One of our goals here at The Only Democracy? is to pressure the U.S. mainstream media to cover the stories we follow, mostly through Israeli or Palestinian activists or news outlets. It is great to see the Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan conflicts turning up in the Washington Post! The article is the kind of historical context that U.S. news rarely delivers.
The small Palestinian community in the Sheikh Jarrah area of East Jerusalem began as an experiment by the United Nations after Israel was created in 1948 — an effort to keep 28 families out of refugee camps by providing them with homes of their own.
But the promised property titles were never delivered, and more than a half-century later, with the original dwellings expanded into multi-family, multi-generational compounds, the residents face eviction as a long legal battle nears its end in the Israeli courts.”
The piece actually provides some analysis of the larger dynamics of the conflict.
The fight is in many ways a defining one in the debate over Jerusalem, as Palestinians try to hold on to Arab neighborhoods to establish a future capital and Israel asserts its jurisdiction over the entire city — including Arab areas it captured in a 1967 war and annexed in a step not recognized by the international community.”
The article even mentions the Israeli practice of creating “facts on the ground:”
“The Silwan case goes to the heart of the larger dispute: For Luria, one building of Jews among hundreds of Arab homes is not enough to threaten neighborhood demographics or warrant international concern; for advocates of the Palestinians, the presence of those few families means security guards, increased Israeli police patrols and the risk of seemingly isolated projects eventually connecting and growing more encompassing.”
My only complaint? Though the article quotes numerous “advocates” of the Palestinian families, it completely fails to mention the protests that are probably the only reason these issues are being covered in the Washington Post at all.