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Independent Legitimizes Jerusalem Ethnic Cleansing Lie

There actually has been a decline in the proportionate size of Jerusalem’s Jewish population, with an increase in the proportion of the Arab population.

View of the Arab village of Issawiya, part of east Jerusalem. The Arab population of Jerusalem has increased compared with the Jewish population.

View of the Arab village of Issawiya, part of east Jerusalem. The Arab population of Jerusalem has increased compared with the Jewish population.
Photo Credit: Oct 26 2011. Photo by Nati Shohat/Flash90

If facts and logic governed the media’s coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, then recent claims by Palestinian spokesperson Hanan Ashrawi that new Israeli homes in the neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo represent a “policy of ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem” would be dismissed as the agitprop of the intellectually unserious.

However, not only was there no indication of incredulousness in the face of such absurd charges in The Independent’s Aug. 26 report by Ben Lynfield, but it was actually used in the headline:

headline2

As we explained in a recent post, the broad charge, believed by an astonishing number of “sophisticated” Europeans, that Israel is engaged in a project of “extermination” against the Palestinians, is one of the most easily disprovable hypotheses encountered in the cesspool of anti-Zionist narratives.

Though demographic evidence alone, showing that the Palestinian population has grown dramatically in the West Bank and Gaza since 1948, demonstrates how preposterous these claims are, the mere lack of empirical evidence has never served as much of a barrier to those committed to assaulting the Jewish state’s legitimacy.  Indeed, the laziness of ‘professional’ journalists covering the region, who typically fail to critically scrutinize such hyperbole, ensures that there is no disincentive for the practitioners of delegitimization to continue advancing these hateful smears.

The non-ethnic cleansing of Muslims from Jerusalem:

In response to Ashrawi’s charge, a real journalist could of course look at population statistics demonstrating that the number of Muslims in Jerusalem, both in total numbers and as an overall percentage, have increased dramatically since 1948.  Specifically, the Muslim population of Jerusalem increased from 1967 (when Israel unified the city) to 2011, from nearly 55,000 to over 291,000, while the Jewish population increased by a slower rate – from under 196,000 to 650,000.

Jewish Virtual Library Graph, based on figures from the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics.

Jewish Virtual Library Graph, based on Israel Central Bureau of Statistics data.

The non-ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Jerusalem:

As far as the total Arab population (Muslims and non-Muslims), per the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, “there has been a decline in the proportionate size of Jerusalem’s Jewish population, with a concomitant increase in the proportion of the Arab population.” Specifically, the proportion of the Jewish population fell from 74% in 1967 to 64% in 2009. Simultaneously “the Arab population in the city rose from 26% in 1967 to 36% in 2009.”

Here’s a graph illustrating the increase in Arabs (and Jews, and others) in Jerusalem between 1931 and 2009:

Graph via the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies.

Graph via the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies.

(Additionally, current population figures suggest that Palestinian Arabs outnumber Jews in east Jerusalem by a ratio of roughly 3 to 2.)

As you can see, whatever your views on Israel’s decision to build homes in communities in “east” Jerusalem (parts of the city previously controlled by Jordan), the charge that such construction, on lands which are currently uninhabited, constitutes the “ethnic cleansing” of either Muslims or Arabs is nothing but a lie.

If the toxic influence of pro-Palestinian propaganda wasn’t so severe, the charge that Israelis are engaged in anything resembling the ethnic cleansing of Muslims or Arabs would be regarded with the suspicion and contempt that typically greets other discredited anti-Zionist and antisemitic conspiracy theories.

About the Author: Adam Levick serves as Managing Editor of CiF Watch, an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), and is a member of the Online Antisemitism Working Group for the Global Forum to Combat Antisemitism. Adam made Aliyah from Philadelphia in 2009 and lives with his wife in Modi'in.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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5 Responses to “Independent Legitimizes Jerusalem Ethnic Cleansing Lie”

  1. wanted to be linked up to men of God in lsrael.

  2. All I want to tell you as someone who hypocritically enjoys *ALL* the safety, security, comfort and amenities a foreigner just can do in Jerusalem, Israel and repays it with blood-curdling, revolting and obnoxious, horribly disgusting so-called "reports" from Jersualem, which would not be out of place in 1960s/70s Soviet "reporting" in Pravda or Izvestiya, is that you are without a shred of basic credibility as a journalist/reporter.

    Well, all because you lack even a shred of (journalistic and human) decency.
    You are nothing, but a disgusting total fraud and devious liar, who has a pathological, inherent/innate phobia about the Jewish state. It's pretty obvious for anybody after the first sentences of any piece written by you.

    You are sadly nothing, but a well-worn discredited, pathetic agit-propagandist in the Palestinians' service, against Israel. Each and evry single one of your articles – after due review – reflect all the things I mentioned above (total, unmistakable, pig-headed bloody biases infused with eery, abject and deviant hatred).
    I simply can't see any other reason than your congenital Scottish (or is that English perhaps?) deeply-engrained antisemitism you inherited.
    It's certainly iin your very DNA.
    Thank God you report to obscure, marginal papers like the Independent, which has lost more than 40 % of its readership and circulation in the past some 10 years (and became the least read British daily paper; hardly surprising, of course…) and The Scotsman and The Forward.

    Gábor Fränkl
    published on many online papers dealing with the issue…

  3. Daniel Harbottle says:

    Gabor, don't worry! Gaza has an expiry date.

  4. Daniel Harbottle Daniel, these are incredibly disgusting creatures – it's absolutely blood-boiling. I'm outraged to no end. But thanks a lot! You may even write to him directly at: feedback@forward.com if so so wish…

  5. The Guardian says:

    All Muslim Arabs should be kicked out. They are savages who lack any human decency.

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