The Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Palestine, Theophilos III, denounced on Thursday what he called “repeated” attacks on Christian and Muslim places of worship in the Palestinian territories by extremist Jewish settlers.
“The targeting of churches and mosques is caused by pervasive racism and hatred,” he said in a statement.
Earlier Thursday, Jewish Settlers set fire to part of a religious school affiliated with Jerusalem’s Greek Orthodox Church, Which they sprayed with anti-Christian graffiti. On Wednesday, settlers torched and sprayed graffiti on a West Bank mosque.
Theophilos III said Christians represented an “integral part” of the Holy Land, its history and its future, going on to assert that the Greek Orthodox Church was one of the world’s most important churches.
“Criminals will not intimidate this church or its flock,” he declared.
He called on government agencies to address repeated settler attacks on places of worship.
Earlier Thursday, The Palestinian Foreign Ministry called on both the Vatican and the international community to protect Islamic and Christian places of worship from what it described as “Jewish extremism.”
“We strongly condemn these acts,” the ministry said in a statement. “Yesterday a mosque near Bethlehem was torched and today a church in Jerusalem [was attacked].”
Extremist Jews, the ministry asserted, continued to attack Muslim and Christian places of worship while the Israeli government did nothing to stop them.
The ministry went on to blame the Israeli government for the trend, calling on the Vatican, the international community and the UN to help protect local religious sites.
On Wednesday, Jewish Settlers set fire to a mosque near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, Which Also they covered with anti-Arab and anti-Muslim graffiti.
Several instances of settler attacks on Muslim places of worship have been reported recently, both in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and in the self-proclaimed Jewish state itself.
JERUSALEM – A right-wing Jewish organization called the Western Wall Heritage Foundation has circulated an invitation for bids to conduct excavations in tunnels under the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a top Palestinian official said Sunday.
Ahmad Qurei, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said the work would start on Feb. 20.
In a statement, Qurei, who chairs a PLO department for Jerusalem affairs, described the move as dangerous. He said that Israeli engineers and contractors had toured the al-Aqsa mosque compound secretly a few days ago to explore the location before they submit their bids.
The Israeli occupation government, added the statement, through these “aggressive excavations,” plans to create new paths and chambers under the Western Wall of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in order to enhance its grab on the Old City of Jerusalem and eventually transform it into a Jewish city both physically and demographically.
Israel has already excavated dozens of tunnels under the Old City as part of its efforts to displace the indigenous Palestinian residents and replace them with Jewish settlers, according to Qurei.
One of the tunnels, he said, runs from Ein Silwan to the western wall of the al-Aqsa mosque. Another major tunnel runs from the wall to the Omari school in the Muslim quarter. A third tunnel runs from the Muslim Quarter to the Western Wall of the al-Aqsa mosque.
In addition, added Qurei, there are ongoing excavations in attempts to connect between illegal settlement outposts in the Old City.
More than 20,000 Palestinian homes in Jerusalem have been shortlisted to be demolished by the Israeli occupation authorities, Jerusalem Centre for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER) has revealed.
The centre’s head, Ziad Hamouri, said that the reason these homes have been shortlisted for demolition is that they were built without building licences issued by the Israeli municipality in the occupied city. Applications for such licences from Palestinians are rarely approved.
According to Hamouri, the Israelis use the licence issue as a pretext to get rid of the centuries-old Palestinian existence in Jerusalem. Few Palestinians can afford a building licence even if an application is approved. “The Israeli demands for a construction licence are punitive financially and procedurally,” said Hamouri. “Every licence takes from five to eight years to be issued and they cost from $30,000 t0 $50,000 each.”
Such measures do not apply to Jews living in the city, who even find apartments ready-made for them to move into and are exempt from frequent and very high taxes.
The Palestinian Authority has called for the international community to stop Israel taking ever more Palestinian land by stealth.
JERUSALEM – An Israeli settler on Wednesday morning assaulted a teenage Palestinian boy from the al-Thuri neighborhood near Silwan in Jerusalem while the boy was walking to school, the boy’s father says.
Jamil Gheith told Ma’an that the settler attempted to kidnap his son Ibrahim, 14, but he managed to run away.
Gheith explained that a group of settlers from one of the illegal outposts in al-Thuri stopped their private car and one of them stepped out and brutally attacked Ibrahim. The settler then tried to drag the boy forcibly into the car, but the boy started to scream for help and managed to run away, the father added.
