Reconnaissance de Jérusalem: Le NYT veut-il la paix au Moyen-Orient ? (Its track record so far gives little evidence that it has the temperament or skill to navigate such a nuanced position)

The Old City of Jerusalem. The United States, like the rest of the world, hasn’t recognized the city as Israeli territory (NYT)

Jews leaving a section of Jerusalem’s Old City in 1948 (NYT)

al Aqsa

Spot the error: Praying with their behinds towards their holy Muslim site?

Si je t’oublie, Jérusalem, Que ma droite m’oublie! Que ma langue s’attache à mon palais, Si je ne me souviens de toi, Si je ne fais de Jérusalem Le principal sujet de ma joie! Psaume 137: 5-6
Voici, je ferai de Jérusalem une coupe d’étourdissement pour tous les peuples d’alentour, et aussi pour Juda dans le siège de Jérusalem. En ce jour-là, je ferai de Jérusalem une pierre pesante pour tous les peuples; tous ceux qui la soulèveront seront meurtris; et toutes les nations de la terre s’assembleront contre elle. Zacharie 12: 2-3
When the Muslims in Jerusalem pray in their mosques, even in the « Al Aktza » mosque built on the edge of Temple Mount, they actually stand with their back turned to Temple Mount. And, when they bow down in their prayers they show their behind to the site of the Holy Temple. How consistent is that with considering it a Muslim holy site? Holyland
Je partage l’attachement à Israël, de tous les juifs, mais d’un autre côté, la décision de Trump me paraît catastrophique parce qu’elle risque d’embraser la région, parce qu’elle risque d’empêcher la reprise des négociations entre les Palestiens et les Israéliens. Les Américains auraient dû procéder tout autrement. Benyamin Netanyahu ne propose rien aux Palestiniens. Il les pousse au désespoir et à l’extrémisme. Alain Finkielkraut
If nothing else, Donald Trump’s decision on Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital shows how disenthralled his administration is with traditional pieties about the Middle East. It’s about time. (…) What Jerusalem is is the capital of Israel, both as the ancestral Jewish homeland and the modern nation-state. When Richard Nixon became the first American president to visit the country in 1974, he attended his state dinner in Jerusalem. It’s where President Anwar Sadat of Egypt spoke when he decided to make peace in 1977. It’s what Congress decided as a matter of law in 1995. When Barack Obama paid his own presidential visit to Israel in 2013, he too spent most of his time in Jerusalem. So why maintain the fiction that Jerusalem isn’t the capital? The original argument, from 1947, was that Jerusalem ought to be under international jurisdiction, in recognition of its religious importance. But Jews were not allowed to visit the Western Wall during the 19 years when East Jerusalem was under Jordanian occupation. Yasir Arafat denied that Solomon’s Temple was even in Jerusalem, reflecting an increasingly common Palestinian denial of history. Would Jews be allowed to visit Jewish sites, and would those sites be respected, if the city were redivided? Doubtful, considering Palestinian attacks on such sites, which is one of the reasons why it shouldn’t be. The next argument is that any effort by Washington to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would set the proverbial Arab street on fire and perhaps lead to another intifada. But this misapprehends the nature of the street, which has typically been a propaganda tool of Arab leaders to channel domestic discontent and manipulate foreign opinion. And it also misrepresents the nature of the last intifada, which was a meticulously preplanned event waiting for a convenient pretext (Ariel Sharon’s September 2000 walk on the Temple Mount) to look like a spontaneous one. (…) Then again, recognition does several genuinely useful things. It belatedly aligns American words with deeds. It aligns word as well as deed with reality. And it aligns the United States with the country toward which we are constantly professing friendship even as we have spent seven decades stinting it of the most basic form of recognition. Recognition also tells the Palestinians that they can no longer hold other parties hostage to their demands. East Jerusalem could have been the capital of a sovereign Palestinian state 17 years ago, if Arafat had simply accepted the terms at Camp David. He didn’t because he thought he could dictate terms to stronger powers. Nations pay a price for the foolhardiness of their leaders, as the Kurds recently found out. (…) For the international community, that means helping Palestinians take steps to dismantle their current klepto-theocracy, rather than fueling a culture of perpetual grievance against Israel. Mahmoud Abbas is now approaching the 13th anniversary of his elected four-year term. Someone should point this out. Hamas has run Gaza for a decade, during which it has spent more time building rockets and terror tunnels than hotels or hospitals. Someone should point this out, too. It is indicative of the disastrous political choices that help explain 70 years of Palestinian failure. Meantime, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. For those who have lived in denial, it must be some sort of shock. Bret Stephens
Although Israel’s government has been located in Jerusalem since its founding in 1948, the United States, like the rest of the world, hasn’t recognized the city as Israeli territory, even after the Arab-Israeli War in 1967, when Israel drove back Jordan from East Jerusalem and occupied it. Under the Oslo Accords, Israel promised to negotiate Jerusalem’s future as part of a peace agreement. It has been assumed that under any deal, the city would remain its capital. Palestinians anticipated being able to locate their capital in East Jerusalem and to have access to Muslim holy sites there. East Jerusalem was exclusively Arab in 1967, but Israel has steadily built settlements there, placing some 200,000 of its citizens among the Arab population and complicating any possible peace agreement. Mr. Trump boasts of being a consummate dealmaker, but dealmakers don’t usually make concessions before negotiations begin, as the president has here. The big winner is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, whose hard-line government has shown no serious interest in peace, at least not a two-state solution that could win Palestinian support. The blowback was swift. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, warned of “dangerous consequences” to the peace process, while Jordan’s King Abdullah II, the royal palace said, cautioned against the move, “stressing that Jerusalem is the key to achieving peace and stability in the region and the world.” Turkey threatened to cut diplomatic ties with Israel; other criticism came from Egypt, the Arab League and France. King Salman of Saudi Arabia told Mr. Trump a decision on Jerusalem before a final peace deal would hurt talks and increase regional tensions. (…) But some analysts doubt Mr. Trump really wants a peace agreement and say any possible proposal may be intended as political cover so Israel and the Sunni Arabs, once enemies, can intensify their incipient collaboration against Iran. The constituency Mr. Trump is most clearly courting is his own political base of evangelicals and other pro-Israel hard-liners. His predecessors had also made pandering campaign promises in support of moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem. But once in office they chose not to prioritize their domestic politics over delicate peace diplomacy, and they put that promise on hold. Some optimists think that Mr. Trump could lessen the harm of a decision on Jerusalem by making clear he will not prejudge the future of East Jerusalem or other core questions like the borders of a Palestinian state. His track record so far gives little evidence that he has the temperament or skill to navigate such a nuanced position. The NYT
Seul contre tous. Donald Trump a ignoré tous les avertissements, polis ou pressants selon les dirigeants, toutes les suppliques, jusqu’à celle du pape François, avant d’annoncer, mercredi 6 décembre, sa décision de reconnaître officiellement Jérusalem comme capitale d’Israël. Les réactions d’alarme et d’indignation qui ont accueilli cette décision au sein de la communauté internationale – à l’exception du premier ministre israélien, Benyamin Nétanyahou, qui a applaudi des deux mains – confirment, pour ceux qui en doutaient encore, que le président américain n’hésite à transgresser aucun tabou. Il est clair à présent que les Etats-Unis de Donald Trump ne se contentent pas de décider de façon unilatérale, en faisant fi de l’avis de leurs partenaires les plus proches. Ils ont entrepris le démantèlement d’un système de relations internationales qu’ils ont eux-mêmes édifié après la deuxième guerre mondiale. L’annonce de M. Trump sur Jérusalem est, tout simplement, un viol de la diplomatie comme mode de règlement des conflits. En vertu des accords d’Oslo, signés sous les auspices des Etats-Unis en 1993, Israël s’était engagé à négocier le statut futur de Jérusalem dans le cadre d’accords de paix. Le roi de Jordanie, l’un des dirigeants les plus modérés du Moyen-Orient, a souligné que la question de Jérusalem « est cruciale pour parvenir à la paix et la stabilité dans la région et dans le monde ». Le processus de paix lancé à Oslo est malheureusement aujourd’hui au point mort : il n’y a pas, à l’heure actuelle, de négociations de paix entre Israéliens et Palestiniens. Mais en rallumant l’étincelle de Jérusalem, le président américain prend ouvertement le risque d’accroître les tensions et de provoquer de nouvelles violences dans une région toujours au bord de l’explosion, sans pour autant préciser ses projets sur une relance d’un processus de paix. L’envoi du vice-président Michael Pence au Proche-Orient ne fait guère illusion à cet égard. Pis, par sa décision, M. Trump consacre la politique du fait accompli de M. Nétanyahou. Si le gouvernement israélien a été installé à Jérusalem dès 1948, Jérusalem-Est était entièrement arabe jusqu’à 1967. [sic] Depuis, à la faveur de colonies de peuplement construites par Israël, quelque 200 000 Israéliens se sont installés parmi les Palestiniens, rendant la question du statut de la ville encore plus complexe. Jérusalem capitale de l’Etat d’Israël est « une réalité », clame Donald Trump, évitant soigneusement de mentionner Jérusalem-Est comme possible capitale d’un Etat palestinien. Logiquement, ce raisonnement entérine aussi les colonies de peuplement dans les territoires occupés comme « une réalité », au mépris du droit international. Mais, pas plus que l’art de la diplomatie, le droit international n’entre visiblement pas dans les paramètres de la politique étrangère trumpienne, tout entière guidée par son obsession de rompre avec ses prédécesseurs et ses impératifs de politique intérieure – en l’occurrence le souci de satisfaire les chrétiens évangéliques et les lobbys pro-israéliens. La liste des engagements internationaux auxquels M. Trump a tourné le dos depuis son entrée en fonctions, en janvier, s’allonge (…) Le moment est venu de prendre acte de cette réalité. Comme cela se fait déjà pour l’accord sur le climat, il faut apprendre à contourner une administration fédérale américaine engagée dans une dangereuse déstabilisation de la communauté internationale. Le Monde
Amidst some questionable journalism about the American move to acknowledge the location of Israel’s capital, a passage in yesterday’s New York Times editorial stands out as particularly stunning and perverse. The editorial, titled « Does Trump Want Peace in the Middle East, » effectively ratifies the cleansing of Jews from Jerusalem’s Old City and other formerly Jewish areas of Jerusalem during the 1948 Independence War. In a paragraph criticizing the return of Jews to what the newspaper describes as « settlements » in those parts of Jerusalem, the editorial bases its disapproval on the fact that « East Jerusalem was exclusively Arab in 1967. » It is true that this section of Jerusalem was exclusively Arab in 1967. This is because Jews, long a majority and plurality in these parts of the city, were forced out in 1948, when the area was seized by Jordanian troops. Jerusalem neighborhoods like the Jewish Quarter, Shimon Hatzadik, and Silan indeed became Jew-free, their synagogues razed and their cemeteries desecrated. To consider the 19-year period during which Jews were exiled from the Old City and surrounding areas as the starting point of history, and to use it as a bludgeon to attack Israel and delegitimize the presence of Jews in eastern Jerusalem, effectively communicates the newspaper’s acceptance of the expulsion of the Jews and seeming endorsement of an ethically cleansed eastern Jerusalem. In 1948, the New York Times published the following account of Jews pouring out from the Old City walls: Thus the Jews have been eliminated from the City of David for the first time since the sixteenth century. Except for sixty years in the sixteenth century they are believed to have been there continuously since the return from the Babylonian captivity. New Jerusalem was largely created in the last seventy years. All last night and early today the noncombatants were trekking out through the Zion Gate over Mount Zion and through the Valley of Hinnon to the Yemin Moshe quarter from where they were driven to billets in the Katamon quarter. They are mostly orthodox and poor. This is why « east Jerusalem was exclusively Arab in 1967, » as today’s editorial writers who represent the voice of The New York Times know. To omit the purge of Jews from their neighborhoods and holy places while approvingly citing the ethnically « exclusive » nature of eastern Jerusalem amounts to the promotion of a revisionist history by The Times. Camera

Attention: un nettoyage ethnique peut en cacher un autre !

