The demographic secret about Jerusalem the NY Times refuses to reveal to its readers and The History Channel Rewrites Middle East History

Posted on November 27, 2010

The demographic secret about Jerusalem the NY Times refuses to reveal to its readers

Leo Rennert

In 1967, when Israel captured the eastern part of Jerusalem and put an end to 19 years of illegal Jordanian occupation, there were 72,000 Arabs in the unified city and they comprised 27 percent of its total population.  Today, 43 years later, there are 264,000 Arabs living in Jerusalem and their portion of the population has risen to 34 percent, according to the latest figures of Israel’s census bureau.

Put another way, in 1967, one out of every 4 Jerusalemites was an Arab. Today, one out of every 3 is an Arab.
In the last several decades, Arab construction has consistently outpaced Jewish construction in Israel’s capital.  And demographers see no end to the trend of Arabs comprising an ever growing portion of Jerusalem’s population — up to 38 percent by 2020 and close to parity with Jews by mid-century.
So, what happened to account for the Arab slice of Jerusalem’s population to grow much faster than the Jewish sector?  For one thing, there was an exodus of Jews looking for better economic opportunities elsewhere in Israel.  The birth rate of Muslim women was significantly higher than the birth rate of Jewish women.  And the Palestinian Authority, with a big financial assist from Arab governments, spent hundreds of millions of dollars to subsidize and encourage massive illegal construction in Arab areas — part of what they called a “demographic war” against Israel.
However, this history, along with overall population figures and trends, continues to be ignored by the New York Times, which instead swallows the Palestinian myth — in the words of Mahmoud Abbas — that the very opposite is happening in Jerusalem, that Israel’s capital somehow is in the throes of unrelenting “Judaization.”
Jerusalem correspondent Isabel Kershner again pumps up this myth in the November 24 edition of the Times in an article, titled “Eviction of Palestinian Family, After a Legal Battle, Underlines Tensions Over Jerusalem.”
Her story stems from the eviction of a Palestinian family from an illegally occupied home in East Jerusalem and the arrival of its rightful Jewish occupants — as validated by Israeli courts, including Israel’s Supreme Court, recognized as the most liberal appellate court in the world with a record of punctilious defense of Palestinian rights and interests.
But this isn’t the way Kershner reports this event.  Instead, she writes in her lead paragraph:  “Israeli police evicted a Palestinian family from their home in a predominantly Arab neighborhood of East Jerusalem and a group of Jewish settlers moved into the property at night.”
Two factual problems right at the top of her piece:  This wasn’t the Palestinian family’s “home.”  It never belonged to them.  Instead, it once belonged to a since-deceased relative who sold it to Jewish buyers for fair price.  And Kershner’s use of the pejorative “settlers” better fits this Palestinian family than its rightful Jewish occupants and owners, whose title was affirmed by Israel’s highest court.
But facts don’t matter to Kershner, who repeatedly describes the Jewish occupants as “settlers,” whose legal takeover of this residence, in her view, threatens to inject more tensions into the peace process.  Or, as she puts it, “The settler takeover of the Karain house will represent a new point of Jewish settlement in the contested city.  Jewish settlers are increasingly moving into predominantly Arab neighborhoods.”
Are Jews moving into some of these neighborhoods?  Of course. There is a demographic tug-of-war involving both sides, but Kershner deliberately chooses to omit the other side of this equation — an expansive Arab drive to trump Jewish population growth in Israel’s capital.
In the upside-down world of Kershner and the New York Times, only Jews purchasing homes in eastern Jersualem are “settlers.”  But actual Palestinian “settlers,” who in far greater numbers occupy illegally built homes in Jerusalem, are totally absent from the demographic radar of the New York Times.
So, Kershner simply cherry-picks a few isolated instances of Jews buying or building residential property in eastern Jerusalem, while she totally ignores the far larger and more determinative picture of a much faster rise in Arab population in Israel’s capital.
Selective and thus distorted journalism also is reflected by how Kershner and other Times correspondents report the history of Jerusalem.  As is their wont, it all started at the end of the Six-Day War in 1967, when Israel — victorious against half a dozen Arab armies intent on eliminating the Jewish state — captured the eastern part of the city from Jordanian occupation.  The clear implication is that Jews, as late arrivals in East Jerusalem by force of arms, have no rights whatsoever in that part of the capital, including the Old City with its revered Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious shrines.  They don’t belong there.
To bolster this false impression, Kershner and the Times have to turn a blind eye to the fact that from the middle of the 19th Century through the early years of the 20th Century, the preponderant population of Jerusalem was Jewish. Jerusalem in those years comprised basically the Old City and a few adjacent neighborhoods — all of which now are in what has come to be known as East Jerusalem.
It was only when Arab pogroms began in earnest in the 1920s leaving Jews as unprotected targets during the British Mandate that the Jewish population of the city began to shrink.  And it was cleansed altogether throughout the Old City and other sectors of East Jerusalem during the brutal Jordanian occupation from 1948 until 1967 when synagogues were systematicaly destroyed throughout Old Jerusalem and Jews were barred from praying at their holiest site, the Western Wall.
That history — along with real, not mythical, demographic trends — will not appear in the “news” pages of the New York Times, which values Palestinian myths over firmly grounded Jewish claims to the city. 
As for recent and current demographic trends, they clearly point to Jerusalem as actually being “Islamicized,” not “Judaized.”
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The History Channel Rewrites Middle East History

