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August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Sheikh Jarrah’

UK’s Zionist Jewry Rejects British J Street Clone

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

The Zionist Federation, the official representative body of Jewish organizations in England, this week rejected the membership application of Yachad UK, the leftist J Street-esque organization which was formed in England in 2011.

The vote took place on Monday, February 25, and was conducted as required by the ZF’s constitution: member organizations vote to decide whether an applicant organization’s mission and actions are consistent with the mission of the ZF.

According to a statement by the ZF, every constituent organization was given the opportunity to consider Yachad’s application, and representatives of those organizations consulted with their members in order to make a decision.  This process began ten months ago.  When the ZF met on Monday, the organization representatives voted on and rejected Yachad UK’s application.

Although ZF leadership members were unwilling to respond to media inquiries about the decision, they pointed to the deliberative process in which the ZF had engaged, which was consistent with prior membership decisions.

In response to the vote, Yachad, which is Hebrew for “together,” went on the offensive.  It instituted an email campaign informing contacts that they are being discriminated against, along with a twitter attack with the hashtag “whatswrongwithmyzionism.”

Yachad’s first line of offense was to present themselves as innocent Zionist victims of overbearingly aggressive, right-wing Zionist Jews.  They claimed at the top of their website that, “78% of Anglo Jewry favour a two state solution. Is their Zionism not good enough for the Zionist Federation?”

The Zionist Federation issued a public statement in response.  “It is important to note that despite claims by Yachad’s statement, the ZF strongly supports peace in the Middle East and the two state solution.  To say that we do not is factually incorrect.”

WHAT IS YACHAD UK?

Yachad UK is quite similar in orientation and mission to J Street in the U.S.  The tagline for Yachad is “together for peace, together for Israel,” and it describes itself as “the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement for British Jews,” exactly the same claim J Street makes for U.S. Jews.  About the only difference between the two organizations, as Hannah Weisfeld, Yachad’s director, said at its launch, is that Yachad will not engage in political lobbying.

And just as is the case with J Street, there are many Zionists who do not believe Yachad’s self-description is accurate.  They instead claim that Yachad’s relentless criticism of Israel and refusal to make any demands on the Arab Palestinians reveals the true nature of Yachad, one that they believe is instead an anti-Zionist orientation.

DOES YACHAD PRESENT ITSELF AS A ZIONIST ORGANIZATION?

The pingpong match of public statements declaring either that Yachad is a Zionist organization that should be welcomed into the UK’s Zionist Federation, or that it is an anti-Zionist organization which has no place in the ZF is not especially helpful in determining the truth.

Rather than look at the public rhetoric, The Jewish Press decided it is most useful to see what Yachad really does and where Yachad really goes. The best way to do this is to peruse the activities posted on Yachad UK’s Facebook page.

This is what you will find there:

• November 11 and February 10, Yachad showed the movie “The Law in These Parts,” a movie that is “a compelling indictment of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza,” another shows a Yachad trip to Israel in which the participants join up with an Israeli leftist activist group, Ir Amim, to rally against Jews living in parts of Jerusalem.

• February 11th and 12th meetings with former Haaretz editor David Landau, who famously told U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice that the U.S. should “rape Israel,” and that it has always been a secret erotic dream of his to discuss this with her.”

• July 29, June 21, June 18, June 17 meetings with Nadav Greenberg of “Just Vision,” who recently completed a documentary, “Budrus and Home Front: Portraits from Sheikh Jarrah,”  that presents four people, all of whom oppose the Israeli efforts to allow Jews to live in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood of Jerusalem, known to pro-Arab Palestinian activists as the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Most of the more than 100 photos on Yachad’s page are of Yachad trips to Israel.

Obama’s Apartheid Plan For Jerusalem

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

            When Barack Obama was elected president, many around the world saw it as the culmination of decades of successful efforts by the American civil rights movement. How ironic, then, that the Obama administration has been conducting a campaign against Jews who wish to live in certain Jerusalem neighborhoods.
 