 Au lendemain de la décision historique du Président Trump …
De reconnaitre enfin en Jérusalem une réalité juive plus que multi-millénaire …
Quelle meilleure illustration comme le montre bien la réponse du site de réinformation Camera
De la mauvaise foi d’une communauté occidentale largement hostile à toute réelle avancée de situation dans la région …
Que cet ultime éditorial du quotidien de référence américain …
Suivi le lendemain de son homologue parisien
Mettant en cause la veille même de ladite annonce la volonté et la compétence de leur président sur la question …
Et lui attribuant de sombres projets d’expulsion de la présence arabe de la Ville sainte …
A l’instar de la photo illustrant l’article …
En contredisant d’ailleurs une autre d’un article précédent lui aussi hautement révisionniste
Sur la base justement d’une présentation tronquée et trompeuse de ladite réalité sur le terrain …
 Omettant notamment de préciser que la réalité « exclusivement arabe » de la ville en 1967  (Vieille ville et Quartier juif compris) …
Sans compter la prière face à la Mecque et donc fesses à Al Aqsa
N’a non seulement duré que 19 ans …
Mais résultait d’une éviction forcée de sa population juive par l’Armée jordanienne ?
Does President Trump Want Peace in the Middle East?
The editorial board
NYT
Dec. 5, 2017
In the debate over a potential Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, no issue is more charged with emotion than the future of Jerusalem. Should the holy city be the capital of the Israelis alone or shared with the Palestinians?
Yet now, with no serious peace talks underway, President Trump is reportedly planning to grant the Israelis’ wish and confound the Palestinians by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the American Embassy there from Tel Aviv, thereby tossing aside decades of American diplomacy. Why?
Mr. Trump insists he is committed to achieving the “ultimate” Middle East peace agreement that eluded his predecessors. But his decision to tip the scales toward Israel on this critical matter, communicated to Arab and Israeli leaders on Tuesday, almost certainly will make an agreement harder to reach by inflaming doubts about America’s honesty and fairness as a broker in negotiations, raising new tension in the region and perhaps inciting violence.
Although Israel’s government has been located in Jerusalem since its founding in 1948, the United States, like the rest of the world, hasn’t recognized the city as Israeli territory, even after the Arab-Israeli War in 1967, when Israel drove back Jordan from East Jerusalem and occupied it. Under the Oslo Accords, Israel promised to negotiate Jerusalem’s future as part of a peace agreement. It has been assumed that under any deal, the city would remain its capital.
Palestinians anticipated being able to locate their capital in East Jerusalem and to have access to Muslim holy sites there. East Jerusalem was exclusively Arab in 1967, but Israel has steadily built settlements there, placing some 200,000 of its citizens among the Arab population and complicating any possible peace agreement.
Mr. Trump boasts of being a consummate dealmaker, but dealmakers don’t usually make concessions before negotiations begin, as the president has here. The big winner is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, whose hard-line government has shown no serious interest in peace, at least not a two-state solution that could win Palestinian support. The blowback was swift. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, warned of “dangerous consequences” to the peace process, while Jordan’s King Abdullah II, the royal palace said, cautioned against the move, “stressing that Jerusalem is the key to achieving peace and stability in the region and the world.” Turkey threatened to cut diplomatic ties with Israel; other criticism came from Egypt, the Arab League and France. King Salman of Saudi Arabia told Mr. Trump a decision on Jerusalem before a final peace deal would hurt talks and increase regional tensions.
That Saudi warning might be expected, given that Jerusalem is home to the Aqsa Mosque and that the Saudi king holds the title of custodian of Islam’s two other holiest mosques, in Mecca and Medina. A Saudi-sponsored Arab peace initiative still on the table calls for a full Israeli withdrawal from East Jerusalem as part of a far-reaching deal. Yet the Saudis may well be edging away from that position. Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince, has close ties to Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and Middle East adviser, who is drafting a comprehensive peace plan.
While that plan is not yet public, Crown Prince Mohammed is said to have outlined a proposal to Mr. Abbas last month that favored the Israelis more than any proposal previously embraced by the American government. Palestinians would get limited sovereignty over a state that covers only noncontiguous parts of the West Bank. Most Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which most of the world considers illegal, would remain. The Palestinians would not get East Jerusalem as their capital, and there would be no right of return for Palestinian refugees and their descendants.
No Palestinian leader could accept such a plan and retain popular support, and the White House and Saudis denied they are working on such ideas. But some analysts doubt Mr. Trump really wants a peace agreement and say any possible proposal may be intended as political cover so Israel and the Sunni Arabs, once enemies, can intensify their incipient collaboration against Iran.
The constituency Mr. Trump is most clearly courting is his own political base of evangelicals and other pro-Israel hard-liners. His predecessors had also made pandering campaign promises in support of moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem. But once in office they chose not to prioritize their domestic politics over delicate peace diplomacy, and they put that promise on hold.
Some optimists think that Mr. Trump could lessen the harm of a decision on Jerusalem by making clear he will not prejudge the future of East Jerusalem or other core questions like the borders of a Palestinian state. His track record so far gives little evidence that he has the temperament or skill to navigate such a nuanced position.

Voir aussi:

Ignoring Exile of Jews, NY Times Approvingly Notes East Jerusalem « Was Exclusively Arab in 1967 »
Gilead Ini
Camera
December 7, 2017

Amidst some questionable journalism about the American move to acknowledge the location of Israel’s capital, a passage in yesterday’s New York Times editorial stands out as particularly stunning and perverse.

The editorial, titled « Does Trump Want Peace in the Middle East, » effectively ratifies the cleansing of Jews from Jerusalem’s Old City and other formerly Jewish areas of Jerusalem during the 1948 Independence War.

In a paragraph criticizing the return of Jews to what the newspaper describes as « settlements » in those parts of Jerusalem, the editorial bases its disapproval on the fact that « East Jerusalem was exclusively Arab in 1967. »

new york times exclusively arab editorial

It is true that this section of Jerusalem was exclusively Arab in 1967. This is because Jews, long a majority and plurality in these parts of the city, were forced out in 1948, when the area was seized by Jordanian troops. Jerusalem neighborhoods like the Jewish Quarter, Shimon Hatzadik, and Silan indeed became Jew-free, their synagogues razed and their cemeteries desecrated.

To consider the 19-year period during which Jews were exiled from the Old City and surrounding areas as the starting point of history, and to use it as a bludgeon to attack Israel and delegitimize the presence of Jews in eastern Jerusalem, effectively communicates the newspaper’s acceptance of the expulsion of the Jews and seeming endorsement of an ethically cleansed eastern Jerusalem.

In 1948, the New York Times published the following account of Jews pouring out from the Old City walls:

Thus the Jews have been eliminated from the City of David for the first time since the sixteenth century. Except for sixty years in the sixteenth century they are believed to have been there continuously since the return from the Babylonian captivity. New Jerusalem was largely created in the last seventy years.

All last night and early today the noncombatants were trekking out through the Zion Gate over Mount Zion and through the Valley of Hinnon to the Yemin Moshe quarter from where they were driven to billets in the Katamon quarter. They are mostly orthodox and poor.

This is why « east Jerusalem was exclusively Arab in 1967, » as today’s editorial writers who represent the voice of The New York Times know. To omit the purge of Jews from their neighborhoods and holy places while approvingly citing the ethnically « exclusive » nature of eastern Jerusalem amounts to the promotion of a revisionist history by The Times.
Voir également:

New York Times Downplays Judaism’s Ties to Jerusalem
Ricki Hollander, Tamar Sternthal
Camera
December 7, 2017

In advance of President Trump’s official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, The New York Times engaged in historical revisionism about Jerusalem with the publication of a lengthy background essay that minimizes historic Jewish ties to the city (« The Conflict in Jerusalem Is Dinstinctly Modern: Here’s the History« ). The article was filled with erroneous assertions, misleading quotes and belittling aspersions about Jewish belief.

The article’s historical departure point is « 1917-48: British Mandate, » and it begins with a quote, devoid of context, to imply that Jerusalem was relatively unimportant to Jews both before and during that time:

« It was for the British that Jerusalem was so important – they are the ones who established Jerusalem as a capital, » said Prof. Yeshoshua Ben-Arieh, a historical geographer at Hebrew University. « Before, it was not anyone’s capital since the times of the First and Second Temples. »

Not mentioned in the article is that the same professor noted in his book, Jerusalem in the Nineteenth Century, that under the Ottoman empire, in the 19th century, « Jerusalem became the principal town of Eretz Israel (or Palestine, as it was then known). » He wrote that the Jewish population comprised a majority in Jerusalem’s Old City, which prompted construction of new Jewish neighborhoods outside the walls of the Old City to accommodate the population growth. « By the start of the First World War, » Ben-Arieh wrote, « the Jewish community in Jerusalem numbered about 45,000, out of a population of 70,000 (with 12,000 Muslims and 13,000 Christians). »

Why would so many Jews want to live in Jerusalem, if it was unimportant to them? As the author explained in his book:

The basis for the great increase in the Jewish population of Jerusalem was the intense yearning for the eternal city and the flow of immigrants into it, which began, for religious motives, in the 1840’s. Jews continued to come to Jerusalem in the periods of the First and Second Aliyah as well.

