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March 16, 2008

Abbas' Truth Cleansing

abbas ethnic cleansing.jpg

Reuters reports:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing" in Arab East Jerusalem by banning the building of Palestinian homes and cutting the city off from the occupied West Bank. . . .

"Our people in the city (Jerusalem) are facing an ethnic cleansing campaign through a set of Israeli decisions such as imposing heavy taxes, banning construction and closing Palestinian institutions in addition to separating the city from the West Bank by the racist separation wall," Abbas said.

Abbas has a very unique understanding of "ethnic cleansing," given that the Arab population in Jerusalem continues to grow (both in absolute numbers and in relation to the city's Jewish population.)

According to the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, the Arab population has grown from 68,600 in 1967 to 252,300 in 2006, and from 26 percent to 34 percent of the total population. (See Hebrew tables on Page 12.)

But Abbas doesn't have to take the word of an Israeli outfit on this issue. He can consult with the Palestinian center PASSIA, which reports:

Jerusalem's Arab population is growing much faster -- three times -- than the Jewish population . . . . (page 344 of Facts & Figures)

PASSIA also cites Palestinian numbers for the Arab population in Jerusalem, which are higher than those given by Israelis. Some "ethnic cleansing."

Moreover, the construction of the security barrier in the Jerusalem area has prompted more -- not less -- Arabs to move into Jerusalem, including into western neighborhoods, which are predominantly Jewish. (Note that thee JIIS original document on this information has been hacked, thus the above url refers you to a cached page.)

Likewise, Abbas' claim that is Israel is "banning [Arab] construction" in Jerusalem has just as much basis in reality.

Abbas gives his colleague Saeb Erekat a run for his money when it comes to creativity with facts.

Posted by TS at March 16, 2008 07:12 AM


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