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One Essay on Jerusalem

Erstellt am 16.07.2011 von Andreas Hermann Landl
Dieser Artikel wurde 4465 mal gelesen und am 18.07.2011 zuletzt geändert.

David Shulman has written NYR-Blog on July 7, 2011 6:13 p.m.

„Two Marches, Two Futures for Jerusalem“

The images by William Parry are drawn from his recent book

Haley/SIPA/AP Images

A protester in Qalandia, Palestine, June 5, 2011

One of the oddities of life in Jerusalem is that everyone knows where the future border will run between the Palestinian East and the Israeli West—despite the tiresome insistence of the Israeli government that the city will never again be divided.

For example

The communities on the two sides of the road receive vastly different levels of

  • investment in education,
  • transport, social services, and
  • other infrastructure.

Despite the government’s continuing attempts

  • to evict as many Palestinians as possible from East Jerusalem neighborhoods like Sheikh Jarrah and
  • plant colonies of fanatical Jewish settlers in their place,

„the line is still very clear, for W.P.

June 1—Jerusalem day March

It was thus not by chance that on June 1 the municipality sponsored and largely financed a mass march in favor of further Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem („and, indeed, throughout the occupied West Bank“).

Background: June 1 is the so called Jerusalem day. 2011 was the forty-fourth anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem in the Six Day War

With police protection provided by the state,

  • tens of thousands of marchers followed Road Number One south and
  • west into Sheikh Jarrah and
  • then into the Old City.

The very idea of dividing the city is anathema to those who organized and took part in the march.

Although, „most know very well that there is no hope whatever of achieving any settlement with the Palestinians without such a division.

„The march was clearly meant as a statement of the right-wing goal of asserting and cementing Israeli sovereignty over the entire city by pursuing the settlement project in Palestinian neighborhoods.“

The marchers also called out

aggressive and overtly threatening messages aimed at the Palestinian population“ and

„at Israelis who support Palestinian independence that should not be minimized or overlooked“.

Most of the marchers were

  • young people, and
  • probably a majority of them were settlers.

„The police estimate of the turnout was 25,000, almost certainly on the low side; others estimated over 40,000.“

For much of the way, this huge crowd was chanting slogans that, W.P thinks it’s fair to say, Israelis have never heard at such a pitch — slogans such as

  • “Butcher the Arabs” (itbach al-‘arab) and
  • “Death to Leftists” and
  • “The Land of Israel for the People of Israel” and
  • “This is the Song of Revenge” and
  • “Burn their Villages” and
  • “Muhammad is Dead”

>>the latter with particular emphasis outside the mosque in Sheikh Jarrah and then again as the march entered the Muslim Quarter of the Old City.

W.P: „It’s one thing to hear such things occasionally from isolated pockets of extremists, or from settlers in the field in the South Hebron hills, quite another to hear them from the throats of tens of thousands of marchers whipping themselves into an ecstasy of hatred.

The slogans call up rather specific memories:

I couldn’t help wondering how many of the marchers were grandchildren of Jews who went through such moments — as targets of virulent hatein Europe.

Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah and the Muslim Quarter of the Old City

They „watched in horror, but there were no attempts to meet the hatred with violence.“

For nearly twenty-fours hours „the settler mob

  • maintained a huge, raucous presence in the streets of East Jerusalem,
  • taking particular delight in marching through the Muslim Quarter at 4AM.
  • Some of the marchers threw stones at Palestinian passersby near the Damascus Gate.

The police,

William Parry 

„Detail from a mural on the Separation Wall at the Aida refugee camp, West Bank

„So here you have one vision of the future of Jerusalem — and, sadly, it looks very much as if the current wave of racist hysteria is only gaining strength in Israel. Moreover, as is usually the case with modern nationalism,

  • the political center and
  • the more moderate right

show no signs of attempting to hold back the tide.“

W.P: „Indeed,

„And yet the peace camp is not dead.“

A joint Israeli-Palestinian initiative planned a counter-march on July 15 of possibly historic significance. On their stood banner “Marching for Independence”

Maybe the numbers were much smaller but, W.P. said before the march, „the meaning of the event will certainly transcend the bare numerical count“.

„Something quite new is under way in Palestine.“

Many, from Ehud Barak, Israel’s Minister of Defense, down to the grass-roots Palestinian activists I meet in the territories, expect to see in September a Palestinian version of the “Arab Spring.”

W.P: „No one knows exactly

On that same day more than a thousand demonstrators—among them Palestinians, young Israelis, and International supporters

Although this received far less attention in the press

In view of W.P : The demonstrations at Qalandiya, most clearly pointed to what lies ahead.

A Mediterranean variant of Gandhian-style mass protest

It has by now taken root among Palestinian communities in several parts of the West Bank e.g.:

There is by now

William Parry 

Graffiti on the Separation Barrier, West Bank

„An eloquent statement of the philosophy and method was delivered on June 5 by Bassem al-Tamimi, one of the leaders of the Nabi Saleh protests, at his trial at an Israeli military court for organizing demonstrations.

Al-Tamimi’s text probably

Non-violent resistance

It is also the official policy of the Palestinian government in Ramallah.

Salam Fayyad, the Prime Minister, at the village of Bil’in on June 24th, where the non-violent protest sustained by the villagers for over seven years against the appropriation of village lands by the Separation Barrier was finally crowned with some success.

  1. the Army has begun to move the Separation Barrier at Bil’in slightly to the west,
  2. in partial compliance with an Israeli Supreme Court Ruling from 2007.

The village will, however, still lose about a third of its lands to the Barrier:

No one would claim that all Palestinian factions have renounced violence, but spokesmen for the government in Ramallah have argued, that

The Jerusalem march on July 15th was maybe another important step.

Note that

William Parry 

Graffiti showing the Dome of the Rock on the Separation Barrier in Abu Dis, near Jerusalem

East Jerusalem, caught between the Separation Barrier and the Green Line

It has been

This is happening in close cooperation with young Israelis from the left is a promising development. For those that have been mobilized, there is clearly a firm common ground.

An Solidarity website states unequivocally:

There is no choice for anyone advocating an end to Israeli control over the Palestinians other than supporting the only realistic way left to achieve this goal: recognition of an independent Palestinian state.

The other future for Jerusalem

The alternative to the settlers’ program:

On one side

On the other side,

  • a free Palestine, with its capital in East Jerusalem,
  • the end of the Occupation, and
  • the realistic hope of an agreement based on compromise and mutuality,
  • an agreement whose details are by now common knowledge and
  • broadly acceptable to a majority on both sides of the Green Line

W.P. thinks: „… it is one of the paradoxes of Israeli politics that Israelis consistently elect governments far to the right of their own positions, while polls continue to show that about two-thirds of Israelis support an agreement along the lines everyone knows are feasible).

WP: „You’d think it would be an easy choice?“



 

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