Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem

by Yaniv Reich on October 28, 2009

Let’s start with a definition. According to the UN, ethnic cleansing is defined as “the planned deliberate removal from a specific territory, persons of a particular ethnic group, by force or intimidation, in order to render that area ethnically homogenous.” Clear?

Now, here is a description by the Israeli Macro Center for Political Economics of Israel’s post-1967 urban policy in “united” Jerusalem, which was achieved through annexation after Israel’s military victory in the Six Day War (which no other country in the world recognizes, not even the US):

“It has been Israeli policy to try to guarantee a Jewish majority and generate Jewish hegemony in Jerusalem since 1967,” Dr. Roby Nathanson, Director of Israel’s Macro Center for Political Economics. “Israel has annexed huge parts of Jerusalem, enlarged the boundaries of the municipality, taken lots of land in the eastern [Palestinian] part of the city and built more than 50,000 housing units on this land exclusively for Jews.”
The report claims that since 1967 Israel has expropriated almost 20,000 acres of land, mostly from Palestinian owners, making up 35% of East Jerusalem. The report found that around 50,000 housing units were built with government assistance on this expropriated land, in an effort to create Jewish neighborhoods including Har Homa, Gilo and Neve Yaakov. The report claims that only 600 housing units for Palestinians were built with government assistance during the same period, the most recent of which was built over 30 years ago.

Sound familiar? You might be Jewish/Israeli and believe that Jerusalem should be the “unified” capital of the Jews alone. But then you should be crystal clear in describing your objective as ethnic cleansing. Moreover, every single time a Palestinian family is forcibly evicted to make way for new Jewish tenants, backed by military means and administrative infrastructure, you should be able to calmly and openly call it for what it is.

The fact of ethnic cleansing cannot be washed away (even if, as the article notes, Israel has not been able to maintain its preferred percentage majority of Jews over Arabs).

As Jews, we have moved from being the ultimate victims of ethnic cleansing in the mid-20th century to being one of its most prominent proponents in the 21st.

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