During the period of early Zionism, Ben-Arieh acknowledged, Jews flocked more to Jerusalem than to the agricultural settlements outside the city because « many Jews preferred to come and settle in Jerusalem. »

Contrary to the article’s implication, Jerusalem remained the central focus of tradition, prayer, and yearning for the nearly two millenia after the destruction of the second Jewish Temple in 70 CE. Daily prayers (said while facing Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site) and grace after meals include multiple supplications for the restoration of Jerusalem and the temple. Jews observe the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av, the date on which both the First and Second Temples were destroyed, as a day of mourning. The Jewish wedding ceremony concludes with the chanting of the biblical phrase, « If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget its cunning, » and the breaking of a glass by the groom to commemorate the destruction of the Temples. And Yom Kippur services and the Passover Seder conclude each year with the phrase « Next Year in Jerusalem. »

While ignoring the inconvenient facts mentioned in Ben Arieh’s book, the article continues to offer quotes from those identified as experts to suggest that early Zionists did not care for Jerusalem.

« Zionism recoiled from Jerusalem, particularly the Old City…Jerusalem was regarded as a symbol of the diaspora… »

« Jerusalem was something of a backwater, a regression to a conservative culture that they were trying to move away from… »

And later:

The early Israeli state was hesitant to focus too much on Jerusalem, given pressure from the United Nations and from the European powers, according to Issam Nassar, a historian at Illinois State University.

Having accepted the idea of international control of Jerusalem, the early Israeli leadership sought alternatives for a capital, perhaps Herzliya or somewhere in the south. They also realized that not having control of Jerusalem’s holy sites might have some advantages, according to Dr. Ramon.

These quotes and paraphrases, however, are completely belied by the direct statements of Israel’s early leaders. Although they accepted the temporary exclusion of Jerusalem as part of the partition proposal, they did so very reluctantly, with the hope and belief that the status of the city would change in the intended referendum following the planned 10-year-period of internationalization. Below are excerpts from their statements, ignored by the article, which eloquently articulate Jerusalem’s place in pre- and early-state Zionist thinking:

Chaim Weizmann (Statement to Jerusalem’s Advisory Council, December 1, 1948):

Jerusalem holds a unique place in the heart of every Jew. Jerusalem is to us the quintessence of the Palestine idea. Its restoration symbolizes the redemption of Israel. Rome was to the Italians the emblem of their military conquests and political organization. Athens embodies for the Greeks the noblest their genius had wrought in art and thought. To us, Jerusalem has both a spiritual and a temporal significance. It is the City of God, the seat of our ancient sanctuary. But it is also the capital of David and Solomon, the City of the Great King, the metropolis of our ancient commonwealth.

To the followers of the two other great monotheistic religions, Jerusalem is a site of sacred associations and holy memories. To us it is that and more than that. It is the centre of our ancient national glory. It was our lodestar in all our wanderings. It embodies all that is noblest in our hopes for the future. Jerusalem is the eternal mother of the Jewish people, precious and beloved even its desolation. When David made Jerusalem the capital of Judea, on that day there began the Jewish Commonwealth. When Titus destroyed it on the 9th of Av, on that day, there ended the Jewish Commonwealth. But even though our Commonwealth was destroyed, we never gave up Jerusalem….

…An almost unbroken chain of Jewish settlement connects the Jerusalem of our day with the Holy City of antiquity. To countless generations of Jews in every land of their dispersion the ascent to Jerusalem was the highest that life could offer. In every generation, new groups of Jews from one part or another of our far-flung Diaspora came to settle here. For over a hundred years, we have formed the majority of its population. And now that, by the will of God, a Jewish Commonwealth has been re-established, is it to be conceived that Jerusalem – Jerusalem of all places – should be out of it?

David Ben Gurion (Statement to Knesset, December 5, 1949):

…Jewish Jerusalem is an organic and inseparable part of the state of Israel, as it is an inseparable part of the history and religion of Israel and of the soul of our people. Jerusalem is the very heart of the State of Israel. We feel pride in that Jerusalem is sanctified – also in the eyes of adherents of other faiths, and we freely and willingly are ready to make all the necessary arrangements to enable the adherents of the other faiths to enjoy their religious needs in Jerusalem. Moreover, we will give to the United Nations all our assistance to assure this. But we cannot conceive that the United Nations will try to tear Jerusalem form Israel or to impair the sovereignty of Israel in its eternal capital.

David Ben Gurion (Statement to Knesset, December 13, 1949):

From the establishment of the Provisional Government we made the peace, the security and the economic consolidation of Jerusalem our principal care. In the stress of war, when Jerusalem was under siege, we were compelled to establish the seat of Government in Ha’Kirya at Tel Aviv. But for the State of Israel there has always been and always will be one capital only – Jerusalem the Eternal. Thus it was 3,000 years ago – and thus it will be, we believe, until the end of time.

The article further deceives by suggesting that Jewish attachment to the city is an invention of recent decades, following Israel’s victory in the Six-Day-War. The article deceptively talks of a « new emphasis on Jerusalem as integral to Israel’s identity. »

This is obviously false. The newspaper’s current journalists authors and editors would be well-served by acquainting themselves with the history they purport to write about, perhaps even by reading archived editions of their own newspaper. Nearly seventy years ago, the New York Times, reporting on the expulsion of Jews from eastern Jerusalem, wrote:

Because it was important to religious Jews and also to many non-religious Zionists that Jews should live in the « City of David » at the spiritual center of Zion beside the Wailing [Western] Wall, which they consider to be part of the western wall of King Solomon’s Temple, the army of Israel was willing to pay a high price to defend this quarter. (May 30, 1948)

But apparently, the current crop of journalists at the New York Times prefer to rely on Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian-American propagandist  and PLO associate under Yasir Arafat  who is quoted in support of their false assertion:

« [After 1967] Jerusalem became the center of a cult-like devotion that had not really existed previously, » said Rashid Khalidi, a professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University. « This has now been fetishized to an extraordinary degree as hard-line religious nationalism has come to predominate in Israeli politics, with the Western Wall as its focus. »

« Cult-like? » « Fetishized? » « Not existed previously? » Not only is this quote outrageously dishonest, it diminishes and deprecates the reverence for Judaism’s holiest sites. It is hard to imagine the Times relying on similar slurs about Muslim devotion to Mecca, Medina or even the Al Aqsa Mosque.

But double standards and dishonesty apparently rule the day, even in a news article purporting to provide historical background of current events. It is all part of the revisionist history offered by the increasingly agenda-driven New York Times
Voir également:

Jerusalem Denial Complex

If nothing else, Donald Trump’s decision on Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital shows how disenthralled his administration is with traditional pieties about the Middle East. It’s about time.
One piety is that “Mideast peace” is all but synonymous with Arab-Israeli peace. Seven years of upheaval, repression, terrorism, refugee crises and mass murder in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Iraq and Syria have put paid to that notion.
Another piety is that only an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal could reconcile the wider Arab world to the Jewish state. Yet relations between Jerusalem and Riyadh, Cairo, Abu Dhabi and Manama are flourishing as never before, even as the prospect of a Palestinian state is as remote as ever.
A third is that intensive mediation by the United States is essential to progress on the ground. Yet recent American involvement — whether at the Camp David summit in 2000 or John Kerry’s efforts in 2013 — has had mostly the opposite effect: diplomatic failure, followed by war.
Which brings us to Jerusalem, and the piety that pretending it isn’t what it is can be a formula for anything except continued self-delusion.
What Jerusalem is is the capital of Israel, both as the ancestral Jewish homeland and the modern nation-state. When Richard Nixon became the first American president to visit the country in 1974, he attended his state dinner in Jerusalem. It’s where President Anwar Sadat of Egypt spoke when he decided to make peace in 1977. It’s what Congress decided as a matter of law in 1995. When Barack Obama paid his own presidential visit to Israel in 2013, he too spent most of his time in Jerusalem.
So why maintain the fiction that Jerusalem isn’t the capital?
The original argument, from 1947, was that Jerusalem ought to be under international jurisdiction, in recognition of its religious importance. But Jews were not allowed to visit the Western Wall during the 19 years when East Jerusalem was under Jordanian occupation. Yasir Arafat denied that Solomon’s Temple was even in Jerusalem, reflecting an increasingly common Palestinian denial of history.
Would Jews be allowed to visit Jewish sites, and would those sites be respected, if the city were redivided? Doubtful, considering Palestinian attacks on such sites, which is one of the reasons why it shouldn’t be.
The next argument is that any effort by Washington to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would set the proverbial Arab street on fire and perhaps lead to another intifada.
But this misapprehends the nature of the street, which has typically been a propaganda tool of Arab leaders to channel domestic discontent and manipulate foreign opinion. And it also misrepresents the nature of the last intifada, which was a meticulously preplanned event waiting for a convenient pretext (Ariel Sharon’s September 2000 walk on the Temple Mount) to look like a spontaneous one.
Finally there’s the view that recognition is like giving your college freshman a graduation gift: a premature reward for an Israeli government that hasn’t yet done what’s needed to make a Palestinian state possible.
But this also gets a few things wrong. It will have no effect on whether or how a Palestinian state comes into being, whatever the current histrionics in Ramallah. And it’s not much of a bargaining chip, since most Israelis couldn’t care less where the embassy is ultimately located.
Then again, recognition does several genuinely useful things.
It belatedly aligns American words with deeds. It aligns word as well as deed with reality. And it aligns the United States with the country toward which we are constantly professing friendship even as we have spent seven decades stinting it of the most basic form of recognition.
Recognition also tells the Palestinians that they can no longer hold other parties hostage to their demands. East Jerusalem could have been the capital of a sovereign Palestinian state 17 years ago, if Arafat had simply accepted the terms at Camp David. He didn’t because he thought he could dictate terms to stronger powers. Nations pay a price for the foolhardiness of their leaders, as the Kurds recently found out.
Peace and a Palestinian state will come when Palestinians aspire to create a Middle Eastern Costa Rica — pacifist, progressive, neighborly and democratic — rather than another Yemen: by turns autocratic, anarchic, fanatical and tragic.
For the international community, that means helping Palestinians take steps to dismantle their current klepto-theocracy, rather than fueling a culture of perpetual grievance against Israel. Mahmoud Abbas is now approaching the 13th anniversary of his elected four-year term. Someone should point this out.
Hamas has run Gaza for a decade, during which it has spent more time building rockets and terror tunnels than hotels or hospitals. Someone should point this out, too. It is indicative of the disastrous political choices that help explain 70 years of Palestinian failure.
Meantime, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. For those who have lived in denial, it must be some sort of shock.
Voir par ailleurs:
Photo

An aerial view of Jerusalem’s Old City. Credit Ariel Schalit/Associated Press

In December 1917 — 100 years ago this month — the British general Edmund Allenby seized control of Jerusalem from its Ottoman Turkish defenders. Dismounting his horse, he entered the Old City on foot, through Jaffa Gate, out of respect for its holy status.

