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Op-Ed: Remembering East Jerusalem On Jerusalem Day

The term “East Jerusalem” is an artificial construct that supporters of the Arab cause use in their propaganda

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Eastern Jerusalem

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My heart is in the east….” – Rabbi Yehuda Halevi (1075-1141)

 When Jews the world over celebrate Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, we are marking the unification of Jerusalem in 1967. That is, parts of Jerusalem were reunited with the rest of the city. Much of these parts were in eastern Jerusalem. We must remain vigilant in deploring the use of the term “East Jerusalem” — especially this Yom Yerushalayim.

 The attitude taken towards Jerusalem has become increasingly radicalized. And that’s not just the bureaucratic extremists in the United Nations, but in the US so-called progressive camp as well. And much of this is because pro-Israel organizations aren’t doing enough to spell out what Jerusalem really is.  

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The term “East Jerusalem” is an artificial construct that supporters of the Arab cause use in their propaganda, in order to make it appear as if that part of the city is an intrinsically Arab area that Jews are illegally entering.

In reality, there are Jewish neighborhoods throughout the eastern, western, northern, and southern parts of Jerusalem. It’s a pity when Jewish news outlets inadvertently play along and use such geographically inaccurate, and politically loaded, language.

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When anti-Israel extremists created the term “East Jerusalem” it was for one reason: They sought to rip Israel’s capital apart in order to defeat Israel. This effort tragically gained full force with the Oslo Accords. This was fully explained in the B’tzedek Online Journal in a December 30, 1996 editorial titled The War Has Just Begun:

“The Oslo Accords are indeed the fulfillment of the PLO ‘salami’ strategy. That is to say, Israel shall be destroyed not through overt military action of Arab nations, but through the whittling away of Israeli resolve, and slow but determined territorial expansion of a Palestinian state. Slice by slice, Israel will be carved away by the knife of terrorism and world opinion, both deftly handled by the Israeli created Palestinian entity.”

East Jerusalem market

The UN earned all of the ire it received in February from the likes of Secretary State Mike Pompeo, Ambassador Nikki Haley, and others over the release of the Human Rights Council’s anti-Israel “blacklist” of 112 companies operating in Judea and Samaria. And yet, one of the UN’s offenses was been missed by its critics at the time. 

 The UN has labeled Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem as settlements. The boycott “database” is made up of, the UN states “business enterprises involved in … Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem…”

 This is very curious because, after all, “East Jerusalem” does not actually exist. At least not yet. Let’s remember that “East Jerusalem” is what the Bible means when it refers to Jerusalem.

Words, and especially names, have meaning. Especially in the Middle East. The UN obviously chose the terms utilized by Israel’s enemies deliberately. So, just what is “East Jerusalem” and why is adding the word “East” to describe part of Judaism’s holiest city and Israel’s capital of any serious magnitude?

The very name Jerusalem means city of peace, city of completeness, and city of perfection. In fact, there is no “eastern”or “western” when we talk about Jerusalem. There’s just one Jerusalem.  

 American policy on Jerusalem had veered horribly off course until President Trump followed United States law, and upheld the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, by relocating the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The late US Senator Jesse Helms wrote in 1996 that “Israel is the only nation in the world denied the right to choose its own capital. This second-class citizenship among nations must end.”

 Helms was right. It is up to friends of Israel in America to make sure that the US embassy stays put where it belongs in Jerusalem. 

Moshe Phillips is national director of Herut North America’s U.S. division. Herut is an international movement for Zionist pride. 
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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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