Family members and other residents in the nearby houses heard the boy screaming and rushed to help him. At that point the attacker ran to the outpost and his escorts sped away, the father added.
Locals called Israeli police who arrived and instead of looking for the attacker they started to beat the Palestinian residents who were at the site, including family members of the assaulted boy.
The victim was then taken to Shaare Zedek medical center in West Jerusalem for treatment and his father filed a complaint at an Israeli police station.
An Israeli police spokesman said he was looking into the report.
Mayor of al-Ram Ali Maslamani told Ma’an that Israeli forces arrived in the early morning hours and closed the northern entrance to the town with huge concrete cubes. The closure, he said, crippled the traffic at the busiest entrance to al-Ram.
The mayor added that his town is densely populated as it has about 60,000 residents the majority of whom use the northern entrance almost every day.
The northern entrance, says al-Maslamani, is the main exit to several other towns and villages.
“Closing the entrance will strangle the town more after it has been segregated by the separation wall,” added al-Maslamani.
He said that more than 100,000 people from neighboring areas visit the town every day to do shopping or visit banks and public service offices.
JERUSALEM – Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian house in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukabir on Wednesday, locals told Ma’an.
Israeli forces raided the neighborhood and surrounded a house belonging to Ulayyan Jalal Rabaya before a bulldozer destroyed the property.
Rabaya said he had begun renovation work on the interior of the house some months ago to live there with his fiance, who he is due to marry.
Jerusalem municipality workers posted a demolition order on the property last Monday saying that it lacked a building permit.
Two other house belonging to the Rabaya family are also slated for demolition, with a court decision expected Friday.
Local organizations in the neighborhood called for a sit-in protest outside the Israeli Supreme Court to protest the demolition.
Around 150 demolitions orders are pending in the Jabal al-Mukabir neighborhood, a local official Suleiman Shqeirat said. Most are issued under the pretext that they lack building permits.
Israeli forces stormed the East Jerusalem town of al-Isawiya before dawn Tuesday and demolished a Palestinian house allegedly being built without a license from the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem.
Israel rarely grants construction permits to Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and regularly demolishes structures built without permits.
Israeli bulldozers demolished at least 359 Palestinian structures in the West Bank in 2014, according to the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.
During the 1967 war, Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan, occupied it, and later annexed it in a move never recognized abroad.
Also Wednesday, the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem police detained three Palestinians.
They were identified as Ziad al-Qaq, Mousa Audah and his brother Naji.
By Maher Abu Tair | Addustour | January 5, 2015
The Jerusalemite’s human shield around the city of Jerusalem is quite a marvellous human shield indeed. If it were not for the rather substantial presence of the Palestinian Hebronites in the city, it would have been exposed to extreme danger. It is enough that we see hundreds of thousands of worshippers line up daily in prayer in all Al-Aqsa willing to sacrifice their life and their blood to protect the city.
Israel is concentrating all of its efforts on dividing the people of Jerusalem into individual factions and they have a plan to target each of these factions in an individual way. Israel’s plan of attack is being implemented slowly so that it can permanently phase out the Palestinian presence in the city, little by little and gradually in a frantic war over the city.
Among the groups of Jerusalemites created by Israel is the group that fears for the very essence of its existence as they worry that they will lose their Israeli residency permits, which allow them to live in Jerusalem. There are also groups of people who are being targeted with high taxes, a group forced into labour in the construction and expansion of Israeli settlements, a group of people avoiding everyday murder attempts and finally, a group of people that is simply preoccupied with the complexities of everyday life.
In addition to all this, a number of strange reports have been leaked on the reality of the problems that are currently facing Palestinian Jerusalemites and this includes unfortunate stories of the city’s youth who have allowed themselves to become the new recruits of Israeli gangs that specialise in automobile thefts among other crimes. One cannot forget to mention the unusual emergence of drug rings in Jerusalem, which have taken over the city in quite an unusual way.
The facts that have been presented on the ground indicate that the presence of drugs in the Jerusalem area is quite a catastrophic development which will have many dangerous consequences on the city’s inhabitants. Perhaps the most significant consequence of all is the decreasing presence of the city’ inhabitants around the holy sites and the fact that their addiction and dependence on drugs ensures that they remain financially drained and without any definite sense of security.