In the century since, Jerusalem has been fought over in varying ways, not only by Jews, Christians and Muslims but also by external powers and, of course, modern-day Israelis and Palestinians.

It is perhaps fitting that President Trump appears to have chosen this week to announce that the United States will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, despite concerns from leaders of Arab countries, Turkey and even close allies like France.

Conflicts over Jerusalem go back thousands of years — including biblical times, the Roman Empire and the Crusades — but the current one is a distinctly 20th-century story, with roots in colonialism, nationalism and anti-Semitism. The New York Times asked several experts to walk readers through pivotal moments of the past century.

1917-48: British Mandate

Photo

British soldiers awaiting the arrival of Gen. Edmund Allenby at
Jaffa Gate in 1917. Credit Culture Club/Getty Images
Photo

Palestinian prisoners in the Old City of Jerusalem during the British Mandate.
Credit Fox Photos, via Getty Images
Photo

The British authorities deported Jewish immigrants from Haifa
in 1947. Credit Pinn Hans/Agence France-Press – Getty Images
Photo

Haganah fighters in Jerusalem in April 1948.
Credit Israeli Government Press Office, via Getty Images

“It was for the British that Jerusalem was so important — they are the ones who established Jerusalem as a capital,” said Prof. Yehoshua Ben-Arieh, a historical geographer at Hebrew University. “Before, it was not anyone’s capital since the times of the First and Second Temples.”

The three decades of British rule that followed Allenby’s march on Jerusalem saw an influx of Jewish settlers drawn by the Zionist vision of a Jewish homeland, while the local Arab population adjusted to the reality of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, which had ruled the city since 1517.

“Paradoxically, Zionism recoiled from Jerusalem, particularly the Old City,” said Amnon Ramon, senior researcher at the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research. “First because Jerusalem was regarded as a symbol of the diaspora, and second because the holy sites to Christianity and Islam were seen as complications that would not enable the creation of a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

Many early Zionists were secular European socialists, motivated more by concerns about nationalism, self-determination and escape from persecution than by religious visions.

“Jerusalem was something of a backwater, a regression to a conservative culture that they were trying to move away from,” according to Michael Dumper, professor in Middle East politics at the University of Exeter in England. “Tel Aviv was the bright new city on a hill, the encapsulation of modernity.”

For Arabs, he said: “There was still something of the shock at not being in the Ottoman Empire. There was a reordering of their society. The local Palestinian aristocracy, the big families of Jerusalem, emerged as leaders of the Palestinian national movement, which was suddenly being confronted by Jewish migration.”

Opposition to that migration fueled several deadly riots by Palestinians, while Jews chafed at British rule and at immigration restrictions imposed in 1939 — restrictions that blocked many Jews fleeing the Holocaust from entering. After the war, in 1947, the United Nations approved a partition plan that provided for two states — one Jewish, one Arab — with Jerusalem governed by a “special international regime” owing to its unique status.

1948-67: A Divided City

Photo

David Ben-Gurion reading Israel’s Declaration of Independence
on May 14, 1948, in Tel Aviv.
Credit Zoltan Kluger/Israeli Government Press Office, via Getty Images
Photo

Damaged buildings in Ben Yehuda Street in central Jerusalem
after car bombs in February 1948.
Credit Hugo H. Mendelsohn/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Photo

Palestinians in Jerusalem leaving the Jewish sector to go to Arab
territory around 1948. Credit Three Lions/Getty Images
Photo

Jews leaving a section of Jerusalem’s Old City in 1948. Credit John Phillips/The LIFE Picture Collection, via Getty Images

The Arabs rejected the partition plan, and a day after Israel proclaimed its independence in 1948, the Arab countries attacked the new state. They were defeated. Amid violence by militias and mobs on both sides, huge numbers of Jews and Arabs were displaced.

Jerusalem was divided: The western half became part of the new state of Israel (and its capital, under an Israeli law passed in 1950), while the eastern half, including the Old City, was occupied by Jordan. “For the Palestinians, it was seen as a rallying point,” Professor Dumper said.

Israel and Jordan, he said, were largely focused elsewhere. Israel built up its prosperous coastal areas — including Haifa, Tel Aviv and Ashkelon — into a thriving commercial zone, while the Jordanian king, Abdullah I, focused on the development of Amman, Jordan’s capital.

The early Israeli state was hesitant to focus too much on Jerusalem, given pressure from the United Nations and from the European powers, according to Issam Nassar, a historian at Illinois State University.

Having accepted the idea of international control of Jerusalem, the early Israeli leadership sought alternatives for a capital, perhaps Herzliya or somewhere in the south. They also realized that not having control of Jerusalem’s holy sites might have some advantages, according to Dr. Ramon.

While Israel moved many government functions to Jerusalem during the country’s first two decades, foreign governments largely avoided Jerusalem and opened embassies in Tel Aviv, in recognition of the United Nations resolution.

1967-93: Two Wars and an Intifada

Photo

Israeli soldiers at the Aqsa Mosque during the Arab-Israeli War of 1967.
Credit Gilles Caron/Gamma-Rapho, via Getty Images
Photo

After Israel seized East Jerusalem in 1967, its soldiers carried a
confiscated portrait of King Hussein of Jordan.
Credit Leonard Freed/Magnum Photos
Photo

A wall dividing East and West Jerusalem, near the Damascus Gate,
in 1967. Credit Micha Bar-Am/Magnum Photos
Photo

Palestinians and Israelis clashing in Jerusalem in 1993.
Credit Menahem Kahana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

No event has shaped the modern contest over Jerusalem as much as the Arab-Israeli War of 1967, in which Israel not only defeated invading Arab armies but also seized control of the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt; the West Bank and East Jerusalem from Jordan; and the Golan Heights from Syria.

“The turning points in 1967 were two: the great victory, including the fast shift from fears of defeat before the war to euphoria and the feeling that everything was possible, and the emotional impact of occupying the Old City,” said Menachem Klein, a political scientist at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

Images of Israeli soldiers praying at the Western Wall, to which they had been denied access during Jordanian rule, became seared into Israel’s national consciousness.

“Jerusalem became the center of a cultlike devotion that had not really existed previously,” said Rashid Khalidi, a professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University. “This has now been fetishized to an extraordinary degree as hard-line religious nationalism has come to predominate in Israeli politics, with the Western Wall as its focus.”

The victory of the right-leaning party Likud in 1977, under the leadership of Menachem Begin, helped solidify this new emphasis on Jerusalem as integral to Israel’s identity. Religious settlers became more prominent in political life in Israel, beginning a long ascendance that has never really halted. Old-line socialists with roots in Russia and Eastern Europe gave way to a more diverse — and also more religious — population of Israelis with origins in the Middle East, North Africa and other regions.

As part of this shift, Jerusalem’s symbolic importance intensified. Its role in Jewish history was emphasized in military parades and curriculums, and students from across Israel were taken there on school visits. This process culminated in 1980, when lawmakers passed a bill declaring that “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel” — although Israel stopped short of annexing East Jerusalem, a move that would most likely have drawn international outrage.

1993-present: Oslo and Beyond

Photo

Israeli soldiers refusing Palestinians entry into Jerusalem from
the West Bank in 2016. Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times
Photo

Palestinians hurling shoes at the Israeli police at the Aqsa Mosque
in 2001, during the second intifada. Credit Getty Images
Photo

The scene after a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in
West Jerusalem in 2001. Credit Getty Images
Photo

Construction work in a Jewish settlement in the mainly Palestinian
eastern sector of Jerusalem in November.
Credit Ahmad Gharabli/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The 1993 Oslo accords provided for the creation of a Palestinian Authority to govern the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, while deferring a resolution on core issues: borders, refugees and Jerusalem’s status. In the nearly quarter-century since, the prospects for a lasting peace deal have seemed ever more elusive.

A visit by the right-wing politician Ariel Sharon in 2000 to the sacred complex known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary — which contains Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock — set off violent clashes and led to a second Palestinian uprising that claimed the lives of about 3,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis over five years.

Palestinians say that Jewish settlers have encroached on East Jerusalem, and that Israel has compounded the problem by revoking residency permits. Even so, the ethnic composition of Jerusalem’s population has remained about 30 percent to 40 percent Arab.

“The entire international community has been in accord that Israeli annexation and settlement of East Jerusalem since 1967 is illegal, and refuses to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” Professor Khalidi said. “If Trump changes this position, given the importance of Jerusalem to Arabs and Muslims, it is hard to see how a sustainable Palestinian-Israeli agreement or lasting Arab-Israeli normalization is possible.”

Professor Ben-Arieh says the conflict over the city is likely to endure. “The Arab-Jewish conflict escalated into a nationalistic conflict, with Jerusalem at its center,” he said. “Jerusalem was a city holy to three religions, but the moment that, in the land of Israel, two nations grew — the Jewish people and the local Arab people — both embraced Jerusalem. More than Jerusalem needed them, they needed Jerusalem. »

 Voir enfin:

Donald Trump, seul contre tous

Editorial. En décidant de reconnaître officiellement Jérusalem comme capitale d’Israël, le président américain transgresse les règles de la diplomatie, piétine les accords passés et s’isole un peu plus.

Le Monde

Editorial du « Monde ». Seul contre tous. Donald Trump a ignoré tous les avertissements, polis ou pressants selon les dirigeants, toutes les suppliques, jusqu’à celle du pape François, avant d’annoncer, mercredi 6 décembre, sa décision de reconnaître officiellement Jérusalem comme capitale d’Israël. Les réactions d’alarme et d’indignation qui ont accueilli cette décision au sein de la communauté internationale – à l’exception du premier ministre israélien, Benyamin Nétanyahou, qui a applaudi des deux mains – confirment, pour ceux qui en doutaient encore, que le président américain n’hésite à transgresser aucun tabou.

Il est clair à présent que les Etats-Unis de Donald Trump ne se contentent pas de décider de façon unilatérale, en faisant fi de l’avis de leurs partenaires les plus proches. Ils ont entrepris le démantèlement d’un système de relations internationales qu’ils ont eux-mêmes édifié après la deuxième guerre mondiale. L’annonce de M. Trump sur Jérusalem est, tout simplement, un viol de la diplomatie comme mode de règlement des conflits.

En vertu des accords d’Oslo, signés sous les auspices des Etats-Unis en 1993, Israël s’était engagé à négocier le statut futur de Jérusalem dans le cadre d’accords de paix. Le roi de Jordanie, l’un des dirigeants les plus modérés du Moyen-Orient, a souligné que la question de Jérusalem « est cruciale pour parvenir à la paix et la stabilité dans la région et dans le monde ». Le processus de paix lancé à Oslo est malheureusement aujourd’hui au point mort : il n’y a pas, à l’heure actuelle, de négociations de paix entre Israéliens et Palestiniens.

