CAMERA Letter in International Herald Tribune: Jerusalem Academic Blind to Muslim Residents

On May 7, the International Herald Tribune published the following letter by CAMERA’s Tamar Sternthal in response to an earlier letter by Jerusalem academic Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi which had wrongly implied that no Muslims live in Western Jerusalem. A more in-depth article about Muslim residents of western Jerusalem neighborhoods can be found here.

Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi (Letters, April 21) accuses Elie Wiesel of preferring “mythical references to history and eschatology” over the “real people who want to live together in peace.” But it is Ms. Ezrahi who ignores the existence of thousands of Muslims peacefully coexisting with Jews.

Berating the author for his statement that Jerusalem’s Jews, Christians and Muslims can live where they like, Ms. Ezrahi writes: “I defy Mr. Wiesel to find three Muslim families in all of West Jerusalem.”

In fact, thousands of Muslims live in West Jerusalem, which is clear from a quick look in the phone book. As of 2007, according to the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies, 3,576 Muslims were living there.

While she refers to a fictional produce shopper described in a poem by Yehuda Amichai, Ms. Ezrahi unfortunately fails to see the real flesh and blood Muslims living in her midst.

Tamar Sternthal, Modiin, Israel

Director, Israel office, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

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