Weekend long read

1) NGO Monitor provides background to a story likely to be taken up by the British media in a Primer on Sheikh Jarrah Property Claims.

“On February 10, 2021, the Jerusalem District Court upheld an October 2020 Jerusalem Magistrate Court decision, requiring a number of Sheikh Jarrah residents to vacate properties they are living in by May 2, 2021. Following this decision, the residents appealed to the Supreme Court. The Court has given the two sides until May 6, to report if they have reached a compromise to settle out of court. […]

According to a 1979 High Court decision, and re-affirmed repeatedly in subsequent cases, as in the case of any tenant living on someone else’s property, residents living on the land owned by these organizations were required to pay rent to the organizations that owned the properties. Their failure to do so, along with instances of illegal building and illegally renting properties to others, resulted in the current legal proceedings against them, culminating in the District Court decision.”

2) The FDD’s Clifford D May gives his views on the recent ‘Human Rights Watch’ report.

“The 20 percent of Israeli citizens who identify as Palestinians or Israeli Arabs vote, run for office, hold seats in the Israeli parliament, serve as judges including on Israel’s Supreme Court, work as doctors in (not segregated) hospitals, attend (not segregated) universities, eat in (not segregated) restaurants, and relax on (not segregated) beaches. The same is true for Israeli Druze, Christians, Bedouins, Circassians, and other minorities about which HRW appears ignorant.

To call that apartheid requires twisting the meaning of the word beyond recognition – which HRW does.”

3) At the Sapir Journal, Einat Wilf explains ‘How Not to Think About the Conflict’.

“Drawing parallels to cast one side in the conflict as evil and the other as good might have the effect of marshaling support and resources for the side that one favors, but such a strategy is counter-productive, and even just plain stupid, if the goal is actually to engage with the real issues at hand, to solve the conflict and attain peace. “Evil” must always be fought and defeated — so to cast the conflict as a fight between good and evil is effectively to argue that no compromise can be made until the other side disappears or signs an unconditional surrender. 

For decades, critics have cast Jews, Israel, and Zionism as the evil side in the conflict through their consistent and persistent employment of the “Placard Strategy”: utilizing simple equations such as those that might appear on a placard in an anti-Israel demonstration. On one side of the equation are Israel, Zionism, and images such as the Star of David. The evil du jour is the other side, whether it is Imperialism, Colonialism, Racism, Apartheid or — for the truly determined — Genocide and Nazism. Most recently, White Supremacy was added to the list.” 

4) Writing at the Times of Israel, Oren Kessler looks back at the May 1921 Jaffa riots.

“The Balfour Declaration, the British conquest of the Land and the end of the Great War had produced euphoria in the Yishuv movement — that is, the Jews living in pre-state Israel — convincing it that dreams of sovereignty in Palestine were on the brink of fulfillment. But, as Israeli historian Benny Morris writes, the “massive violence of 1921 left an ineradicable impression on the Zionists, driving home the precariousness of their enterprise.”

The necessity of a strong defense — a conviction previously limited to a few diehards — now began trickling into mainstream Zionist thought.

“The Arab attacks of May forced a number of Yishuv leaders to ask — although only behind closed doors — whether the time had come to ‘call a spade a spade,’ i.e. to acknowledge that there did exist a genuine, widespread or intense Arab hostility,” adds another historian, Neil Caplan.”

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