Alt Left: The Sheik Jarrah Evictions: Background to the Current Crisis

This is a visualization of what was happening in Sheik Jarrah that set off this whole mess. From the Jewish side, it is true that this was a Jewish neighborhood before 1948. It was home to Yemeni Jews. It was conquered by Jordan and the Jews were either killed or fled. They also destroyed up to 33 synagogues in this area.

And the Arabs took over the homes of the Jews who fled. In Israel, any Arab living on what was formerly Jewish land can be taken to court by Jews and have their land taken away from them. So there is a court case saying that this is formerly Jewish land that Arabs are now living in, so Jews are trying to take it back over.The problem is that the law is unfair. All over Israel there are Jewish families live in the homes and neighborhoods that were formerly owned by Arabs.  Can these Arabs go to Israeli courts and get an order throwing out the Jews so the Arabs can take back over their own land? Well, of course not!

In many places, they don’t even bother with such niceties. They certainly don’t in the West Bank and they didn’t in Gaza.

Gangs of armed Jewish thugs have been besieging these Arabs in their homes, trying to throw them out on the street. Sometimes they take over the homes and gunpoint and throw the Arabs out on the street. In other cases, they have taken over half of the homes. In one home, Jews have taken over half of an Arab home. There is constant abuse of all sorts directed at the Arabs. Israeli police and soldiers often accompany the settlers when they go to take over houses.

Note that these settlers were not the original owners. The courts just declare that it’s Jewish land now and any Jew gets to take it over. I saw an interview with one of these earnest young Jews and he said they were going to take over the whole neighborhood as part of a project to take over all of Jerusalem.

You see, Israel conquered East Jerusalem in 1967, and in the process ethnically cleansed a lot of the Palestinians. And by the way, the ones who left don’t get to come back. Since that time, they have been slowly eating away at Arab lands there bit by bit, building by building. Part of the problem is that it is almost impossible to get a building permit in Israel if you are an Arab, even to say add on a room to a house.

So Arabs build illegally. Then the Jews say you built and illegal home or room and come in and tear it down or just take it over. Even a few years ago, East Jerusalem was a nightmare. There were IDF roadblocks everywhere such that it took forever just to go across town. And there were Jewish settlements with police and army guarding them scattered all through the enclave like Swiss Cheese. I saw a video a while back of Arab fathers who were protesting to IDF troops. The men were all crying. They were all saying that they were going to blow themselves up as suicide bombers if Israel didn’t stop stealing their land.

The thing is that this same process is exactly what has been happening in fast motion in 1948-49 and then mostly in slow motion ever since, with a spurt in 1967. This is how Israel takes over Arab land all over Israel and the West Bank. This is the modus operandi. The earnest young man above said that his project was simply part of the Zionist game plan and I had to admit that he was correct. This also goes on in the West Bank all the time. Settlers run amok, harassing, beating and even shooting Arabs and nothing happens to them.

500 Jewish settlers have basically taken over Hebron, a city of 80,000 people. They are scattered in settlements all through the city. They walk around openly carrying weapons and are accompanied by soldiers and police everywhere they go. They abuse the local Palestinians constantly. Also the settlers in the West Bank are constantly stealing more and more land. They set fire to olive groves all the time and put up new “illegal” settlements everywhere, almost almost all of them get to stay.

The West Bank is a nightmare of checkpoints for Arabs and it takes forever to get anywhere. People being raced to the hospital die all the time in these three hour lines at these checkpoints. There are Jews-only towns, cities, roads, you name it. Yep there is a dual road network in the West Bank, one for Jews where you can drive 55 mph everywhere and a nightmare road system for Arabs with checkpoints everywhere. It’s 100% apartheid, in fact, the whole state of Israel is an apartheid state the same as South Africa was. Incidentally, Israel was very closely allied with South Africa during apartheid. Coincidence? I think not.

When you sit back and think about how disgusting the Israeli enterprise really is, it’s a wonder how any decent person can support it. Yet most Americans give strong support to Israel. One wonders if Americans, a country based on racist settler-colonialism, fight a meeting of minds with Israel, another state based on racist settler-colonialism.

The Jews have been pretty good and painting a pretty face on this pig called Israel. The mask really seems to be coming off now and we are seeing this awful country in all of its horror. And a lot of Americans, especially liberal Democrats, are not happy about what they see. It’s getting harder and harder to make the case of Israel as this wonderful country, the only democracy in the Middle East, and all of that crap.

And for the first time, I am seeing a fair number of liberal to Left American Jews saying “No more!” that they’ve had it with Israel and they aren’t supporting this crap anymore. Some are arguing that it goes against Jewish values. I don’t know if that’s true or not but Reform Jews can bake a Jewish religious cake out of anything they wish, so they’re free to make that case and good for them. I’d support any Judaism that has values like that.

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