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Blogger Survey: The Media Battle Over Jerusalem, Part 1
It’s difficult to recall the last time Jerusalem’s status was the subject of such contention. With Jerusalem Day coming up this week, I surveyed a few bloggers to hear their take on the following question:
Is Israel winning the media battle over Jerusalem?
I’m posting responses as they come in. Here are the first:
Israel refuses to make its case for Jerusalem. For example, the issue of "expansion of municipal boundaries" can be addressed by pointing out that the International Entity recommended in the 1947 UN Partition Resolution actually had Jerusalem from just south of Ramallah to Bethlehem inclusive and from Maaleh Adumim today to Motza. The ethnic cleansing operations by Arabs in emptying out Jewish resident in the Old City, Atarot, Neveh Yaakov, etc. are also ignored. There is no assertiveness and our opponents take advantage of our weak approach. The lack of a Jewish presence or identity on the Temple Mount also disables Israel's position.
Elder of Ziyon
Israel's true claim to Jerusalem is the Jewish claim to Jerusalem, which is based on thousands of years of history and billions of tears. No one will be convinced of Israel's claims by the minutiae of legal analysis about "occupation" or the laws of war - only by the realization that Jerusalem is the heart of the Jewish people.
The media, by its nature, is not concerned with anything that lasts longer than a news cycle, and their deep background analysis goes back mere decades. Given that, Israel has almost no chance to win that battle - and it is indeed losing it.
A Soldier’s Mother
The simple answer is that no, Israel is not winning the battle over Jerusalem. As it happens, yesterday, I escorted a sweet Christian woman from Indiana to a few sites in Israel. During our time together, over and over again, I heard her tell me that we should not let others determine our policy; that the American people, if not the government, support Israel. As we drove through Jerusalem, I pointed and explained. If Obama has his way, to the right would be some Palestinian state, to the left, Israel. "Absurd," she responded. Absurd it would be. "Obama doesn't understand," she continued. And in that, she has summed up our efforts on Jerusalem.
People outside of Israel do not understand two key factors about Jerusalem: the history and the geographical realities. They believe the solution is as simple as a Solomon-style knife coming and dividing the land. They have little understanding that Ramat Shlomo is to the north of Jerusalem, not to the east. That Har Homa was built on an adjacent, barren hilltop. So long as Israel fails to explain the important issues, the natural tendency of the majority of people (and governments) will be to believe the tremendous (and effective) efforts of the Palestinian propaganda machine.
UPDATE May 10: See Part Two for responses from Stephanie Gutmann, Soccer Dad and Mere Rhetoric.
UPDATE May 12: More bloggers weigh in at parts Three and Four.
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Israel needs to decide what exactly Jerusalem is and take a stand. If it includes Abu Dis and the other Arab neighborhoods where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians live then I'm not interested.
Max, Why do you support segregation and ethnic cleansing?
I don't support ethnic cleansing. I do support my country not absorbing hundreds of thousands of potential fifth columnists in areas where no Jews live.