Guardian cites ‘leaked EU report’ warning that Israel is promoting ‘Jewish narrative’ of Jerusalem

 Israel is promoting a ‘Jewish narrative’ of Jerusalem, according to a leaked EU Heads of Mission report “acquired by the Guardian”. The Feb. 1st exclusive, by their new Jerusalem correspondent Oliver Holmes, cited the report’s claim that “Israel is developing archaeological and tourism sites to legitimise illegal settlements” in east Jerusalem.

Examples of ‘Israeli settlement tourism’ include archaeological sites near the Old City, the City of David and a proposed cable car which would connect west Jerusalem with the Temple Mount.  According to the Guardian, the report further warned that “archaeology and tourism development by government institutions” and “settler groups” are establishing a “narrative based on historic continuity of the Jewish presence in the area at the expense of other religions and cultures”.

The suggestion that efforts to highlight archaeological evidence attesting to the more than 3,000 year Jewish connection to Jerusalem represent the government’s promotion of the Israeli “narrative” is a classic Guardian trope, one used recently by their former Middle East editor, Ian Black.  As we reported, Black framed the outrageous claim by Mahmoud Abbas last month that Zionism is a colonialist movement with no connection to Judaism as a reminder of “the irreconcilable narratives that lie at the heart of the conflict”, words suggesting that the veracity of Abbas’s agitprop denying the Jewish connection to the land can’t be determined. 

The suggestion in the EU report cited by the Guardian that the Jewish “narrative” is being promoted “at the expense of other religions” represents the opposite of the truth, as Israel continues to safeguard Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, whilst Palestinian leaders constantly deny Jewish history in the holy city and incite violence by framing any Jewish presence on Judaism’s holiest site as an intrusion onto an exclusively Muslim site.   

Once again, the Guardian has amplified accusations against Israel whilst failing to provide relevant context or subjecting the claims to even a minimal degree of critical scrutiny.  

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18 replies »

  1. Oliver Holmes has ” Jerusalem Correspondent ” in his Twitter bio. Really? That is a new title. Better not say the i word.

  2. Oliver Holmes holds the purported document of which he gives us glimpses.I would really like to know who leaked it, and why, whether it is a final doc or a draft, who wrote it, who checked it for truth and when we will see it.

    The tone is so Guardian, assuming that all Israelis are Jews and all Jews belong to “settler groups”.. It also makes it clear that to him all non-Jews are Palestinians, not Israelis. In fact, the whole thing is skewed to the Guardian view.

    “The report identified settler-run excavation sites in the heart of majority-Arab districts,” How absolutely careless it was for Jerusalem communities in the past to have lived where Arabs live today. We really should have a word with them. As for those who “run” the excavations, they should be archaeologists, -like a member of my family, who has never settled for anything in her life- and not settlers

  3. The article is more appropriately published in a parody paper such as The Onion. If this report is to be believed, then the EU is concerned that substituting an accurate history of Jerusalem will make peace with Palestinian Arabs impossible. The claim that Jerusalem used to be a center of Palestinian economic activity is among the howlers.
    I suppose that, as far as the EU and other enablers are concerned, Jerusalem’s history began in 1949 – and should be the model going forward – when the Old City’s longtime Jewish community was ethnically cleansed by Jordan and no Jews were allowed to approach any of their holy sites until Israel liberated the City in 1967 (on behalf of the Palestinian Arabs who didn’t know they needed to be liberated, according to EU thinking it seems). Given Palestinian propaganda denying any Jewish history (including the Temple) in Jerusalem, one would have thought that exposing these lies would be a priority. Truth used to be the great disinfectant … unless Jews are its bearers, as far as the anti-Israel crowd is concerned.
    It must be so difficult for Europeans and Arabs to adapt to the reality that Jews are no longer a weak and oppressed minority incapable of defending themselves and entirely reliant on the good will of their Christian or Muslim overlords. That’s the real truth that hasn’t been internalized quite yet. Jerusalem is just a symptom of that underlying illness.

