Monday, November 08, 2021

Seidemann Corrupting History

In a recent mailing sent out by Kares Shapiro and Mark Gold of "Partners for Progressive Israel" on the issue of Sheikh Jarrah, they include an appeal by Danny Seidmann 

along with
a clip of him speaking, ominously, about a renewal of the "Naqba" and quoting him about the legal aspect of the property dispute so:

They purchased the claims to the East Jerusalem property from the earlier Jewish owners and took the Palestinian residents to court in order to evict them—to make way, it must be noted, not for descendants of the Jewish residents, but for settlers who never lived there, and who ultimately seek to drive out Palestinian presence from the city.

The Arabs living there at present, it should be noted have no connection to that area of Jerusalem or the former resident either. They were resettled from other areas in the city. In fact, the history of Silwan itself, Kfar Shiloah in the Hebrew, is one of ethnic-leansing of its Jewish residents - not during the 1948 war, when the aggressive Arabs lost their intended war of Jewish extinction - but during the 1930s, during yet another round of Arab terror.

In other words, the Jewish expulsion resulted not from mutual hostilities or an attack by Jews on Arabs but by Arab aggression on Jewish civilians seeking to eradicate their existence in the neighborhood a decade prior to the Naqba situation (itself brought upon the Arabs by their lawlessness, their violence, their rejection of diplomacy and compromise).

I am no lawyer but I do know the history of the conflict and Seidemann is corrupting our understanding of what happened, when it happened and for what purpose. When that happens, the law becomes irrelvant.

1 comment:

Joe in Australia said...

You might be interested in this article by Lucy Garbett in Teh Guardian: I live in Sheikh Jarrah. For Palestinians, this is not a ‘real estate dispute’.

Ms Garbett says, quite revealingly:
"My family has lived in Jerusalem for several generations since they fled the Armenian genocide in 1915. In 1948, during the Nakba, they were expelled from their home in West Jerusalem and found refuge in the city’s eastern part. Now we live in Sheikh Jarrah and my neighbours are about to be expelled from their homes.
[...] As Palestinians, we feel every expression of our identity is being erased and marginalised.

The historical reality is almost certainly that her family was resettled by the Jordanian administration after its genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Jewish population of Jerusalem, in a home that belonged to Jews. They didn't lose anything from Israel's victory in 1967; they had been lucky enough to receive title to the home which had been expropriated; but that fear of displacement undoubtedly still rankles.

At least she's frank about her family's acquisition of a Palestinian identity: to the extent they have one it's because they suppressed their Armenian identity and accepted the benefits of living under a colonial regime, and subsequently refused to accept citizenship in a democratic state.