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Although the failed Camp David summit concluded in July , the embers of Jerusalem continue to burn.

Jerusalem, the focal point for discussion at Camp David, became a central media feature. News articles were grossly distorted and fictionalized, creating an impression that Israel simply has little, if any, legitimate claim to the city.

Abraham Rabinovich, a Jerusalem based writer, in a recent article, pins all the problems on Israel=s administrative practices and its failure to realize that, Athe issue is pragmatic, not historical or religious.@ He smears Israel with a deceptively subtle brush, claimed that, AThe sanctity conferred by political rhetoric upon the modern city in all its girth accounts for much needless passion.@ He is totally oblivious to the fact that the new city does have a sanctity which grows out of its institutions, its varied communities, its people, its beauty, and its very character.

Rabinovich fails to acknowledge that the earliest stimuli for the development of the new city were the Arab riots of 1929 and 1936-39, which drove many Jews out of the Old City. He further claims that AThe boundaries of modern Jerusalem were set not in antiquity but only 33 years ago; not by holy writ but by a committee of mid-level Israeli government officials and army officers,” and then concludes that “God had no place at the committee’s map table.” One wonders, where does He have a place – at the table of the Palestinian Authority, whose Covenant still calls for Israel’s destruction?

Rabinovich downplays the significance of Jerusalem to the Jews. He regards Israel as Aa prisoner of a formula@ which stipulates that Jerusalem will remain Aa united city under Israeli sovereignty. Through repetition, this litany has virtually taken on the sanctity of prayer.@ Despite such cynicism, the Jewish love for Jerusalem is a given, not only in Israel but throughout the world. David Ben Gurion, a non-religious man, placed the protection of Jerusalem as his number one priority during the Arab onslaught of 1948. Without Jerusalem, Israel, in effect, has no heart, a fact which every Arab knows, and which led to such Arab glee when Jews were evicted from the Old City by the Jordanian Legion in 1948. Jewish feelings for Jerusalem stem not from a Alitany@ but from a truism. To evaluate claims based on a litany, he should investigate the recently fabricated Arab documents and press releases. As Mideast Analyst, Emanuel A. Winston, stated back in 1998, “Revising the history of Jerusalem is beginning in earnest. Excellent thinkers are being employed by the Arabs to develop a steady stream of semi facts that support Arafat’s deceptive claim to Jerusalem.”

Although Rabinovich claims that, AIt is in Israel=s interest that the Palestinians find their political satisfaction by declaring their capital in Jerusalem,@ we have heard no Palestinian Arab leader, including Arafat, state that their goal would be accomplished by establishing their capital in Jerusalem. Many vociferously and repeatedly say that their ultimate goal and “satisfaction” lies in the total conquest of Israel. The acquisition of any part of Jerusalem would be only a stepping stone. For some reason, Rabinovich and those who share his vision do not pay heed to this threat. They fail to acknowledge the historic reality of incremental surrender.

Accompanying the news article is a map bearing the high-lighted comment that Palestinians wish a “Return to the pre-1967 situation when Jerusalem was the capital of a Palestinian state.” This is a complete fabrication. A Palestinian state did not exist prior to 1967. East Jerusalem was controlled by Jordan and administered from Amman. Jordan had little interest in the residents of East Jerusalem, and little concern for the city itself. Jordan neglected to provide the city with the most basic municipal services. In 1967, Israel not only put an end to the Arab mistreatment of the city, it broke the Arabs apartheid-like policy of banning Jews form living in the eastern neighborhoods.

Another news article on Jerusalem, including a map by John Diamond of the Chicago Tribune, contains numerous misleading, and inaccurate statements that revises historical fact. Under the heading of “Recent History” we are informed that in 1917 the “British occupy Jerusalem, make it the capital of Palestine.” The misleading statement infers that Palestine existed as a state and that the British were responsible for the recognition of Jerusalem as its capital. In fact, the British established not a capital but a civil administration under a high commissioner who resided in Jerusalem. No mention is made of the Balfour Declaration. Nor are we informed that the 1922 census shows a Jewish population in Jerusalem more than double that of the Muslims. “Recent History” also tells us that in 1948 “Israel captures western Jerusalem.” This is an inaccurate distortion. During the 1948 war, Israel did not capture, but protected West Jerusalem from the invading Arab armies who were successful in seizing and destroying the Jewish quarters of the old city, and in effect, ethically cleansed Ease Jerusalem of Jews.

The media used the Camp David summit as a springboard for promoting their biased vision of Jerusalem. News articles were laced with opinion, saturated with inaccuracies, half-truths, and omissions. Historic revisionism flourished. It is a well known fact that if a lie is repeated frequently it will be accepted as truth. And when the media becomes the conduit for repeated lies that remain unchallenged, it will mold public policy, that will adversely effect Israel’s future and survival.

Sidney Laibson, President
Joseph Ungar, Vice President

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