Financial Times Weighs In On Israel’s Occupation Of Jerusalem

Editor CEC introduces work by Financial Times of London.

The venerable and respected FT.com, a pricey, private, subscription only, world class financial publication has done something quite out of character.  It criticized the state of Israel and its vast Jewish readership, along with Donald Trump and the US government. And, it did it in a sympathetic, sensitive and humane way.  FT also broke the mold by offering anyone who chanced upon this story (as we did) rights to copy or forward the article. We are taking FT at its word and posting and forwarding the entire story as we found it.

FT shows better than I could, how outraged the civilized world is over this latest unilateral action by Donald Trump, representing all the America  people, the only government in the world to acknowledge and legitimized the brutal acts of Israel in its illegal occupation of Jerusalem!  But we are reminded that this issue is bigger than Israel and the captive Palestinian tribe. It is about the growing threat of nuclear war, for Israel is near the top of the big seven nuclear power structure. Israel is the only country backed 100% by the US superpower that armed it from the start, and it may be the only county on the face of the earth to be at war for every day of its 69 year existence. The following is quoted directly from FT.com. – [Ed.- CEC]

Palestinian Territory

Jerusalem move evokes painful memories for Shatila’s refugees

Dismay and anger in Beirut refugee camp as US recognises city as Israel’s capital

Jerusalem move evokes painful memories for Shatila’s refugees. Dismay and anger in Beirut refugee camp as US recognizes city as Israel’s capital  Many elder Palestinians in the Shatila refugee camp fear the US move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital confirms that they will never return to the city

Jamal Abu Ismail no longer regales newly-weds with songs of his lost homeland, sounds that once echoed through the cramped and grimy walls of Beirut’s Shatila refugee camp. Eyes clouded with cataracts, his hands curled up by arthritis, the elderly Palestinian says he once sang with an unwavering hope that he would return to a home that is now part of Israel. But the controversial decision last week by US president Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital confirmed the 73-year-old’s growing belief that he would not be buried there. “I can’t sing any more,” Mr Abu Ismail says. “I have enough experience in life now to know that whatever Israel wants, it gets,” he continues. “I’m living one year to the next now. I’m incapable of doing anything, and so is the rest of the Arab world.”

During the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that sparked the exodus of some 700,000 Palestinians, the young Mr Abu Ismail watched as family members and others were lined up against a wall, and heard the shots that killed them. “I lost my brothers, my parents,” he sighs. “What does it matter now if we lose Jerusalem?” First, they took Palestine from us. Now they take Jerusalem too. What will they do next, stop us from praying?

Abu Khudr, Shatila resident The Trump administration and its supporters argue that their Jerusalem recognition is simply an acknowledgment of reality. Even though the international community views the city’s fate as a vital issue that can only be addressed as part of the moribund peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, the Israeli government has long since moved its main governmental offices to Jerusalem. But to Palestinians, and to Muslims more broadly, it was another painful humiliation in a series since the 1948 war that created Israel and the 1967 conflict in which Israel seized the eastern, mostly Arab half of Jerusalem and later annexed it. It now claims all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital, while Palestinians seek to make the city’s east their capital in any future settlement.

Washington insists that Jerusalem could still be split into two capitals under a peace deal. But many elder Palestinians in Shatila fear the city they revere may be lost. “First, they took Palestine from us. Now they take Jerusalem too. The Americans need to change their mind. What will they do next, stop us from praying?,” says Abu Khudr, 80, whose leathered face falls under the shadows in his tiny grocery shop. The lights flicker on and off from the faulty electrical wires that hang in tangles over crumbling alleyways painted over with maps of a would-be Palestine state. Some are dotted with the spot for Jerusalem, or simply scrawled with the word “return”.

For Muslims, Jerusalem was the city that the Prophet Mohammed is said to have been flown to on a heavenly steed to pray, and from there, to speak to God in heaven. Mohammed declared it a site of Muslim pilgrimage, a duty complicated by Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem, where al-Aqsa mosque, sits atop the remains of the Temple Mount, the holiest site for Jews. Abu Khudr says the only time he visited Jerusalem was as a baby in his mother’s arms, before fleeing their farm when he was a teenager. The flight is something he says he remembers nearly every day, as well as the notorious massacre in 1982, when Lebanese militias, with support from the Israeli army, killed residents of Shatila and the neighbouring Sabra camp for three days in retaliation for Palestinian militant attacks. “You couldn’t walk through the streets without stepping on dead bodies,” he recalls. “Today, we’re putting a new tragedy on top of a long list of old tragedies.”

Rayan Majdoub, 66, cannot remember her birthplace, now in Acre, Israel. Her first childhood memories were not of mandate-era Palestine, but the billowing tents of a refugee camp that have long since ossified into the cramped, concrete alleyways of Shatila and the temporary homes that have now become permanent. Recommended Trump’s evangelism over Jerusalem will not bring peace Jerusalem move exacerbates Middle East tensions  Trump recognises Jerusalem as capital of Israel A tiny woman with frail, knotted hands, she recalls how, in the early days of exile, she and fellow refugees struggled to get by. “Whoever had food would share with the people in the next tent. We fed each other and we mourned for each other,” she says. Now she mourns for Jerusalem. “As a Palestinian, my heart is where any Palestinian’s heart is. Their loss is my loss.”

The Jerusalem recognition weighs just as heavy om the generations born in Shatila, such as Um Wissam, 40, who asked not to be identified by her full name because she used to help Palestinian militants. Wrapped in the black-and-white kufiya scarf, she prays that her fellow Palestinians heed calls for a new intifada, or uprising, to ensure that Mr Trump’s move does not become a prelude to a US decision preventing refugees such as her from returning under any new settlement. “If Jerusalem is lost, it’s like the end of the world,” she says, her voice gone hoarse from days of shouting at protests. She knows it is futile, she says, “but the only thing I can do is keep shouting, even if no one is listening.”

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2 comments

Alex Awad
December 15th, 2017

As an Evangelical Palestinian Christian I can’t believe that the Evangelical movement is straying so fast from the moral teachings of Jesus Christ as presented in the Sermon on the Mount and throughout the New Testament. Evangelical focus on eschatology has blinded most Evangelicals of understanding the teachings about love, justice, mercy and goodness. This morning my brother in Bethlehem told me that 4 unarmed Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers in Bethlehem and hundreds are injured. Evangelicals who are not seeking justice and support the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem have blood on their hands. And yet. I am thankful for all the Evangelical churches and pastors throughout the Middle East and the world who stood against the move and are saying that Trump does not represent them. We need a revival of mercy, understanding and maturity in the Evangelical Church.

Lynne Davis
December 18th, 2017

Amen, Alex