Guardian op-ed: Israel is ‘Judaising Jerusalem’ and reducing the Palestinian population

However you want to characterise demographic changes in the holy city since 1967, the implicit suggestion that Palestinians have been or are currently being ethnically cleansed in Jerusalem (or anywhere else in Israel for that matter) is the opposite of the truth.

An op-ed was published at the Guardian on Jan. 10th by Nur Arafeh titled “Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem would destroy Palestine’s hope for justice”.

Arafeh is the Palestine Policy Fellow of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network. NGO Monitor’s profile of Al-Shabaka demonstrates that the group promotes the “the right of return,” the “Nakba,” and BDS, and regularly features writers who accuse Israel of “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing”.

Though there are multiple distortions, errors and misrepresentations of fact throughout her Guardian op-ed, one falsehood in particular stands out as especially egregious:

Since 1967, Israel has been transforming Jerusalem from a multi-religious and multicultural city into a “reunified” Jewish city under its exclusive control. It has accelerated Jerusalem’s “Judaisation” through policies that specifically aim to minimise the number of Palestinians.

However, if Israel is enacting ‘Judaisation” policies intended to “minimise the number of Palestinians” in Jerusalem, they’ve done an awfully bad job, as is evident by population statistics. Whereas in 2007 there were 208,000 Palestinians in east Jerusalem, today there are roughly 293,000.  So, over the course of merely seven years, the Palestinian population of east Jerusalem has increased by over 40%.

Additionally, if you look at Jerusalem as a whole (both east and west), the increase in Jerusalem’s Palestinian population has outpaced the growth of the Jewish population. Whereas in 1967 Palestinians constituted 26% of the overall population of Jerusalem, by 2011 they constituted 36%.

However you want to characterise demographic changes in the holy city since 1967, the implicit suggestion that Palestinians have been or are currently being ethnically cleansed in Jerusalem (or anywhere else in Israel for that matter) is the opposite of the truth.

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