Living abroad, one link with the motherland – let’s not go quite as far as calling it ‘home’ – is the World Service. Brits are past masters of underdog support – it fuels all kinds of colonial superiority – and the masterful reporting from East Jerusalem – not ‘occupied’ – we’ll get to that in a moment – is a prime example. The juxtaposition of the eviction of two (not nine) Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah, in response to a Supreme Court ownership ruling, which caused widespread world condemnation with the Israeli police recommendation that the far-right foreign minister, Avi Lieberman, be charged with corruption, bribery and money – laundering is significant. I found it clumsy and offensive.
Lieberman lives in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
East Jerusalem has never been under Jordanian sovereignty and thus it cannot be argued that it is ‘occupied territory’, merely ‘disputed’. The non-Jews cannot argue for sovereignty, since the contender is not a state in its own right, and Islamic conquest ended with the First World War. Historic ownership is as legally binding in respect of property as it is to restoration of fine art looted by the Nazis to their rightful Jewish owners. Jordan may have given the properties to Arabs allegedly through right of conquest, but it wasn’t theirs to give. Additionally, the State of Israel seeks no claim on Arabs who legally own property in West Jerusalem.
The rocking horse may have belonged to one of the evictees’ children. Nice little touch in the name of balance and bias, Auntie. Why not take a picture or two of synagogues in East Jerusalem? Oh, yes. There aren’t any, are there. The Jordanians systematically demolished them because they were ‘an offence against Islam’.
By way of a little light relief, I heard this one the other day…
In an hypothetical future, when peace and a place at the table has been granted, the following might or might not happen.
At the U.N., a representative from Israel began to speak. ” I want to tell you a story about Moses.” he said. ” When he struck the rock and water gushed out, he thought, ‘What a good opportunity to have a bath!’ He removed his clothes, put them aside on the rock and entered the water. When he got out, his clothes had vanished. A Palestinian had stolen them.”
The Palestinian representative jumped up furiously and shouted, “What are you talking about? The Palestinians weren’t even there then.”
The Israeli representative smiled and said “Now that that’s perfectly clear, I’ll begin…”
Ho, ho, ho.