The spread of drugs within Jerusalem’s Arab circles indicates that the occupation has infiltrated the city on many levels and that the end goal behind these destructive policies is ultimately to destroy the city’s popular infrastructure via many different means such as, drugs, high taxes, increasing debt and the increasing threat of imprisonment etc.
Moreover, there are no Arab institutions present that could counter or balance these racist policies against Jerusalemites. Thus, the challenge of standing up to Israel’s policies remains the sole responsibility of the city’s Palestinians; that it is an individual struggle that each Jerusalemite has to ultimately face on his or her own.
Despite all of these unfortunate circumstances, one cannot generalise or label Palestinian Jerusalemites as one particular type of people. We must remember that they are human beings that are being forced to act and respond to unfortunate circumstances on a superhuman level. One cannot deny that there are thousands of Jerusalemites who are willing to sacrifice their lives and their safety to protect Al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock Mosques in the face of its many confrontations.
One must recognise that the occupation aims to turn Jerusalemites into two different types of people, ones that are forced into cheap labour that aids the occupation’s expansion and others who become the victims of drugs, debt and suffocating taxes. The goal of all this is to break the human shield that the Palestinians have created to protect Jerusalem.
Israel has used all of its power to take over Jerusalem and we have aided this process by allowing Israel to do whatever it wants. The biggest proof of how we are all culpable is that none of us have asked Jerusalemites what they truly need. We merely throw them into the jaws of the crocodiles and ask them from afar: why do you not rise up in anger?
Translated by MEMO
JERUSALEM – Israeli forces on Wednesday afternoon shot a 5-year-old Palestinian child in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet in East Jerusalem as he was getting out of a school bus on his way home, relatives said.
“An Israeli soldier fired a black rubber-coated bullet at the child from a close distance, injuring him under the eye,” the uncle of 5-year-old Muhammad Jamal Ubeid told Ma’an.
The incident reportedly took place in the East Jerusalem village of al-Issawiya, where Muhammad’s family lives.
The child’s uncle said that Muhammad and his 14-year-old sister stepped out of a school bus and had started to walk home when the Israeli forces shot him.
The uncle said there were no confrontations at all in the area between Israeli forces and Palestinians at the time of the shooting.
An Israeli police spokesman did not return a request for comment.
Muhammad was evacuated to the nearby Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus where medical authorities said he had a fracture in the bone below his eye.
The boy was later transferred to the Hadassah Medical Center in the Ein Karem neighborhood in West Jerusalem for treatment.
East Jerusalem neighborhoods like al-Issawiya have seen months of heavy police presence and widespread protests amid increasing anger over the Israeli occupation and perceived discrimination.
Palestinians in East Jerusalem have residency rights but not citizenship since Israel occupied the city in 1967, despite the fact that the vast majority are born and raised in the city and trace their heritage back generations.
Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognized abroad. The international community sees East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory.
Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti criticized on Monday the UN resolution submitted to the Security Council by the PLO, urging the Palestinian Authority (PA) to reword the proposal.
In a letter sent to Ma’an news agency from jail, Barghouti said the UN resolution is an “unjustified fallback which will have a very negative impact on the Palestinian position.”
The senior Fatah leader said he always urged the leadership to take the question of Palestine to the UN to obtain a security council resolution, but any proposal must be in line with inalienable national principles.
Barghouti urged the leadership to comprehensively revise the wording of the draft resolution to focus on the major issues of settlement expansion, Jerusalem, prisoners, and the blockade on the Gaza Strip.
He added that any talk of land swap will weaken the sovereignty of any future Palestinian state on the lands occupied in 1967, and its right for self-determination, noting that such a measure would be used to legalize settlement building.
Barghouti urged the PA to insist on the illegality of the Israeli settlements across the occupied West Bank and annexed East Jerusalem, slamming settlement building as a “war crime.”
According to the Fatah leader, the PA should continue to assert on the centrality of East Jerusalem as a capital of the state of Palestine and the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their former homes in Occupied Palestine as stated in UN General Assembly resolution 194.
Moreover, Barghouti criticized the UN resolution’s lack of emphasis on the issue of Palestinian prisoners.
“The PA should make it clear that freeing all prisoners is an absolute right and a precondition for peace.”
He also said the draft resolution must include an article demanding the immediate lifting of Israel’s “crippling siege” on Gaza.
