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May 16, 2010

New Revelations about Old City in Ha'aretz Editorial

Jewish quarter.jpg
Ha'aretz: The Jewish Quarter is a "disputed area disputed area . . . on the agenda during negotiations with the Palestinians"

Ha'aretz readers were treated to an eye-opening editorial on Thursday about the Israeli government's alleged incitement concerning Jerusalem. The prime example of governmental incitement, according to the esteemed Ha'aretz editors, is the following:

The greatest achievement of all, however, belongs to Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar, who has doubled the number of schoolchildren visiting the Temple Mount and the City of David, from 200,000 two years ago to 400,000 since the start of the current school year. Under a new program drafted by the Education Ministry on the minister's orders, students are obligated to visit Jerusalem at least three times during their 12 years of school.

In theory, there is nothing wrong with this. Yet the visits tend to focus on sites like the Old City's Jewish Quarter, the Western Wall tunnels, Zion Gate and the archaeological excavations of the Temple Mount's southern wall - all disputed areas that are on the agenda during negotiations with the Palestinians, and are also associated with new Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem. Moreover, the tours, which are led by guides from the extreme right-wing organization Elad, blatantly ignore the Palestinians' existence and bear the clear stamp of religious nationalist indoctrination.

Got that? At Planet Ha'aretz, the Temple Mount, where the First and Second Jewish Temples stood thousands of years ago, as well as the Old City's Jewish quarter, including the Western Wall, and the southern wall of the Temple Mount, where Jews slowly ascended the steps to reach the Temples and bring their sacrifices, are not associated with the heart and core of Jewish history and religious identity, but rather "with new Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem." Equally eye-opening is the revelation that the Jewish Quarter is a "disputed area . . . on the agenda during negotiations with the Palestinians."

No wonder the editorial was approvingly reproduced by the American Task Force for Palestine.

As Gil Troy points out:

Unfortunately, if Jews celebrate their eternal ties to Jerusalem - or dare question Palestinian ties - they are deemed racist. Yet those who question Jewish ties to Jerusalem get human rights awards and EU grants, especially if they are Jewish. This narrative imbalance is another form of asymmetrical warfare.

Posted by TS at May 16, 2010 04:23 AM


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