Put Jerusalem In Context


I was dismayed by Nathan Jeffay’s criticism of the Israeli government’s cool reaction to Australia’s moving its embassy to “West” Jerusalem while continuing to support East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian State — saying that Israel should not be “ungrateful” (“Was Aussie Move Really A Capital Sin?” Jan. 18).

Wouldn’t it have been helpful for Jeffay to give us the following crucial context for Israel’s reaction so that we can make up our own minds?

After genocidal Arab attacks on the infant State of Israel in 1948, for the first time in history Jerusalem was divided by the 19-year illegal Arab occupation of the Eastern areas. Jews were ethnically cleansed from the Old City and denied access to the Western Wall. The ancient synagogues and the Mount of Olives cemetery were desecrated. But after another attack by Jordan in 1967, much Israeli blood was spilled to liberate historic Jerusalem and reunite our holy city.

The infamous U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334 of December 2016, which President Obama refused to veto, codified this illegal 1948 Arab aggression by placing the Jewish Quarter, Western Wall and the rest of the Eastern areas, under the control of Palestinian Authority President Abbas, who has long denied any Jewish connection to Jerusalem.

This is precisely the kind of contextual information that our entire community — and particularly our university youth under siege — need from The Jewish Week to make up our own minds and to combat the debilitating demonization of Israel, spreading even to our own Jewish youth of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and IfNotNow.