Reposted on December 7 in the wake of the Trump administration’s unilateral announcement that Jerusalem will be considered the capital of Israel for the U.S.A.
The current tragic conflict between Palestine and Israel has its historic roots in western values. The values of colonialism and capitalism. Basically, we support democracy in North Africa and the Middle East as long as the democratically elected government is one of which we approve. For example, we were in full support of the Arab Spring until they democratically elected the Muslim Brotherhood. So, we quietly stood by while a military coup replaced those Islamic fundamentalists. Or, we loudly supported democratic elections in Palestine until the people in Gaza elected Hamas. Then we loudly turned all of our support to our friend, Israel, so they could defeat those Islamic terrorists.
My son, fourteen, wanted to know more about the current conflict in Gaza and did some historical research. He discovered that the western values of Britain during World War I gave them the chutzpah to offer the Arabs their independent land in Palestine while at the same time promising diasporic Jews a “National Homeland.”
He discovered that it was a Canaanite group, the Semitic Jebusites, who founded Urusalim and settled there in 4000 BCE. Around 2000 BCE, Abraham passed through briefly when he wandered south from Ur. Moses, years later, wandered north from Egypt, but still couldn’t displace the Jebusites. Four centuries later, King David finally defeated the original inhabitants of the area and briefly united the Jewish people there. After his son Solomon’s death, they split into two states, Israel and Judah, and the area was subsequently conquered by the Assyrians, the Chaldeans (when Nebuchadnezzar took the Jews to slavery in Babylon), Alexander the Great, and the Romans, who gave Palestine its present name.
The Arabs and the evolution of Islam arrived in 634 CE. Several conquering and occupying dynasties later, Britain, at the end of World War II, handed the “Palestinian Problem” to the newly formed United Nations. The UN created two territories, one for the Arabs and one for the Jews. There were 750,000 Arabs and only 9000 Jews in the Arab territory, whereas the Jewish territory had a 50/50 split of about 500,000 each.
The Jewish terrorist organization, the Irgun, didn’t like this ratio, slaughtered over 250 civilians in the village of Deir Yassin in 1948 and, without any standing under international law, Israel declared itself to be an independent country as 10,000 terrified Palestinians fled the territory.
The United Nations assisted in this process by considering the displaced Palestinians to be not a “people” but only “refugees” and things have been going downhill for the Palestinians ever since. Egypt, my son discovered, bears equal responsibility with Israel and western democracy for the crippling blockades against the Palestinian people. Held hostage by holocaust guilt and election cycles, western democracy has permitted the steady erosion of Palestinian lands and human rights for the last 70 years under the banner, “Israel has the right to defend itself.”
Ah, democracy and western values. He discovered they are like the quest for world peace. Ideals at the end of the rainbow. And just as elusive.
Skid Crease, Caledon
The Status of the City of Jerusalem
PRESS RELEASE from:Palestinian General Delegation in Ottawa
December 06, 2017
The Palestinian General Delegation in Canada affirms that international legitimacy and law define clearly the status of the city of Jerusalem and that East Jerusalem is: a Palestinian land, occupied by Israeli forces in 1967 and is subject to the fourth Geneva Convention. As such, any attempts to change the geographical or demographical status of East Jerusalem is illegal, null and is in clear contradiction and violation of the international law.
The Palestinian General Delegation in Canada condemns any unilateral attempt to change the status of the city of Jerusalem. This attempt constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and a blatant contempt of international legitimacy, United Nations and Security Council resolutions. The international community must take action to end the exploitation of power which tries to enforce an illegal status on the city if Jerusalem.
Any attempt to change the status of the city of Jerusalem suffocates hopes for a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and sabotages efforts to revive already stalled peace talks and negotiations.
The International legitimacy has supported and adopted a peaceful resolution of this conflict based on a two-state solution on the borders of 1967, through enabling the Palestinian people to establish their independent state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel.
The Palestinian General Delegation in Canada welcomes the announcement of the Government of Canada that it will not move the Canadian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Canada’s balanced position was very clear as stated by Global Affairs’ press secretary Adam Austen: “Canada’s long-standing position is that the status of Jerusalem can be resolved only as part of a general settlement of the Palestinian- Israeli dispute….We are strongly committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel.”
Canada remains an important and strategic country for the Palestinians. The Palestinian General Delegation in Canada reiterates its commitment to work on developing bilateral relations that would ensure the prosperity of all Palestinians and Canadians. It further ensures readiness to remain a reliable partner when needed.