Real and Imagined Laws of Living in Silwan

The New York Times deliberately misrepresented opinion as law to disparage Israel, and omitted actual Palestinian laws to hide Arab racism. As such, the paper fully embraced anti-Semitism and the principle of segregation if it prohibits Jews from living in predominantly Arab neighborhoods.

In an article on October 16, 2014 called “A House-by-House Struggle for Control of a Jerusalem Neighborhood”, the NYT’s Isabel Kershner had an opening paragraph that could have been taken from Mein Kampf in describing secretive, cheating and stealing Jews:

“In the dark of night, under the protection of Israeli security forces, Jewish settlers took possession of some 25 housing units in six locations around the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem Many of the properties had been rented out, but they were strangely empty when the settlers arrived… Through a multimillion-dollar series of complex and shadowy transactions spanning several years,
Elad engineered the largest private settlement initiative in decades.”

[By way of comparison, here is a quote from Hitler’s Mein Kampf: “they (Jews) try to cheat the whole world with their tricks; they are lazy, but with their pretended ‘silent’ work they create the appearance of an enormous and equally laborious activity; in short, they are cheats, characters of political profiteering, who hate the honest work of others. Just as such a folkish moth always appeals to the darkness of the silence, one can bet a thousand to one that under its cover he does not produce, but only steals steals from the fruits of the labor of others”] 

The article goes on to describe and suggest that it is illegal for Jews to buy homes in the eastern part of Jerusalem. That suggestion is both untrue and racist. Here are the facts:

  • Silwan was established by Yemenite Jews in 1881. It was one of the first developments outside the city walls of Jerusalem, while the area was part of the Ottoman Empire.
  • Jews have been an established majority in Jerusalem since the 1860s.
  • The Ottomans did not impose any limits on where Jews could live.
  • When Britain took over Palestine as part of the League of Nations Palestine Mandate in 1922, the mandate specifically stated (Article 15) that no one should be barred from living in the area because of their religion.
  • The Palestinians rioted in 1936-9, killing hundreds of Jews, and effectively lobbied the British to limit Jewish immigration to Palestine. But even under those new anti-Jewish rules, there was no prohibition of Jews living in the eastern part of Jerusalem.
  • Jerusalem and Bethlehem were designated to be an international “Holy Basin” according to the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan, and was to be neither part of Israel or Palestine. Both Arab and Jew were free to live anywhere in the Basin.
  • Silwan, and much of the eastern half of Jerusalem was forcibly cleansed of Jews when the Palestinians and Jordanians initiated a war against the Jewish State in 1948, and the Jordanians illegally annexed the eastern half of the city. The Jordanians and Palestinians barred any Jews from even visiting the eastern half of the city.
  • The Jordanians granted Palestinian Arabs citizenship and denied giving any citizenship to Jews in the lands they forcibly conquered (including eastern Jerusalem), making it illegal for Jews to own land there.
  • The Jordanians and Palestinians launched another attack on Israel in 1967, only to lose the eastern half of Jerusalem in that war.

These facts were completely ignored. The only information discussed about the settling of Silwan described: “territory that Israel conquered from Jordan in the 1967 war and then annexed, in a move that was never internationally recognized. Most of the world considers the area illegally occupied by Israel

The suggestion that Israel’s annexation (as a result of a defensive war) is considered illegal by “most of the world” and therefore means that Jews are forbidden to live there is completely misleading and untrue.

  • The Israeli territory of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) is administered by Israel. Israel approves housing for both Arabs and Jews there, and in the eastern part of Jerusalem which they annexed.
  • International law against the forcible transfer of a population has nothing to do with individual rights of buying and living in a property of their own choosing.

The NYT article successfully: 1) described Jews the way Hitler did; 2) gave no background of the long and legal history of the Jews living in the eastern part of Jerusalem; 3) implied illegal activity of Jews buying and moving into their homes when such action is legal.

What the Times article deliberately failed to describe was the actual illegal activity – according to the Palestinian Authority – for any Arab to sell land to a Jew.

Palestinian law bans the selling of land to a Jew, punishable by death. Not only was that law not mentioned in this or any NYT article, Kershner deliberately hid this racist Palestinian law in the article with a false narrative: “At a stormy meeting of about 100 [Palestinian] residents and activists in a children’s playground soon afterward, participants denounced the [real estate] brokers and called for them to be publicly named and cast out of their clans. The Palestinian Authority has no jurisdiction in Jerusalem, but there is a history of vigilante justice: In the 1990s, some local land dealers accused of selling property to Jews were kidnapped and killed.

First, note how the article called Jews “settlers” and Arabs are called “residents”. Both parties are residents and neighbors in the same block. Is the New York Times so against coexistence that each party needs a distinct label?

Second, the article correctly points out that the Palestinian Authority has no jurisdiction in the area, but it describes the actions of “residents and activists” of “vigilante justice” making the actions appear random, unauthorized and opposed by the “moderate” Palestinian Authority. The fact is that property sales are considered a capital offense and Palestinian courts have handed out death sentences for the sale of land to Jews.

The New York Times’ illusion of Jews taking property by force in the dark of the night is outrageous. The secretive nature of the purchase was to protect the Arabs that sold the property from being killed by fellow Arabs according to Palestinian law.

The purchase of apartments by individual Jews in their holiest and capital city in a neighborhood founded by Jews is completely legal. The fact that they had to act discretely in their purchases because of racist Palestinian laws is a travesty that should anger the world – about Palestinians, not the Israelis.



NY Times article:

Yeminite Jews in Silwan:

1922 League of Nations Mandate:

1939 White Paper:

Jordan’s nationality law (article 3) excluding Jews:

FirstOneThrough on the 800,000 Arabs moving to Palestine during the British Mandate:

Abbas on Jew-free Palestine:

Short history of Palestinians+Jordanians controlling Jerusalem:

PA Land Law:

Jordan attacking Israel 1967 according to King Hussein:

Palestinian courts handing death sentence for land sale to Jews:

Mein Kampf:

The anthem of Israel is Jerusalem:

Obama endorsing Jew-free state:


34 thoughts on “Real and Imagined Laws of Living in Silwan

  1. Par for the New York Slime. However, I have one comment about the wording in this article. It refers to the Arabs living in the land of Israel prior to 1967 as “Palestinians”. Aside from the fact that there never was a Palestinian nation and that the concept was invented as a tool to destroy the Jewish people, even the Arabs prior to the 1970’s did not call themselves Palestinians. As a matter of fact, in British Mandatory Palestine, only the Jews were designated as Palestinians on their passports. Arabs refused that designation on their passports and preferred Egyptian or Syrian, etc. or where ever they or their parents came from. We still have my grandfather’s passport that he received under the British Mandate in 1925. It states, “Phillip Cohen, a Palestinian…”. I am more Palestinian than any Arab living in Israel today!


  2. PM Netanyahu correctly stated that he did not expect Americans to support racist policies. If Arabs can live in all parts of Jerusalem, why can’t Jews?


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