Mépris du droit international

Mais en rallumant l’étincelle de Jérusalem, le président américain prend ouvertement le risque d’accroître les tensions et de provoquer de nouvelles violences dans une région toujours au bord de l’explosion, sans pour autant préciser ses projets sur une relance d’un processus de paix. L’envoi du vice-président Michael Pence au Proche-Orient ne fait guère illusion à cet égard.

Pis, par sa décision, M. Trump consacre la politique du fait accompli de M. Nétanyahou. Si le gouvernement israélien a été installé à Jérusalem dès 1948, Jérusalem-Est était entièrement arabe jusqu’à 1967. Depuis, à la faveur de colonies de peuplement construites par Israël, quelque 200 000 Israéliens se sont installés parmi les Palestiniens, rendant la question du statut de la ville encore plus complexe. Jérusalem capitale de l’Etat d’Israël est « une réalité », clame Donald Trump, évitant soigneusement de mentionner Jérusalem-Est comme possible capitale d’un Etat palestinien. Logiquement, ce raisonnement entérine aussi les colonies de peuplement dans les territoires occupés comme « une réalité », au mépris du droit international.

Mais, pas plus que l’art de la diplomatie, le droit international n’entre visiblement pas dans les paramètres de la politique étrangère trumpienne, tout entière guidée par son obsession de rompre avec ses prédécesseurs et ses impératifs de politique intérieure – en l’occurrence le souci de satisfaire les chrétiens évangéliques et les lobbys pro-israéliens.

Contourner les Etats-Unis

La liste des engagements internationaux auxquels M. Trump a tourné le dos depuis son entrée en fonctions, en janvier, s’allonge : l’accord de libre-échange transpacifique ; l’accord de Paris sur le climat ; l’accord sur le nucléaire iranien ; l’Unesco, dont Washington et Israël ont annoncé leur retrait ; l’Organisation mondiale du commerce (OMC), où les délégués américains sont de plus en plus réfractaires, et, tout récemment, le pacte mondial sur la gestion des migrants et des réfugiés adopté à l’ONU. Sans parler du discours très offensif à l’égard du système multilatéral prononcé par M. Trump en septembre devant l’Assemblée générale des Nations unies et de la destruction de l’appareil diplomatique américain. Cette liste est suffisamment longue pour faire prendre conscience aux alliés des Etats-Unis que le monde est entré dans une nouvelle ère.

Le moment est venu de prendre acte de cette réalité. Comme cela se fait déjà pour l’accord sur le climat, il faut apprendre à contourner une administration fédérale américaine engagée dans une dangereuse déstabilisation de la communauté internationale.

Voir par ailleurs:

VIDÉO – Jérusalem, capitale d’Israël ? Pour Alain Finkielkraut, « la décision de Trump risque d’embraser la région »

PARTI PRIS – Invité de « L’Entretien d’Audrey » sur LCI ce dimanche, le philosophe Alain Finkielkraut a dénoncé la décision de Donald Trump de reconnaître Jérusalem comme la capitale d’Israël. Il a aussi jugé que le Crif avait outrepassé ses prérogatives en demandant à Emmanuel Macron de suivre la voie de son homologue américain.

« Catastrophique ». C’est l’adjectif employé par Alain Finkielkraut pour dénoncer la décision historique de Donald Trump de reconnaîre Jérusalem comme la capitale d’Israël. Invité ce dimanche de « L’Entretien d’Audrey » sur LCI, le philosophe et écrivain s’est prononcé contre le choix du président des États-Unis, qui a d’ailleurs ravivé les tensions autour de la bande de Gaza.

« Je partage l’attachement à Israël, de tous les juifs, mais d’un autre côté, la décision de Trump me paraît catastrophique parce qu’elle risque d’embraser la région, parce qu’elle risque d’empêcher la reprise des négociations entre les Palestiens et les Israéliens. Les Américains auraient dû procéder tout autrement », a-t-il regretté, fustigeant également la position du Premier ministre israélien Benyamin Netanyahu : « Il ne propose rien aux Palestiniens. Il les pousse au désespoir et à l’extrémisme. »

Dans la foulée de cette prise de position par Trump, le Conseil représentatif des institutions juives de France (Crif) et le Consistoire ont appelé dès jeudi le président français Emmanuel Macron à faire de même. Une déclaration qui ne fait pas l’unanimité au sein de la communauté juive, allant même jusqu’à la crisper, a estimé Finkielkraut. « Le Crif me semble sortir de ses prérogatives et je ne suis pas sûr qu’il soit répresentatif dans le monde juif. La plupart des juifs, pas tous, sont attachés à Israël, soucieux d’Israël et sont conscients de la vulnérabilité d’Israël (…). Il n’en reste pas moins que tous les juifs ne sont pas d’accord avec la politique de Netanyahu. Le Crif, au lieu de demander à Macron de s’aligner sur Trump, devrait lui ne pas s’aligner sur Netanyahu et le gouvernement d’Israël parce que ces décisions peuvent être et doivent être discutées.

Interrogé sur une (possible) montée de l’antisémitisme en France suite à ces deux décisions communes qu’il « dénonce », Alain Finkielkraut a estimé qu’il « était possible qu’elles alimentent cette haine ». « Aujourd’hui, il y a en effet un nouveau antisémiste qui prend prétexte de la situation faite aux Palestiniens pour attaquer, voire molester, des juifs comme on l’a vu tout récemment à Livry-Gargan (en Seine-Saint-Denis, ndlr). Ce prétexte palestinien ne doit pas être accepté. »

8 Responses to Reconnaissance de Jérusalem: Le NYT veut-il la paix au Moyen-Orient ? (Its track record so far gives little evidence that it has the temperament or skill to navigate such a nuanced position)

  1. jcdurbant dit :

    LES CHIENS ABOIENT, LA CARAVANE PASSE (Devinez qui après la consécration de son 70e anniversaire enrage de voir la seule démocratie du Moyen-Orient accueillir pour la première fois et en toute sérénité le Tour d’Italie ?)

    « J’espère que les journalistes diront qu’il s’agit de la seule démocratie pluraliste du Moyen-Orient, un pays libre, un pays sûr. Un pays normal, comme la France ou l’Italie. Il n’y a aucune ville dans le monde qui s’appelle Jérusalem-Ouest. Il n’y a pas de Paris-Ouest ou de Rome-Ouest. La course part de la ville de Jérusalem, donc on écrit « Jérusalem » sur la carte. »

    Sylvan Adams

    Le tracé s’arrête à la «ligne verte» et évite soigneusement les Territoires palestiniens ainsi que la Vieille Ville de Jérusalem (mais longera cependant ses murs) et sa partie Est, dont l’annexion par Israël en 1980 n’a jamais été acceptée par la communauté internationale. En principe donc, pas de plans d’hélico des toits rouges des colonies de Cisjordanie ou du mur de séparation…

    Représentant de RCS en Israël, Daniel Benaim va dans le même sens : «Quand les hélicoptères vont filmer Jérusalem, ils vont filmer la beauté du tout, on ne va pas diviser la ville !»

    Le mouvement propalestinien BDS («Boycott, désinvestissement, sanctions») accuse l’épreuve de «normaliser l’occupation» israélienne, en utilisant des images du Dôme du Rocher ou de la porte de Damas, symboles palestiniens de la Vieille Ville. Haussement d’épaules côté organisateurs. Benaim : «Le BDS a essayé de faire du bruit en Italie, mais ça ne prend pas. Nous sommes heureux de dire qu’il y a une participation totale des équipes.» Deux groupes sportifs ont néanmoins hésité à s’engager, Bahrain-Merida et le Team UAE (Emirats arabes unis), tous deux dirigés par des managers italiens mais financés par des pétromonarchies du Golfe, qui ne reconnaissent pas officiellement Israël. Elles seront finalement au départ. «Les équipes n’ont pas le choix, rappelle le patron d’une formation concurrente. Quand nous avons appris que le Tour d’Italie partait de Jérusalem [peu après les remous causés par la reconnaissance de la ville comme capitale israélienne par Donald Trump, ndlr], nous nous sommes demandé comment on osait envoyer nos coureurs dans cette zone instable. Hélas, les équipes WorldTour [première division mondiale] sont tenues de participer à toutes les épreuves du calendrier. C’est une règle à changer dans un futur proche pour éviter de subir ces parcours absurdes.»

    En façade, le milieu du vélo s’attache à éteindre les controverses. Fabio Aru, coureur originaire de Sardaigne, membre du Team UAE qui aurait pu déclarer forfait, sur Sportfair.it : «On m’a demandé si j’avais peur. Au contraire, je suis enthousiaste […]. Le sport peut aider à réconcilier les peuples.» Le Néerlandais Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), vainqueur sortant du Giro, sur Cyclingnews.com : «Je ne suis pas du genre à me mêler de politique ; je suis cycliste. Si une course démarre d’Israël, on doit être au départ.»

    En off, plusieurs concurrents expriment leurs craintes. Pas tant d’être pris pour cible (d’ailleurs, le dispositif de sécurité était en apparence allégé aux abords de leurs hôtels jeudi) mais inquiets de l’effort physique supplémentaire à consentir. Entre les quatre heures de vol retour qui vont entamer leur récupération lundi (direction la Sicile) et la chaleur attendue dimanche dans le désert. Daniel Benaim rejette : «Je les ai vu monter des cols en Sardaigne sous 36 degrés…» Le silence gêné du peloton s’explique peut-être par la récurrence des courses dans des environnements climatiques et politiques discutables. En particulier à Dubaï et Abou Dhabi, où RCS Sport met sur pied des épreuves, ou encore au Qatar qui fut de 2002 à 2016 le terrain de jeu d’Amaury Sport Organisation, propriétaire du Tour de France. Mais il est aussi possible que cette discrétion soit tenue par des arrangements financiers.

    La tête d’affiche de l’épreuve, le Britannique Chris Froome (Team Sky, lire ci-contre) aurait ainsi empoché de 1,4 à 2 millions d’euros de prime de participation selon plusieurs médias spécialisés. Menacé de sanctions pour un contrôle positif, le quadruple vainqueur de la Grande Boucle est accueilli à bras ouverts par des organisateurs misant sur sa notoriété. Théoriquement interdite par l’Union cycliste internationale (les coureurs étant rémunérés par leur équipe et non par les patrons d’épreuves), la pratique s’est banalisée. RCS est ainsi soupçonné d’avoir versé, en 2009, de 1 à 3 millions d’euros à Lance Armstrong, directement ou par l’intermédiaire de sa fondation contre le cancer. Par ailleurs, Libération a appris que l’organisateur italien gonfle depuis des années les frais de participation des équipes pour les inciter à aligner leurs stars sur le Giro.

