What’s the deal with Jerusalem?
On 29 November 1947 Resolution 181 was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and the British mandate of Palestine was to be divided into a Jewish and an Arab part, and Jerusalem was placed under international governance.
The Jewish leaders agreed. But all of the Arab leaders refused to accept Resolution 181 and promised a war if the Jews were to declare their own country.
So do not forget this: if the Arabs had accepted Resolution 181, there would have been a Jewish and a Palestinian state and Jerusalem would be a city under international governance. What has happened to the Palestinian Arabs, until today, is the direct consequence of that rejection.
In May 1948, four Arab armies, plus the so-called Arab Liberation Army rallied against 700,000 Jews, with the intention was to driving them into the sea.
The Arab Legion lead by King Abdullah of Jordan and British officers, was victorious. The old town was cleansed of Jews.
Israel buried 6,000 dead, the Arab armies counted 12-15,000 dead. Resolution 181 was also dead, as was the international governance of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem became a city divided by walls, fences, barbed wire, like Berlin After 1961. Israel had the West, Jordan annexed the neglected East, together with the old town and they banned Jews from entering.
Wars create facts. Borders are re-routed, people are driven out or fleeing. Like the so-called ‘ethnic Germans’, who were driven out of central and Eastern Europe after 1945, over 30 million people, of whom more than 2 million people died, were fleeing, like Pakistan’s secession from India, which caused 14 million refugees and over a million deaths.
In comparison, the Israeli revolutionary war was a small dispute with relatively few deaths on a relatively small slip of land. About 700,000 Arabs fled the Jewish country, about 800,000 Jews were forced out of the Arab countries.
But what other conflicts apply does not apply to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians felt that they were perfect and were going to use popular left-Wing terms: Colonialism, Imperialism, Apartheid to describe their plight. The Palestinians succeeded in raising public awareness of their situation describing it as the ultimate tragedy of the Middle East.
Arabs in the region get the most aid in the world, complemented by money from Western aid organisations, and the sick tribal and religious Palestinian violence is excused in the western media with regular reference to what is described as “Jewish occupation”. The widespread Anti-Semitic propaganda is also concealed in the media; I believe that this conflict is religious in nature, not a conflict over land.
Last weekend, the mainstream media reported that in Lebanon 450,000 Palestinian refugees live. The news said that they are descendants of refugees. The Palestinians have the right to inherit refugee status. The tens of millions of descendants of runaway ethnic Germans, Indian Hindus and ‘Arab’ Jews do not have that right, the more than 700,000 Arab refugees of 1948 who now have more than 5.2 million ‘recognised refugees’ as descendants.
During the six-day war of 1967 King Hussein, despite warnings from Israel, could not resist the temptation to interfere in the war. His Army was crushed by Israel. Jerusalem was reunited.
And now? The City has been renovated under Israel’s administration. The markets are lively, the restaurants are busy and full of delicious dishes, the infrastructure modern. Any faith can be practiced in freedom. But that’s not enough for the haters.
A few days ago, I heard on the radio how a critic was in charge of President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, with the formula: “the Jews have suffered very badly in the war, but that does not mean that…”
I hear that a lot. It has the following rancid meaning: the Jews have apparently learned nothing from the war and are now doing with others that they themselves have suffered. And at antizionisten, a demonizing comment on Israel.
Why is Israel, the only successful nation-State in the violent jungle of the middle east, so demonised in the West? I am thinking of Western shame with regard to the extermination of European Jews. When Israel is made an evil state (‘Israel is a apartheidsstaat full of Nazis who kill children’) can solve the shame – so the fate of the Palestinians, partly by hundreds of foreign correspondents, is magnified to epic dimensions: the Palestinians are The eternal victims of evil Jews. It is the continuation of the demonization that Jews have endured for centuries in Europe. Antizionism is the new mask of ancient anti-Semitism.
The hysteria surrounding Jerusalem fits that phenomenon. It is an intense and thriving city in which no one is starving, no one’s freedoms and rights are affected, a unique place for middle eastern conditions. Never have so many have been so good in Jerusalem, including divided Arabs, as under the current Israeli administration.
These are the facts. The rest is commentary.
Leon de Winter is a Dutch writer and columnist.