The Many Myths of Jerusalem: Part 5

Part Five of our multipart series on The Many Myths of Jerusalem

###Myth Number 5: Jewish-Only Areas of Jerusalem

This myth is incredibly persistent because the media continues to give it air. We’ve already tackled this briefly in our response to Noura Erakat’s libelous preface to the BDS Handbook but something caught our eye today in an article by Reuters:

More Palestinians, albeit in small numbers, have also been moving into predominantly Jewish neighborhoods and even settlements on occupied land.

While it is heartening to see a major news outlet finally admit that there are no “Jewish-only” areas in Jerusalem (or anywhere in Israel for that matter) it is unfortunate they still do so in such a stilted and anti-Israel way. It labels all of eastern Jerusalem occupied land and calls any Jewish neighborhood there a settlement despite the fact that it has previously been agreed that many if not all would remain as part of Israel under a two-state solution. Yet it does not label the newly Israeli Palestinians who live there as “settlers” nor the Israeli-Arabs who move there as such either. For Reuters, the only time an Israeli moving to eastern Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria is a problem is when that Israeli is also Jewish.

This fact was clearly visible earlier this year when Mohammed Said Ismail Musallam, an Israeli Arab, was killed by ISIS after traveling to its territory to join the group. ISIS accused him of being an Israeli spy and the reports about his execution all highlighted the fact that he was Israeli, Arab and lived in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem. This neighborhood has a Jewish majority but many Arab residents as well. Had Musallam been a Jew, the media would have been quick to point out that he was an “illegal settler,” but since he was Arab, this was completely ignored.

Arabs can and do live in any area of Jerusalem. Not only has there never been a law restricting where Arabs can settle but it is expressly illegal to prevent someone from moving somewhere based on their religion or ethnicity.

###Read more Myths here ___