    RCS nie toute prime secrète. Ce qui pourrait laisser penser que, si chèque il y a, il a été signé par les Israéliens. Très excité, Sylvan Adams annonçait : «On espère avoir Froome, même si ça coûte cher. C’est comme faire jouer Messi dans sa ville, sauf que là on l’a pour trois jours avec notre beau pays en toile de fond et pas juste un stade anonyme.» Les images doivent être belles à tout prix. Même celles affichant un optimisme forcé (ou naïf), peu raccord avec l’enlisement actuel du processus de paix. Interrogé par le site Insidethegames.biz, le président de l’UCI, le Français David Lappartient veut y croire : «Espérons que le cyclisme permette de promouvoir la paix, comme les JO l’ont fait en Corée.»

    Chris Froome, favori des soupçons

    «Je n’ai rien fait de mal.» Christopher Froome va bouffer toujours les mêmes questions et répandre toujours la même odeur de petit scandale au long des 3 600 km du Tour d’Italie qui s’élance de Jérusalem ce vendredi. Le Britannique s’attaque à un exploit jamais vu, hors Eddy Merckx et Bernard Hinault : remporter trois grands tours d’affilée. S’il enlève l’épreuve italienne fin mai, Froome signerait un triplé après le Tour de France (en juillet) et celui d’Espagne (en septembre). A moins qu’il perde tout : le leader de l’équipe Sky est accusé d’abus médicamenteux – pour ne pas dire de dopage -, depuis que des doses élevées de salbutamol ont été retrouvées dans ses urines le 7 septembre. Il avance la prise de ventoline pour soigner son asthme et réussit pour le moment à gagner du temps avec ses avocats. Mais Froome devrait tôt ou tard être sanctionné. Donc certainement, si on s’en réfère au cas d’Alberto Contador en 2012, perdre le bénéfice de sa victoire au Tour d’Espagne. Et celle, peut-être à venir, au Tour d’Italie. Dès lors, pourquoi courir le Giro ? Froome le sait : le public retient les victoires acquises sur le terrain et oublie lorsqu’elles sont effacées a posteriori. Et puis, il y a cette histoire de prime de participation secrète que Froome aurait perçue de la part des organisateurs, pour lesquels le scandale constitue manifestement un argument marketing.

    http://www.liberation.fr/sports/2018/05/03/giro-israel-braquet-a-l-italienne_1647608

    J'aime

  2. jcdurbant dit :

    ALL THE FAKE HISTORY THAT’S FIT TO PRINT

    “The Washington view of Israel-Palestine is still shaped by the donor class. The donor class is profoundly to the right of where the activists are, and frankly, where the majority of the Jewish community is.”

    Ben Rhodes

    « To many Americans, the fulcrum of Israeli-Palestinian strife is the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza after Israel’s victory in the June 1967 war. Accordingly, the solution to the conflict would lie in creating a Palestinian state in those territories. The B.D.S. movement, by contrast, views the conflict as a century-long Arab struggle against the establishment of a Jewish state on land that was more than 95 percent Arab at the dawn of Zionism, in the late 19th century, and more than 90 percent Arab when the British promised in 1917 to try to establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, soon to be under British rule. Before Israel was founded in 1948, there were Zionist campaigns to boycott Arab workers and exclude Arabs from Jewish-only residential communities. Following the 1948 war, which erupted after the United Nations announced its plan to partition Palestine into two states, the Jews who fled could return; Palestinians could not. Most of the Palestinians who remained within Israel were placed under military rule until 1966. (…) Yet year after year, Congress, citing “shared values” and Israel’s strategic importance, among other things, votes to give military aid to Israel, which is currently $3.8 billion per year: $500 million in missile defense and $3.3 billion in foreign military financing, more military financing than the United States provides to the rest of the world combined. And Aipac, whose positions many on the left regard as rarely distinguishable from those of the Israeli prime minister or the Republican Jewish Coalition, remains the dominant force among Israel-Palestine advocacy groups within the Democratic Caucus. (…) The B.D.S. movement was founded in 2005 with a statement of principles, written collectively and known as the B.D.S. call. Signed by more than 170 Palestinian organizations from around the world, it made three demands of Israel, one for each of the three major Palestinian constituencies. For residents of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem: an end to the military occupation that began in 1967. For Palestinian refugees: the right to return to their homes and property, in keeping with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194, which was adopted near the end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, when 83 percent of the Palestinians in the territory that became Israel fled or were forced to flee. And for Palestinian citizens of Israel: full equality with Jews.

    Nathan Thrall

    How the Battle Over Israel and Anti-Semitism Is Fracturing American Politics
    The growing prominence of the B.D.S. movement — and the backlash to it — is widening fault lines from college campuses to Capitol Hill.
    Nathan Thrall
    NYT
    March 28, 2019

    It’s amazing that Thrall can jam so many material falsehoods and deceptions in just a single paragraph. Thus:

    1. Was the land more than 95 percent Arab in the late 19th century, and more than 90 percent Arab in 1917?

    Only if you assume – falsely – that the Arabs owned whatever land the Jews didn’t. But about half of the land that became Israel in 1948 was the Negev desert, and in Mandate Palestine, and before that under Ottoman Turkish rule, and in most countries today including the US, the desert belongs to the government. For example, in Nevada the US government alone owns 84.9 percent of the land, and even in California Federal lands total 45.8 percent.

    Under the Ottoman Land Code desert land was classified as mewat (or dead land) and was the property of the Sultan. The Ottoman Land code was maintained by the British when in 1922 they established the British Mandate of Palestine, with the role of the Sultan passing to the British government in the person of the High Commissioner.

    So right from the start, Thrall makes a vast error. But what about land outside the desert? Did the Arabs own whatever the Jews didn’t own there? Again no – most of that land was agricultural land, and under the Ottoman Land Code was almost entirely miri land, or the land of the Emir (the ruler). The farmers who worked this land it did not own it, they merely got the right to use it (usufruct) from the state in return for paying taxes on what they produced from the land. As long as they were using that land productively and paying taxes, no one else could use it.

    So that takes care of the desert and most agricultural land, what about the rest? The land use records from the British Mandate authorities reveal that Arabs owned at most 14 percent of the land (and probably quite a bit less since this includes miri land used by Arab farmers), while Jews privately owned 8.6 percent (also not counting miri land).

    So contrary to Thrall and his less than attentive New York Times editors (are there New York Times editors anymore?), Arab and Jewish land ownership in Mandate Palestine was comparable, and the Arabs certainly did not own anywhere near 90 percent of the land.

    2. Regarding “Zionist campaigns” to boycott Arab workers and exclude Arabs from Jewish communities, Thrall has it exactly backwards, omitting that the Palestinians boycotted the Jews. From The Palestinian National Revival: In the Shadow of the Leadership Crisis, 1937 – 1967:

    The Fifth Palestinian Arab Congress took place in Nablus on August 20, 1922, against the background of the authorization for the British Mandate over Palestine, which included authorization of the Balfour Declaration as well. Among its resolutions were the following: rejection of the Mandate, a general boycott of the Jews, rejection of the proposed constitution for Filastin, and a boycott of the elections to the legislative council.

    And it wasn’t just Arab boycotts, it was murderous Arab attacks on Jews followed by boycotts, as in August 1929, for example:

    On 15th August a Jewish demonstration was held at the Wailing Wall, and on the following day the Arabs held a counter demonstration. From 23rd to 29th August murderous attacks were made on Jews in various parts of the country. The most violent attacks were those against the old established Jewish communities at Hebron and Safad; there were also attacks in Jerusalem and Jaffa and against several Jewish rural settlements. There was little retaliation by Jews, of whom 133 were killed and 339 wounded. Order was restored with the help of British troops rushed up from Egypt; 116 Arabs were killed and 232 wounded, mostly by troops and police.

    The breach between the two races was widened by the events 1928-1929, first by the emergence of the religious factor and then by the outbreak of murder and pillage. Reciprocal boycotts of Arab and Jewish trade were organized. (from A Survey of Palestine, V1, p24)

    Thrall’s readers would have no idea of this history, and for good reason: if Thrall gave them even a hint of it, he would destroy his own extreme agenda, which is founded on the falsehood of rapacious Jews and innocent Palestinians. That’s why Thrall so often focuses on alleged Jewish misdeeds and entirely ignores Arab and Palestinian misdeeds.

    3. Thrall then tells readers – using the passive voice, of course – that in 1948 a war “erupted” after the United Nations announced its plan to partition Palestine into two states.

    Did it just erupt, or did five Arab armies, plus the Palestinian Arab Liberation Army attack the Jews, with the intention of committing a new genocide? And in that war were 6000 Jews killed, fully one percent of their population? The answer to both questions is yes, but one would never know it from Thrall’s potted history.

    Of course, this one paragraph is not the extent of Thrall’s distortions and errors, all of which are intended to portray Israel in the worst light possible.

    Here, for example, is Thrall on US aid to Israel:

    Yet year after year, Congress, citing “shared values” and Israel’s strategic importance, among other things, votes to give military aid to Israel, which is currently $3.8 billion per year: $500 million in missile defense and $3.3 billion in foreign military financing, more military financing than the United States provides to the rest of the world combined. And Aipac, whose positions many on the left regard as rarely distinguishable from those of the Israeli prime minister or the Republican Jewish Coalition, remains the dominant force among Israel-Palestine advocacy groups within the Democratic Caucus.

    Contrary to Thrall, AIPAC generally supports the elected government of Israel. When that Israeli government is on the left, as during the Rabin-Peres years, which saw the beginning of the Oslo peace process, AIPAC supported that. Thus, as the Boston Globe reported in 1994, “AIPAC finds itself in the ironic role of backing American aid for Palestinian automony in the Gaza Strip and Jericho.” (US, Israeli Jews realign with times, Boston Globe, July 3, 1994)

    And in 2007 AIPAC was criticized by the noted pro-Israel philanthropist Sheldon Adelson for supporting continued US aid to the Palestinians: Adelson raps AIPAC on aid letter.

    Regarding aid to Israel, Thrall is again misleading when he claims that US aid to Israel totals more “military financing than the United States provides to the rest of the world combined.”

    US aid to other countries comes from many different federal departments and programs – and including direct military aid completely changes the picture. Thus, the US spends over $3 Billion dollars a year defending South Korea, and vastly more than that – perhaps $100 Billion – for the defense of Western Europe through our NATO commitment.

    Finally, here is Thrall on the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement:

    The B.D.S. movement was founded in 2005 with a statement of principles, written collectively and known as the B.D.S. call. Signed by more than 170 Palestinian organizations from around the world, it made three demands of Israel, one for each of the three major Palestinian constituencies. For residents of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem: an end to the military occupation that began in 1967. For Palestinian refugees: the right to return to their homes and property, in keeping with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194, which was adopted near the end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, when 83 percent of the Palestinians in the territory that became Israel fled or were forced to flee. And for Palestinian citizens of Israel: full equality with Jews.