Ted Belman

The History Channel posts a reminder, Nov 29,1947. U.N. votes for partition of Palestine but their article is pure Arab propaganda and gives the lie to history.
“Despite strong Arab opposition, the United Nations votes for the partition of Palestine and the creation of an independent Jewish state.
“The modern conflict between Jews and Arabs in Palestine dates back to the 1910s, when both groups laid claim to the British-controlled territory. The Jews were Zionists, recent emigrants from Europe and Russia who came to the ancient homeland of the Jews to establish a Jewish national state. The native Palestinian Arabs sought to stem Jewish immigration and set up a secular Palestinian state.”
This is wrong historically on so many levels. At that time, the Arabs in Palestine were referred to as Arabs and not Palestinian Arabs. A huge percentage of the Arabs that were there had emigrated to the province known as Palestine because of the commercial activity of the Jews. They had no intention of setting up a “secular Palestinian state.” This was the invention of Arafat.
“Beginning in 1929, Arabs and Jews openly fought in Palestine, and Britain attempted to limit Jewish immigration as a means of appeasing the Arabs.”
How the History Channel in writing the history of the conflict, can leave out the Balfour Declaration, the San Remo Resolution of 1920 giving all the land, including Jordan, to the Jews and the Palestine Mandate passed by the League of Nations in 1922 reaffirming the Balfour Declaration and the San Remo Resolution, is beyond me. The Mandate obligated Great Britain to enable close settlement of the land, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan, by Jews and ultimately to allow independence of the Jews.
“As a result of the Holocaust in Europe, many Jews illegally entered Palestine during World War II. “
This sentence ignores virtually everything that led to Jewish emigration. The first blame goes to the Nazis who rounded up seven million European Jews and put them in Ghettos. The second blame goes to Britain and the US who wouldn’t let the Jews emigrate to their countries or Palestine with or without visas. This policy lead to the destruction of six million Jews by the Nazis. The small remnant who survived had to wait until 1947 to be allowed into Israel. A small number of Jews came to Palestine during the war. Such entry was legal according to the Palestine Mandate.  Great Britain in 1937 instituted a policy in contravention of the Mandate to limit the number of Jews entering. Only in this sense was their entry “illegal.”
At the same time, also in contravention of the Mandate, Great Britain facilitated enormous Arab immigration from surrounding lands
“Radical Jewish groups employed terrorism against British forces in Palestine, which they thought had betrayed the Zionist cause.”
It is not a matter of what they thought. It is a fact. Britain violated international law and their obligations under the Mandate. Thus the Jews fought to chase them out of Palestine.
“At the end of World War II, in 1945, the United States took up the Zionist cause. Britain, unable to find a practical solution, referred the problem to the United Nations, which on November 29, 1947, voted to partition Palestine. The Jews were to possess more than half of Palestine, though they made up less than half of Palestine’s population.”
Wrong again. The US did not take up the Zionist cause after or before 1945. The US was not in favor of creating a Jewish state at all and intended to vote against it. Fortunately, Pres Truman overruled the State Dept and ordered that the US vote in favor. Even so, the US maintained an arms embargo on Israel throughout the War of Independence and expected Israel to be destroyed. To everyone’s surprise, Israel was victorious and gained more land as a result.
Had Britain not prevented Jewish immigration and favored Arab immigration, both contrary to her mandate, the Jews would have been in majority and would have been entitled to the entire country.
“The Palestinian Arabs, aided by volunteers from other countries, fought the Zionist forces, but the Jews secured full control of their U.N.-allocated share of Palestine and also some Arab territory. On May 14, 1948, Britain withdrew with the expiration of its mandate, and the State of Israel was proclaimed by Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion. The next day, forces from Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq invaded.”
The Mandate didn’t expire. Just Britain’s role did. Jewish rights pursuant to the Mandate continued.
“The Israelis, though less well equipped, managed to fight off the Arabs and then seize key territories, such as Galilee, the Palestinian coast, and a strip of territory connecting the coastal region to the western section of Jerusalem. In 1949, U.N.-brokered cease-fires left the State of Israel in permanent control of those conquered areas. The departure of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs from Israel during the war left the country with a substantial Jewish majority.”
Another thing that the History Channel fails to mention is that during and after the war, 900,000 Jews were expelled from Arab countries and their land holdings and wealth accumulated over many hundreds of years, was confiscated. Most of these Jews went to Israel and were absorbed.
Ted Belman is the editor of Israpundit and a retired lawyer

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