CAMERA Letter in NY Times Sets Record Straight on Jews in Jerusalem

After The New York Times published an editorial citing the absence of Jews in eastern Jerusalem in 1967 as a point arguing against Israeli policy and U.S. recognition of Israel’s capital in Jerusalem, the newspaper printed CAMERA’s letter to the editor addressing the egregious misimpression caused by the editorial.

The newspaper’s Dec. 6 editorial, titled “Does President Trump Want Peace in the Middle East?,” asserted,

Palestinians anticipated being able to locate their capital in East Jerusalem and to have access to Muslim holy sites there. East Jerusalem was exclusively Arab in 1967, but Israel has steadily built settlements there, placing some 200,000 of its citizens among the Arab population and complicating any possible peace agreement. [emphasis added]

CAMERA’s response, published in the newspaper on Dec. 13, set the record straight: 

To the Editor: Re “Does Mr. Trump Want Mideast Peace?” (editorial, Dec. 6):
 
In making the case against President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, you say, “East Jerusalem was exclusively Arab in 1967.” The language risks severely misleading readers, as it suggests that this ethnic “exclusivity” was an intrinsic and even desirable part of the area’s character before 1967.
 
But eastern Jerusalem was empty of Jews for a mere 19 years. When Jordan’s Arab Legion conquered the Old City, its Jewish Quarter and surrounding neighborhoods, it forced out every Jewish man, woman and child. Before that, Jews were a large and integral part of what is now called East Jerusalem, and at times were the majority population.
 
The situation between 1948 and 1967 was not the norm, but an aberrant blip on the timeline of Judaism’s holiest city and a result of ethnic cleansing.
 
GILEAD INI, BOSTON
 
The writer is senior research analyst, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.

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