“Unless all these demands are ensured, we should put an end to these useless negotiations,” Barghouti stated.
A senior figure within the Fatah, Barghouti was arrested in 2002 and sentenced two years later. He is serving five life sentences for alleged involvement in attacks on Israeli targets.
Barghouti’s letter comes after Jordan presented a resolution draft to the UN Security Council last Wednesday.
The PA has sought Arab backing for a draft UN resolution that would set a two-year deadline for reaching a final settlement with Israel and pave the way for a two-state solution.
The draft resolution calls for a “just, lasting and comprehensive peace solution that brings an end to the Israeli occupation” of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and “fulfills the vision” of a Palestinian state, within the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the “shared capital.”
The measure also provides for a phased Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 according to a timeframe that doesn’t “exceed the end of 2017.”
If the resolution is to be put to vote, the US State Department will most probably use its right to veto.
Many international players have long insisted that a promised Palestinian state must come through negotiations with Israel. Palestinians have retorted that repeated rounds of talks have gone nowhere, with Israel unwilling to compromise on the issues of illegal settlements and prisoners.
European politicians have become more active in pushing for a sovereign Palestine since the collapse of US-sponsored peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in April, and the ensuing conflict in Gaza, where more than 2,000 Palestinians, at least 70 percent of them civilians, and 72 Israelis were killed this summer.
Sweden’s decision in October to recognize Palestine preceded non-binding votes by parliaments in Britain, France, Ireland, and Spain in favor of recognition demonstrated growing European impatience with the stalled peace process.
The roots of the Israel-Palestine conflict date back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-infamous “Balfour Declaration,” called for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”
Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Zionist state – a move never recognized by the international community.
In 1988, Palestinian leaders led by Yasser Arafat declared the existence of a state of Palestine inside the 1967 borders and the state’s belief “in the settlement of international and regional disputes by peaceful means in accordance with the charter and resolutions of the United Nations.”
Heralded as a “historic compromise,” the move implied that Palestinians would agree to accept only 22 percent of historic Palestine in exchange for peace with Israel. It is now believed that only 17 percent of historic Palestine is under Palestinian control following the continued expansion of illegal Israeli settlements.
It is worth noting that numerous Palestinian factions and pro-Palestine advocates support a one-state solution in which Israelis and Palestinians would be treated equally, arguing that the creation of a Palestinian state beside Israel would not be sustainable and that it would mean recognizing a state of Israel on territories seized forcefully by Zionists before 1967.
They also believe that the two-state solution, which is the only option considered by international actors, won’t solve existing discrimination, nor erase economic and military tensions.
JERUSALEM (AFP) — Eight Palestinians from annexed East Jerusalem were indicted on Monday for inciting anti-Jewish violence and supporting “terror” in postings on Facebook, an Israeli justice ministry spokeswoman said.
The eight men, aged 18-45, were charged at Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court with “incitement to violence or terror and supporting a terrorist group” on Facebook, a ministry statement read.
The incriminating posts were put online in recent months as a wave of violence rocked the city during which several Palestinians staged lone wolf attacks killing nine people.
The defendants “directly called for violence and terror against (Jewish) citizens and security forces and praised, encouraged and supported these deeds and their perpetrators” on the Internet, the statement read.
Among the remarks posted online were “It is good to kidnap soldiers”, “Zionists flee because you’ll soon be killed by a car” and words expressing hope that a right-wing Jewish activist, who survived an assassination attempt in October, would die a painful death, the indictment said.
All eight Palestinians were arrested earlier this month in what police said was their biggest operation yet aimed at halting incitement to violence on social networks.
Israelis on social media routinely and openly incite violence against Palestinians, especially during heightened periods of tensions such as this summer’s military offensive on Gaza.
Ma’an staff contributed to this report
Undated photo from Haaretz
In the clearest indication of the growing dangers threatening Al-Aqsa Mosque, in an opinion piece published on Saturday, Haaretz discussed a group of rabbis who met to discuss the scheme for the establishment of the Third Temple on the ruins of the mosque. The newspaper published a photograph of a number of rabbis and engineers studying a map of Al-Aqsa Mosque.In a piece written by Professor Ronnie Ellenblum entitled “Bells are ringing for the ultra-Orthodox and Secular” [hebrew], the paper discussed the future of Al-Aqsa Mosque which Jews refer to as the Temple Mount.
