Sunday, May 16, 2010

3000 Years New

You’ve gotta hand it to Haaretz for continuing to lobby against Jewish history.

In a shocking editorial on Yom Yerushalayim, which criticizes Bibi for visiting Merkaz Harav on Yom Yerushalayim (but failed to mention that almost all senior politicians have been at Merkaz Harav every year on Yom Yerushalayim, including such radical right wing extremists as Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak).

However the most shocking quote was the following which actually criticized the Minister of Education for encouraging schools to visit Yerushalayim (emphasis added):

… Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar, [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

Got that – the Jewish Quarter of the Old City is associated with “New Jewish Settlement”.

In case Haaretz really have no clue of Jewish History, Jewish Settlement in the current Old City dates back to the Second Temple period (it is much older in Ir David [Silwan] just to the south which Haaretz didn’t mention).

With the exception of a few years after the destruction of the city in 70 CE, a brief period during the Crusader Period when non-Christians were barred from the city, and the 19 years from 1948-1967 when Jordanians forbade Jewish access to the city (in breech of the Ceasefire agreement) there has been a continual Jewish presence in the city for over 3000 years.

If Haaretz was to describe the American presence in Washington or even the British presence in London as “New Settlement”, this would be closer to the truth than to describe Jews as newcomers to Jerusalem.

Whether the city should be divided is a political question that can be debated (although until recently there was a consensus in Israel on the topic), however to deny basic History can only lead to hardened positions by those who wish us harm, and makes any chance of a negotiated peace deal even more remote.

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