    Thrall here, again, keeps from this readers basic facts which undermine the anti-Israel portrait he is trying to paint:

    1. The end of the occupation is something that Israel has supported and the Palestinians have opposed. How can this be a demand on Israel when history shows it is the Arabs and the Palestinians who have stood in the way of a Palestinian state, not Israel.

    Opportunities for a Palestinian state were rejected by the Palestinians and the Arab states multiple times, including:

    In 1947 UNGA 181, the so-called Partition Resolution called for creation of a Jewish and an Arab state out of the territory of the British Mandate for Palestine. The Jews accepted the compromise, while the Arabs rejected it and promised to annihilate the Jewish state the moment the British withdrew. While the Palestinians and five Arab states attacked Israel and expected to win easily, in the end the Israelis, at great cost, beat back the invaders and survived the war. The Arab states made no effort to create a Palestinian state in the Mandate territory that they occupied after the war. For example, Jordan’s King Abdullah annexed the West Bank to his kingdom.
    In 2000 President Clinton hosted Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and Israeli leader Ehud Barak for intensive talks at Camp David. After grueling negotiations Israel accepted the so-called Clinton parameters, but Arafat and the Palestinians rejected them. The Saudi representative to the talks, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, memorably said “If Arafat does not accept what is available now, it won’t be a tragedy, it will be a crime.”

    But Arafat did turn down the Clinton parameters and instead returned home and triggered the so-called Second Intifadah, which included numerous Palestinian suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks in which over a thousand Israelis were killed.

    In 2008, after extensive talks, then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and presented a comprehensive peace plan. Olmert’s plan would have annexed the major Israeli settlements to Israel and in return given equivalent Israeli territory to the Palestinians, would have divided Jerusalem, and also included a partial Palestinian “right of return.” According to The Washington Post’s Jackson Diehl, who had previously covered the region, “Olmert’s peace offer was more generous to the Palestinians than either that of Bush or Bill Clinton; it’s almost impossible to imagine Obama, or any Israeli government, going further.” Despite this, Abbas admitted to Diehl that he walked away.

    Yes, Thrall allows ZOA leader Morton Klein to telegraphically say a small part of this, but without any supporting details that would prove the point.

    2. Regarding Resolution 194, it doesn’t establish any “Right of Return,” which is why all the Arab states voted against it in the United Nations. Passed in the wake of the first Arab-initiated war against Israel, its central provision had nothing do with an alleged right of return, instead calling for creation of a Conciliation Commission and:

    … establishment of contact between the parties themselves and the Commission at the earliest possible date … to seek agreement by negotiations [and thereby reach] a final settlement of all questions between them. (paragraphs 4 and 5)

    Through many years and multiple wars, the Arab states refused even to meet with Israel, much less try to reach a peaceful settlement. The only clause the Arab side ever acknowledged was paragraph 11, which suggested (it could not “require,” since it was a General Assembly rather than a Security Council resolution) that:

    refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date … [R]epatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of refugees and payment of compensation [should be facilitated]. (emphasis added)

    Because this only recommends that refugees be permitted to return, it can hardly be characterized as creating a “right.” Moreover, the requirement that returnees first accept living “at peace with their neighbors” meant that Palestinian returnees would have to accept Israel’s right to exist, something that very few of them, even today, seem truly willing to do. Further, it did not even hint at any return rights for descendants of refugees.

    It should also be noted that (1) the resolution applies equally to Palestinian refugees from Israel and to the similar number of Jewish refugees from Arab countries who came to Israel after 1948, and (2) that it placed repatriation, resettlement, and payment of compensation on an equal footing. This equal footing was also included in other GA resolutions of that era, such as Resolution 393 of December 2, 1950, which stated that:

    … without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 … the reintegration of the refugees into the economic life of the Near East, either by repatriation or resettlement is essential … for the realization of conditions of peace and stability in the area.

    Similarly, Resolution 394 of December 14, 1950 called upon:

    … the Governments concerned to undertake measures to ensure that refugees, whether repatriated or resettled, will be treated without any discrimination either in law or in fact.

    And Resolution 513 of January 26, 1952, speaks of “reintegration either by repatriation or resettlement.” It is therefore quite clear from the plain language of these resolutions that the General Assembly did not even try to establish a binding right of return.

    • All Arab States Voted Against Resolution 194

    All the Arab states voted against Resolution 194, precisely because it did not establish a “right of return,” and because it implicitly recognized Israel. It is disingenuous, at best, for those same Arab states, Palestinian representatives, and BDS supporters to see today in Resolution 194 a right of return.

    • It is the Arab States that have violated UN Resolutions and the UN Charter

    Despite present-day appeals to UN resolutions by the Arab states, it was the Arab states which violated all of the above resolutions, by making war against Israel, by forcing the Palestinian refugees to live in squalid refugee camps, by refusing to offer them citizenship (with the exception of Jordan, which did so not for humanitarian reasons, but to absorb the West Bank, which it had conquered, occupied and annexed), by discriminating against them (Resolution 394) “in law and in fact,” and by forcibly preventing (Resolution 393) “the reintegration of the refugees into the economic life of the Near East.” The Arab states did this because they were determined to exterminate Israel, or failing that, to prevent (Resolution 393) “the realization of conditions of peace and stability in the area.”

    So extreme was the Arab position that the former director in Jordan of UN aid to the Palestinians, Ralph Galloway, stated:

    The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the United Nations and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don’t give a damn whether the refugees live or die. (Ralph Galloway, UNRWA, as quoted by Terence Prittie in The Palestinians: People History, Politics, p 71)

    Of course, beyond the refugee weapon the Arabs also used military weapons to make war against Israel, violating Resolution 181 (the Partition Resolution), and the UN Charter, which calls upon members to:

    .. settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered. (UN Charter, Article 2(3))

    .. refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state … (UN Charter, Article 2(4))

    Finally, the Arab states have for more than 50 years violated Resolution 194 by refusing to pay compensation to Jewish refugees whom they drove out of their countries.

    As for the demand for full equality for Arab citizens of Israel, the claims that they don’t essentially have this already comes from extreme agitprop groups like Adalah, which Thrall – of course – cites and quotes throughout his article.

    The reality is once again quite different from the malign portrait of Israel that Thrall habitually paints.

    When examined in detail, the apartheid charges fall apart, since Israel is, in fact, a progressive and liberal democracy. Like other western democracies Israel is imperfect, but when mistakes and injustices occur they are usually, in the end, rectified thanks to the country’s extensive checks and balances. Unlike neighboring Arab countries Israel has free elections, a free press, full religious freedom, and full rights for women and minorities, including gays. In Israel there are Arab legislators in the Knesset, Arab diplomats in the Foreign Ministry, Arab generals in the Israel Defense Forces, and also Arab judges. In fact, it was an Arab District Court judge (George Karra) who sentenced former Israeli President Moshe Katzav to jail, and an Arab Supreme Court Justice who upheld the sentence (Salim Joubran).

    Nathan Thrall presents himself as a scholar, while the BDS movement presents itself as a group of human rights campaigners. He’s not, and they’re not.

    https://www.camera.org/article/nathan-thralls-propaganda-welcomed-at-the-new-york-times/

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  3. jcdurbant dit :

    ALL THE FAKE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO PRINT

    « I didn’t think it was possible, but the New York Times has reached a new low. This article is an extended, one-sided endorsement of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s assertion that US support for Israel is purchased with Jewish dollars. To Thrall, Israel can do no right and the Palestinians can do no wrong. He condemns Israel’s « occupation » while barely mentioning Israel’s repeated offers to exit the territory — and the serial Palestinian rejections of these offers. He criticizes Israel’s security measures without ever acknowledging the Palestinian terror that necessitates them. He can’t even bring himself to admit that the Palestinian Arabs launched the 1948 War in an effort to destroy Israel — he writes that the war « erupted. » The list goes on. I’d expect more balanced and thorough reporting from a high school newspaper. »

    David Brog (Maccabee Task Force and former executive director of the Christians United For Israel)

    « It is outrageous that any newspaper, let alone one that takes itself so seriously as the NYT would commit what is such an obvious and horrifying violation of basic journalistic ethics and standards by publishing such a misleading article—presented as ‘news’—rife with falsehoods, ad hominem attacks on Jews and even including implying supporters of Israel were responsible for the Tree of Life massacre, all without acknowledging, even hiding the fact, that it is authored by a supporter of the ‘Destroy Israel Movement,’ which calls itself B.D.S., and who is employed and paid by an organization whose primary funders are leading sponsors and funders of the effort to destroy and boycott the Jewish state, starting with Qatar, followed by the Rockefellers and OSI. It boggles the mind.  »

    Josh Block (Israel Project)

    Nathan Thrall, is tied to a large network of BDS supporters that are funded into the millions by the Qatari government, which has long been engaged in efforts to spy on the American Jewish community and pro-Israel officials. Qatar’s foreign influence operations in Washington, D.C., have flown mostly under the radar, but are part of a larger proxy battle being waged by wealthy Middle Eastern governments eager to peddle influence in powerful D.C. circles. Thrall, who the Times presents as a disinterested expert, serves as director of the Arab-Israeli Project at the International Crisis Group, or ICG, a left-leaning advocacy organization that has received around $4 million from the Qatari government in the just the last year. Qatar’s donations represent around 23 percent of ICG’s total budget. Qatar is not mentioned in Thrall’s 11,500-word piece. ICG also has raised $1 million in the past several years from the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, a prolific and open funder of the BDS movement in the United States. Another significant portion of ICG’s funding—more than $5 million in the last three years—comes from the Open Society Foundations, run by liberal billionaire George Soros. Open Society funds dozens of Palestinian organizations that are prominent members of the BDS movement. ICG’s president is former Obama administration official Robert Malley, another Israel critic who was fired from President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential election team after he met with the Hamas terror organization. He joined the Obama administration in 2014. Thrall has been affiliated with ICG during the bulk of his career, which dates to 2010 with bylines at the BBC, the Guardian, the Washington Post, and CNN…

    https://freebeacon.com/culture/author-nyt-anti-israel-piece-works-group-funded-qatar/

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  4. jcdurbant dit :

    PIQURE DE RAPPEL (Quand Trump pointait la responsabilité du Hamas, devinez qui dénonçait la violence israélienne et soulignait le droit palestinien à la paix et à la sécurité ?)

    https://www.lejdd.fr/International/gaza-macron-denonce-les-violences-des-forces-armees-israeliennes-contre-les-manifestants-3652628

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  5. jcdurbant dit :

    WHAT EUROPEAN OBSTRUCTION ? (Guess who’s again denouncing a US peace plan ?)