The administration has a real problem with Jews seeking to live in two neighborhoods of Jerusalem, the Sheikh Jarrah section, at the foot of Mount Scopus, and the Simon the Righteous neighborhood, located close to the pre-1967 cease-fire lines that once separated Israel from Jordan. The latter is an area whose Jewish roots go back at least two millennia. It was Jewish when the Arabs were still moon worshippers and London just a field of mud.
 
Even worse, the Obama people are promoting an arbitrary, selective apartheid for Jerusalem directed only against Jews – Arabs, including Arabs from the West Bank, who do not hold Israeli citizenship should be free to live in any predominantly Jewish neighborhood in Jerusalem (as well as in Jewish neighborhoods in Haifa, Tel Aviv, Beersheva and elsewhere).
 
During World War II, Hitler’s main agent for recruiting Muslims to the Nazi banner was Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. A terrorist leader, he fled Jerusalem when the British attempted to arrest him and spent part of the war as the guest of honor of the Nazis.
 
The Mufti had owned some property in what is now the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. That property was legally purchased by American businessman Irving Moskowitz, who has owned the property for 20 years now and has a permit to construct an apartment building there in place of the current structure on the site, the Shepherd’s Hotel.
 
The Obama administration is claiming that since the property once belonged to the Grand Mufti and is now in a predominantly Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem, Israel should freeze and halt all Jewish building there. Evidently, under Obama’s new affirmative apartheid policy for Jerusalem, only Arabs should be permitted to build in East Jerusalem.
 
Now, Obama happens to lives not far from Arlington Cemetery, which sits on land confiscated from Confederate General Robert E. Lee during the Civil War. Israel has at least as much right to use the property taken from the Grand Mufti as the U.S. has to fill up Gen. Lee’s plantation with graves.
 
The idea that Israel should prevent Jews from building in East Jerusalem because Palestinians claim some sort of right to it is as absurd as suggesting that all construction in the District of Columbia be frozen because the British once claimed rights over it.
 
Obama’s people are also up in arms because Israel removed some illegal Arab squatters from land they did not own in Jerusalem’s Simon the Righteous neighborhood. This was a Jewish neighborhood until the Jordanians conquered it and evicted all the Jews there in an act of ethnic cleansing. The Israeli Supreme Court has repeatedly ruledthat the land in question belongs legally to Jews.
 
The United Nations Partition Plan of 1947 called for the creation of a Jewish state and an Arab state alongside it. The Arab state never arose because the land that had been set aside for it was gobbled up by the Arab countries that sent their armies to annihilate the Jews.
 
The UN partition granted Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus, with its hospital and university facilities, to Israel. Access by Jews to the area was supposed to be free and unfettered. But Arab terrorist militias placed Mount Scopus under siege and attacked any vehicle trying to reach it. The Mufti himself plannedthe massacre that followed.
 

On April 13, 1948, a large convoy consisting mainly of Jewish doctors and nurses tried to reach the hospital on Mount Scopus. It was attacked in Sheikh Jarrah at the mount’s foothills. The Jewish vehicles were hit by mines and strafed by gunfire and other weapons.

Some 79 Jews and a British soldier were murdered by the terrorists of Sheikh Jarrah. The bodies were so badly burned that most of them could not be identified. The victims included the head of Hadassah hospital and the head of its medical school.
 
In recent years, Arab-occupied Sheikh Jarrah has again been the frequent scene of terrorism and violence against Jews. During the recent Gaza campaign, Arab thugs attacks Jews driving or walking near Mount Scopus.
 
Obama is concerned about the potential for unrest and violence if Jews move to the property they own in Sheikh Jarrah and other Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem. But of course he would never propose removing the Arab residents of those areas in order to restore tranquility. His Klan Plan consists only of preventing Jews from moving in and ruining the neighborhood.
 

Jews have exactly as much right to Sheikh Jarrah as the U.S. government had to the Lee Plantation that became Arlington Cemetery. And the rights in both cases were won in exactly the same way – through bloodshed.

 

 

Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/obamas-apartheid-plan-for-jerusalem/2009/08/12/

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