  4. It is quite murky at the moment. The report appears to emanate from the body known as ‘The EU Heads of Missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah’, but as yet it has not been made public. Not all EU countries have missions to the ‘Palestinian Authority’ in either Jerusalem or Ramallah, if my memory is correct there are only two EU countries with Missions to the ‘Palestinian Authority’ in Jerusalem and they are the U.K., and Belgium.
    When this report is publicised it will be interesting to know which EU countries ‘Heads of Missions’ took part and who wrote it.

  5. If one actually stops to read the nonsense in Homles’ article, or the Eu paper from which it was copied, it is hilarious.

    “Marginalisation of Palestinians, who comprise about 37% of the city’s residents, continued unabated, with more than 130 building demolitions and the displacement of 228 people, it said.”

    Population of Jerusalem is estimated to be about 850,00 people. If 37% are Arabs (oh, the apartheid!!) there are about 314,500 Arabs supposedly in Jerusalem.

    228 were displaced. in unabated demolitions and displacement. That is, about 0.0725% of the population was unabatedly displaced!

    “Approximately 450 settlers live under heavy protection in Silwan, the report said, alongside almost 10,000 Palestinians.”

    But there should not be ANY Arabs in Silwan – it was a Jewish neighborhood ethnically cleansed of Yemenite Jews by the British to save them from the Arabs.

    “narrative based on historic continuity of the Jewish presence in the area at the expense of other religions and cultures”. Chief among them, the report warned, was the City of David, a government-funded archeological park in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan that provides tours in the ruins of ancient Jerusalem.”

    But the point is that it really was “The City of David” not the city of Arab squatters in Jewish homes in Silwan.

    ““the city has largely ceased to be the Palestinian economic, urban and commercial centre it used to be”.”

    When was Jerusalem ever a Palestinian economic, urban, and commercial center. In fact, when were there ever “Palestinians” there except for Jews called Palestinians by the British, before they were create by Arafat in 1967?

    • You make a good point.

      Israel haters claim that Israel is “Judaizing” Jerusalem and engaged in ethnic cleansing.

      If this is true then the Israelis aren’t doing a very efficient job as the percentage of Palestinians in the city has not exactly been plunging.

      These folks also don’t mention that many of the Jewish “settlements” around Jerusalem have seen an influx of Palestinians moving to them for a better standard of living.

  6. The logic of the reported EU viewpoint (reported third-hand through this review of the “Guardian” article) is like this. The Welsh have no historical claim to Wales, and are trying to “legitimise” a supposed Welsh history by having many place names and road signs in the Welsh as well as the English language. They should recognise that the legitimate inhabitants of Wales are the Norman French, Germanic and Danish peoples who combined to become the English. All place names beginning with Llan-” are an attempt to rewrite history, and should be changed to names ending in “-ham” or “-by” or “-wich”. This line of reasoning does not apply to Wales, and anyone who thinks it does would be generally thought to be daft, at best. But the EU and the “Guardian” use this “logic” to attack Israel.

  7. The EU pulls this shit all the time and usually with the same pattern: a statement that caters to the most pro-Palestinian interpretation of reality possible (in other words, fiction), an angry response from some combination of Israel and the U.S. and pro-Israel groups or individuals in Western countries (in other words, facts) and an EU sorta-backdown where they don’t really say or do anything further (which means neither apologizing for lying nor taking any kind of action against Israel like the hysterical pro-Pals always demand en masse). They tried this in 2011 in leaking a report–one reportedly and unshockingly pushed for by the UK Foreign Office–that wept o so piteously for the sad state of Israeli Arabs and raised both the specter of strong action on their behalf and an alleged backdown from anti-Israel measures when several EU states said they wouldn’t approve it unless balancing/format changes were made (and they were). It’s very much a have their cake and eat it too process for the EU, who get to provide Palestinians with meaningless succor and be condescending dicks to Israelis but also can keep on with the real business of trade and education and diplomacy and the many, many things Israel is great at and the Palestinians suck ass at.

    • Ben if you have read the report I would be very grateful if you would post a link to the report so that I can read it as well.
      If you haven’t read the report then a question. Do you always believe what you read about Israel in The Guardian?

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