Israeli Rightists Stir Tensions in East Jerusalem
A small group of ultra-right-wing Israelis marched through a volatile neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Sunday, arousing passions over the future of the contested city as an American envoy wrapped up an inconclusive three-day visit aimed at getting peace talks under way.
I will return to that "arousing passions" in a moment but let me deal with another element in her story.
She writes (and the foreign desk editor approved for publication as we media monitors should know that many keyboards a story make) that the marchers proceeded:-
...through the Wadi Hilwe section of Silwan, a predominantly Arab neighborhood. Wadi Hilwe sits on what Jews believe to be the ruins of the biblical City of David, in the shadow of the Temple Mount, or the Noble Sanctuary, a site holy to both Muslims and Jews. In recent years a Jewish settler group has sponsored excavations in the area and acquired property that is now populated by hundreds of Jews.
Anyone who knows the area knows that Ms. Kershner (or Mrs. Hirsh Goodman) is really splitting geographical hairs on that. A "section" within a "neighborhood"? Sounds as if its another district of "Palestine".
But more importantly, many non-Jews also believe that the location is David's City and there are quite provable and firm scientific elements of evidence to that claim.
Moreover, the property acquired was previously purchased by Jews a century or so ago and Karaite Jews had been living on the east side of the valley for hundreds of years. In the 1870s, Rahamim Natan Meyuchas purchased property in Silwan. In 1937, his son, Yosef, published a book a reminisces of that early period. After 1882, Yemenite Jews moved in and founded Kfar Shiloah. By 1920, over 200 Jewish families of all origin lived in the neighborhood.
Following Arab violence in 1920, 1929 and 1936-37, Jews were finally expelled by the British Mandatory authority form the location.
Jews began repurchasing their previously-owned property and in 1991, moved back and I participated in the public support demonstration as I was working with Deputy-Minister Geula Cohen at the time and we all literally slid down the slope into the houses bought. Geula later broke a leg there.
Why didn't Kershner insert a half-sentence mention of 140-year old Jewish residency at the village?
And a last point, here is an Arab reaction:
Dimitri Diliani, a Jerusalem representative of Fatah, the mainstream Palestinian movement, said the march proved that despite Israel’s claim on the area, it did not have sovereignty there. “Where else in the world would you need 2,000 armed, fully equipped police officers to secure a failed march of 70 of your own citizens in an area that you claim as your capital?” he asked.
Well, since Arabs have marched through Jerusalem with no stone-throwing, it isn't a matter of this being proof the area is not in Jerusalem or in the sovereign area of the state of Israel but simply a matter of Arab violence in the cause of denying Jews their rights anywhere.
And that violence, even assisted by the foreign media and local, will not win.
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