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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Don't know much about history

Whenever my kids ask for help with their homework, the first part of this song is my response.

Let's go to the videotape.

Perhaps 'don't know much about history' is Barack Obama's problem too. (Sam Cooke kind of looks like Obama, doesn't he?) This is Mort Zuckerman in the Wall Street Journal (Hat Tip: Memeorandum), available here for those of you who don't have Journal subscriptions.

Jerusalem is not just another piece of territory on a political chessboard: It is integral to the identity and faith of the Jewish people. Since the city was founded by King David some 3,500 years ago, Jews have lived there, worked there, and prayed there. During the First and Second Temple periods, Jews from across the kingdom would travel to Jerusalem three times a year for the Jewish holy days, until the Roman Empire destroyed the Second Temple in 70 A.D. That ended Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem for the next 2,000 years, but the Jews never relinquished their bond.

Jerusalem is much less embedded in Muslim culture. When Muslims pray, they face Mecca, not Jerusalem. The Old Testament mentions Jerusalem, or its alternative name Zion, a total of 457 times. The Koran does not mention Jerusalem once. Muhammad, who founded Islam in 622 A.D., was born and raised in what is now Saudi Arabia; he never set foot in Jerusalem. And in the 1,300 years that various Islamic dynasties ruled Jerusalem, not one Islamic dynasty ever made the city its capital. Indeed, even the National Covenant of the PLO, written in 1964, never mentions Jerusalem. It was only added after Israel regained control of the city in 1967.

The reality today is that in the area referred to as East Jerusalem— that is, an area north, south and east of the city’s 1967 borders—there are roughly a half a million Jews and Arabs living in intertwined neighborhoods. The idea of a purely Jewish West Jerusalem or a purely Palestinian East Jerusalem is a myth: Building in particular neighborhoods in no way precludes the possibility of a two-state solution.

Ramat Shlomo, the center of the most recent row, is a thriving community of over 100,000 Jews located between two larger Jewish communities called Ramat and French Hill. Its growth would in no way interfere with the contiguity of new Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. And in every peace agreement that has ever been discussed, these areas would remain a part of Israel.

No wonder the Israelis reacted so strongly when Mr. Obama called this neighborhood “a settlement.” For over 43 years, there has been a tacit agreement that construction here did not constitute an obstacle to negotiations. Thus, the new policy was seen as an Obama administration effort to force Israel to accept the division of Jerusalem, taking yet another negotiating card off the table for the Israelis.

But what the world never remembers is what the Israelis can never forget. When Jordan controlled the eastern part of the city, including the Old City and the Western Wall (a retaining wall of the ancient Temple), it permitted reasonably free access to Christian holy places. But the Jews were denied any access to the Jewish holy places. This was a fundamental departure from the tradition of freedom of religious worship in the holy land, which had evolved over centuries, not to speak of a violation of the undertaking given by Jordan in the Armistice Agreement concluded with Israel in 1949. Nobody should expect the Jews to risk that again.
No one should but Obama does. The question is why, and the answer is quite simple: Obama doesn't get all that history.

We saw that in his Cairo speech and we saw it again at Buchenwald the next day. Obama doesn't get the historical connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. From his perspective, the Jewish state may as well have been in Uganda (at which point it would have been justifiable for them to force us to split it). Perhaps he doesn't get it because he doesn't want to get it, because he'd prefer to see Israel as a sop to the Jews after the Holocaust at the expense of people of color, as his friends Rashid Khalidi and Jeremiah Wright see it and as Victor Davis Hanson has posited. Or perhaps, he's just tone deaf.

Either way, the sooner Obama is replaced, the better off Israel will be.


At 5:50 PM, Blogger Captain.H said...

Or perhaps he's a closet Muslim and just plain anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. That would explain many things.

At 5:58 PM, Blogger Moriah said...

Here's history you know about ...


At 6:41 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Carl.
"If it looks like a anti-Semit, and sounds like a anti-Semit,then
Chances are it is an anti-Semit." orto put it in an other way:" Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."

At 6:54 PM, Blogger nomatter said...

Zuckerman states:
"Jerusalem is not just another piece of territory on a political chessboard: It is integral to the identity and faith of the Jewish people."

Indeed Mort. You are absolutely correct!! However when Bush axed the embassy act 8 times, where was your voice? I am beginning to think it just depends who is President. If liberal Jews stick up for their President do or die, the same can be said for Republican Jews.

I have to say if Bush signed the embassy act we would not be in this position right now.

See it for yourself:


Every comment I made backs up my question to Mort and others. Why in the Hell should the issue of Jerusalem be more urgent NOW then it obviously was before?

He definitely is overtly hostile. No one can convince me otherwise that he is not antisemitic. Reason for all our suffering since time immemorial. The ones who hide it refuse to admit they have it while assigning lame excuses for their overt behavior towards us. It is like a bomb lying in wait...


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