Shalom ZOA Members, Friends and Supporters of Israel,
As you are keenly aware, Jerusalem has been in the news a lot lately, from a week or more ahead of the “Trump Declaration,” up to the moment with the ugly United Nations General Assembly vote yesterday.
The propaganda war against Israel and the Jewish people is at one of its peaks in this period, and as has been said in a variety of ways over the years: The truth is one of the first victims when there is a war. When it comes to Jerusalem, the truth has been butchered this past month. Journalists and pundits have created a new entity called “East Jerusalem” and they have parroted the Arab and Muslim claim that it is Arab or Palestinian, or should be the capital “of a future Palestinian state” — without any supporting evidence to back-up these claims. They are also quick to point out that Israel gained the area in a war in 1967, or that Israel annexed it, but they nearly never note how Israel came to be in control of the eastern neighborhoods or who controlled it previously.
This is also the time of year when the big lie: That Israel and Jews have driven the Christians from Bethlehem — is front-and-center in both print- and electronic-media.
Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Trudy Rubin has long been a local foe of Israel’s. In a recent column she managed to get in both the Bethlehem slander and the half-truth about eastern Jerusalem. Greater Philadelphia ZOA responded with a letter-to-the editor. We have yet to be notified if our letter will be printed, but here it is for you to read:
“Trudy Rubin notes (“Trump has only made the Jerusalem divisions wider,” Dec. 17) that Israel annexed eastern Jerusalem in 1967, but curiously omits how Israel came to control those neighborhoods.
Jordan illegally occupied them beginning in 1948 when it attacked Israel after Israel declared its independence. Jordan attacked Israel again in 1967, but this time Israel — in another defensive war — repelled the Jordanian forces out of Jerusalem, thus liberating and re-unifying the city.
Under Arab control, the Old City and Judaism’s holiest sites: the Temple Mount and Western Wall, were inaccessible to Jews. Jerusalem has never been under Palestinian-Arab jurisdiction.
Rubin quotes a cleric who falsely claims Israel is responsible for Christians fleeing Bethlehem. Before Israel handed Bethlehem to the Palestinian Authority in the 1990s, 80% of the town was Christian. Now Bethlehem is less than 20% Christian. Robert Nicholson, executive director of the Philos Project, a nonprofit that promotes “positive Christian engagement in the Middle East,” noted last year in providencemag.com: “Christians are fleeing [Bethlehem] for the same reason they are fleeing Iraq, Egypt, and Syria: the rise of Islamic intolerance and violence against anyone who denies the revelation of Muhammad.” Nicholson added: “Inside Israel proper, the Christian population has been growing steadily for decades.”
Let the facts be known to all.
Lee Bender and Kevin Ross, co-presidents
Steve Feldman, executive director
Zionist Organization of America
Greater Philadelphia Chapter”
When you see or hear an act of media malfeasance, it is important to respond to set the record straight. Please consider a polite phone call, letter or email to the media outlet pointing out the mistake and offering a correction. If you need help or would like Greater Philadelphia ZOA to respond, please contact us by email or by phone at 610-660-9466.
Please see below how you can support Greater Philadelphia ZOA as the year draws to a close, and also please see our Christmas greeting later in this newsletter.
We Had a Great Balfour/U.N. Partition Celebration . . .
More than 100 people came out for a joyous, upbeat and informative program last Sunday that we held in conjunction with the Israel Advocacy Committee of Temple Beth Hillel-Beth El. We are grateful to the congregation for hosting it.
You can watch all of the presentations on YouTube by clicking on the graphic immediately below, and watch the interview that we did with Lord Roderick Balfour by clicking on the graphic below that.
Enjoy and benefit from them both. Please share the links with your email and social-media contacts so that they, too, call enjoy and benefit.
Please consider making a donation to support Greater Philadelphia ZOA’s work.
Click on the “Donate” icon above.
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