed any opportunity of whitewashing antisemitism? I don’t think so.”

          The day you can tell the difference between “whitewashing” antisemitism and exposing FALSE ALLEGATIONS of antisemitism is the day you might…just might …start combating antisemitism, Peter.

          Till that day comes, I will carry on trying to undo the damage you inflict both on those wrongly smeared and on serious campaigners against antisemitism whose efforts you recklessly undermine through your bad judgement and bad targeting.

          • The day you can tell the difference between “whitewashing” antisemitism and exposing FALSE ALLEGATIONS of antisemitism is the day you might…just might …start combating antisemitism, Peter.
            I don’t need to fight antisemitism Basner – I’m living in Israel where we have the privilege to laugh on you and comrades. Luckily the average British antisemite is some kind of half-educated middle-class loser or over-educated acadeemics whose professional career is in jeopardy – all of these are salon-warriors dirtying their keyboards and fighting the Jews to the last drop of Palestinian blood are coward and weak so don’t represent any danger. In the diaspora – it is an other matter.
            Till that day comes, I will carry on trying to undo the damage you inflict both on those wrongly smeared and on serious campaigners against antisemitism whose efforts you recklessly undermine through your bad judgement and bad targeting. Serious campaigners? Like Amnesty International? Or yourself? Maybe the Guardian?

      • That´s the logic of imbecilles.
        While Solovitz refers to a Guardian editorial of 1997, she sloppily talks of 2001, therefore the culprit must be Solovitz” faulty and deeply distorted” recollection, not her incompetence. What a machine gun of personal diffamation Miranda is.
        The article of the Washington Post was easy to find
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/govt/admin/stories/albright020497.htm
        What Solovitz clearly mixes up are the revelation of the Washington Post and the denunciation of The Guardian.

        • @Fritz Wunderlich –

          1. “While Solovitz refers to a Guardian editorial of 1997…”

          He doesn’t put ANY date on the Guardian article. The one I cited was simply a guess by me – based on what Solovitz says he “recalled” having read. (No others fitted the bill even remotely.)

          2. “The article of the Washington Post was easy to find”

          It sure was… because I so helpfully IDENTIFIED it for you when relaying the the Guardian article’s content (with Washington Post date included).

          3. “What Solovitz clearly mixes up are the revelation of the Washington Post and the denunciation of The Guardian.”

          No bloody kidding! The Guardian transpired to be neither guilty of “mischievously revealing” Albright’s past nor of compounding that mischief by making antisemitic comments about her.

          The “logic of imbeciles” (as you put it, Fritz) is to insist on perpetuating misinformation – as you and Peter and Leah all seem determined to do here – rather than providing contrary evidence or else backing down.

          • The “logic of imbeciles” (as you put it, Fritz) is to insist on perpetuating misinformation – as you and Peter and Leah all seem determined to do here – rather than providing contrary evidence or else backing down.I won’t look for evidence to prove Solowitz’s assertion because I know very well that the Guardian is one of the most antisemitic media in the English-speaking world. And how I know? Simply reading Deborah Orr’s “chosen people” crap (what provoked some kind quasi-apology from the editor) their promotion of the outright and clearly antisemite Caryl Churchill, their whitewashing terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah and giving them forum on CIF, their completely distorted and false reporting on Israeli events – using poor imbecile anti-Israeli political activists like Harriet Sherwood as reporters, etc.
            BTW are you on the intellectual level of those who think that they have never seen any atoms so they don’t exist? Yo couldn’t find the article mentioned by Solowitz so he must be lying… (clue: Yes Miranda you are…)

          • Very funny, imbecile.
            1. When the story of Albright´s family broke, world media quickly caught up. It was widely published in 1997. So what? Have you already retired as youth?
            2. Well, you couldn`t find the article, even when Wikipedia had it. Poor.
            3. The insinuation to which Solovitz refers is clearly antisemitic, but as learned antisemite you will deny it, no doubt. Your conclusions are just yours, as you cannot bring up the relevant article to whitewash The Guardian, but state misinformation where there is none. Prove him wrong if you can which I doubt. Ask your fellow-traverles at The Guardian for some help, I advise.

            Apropos Guardian, BBC and antisemitism: interesting article by Daphne Anson

            http://elderofziyon.blogspot.co.at/2015/04/sounds-familiar-bbc-were-apparently.html

    • When Green party bots come to my door, I tell them to eff off because I’ll have no truck with a fascist antisemitic party.
      Sometimes they argue. I educate them with a few home truths, and send them packing.