Although the paper did not identify the rabbis who appeared in the picture, one of them has been identified as Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, president of the Temple Institute, a religious authority that is considered the most enthusiastic about destroying Al-Aqsa Mosque and establishing a temple on its ruins.
The research also involved Rabbi Yehuda Etzion, who was responsible for implementing the Hebron University massacre which left 15 students dead or wounded, and was also responsible for implementing three assassination attempts against elected mayors in the West Bank, one of which injured the then Mayor of Nablus Bassam Shakaa, leaving him permanently disabled.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had pledged to the king of Jordan not to take any steps that would change the status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Miri Regev, MK for the Likud party led by Netanyahu, announced that she will not allow the continuation of the status quo Al-Aqsa, stressing that the next Knesset will issue a number of laws that will promote Jewish sovereignty over it.
Israeli Channel 10 quoted Regev saying on Thursday that the consecration of Jewish sovereignty in Al-Aqsa Mosque is the most important embodiment of the political, religious and cultural sovereignty of “the Jewish people on their land”.
The channel noted that this view is supported by the ministers of economy and housing, Naftali Bennett and Uri Ariel, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee Ze’ev Elkin, the head of the coalition bloc in parliament, Danny Levin.
Elie Wiesel presents himself as a humanitarian whose personal narrative gives him special license to sermonize about tolerance and non-violence. Wiesel: “Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must — at that moment — become the center of the universe.” More Wiesel: “Never again becomes more than a slogan: It’s a prayer, a promise, a vow. Never again jail and torture. Never again the suffering of innocent people, or the shooting of starving, frightened, terrified children.”
Yet Wiesel, the putative guardian of the weak and the innocent, is in conflict with Wiesel, the Zionist and shameless apologist for Israel’s on going ethnic cleansing campaign and serial butchery in Lebanon and Gaza. “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides.” In the Middle East Wiesel has made his choice and it is to champion the powerful against their victims and to defend the occupier against the dispossessed.
In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech Wiesel claimed to be sensitive to the plight of the Palestinians “but whose methods I deplore when they lead to violence. Violence is not the answer. Terrorism is the most dangerous of answers.” Wiesel denounced Palestinian terrorism but conveniently ignored his own membership in a Jewish terrorist group, the Irgun, which he joined in Paris in 1947 as a translator, journalist and propagandist.
Obviously Wiesel knew the Irgun was a terrorist group when he became a member. Its European HQ fled Rome for Paris after an Irgun cell blew up the British embassy there. Furthermore by the time Wiesel joined the organization, it had established a reputation for bombing and shooting scores of innocent Arabs in Palestine. In the 1930s the Irgun planted deadly bombs in Arab marketplaces, most notably in Jaffa, Haifa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. They also blew up buses and trains. By the mid-1940s the Irgun put the British colonial government in its sights. In 1946 the terrorist group killed 91 people in a Christmas bombing of the King David Hotel. They also kidnapped, tortured and hanged two British Army sergeants. And in an outrage which occurred after Wiesel joined the Irgun, the group killed some 254 unarmed Palestinian civilians at Deir Yassin in order to terrorize Palestine’s Christian and Muslim population and encourage their flight.
Despite working for a terrorist organization that was instrumental in driving the Palestinians from their homes during Israel’s so called War of Independence, Wiesel quite dishonestly asserted in a New York Times op-ed that “Incited by their leaders, 600,000 Palestinians left the country convinced that, once Israel was vanquished, they would be able to return home.” Not only did Wiesel know the truth about the Palestinian Nakba from his work for the Irgun, but when his piece appeared in the Times in 2001 Israeli historians like Benny Morris had already entirely debunked the myth of voluntary Palestinian flight. Further, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s autobiography revealed David Ben-Gurion’s order to drive out the Palestinians:
“While the fighting was still in progress, we had to grapple with a troublesome problem…the fate of the civilian population of Lod and Ramle, numbering some 50,000… We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question: ‘What is to be done with the population?’ Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said, ‘Drive them out!’… The population of Lod did not leave willingly. There was no way of avoiding the use of force…”
Lying about Israeli ethnic cleansing was not enough. Wiesel, ever the propagandist, even tried to discredit the Palestinian struggle against Zionism by conflating indigenous Arab resistance with Nazism. Wiesel wrote in his autobiography, All Rivers Flow to the Sea, “gangs loyal to the grand mufti, the pro-Hitler Haj Amin el-Husseini, former ally and protégé of Himmler, attacked Jewish villages and convoys.” Of course Wiesel said nothing about Avraham Stern, leader of an Irgun splinter group, the Lehi, who actually sought an alliance with the Nazis against Great Britain during World War II.