    The heads of state and government and the ministers of foreign affairs held a comprehensive exchange of views on all aspects of the present situation in the Middle East, including the state of negotiations resulting from the agreements signed between Egypt and Israel in March 1979. They agreed that growing tensions affecting this region constitute a serious danger and render a comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict more necessary and pressing than ever. The nine member states of the European Community consider that the traditional ties and common interests which link Europe to the Middle East oblige them to play a special role and now require them to work in a more concrete way towards peace. 3.In this regard, the nine countries of the community base themselves on (UN) Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 and the positions which they have expressed on several occasions, notably in their declarations of 29 June 1977, 10 September 1970, 26 March and 18 June 1979, as well as in the speech made on their behalf on 25 September 1979 by the Irish minister of foreign affairs at the 34th UN General Assembly. On the bases thus set out, the time has come to promote the recognition and implementation of the two principles universally accepted by the international community: the right to existence and to security of all the states in the region, including Israel, and justice for all the peoples, which implies the recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

    Venice Declaration June 13, 1980

    http://eeas.europa.eu/archives/docs/mepp/docs/venice_declaration_1980_en.pdf

    In partnership with previous US administrations, Europe has promoted a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the context of a two-state solution. To this date, despite subsequent setbacks, the Oslo agreement is still a milestone of transatlantic foreign policy cooperation. Unfortunately, the current US administration has departed from longstanding US policy and distanced itself from established international legal norms. It has so far recognised only one side’s claims to Jerusalem and demonstrated a disturbing indifference to Israeli settlement expansion. The US has suspended funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) and for other programmes benefitting Palestinians – gambling with the security and stability of various countries located at Europe’s doorstep. Against this unfortunate absence of a clear-cut commitment to the vision of two states, the Trump administration has declared itself close to finalising and presenting a new plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Despite uncertainty as to if and when the plan will be released, it is crucial for Europe to be vigilant and act strategically. We believe that Europe should embrace and promote a plan that respects the basic principles of international law as reflected in the agreed EU parameters for a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These parameters, which the EU has systematically reaffirmed during past US-sponsored talks, reflect our shared understanding that a viable peace requires the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel on borders based on the pre-1967 lines with mutually agreed, minimal and equal land swaps; with Jerusalem as the capital for both states; with security arrangements that address legitimate concerns and respect the sovereignty of each side and with an agreed, fair solution to the question of Palestine refugees. Europe, by contrast, should reject any plan that does not meet this standard. While sharing Washington’s frustrations about the unsuccessful peace efforts of the past, we are convinced that a plan that reduces Palestinian statehood to an entity devoid of sovereignty, territorial contiguity and economic viability would severely compound the failure of previous peace-making efforts, accelerate the demise of the two-state option and fatally damage the cause of a durable peace for Palestinians and Israelis alike.

    High-ranking former European politicians

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/14/europe-must-stand-by-the-two-state-solution-for-israel-and-palestine

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  6. jcdurbant dit :

    THE BRILLIANCE OF NETANYAHU AND THE CHUTZPAH OF THE JEWISH AMERICAN LEFT (who has not only abandoned Israel, but now tells the democratically elected government that they are entitled to influence their security even if this runs counter to the will of the Israeli people)

    « The main reason for Netanyahu’s triumph was that while many Israelis recoiled against aspects of his personal life, in particular his hedonism, they instinctively felt his expertise and experience were critical today and that none of his opponents could even remotely display similar levels of strategy and leadership to enable them to step into his shoes.

    Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked’s New Right Party failed to qualify for inclusion to the Knesset by a hair, but had it qualified, Netanyahu would have had the support of 67 Knesset members instead of 65. This was a product of Bennett’s hubris. He persuaded Shaked – undoubtedly one of the most talented MKs – to join him in political oblivion. There is a likelihood that despite Netanyahu’s intense dislike of her, Likud will bring her into its ranks. As of now, Likud is also negotiating with Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu Party to encourage it to join the coalition.

    Setting aside the nightmare of finding an accommodation to satisfy conflicting ministerial demands, the prime minister is also going to face enormous external challenges.

    For a start, the Trump peace plan is soon likely to be unfolded. It has been made abundantly clear that even in the absence of a two-state policy, Israel will be asked to make territorial concessions that do not compromise security. It could well be that most Israelis accept the proposals but Netanyahu is dependent on the Union of Right-Wing Parties, which has threatened to bolt any government that accepts territorial compromise.

    The public exhortations by the Reform, Conservative and other liberal American Jewish groups demonstrate the extent to which the bulk of non-Orthodox American Jews have not only abandoned Israel, but have the chutzpah to tell the democratically elected government that they are entitled to influence our security even if this runs counter to the will of the Israeli people.

    If most Israelis have reached the conclusion that a Palestinian state would be a terrorist state which would undermine their security, it is grossly irresponsible for armchair Diaspora Jews to assume they knew better than Israelis what is good for them. Israel’s problem is that these Jews are also incentivizing the Democrats, including hitherto supporters of Israel, to exert pressure on Israeli government policies.

    Is it unreasonable for Netanyahu to seek to apply Israeli sovereignty to the major settlement blocs? We have waited for decades – to no avail – to negotiate with the Palestinians on the future of the territories.

    IT IS abundantly clear that these settlement blocs are no longer subject to negotiation and have become part of Israel. Now is surely a propitious time – unless the Palestinians miraculously reverse themselves and become flexible when the Trump peace plan is released – to finally legalize the status of over 500,000 settlers by applying Israeli sovereignty to them. This move would have the support of most Israelis and would not alter the quality of life for Palestinians by an iota. However, such a step, even restricted to the major settlement blocs, would undoubtedly create an upheaval and the bulk of the world would condemn us. But if the US stands by, we should not miss such an opportunity to stabilize the area and ultimately reach a settlement.

    Should we fail to do so and maintain the status quo, then in the absence of a supportive US government in the future we will find ourselves continually negotiating over our rights in the major settlement blocs.

    While Netanyahu has a powerful case to act with the major blocs, it is unlikely the US will allow him to fulfil his undertaking to annex the isolated settlements, and he would not necessarily have the support of the majority of Israelis to move in that direction.

    All this will require not only a juggling act but also sensitive negotiations within his coalition. Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu Party has already threatened to oppose the government if the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) bloc prevents the passage of the draft conscription bill. If this happens, Netanyahu will lose his majority and we could face new elections.

    The haredim polled exceedingly well and have proved to be masters of extortion in the past. Aside from additional diversion of funds toward their yeshivot and the aggrandizement of the Chief Rabbinate, we can expect efforts to impose even greater stringencies on issues of conscription, conversion, marriage, gender separation and kashrut. This will also intensify the rifts between Israel and the Diaspora.

    Netanyahu may brazenly outlast the confrontations and reach an accommodation. That would be his first choice – leading a right-wing government and satisfying haredi demands.

    But taking account of the external as well as internal pressures, despite his spectacular victory, he may be obliged to consider other alternatives. Benny Gantz’s partner, Yair Lapid, has promised to make life miserable for the government. But Gantz himself is far more reasonable, and the partnership with Yesh Atid could break up.

    Setting aside the current confrontational approaches by both the incoming government and opposition, the reality is that the dominant policies in both Likud and in Gantz’s party are almost indistinguishable.

    If Netanyahu finds the demands from his satellite parties are too extreme, or they block what he considers a reasonable American peace plan, he may well reach an accommodation with Gantz over his legal problems and form a unity government – which would be applauded by the vast majority of Israelis.

    For the time being, however, it looks as if a right-wing government will prevail. A broader unity government is today only a remote possibility but should not be dismissed from happening in the months to come, if the smaller extremist parties persist with demands that make it impossible for Netanyahu to govern.

    https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Candidly-Speaking-Netanyahus-brilliant-victory-and-the-challenges-ahead-587213

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  7. jcdurbant dit :

    THE ONLY THING MISSING WAS THE DOLLAR SIGN (Desensitization: Like the slip of the tongue that reveals the deeper institutional prejudice: what was long suspected is, at last, revealed)

    As prejudices go, anti-Semitism can sometimes be hard to pin down, but on Thursday the opinion pages of The New York Times international edition provided a textbook illustration of it. Except that The Times wasn’t explaining anti-Semitism. It was purveying it. It did so in the form of a cartoon, provided to the newspaper by a wire service and published directly above an unrelated column by Tom Friedman, in which a guide dog with a prideful countenance and the face of Benjamin Netanyahu leads a blind, fat Donald Trump wearing dark glasses and a black yarmulke. Lest there be any doubt as to the identity of the dog-man, it wears a collar from which hangs a Star of David. Here was an image that, in another age, might have been published in the pages of Der Stürmer. The Jew in the form of a dog. The small but wily Jew leading the dumb and trusting American. The hated Trump being Judaized with a skullcap. The nominal servant acting as the true master. The cartoon checked so many anti-Semitic boxes that the only thing missing was a dollar sign.

    The problem with the cartoon isn’t that its publication was a willful act of anti-Semitism. It wasn’t. The problem is that its publication was an astonishing act of ignorance of anti-Semitism — and that, at a publication that is otherwise hyper-alert to nearly every conceivable expression of prejudice, from mansplaining to racial microaggressions to transphobia. Imagine, for instance, if the dog on a leash in the image hadn’t been the Israeli prime minister but instead a prominent woman such as Nancy Pelosi, a person of color such as John Lewis, or a Muslim such as Ilhan Omar. Would that have gone unnoticed by either the wire service that provides the Times with images or the editor who, even if he were working in haste, selected it? The question answers itself. And it raises a follow-on: How have even the most blatant expressions of anti-Semitism become almost undetectable to editors who think it’s part of their job to stand up to bigotry?

    The reason is the almost torrential criticism of Israel and the mainstreaming of anti-Zionism, including by this paper, which has become so common that people have been desensitized to its inherent bigotry. So long as anti-Semitic arguments or images are framed, however speciously, as commentary about Israel, there will be a tendency to view them as a form of political opinion, not ethnic prejudice. But as I noted in a Sunday Review essay in February, anti-Zionism is all but indistinguishable from anti-Semitism in practice and often in intent, however much progressives try to deny this. Add to the mix the media’s routine demonization of Netanyahu, and it is easy to see how the cartoon came to be drawn and published: Already depicted as a malevolent Jewish leader, it’s just a short step to depict him as a malevolent Jew.

    The paper (…) owes itself some serious reflection as to how its publication came, to many longtime readers, as a shock but not a surprise.

    Bret L. Stephens has been an Opinion columnist with The Times since April 2017. He won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary at The Wall Street Journal in 2013 and was previously editor in chief of The Jerusalem Post.

    A Despicable Cartoon in The Times
    The paper of record needs to reflect deeply on how it came to publish anti-Semitic propaganda.
    Bret Stephens
    NYT
    April 28, 2019

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