A thread on Sheikh Jarrah:
A few years ago a friend of mine & I, went on a left wing tour with a group advocating for the Arab residents of Sheikh Jarrah. The tour quickly deteriorated into an anti-Israel diatribe against “colonialist Zionists” trying to Judaize Jerusalem.
The guides spewed a narrative of Jewish police & one-sided courts violating international law by evicting Palestinians from their homes. We met with residents who claimed to be in Israeli courts trying to save their homes from the Zionists who were stealing them.
The tour gave me a lot to think about, and as it was designed to do, bore empathy for the Palestinian residents who were about to lose their homes. The Jewish claimants in the law suits had deeds to the homes they had built before 1948.
The Jordanian army won Sheikh Jarrah in 1948 Independence War, evicted the Jewish residents & gave their homes to Arabs. When Israel reconquered Sheikh Jarrah in 1967, Jewish owners of the homes tried to take back their homes. After decades in court, some are succeeding.
These are the facts. Yet, Anti-Israel activists, ignore the facts and simply claim Israel is evicting Palestinian Arabs in Sheikh Jarrah for no other reason then they’re Palestinian. US Senators, Congresspeople & left wing American Jews decried the eviction of Palestinians.
Until this point I’ve remained silent on Sheikh Jarrah. I’m torn between the legal right of Jews to reclaim their homes and the Palestinian Arab residents’ plight of being evicted from the only home they’ve known. I’m also unsure how to explain a one-sided law that allows
Jews sue for their pre-1948 homes, but doesn’t give Arabs the same right. I maintain that Jerusalem is the Jewish capitol and while I don’t advocate for removing Arabs from the city, I believe the city should be populated by Jews.
I’ve been conflicted, and therefore stayed silent. One more fact came to light overnight that changed my mind. The Jewish claimants, confident they’d win the case, offered a compromise. They’d take ownership of the homes, but the Arab residents could stay –
provided they paid rent. The Arab residents accepted the offer. But then the Palestinian Authority stepped in and threatened the Arab residents. By settling with the Jews, the Palestinian Arabs would be admitting Jewish ownership in Jerusalem.
The residents claim they were threatened by the Palestinian Authority not to settle.
I maintain the Jewish claimants have every right to evict the Palestinian Arabs from their homes. The homes are legally Jewish owned in a Jewish city.
Yet, there is much more to this episode than a simple legal dispute. Violence has started because of this dispute. Blood will be spilled. I wish this dispute would be a true inflection point, but it isn’t. I hope that whatever happens, peace reigns in Jerusalem.
You can follow @RationalSettler.
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