Wiesel has said “Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil” and “When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant”. Nevertheless in the face of the Palestinian struggle to end years of Israeli occupation, land theft and brutality, Wiesel, when he isn’t blaming Zionism’s victims, is either silent or indifferent: “…whenever Israeli police or soldiers react excessively to violence from Palestinian soldiers or civilians. I rarely answer.” And concerning the IDF facilitated massacres in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon: “I don’t think we should even comment…” What ever happened to Wiesel’s signature commonplace “I swore never to be silent…”?
During this past summer’s Israeli assault on Gaza, Wiesel accused the Palestinians of using children as human shields, saying in a full page ad in the New York Times, “Jews rejected child sacrifice 3,500 years ago. Now it’s Hamas’ turn.” Truth is, of course, the Israelis have not given up child sacrifice if it is Arab children doing the dying. And Israel’s exculpatory explanation that ‘the Arabs forced us to murder their kids’ has been used for a long time, for example to shield Israel from international criticism during bombing campaigns against Egypt in the early1970s and repeatedly in Lebanon.
As for Wiesel’s human shields accusation itself, western media reporting from inside Gaza during operation Protective Edge in August have pretty much discredited him. Were the four cousins playing soccer on the beach killed by Israeli naval gunfire human shields? What about the young children hit with a smart bomb while feeding the family ducks? Human shields too? And the 500 or so other dead children? Considering Israeli willingness to hit any target in Gaza from UN schools to water treatment plants to hospitals, why would Hamas bother to use kids as shields? The presence of civilians hasn’t deterred Israeli attacks in Gaza or elsewhere; good examples being the shelling of the UN compound at Qana in Lebanon and the bombing of Bahr el-Baqar primary school in Egypt
If Wiesel had a scintilla of humanity he would be honest enough to admit that Israel is killing children in Gaza because the Palestinians have chosen to resist Israeli ethnocide of which the long term siege of Gaza is an integral and essential part.
Wiesel has written repeatedly to defend Israeli government policy in Jerusalem. In 2001 Wiesel stated, “As for Jerusalem, would it not be better to resolve all other pending questions first and defer until a later time decisions about the fate of the holiest of cities?” More recently, in a 2010 letter to President Obama, Wiesel asking him not to “pressure” the Israelis to make concessions to the Palestinians in Jerusalem. Wiesel’s intent is clear: To buy time for the Israelis to finish their campaign of ethnic cleansing in the Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem. Wiesel, clearly a man not afraid to lie, even went so far as to claim,”… contrary to certain media reports, Jews, Christians and Muslims ARE allowed to build their homes anywhere in the city” to which Jerusalem resident and former MK Yossi Sarid replied, “Not only may an Arab not build “anywhere,” but he may thank his god if he is not evicted from his home and thrown out onto the street with his family and property…”
Wiesel states that Jerusalem “belongs to the Jewish people.” He asserts an exclusive Jewish claim to the city saying Jerusalem “is mentioned more than six hundred times in Scripture—and not a single time in the Koran,” as if this should somehow minimize Muslim veneration and attachment to the city. And he says nothing about the importance of Jerusalem to Christianity or that the place name appears 140 times in the New Testament. Wiesel may be right when he declared “No human race is superior; no religious faith is inferior. All collective judgments are wrong. Only racists make them.” But one may doubt he delivered the aphorism with self-criticism in mind.
Wiesel may also claim that “For me, the Jew that I am, Jerusalem is above politics,” but he knows better. The Israeli politicians who vastly expanded Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries after the 1967 war did so with politics and demographics in mind. And Wiesel himself is chairman of the advisory board of the settler run outfit Elad, whose current project is to drive Palestinians out of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan by fair means or foul.
Wiesel has been called a “contemptible poseur and windbag” and the “resident clown of the Holocaust circus.” Perhaps it would be more accurate to label him the personification of Nazi genocide in service of Zionism. And Zionism is the longest systematic violation of human rights in recent history. The ever so quotable Wiesel may proclaim “One person of integrity can make a difference,” but that person is not Elie Wiesel.