Social justice is a concept that has been advanced by left-wing Americans into mainstream conversation. The idea covers a number of principles:
- Human rights
The Jews in Jerusalem are slowly advancing in their movement on each of these principles, however, systemic anti-Semitism at the United Nations and for many Arab Muslim nations, has slowed progress.
Despite the facts that only Jews consider Jerusalem as its holiest location and uniquely made the city its capital, Arab Muslim nations ethnically-cleansed the Old City of Jerusalem of its Jews in the 1948-9 Arab-Israeli war. Transjordan illegally annexed the eastern part of the city including the Old City and the west bank of the Jordan River, and subsequently denied any Jew the ability to visit their holiest sites.
Jordan attacked Israel again in 1967 but lost the ‘West Bank’ and eastern Jerusalem to Israel. While Israel once again allowed Jews to live and visit their holiest city, the Jordanian Waqf was given permission by Israel to administer the Jewish Temple Mount, and limits the time and number of Jews who can visit.
Not long after Jordan annexed lands west of the Jordan River in a move not recognized by almost every country in the world, it passed a citizenship law specifically excluding Jews in article 3. Now under Israeli rule, the Jews of Jerusalem – as well as Arabs – are afforded citizenship in a reversal to Jordan’s anti-Semitic law.
Jordan still enforces its ban on Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, a flagrant violation of the basic human rights of Jews. Remarkably, the world stays mum on the subject, fearing radical Islamic violence.
The Jews in Jerusalem are marginalized by the United Nations and much of the world. The UN Security Council passed Resolution 2334 which stated that “Israelis” could not move to eastern Jerusalem. The anti-Zionists call Jews who live and visit ‘settlers’, even if they are not Israeli, and do not use the label for Israeli Arabs who do the same, clearly demonstrating the anti-Jewish nature of the smear.
The UN has set up distinct agencies, committees and inquiries uniquely for the Jewish State and does not afford Israel an opportunity to participate on the same basis as others in a forum stacked against it.
As noted above, the administration of the Temple Mount which holds the al Aqsa mosque is administered solely by Arab Muslims of the Jordanian waqf. Such formulation does not allow Jews to participate in the administration of their holiest site, and has led to their being completely marginalized.
Equity / Restorative Justice
There has been some measure of restorative justice for Jews, in facilitating the migration of Jews back to their ancestral homeland over the past hundred years. Germany has paid the state compensation for its actions in the Holocaust. The United States has invested in the fledgling state and facilitated its ascendency out of a third world emerging state to a thriving liberal democracy. The most persecuted people who faced a genocide have established a safe haven.
But evil still lurks. The Islamic Republic of Iran has stated its desire to destroy Israel. It has several terrorist proxies abutting the Jewish State including Hamas and Hezbollah which have thousands of missiles directed at it. The world is debating how to handle the leading state sponsor of terrorism’s quest for nuclear weapons, even though the answer is obvious to any toddler.
In relation to Jerusalem, the world has done the opposite of restorative justice. It did – and still does not – facilitate and recognize Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem. Israel had to reunite the city on its own in a defensive battle. It rebuilds the synagogues (like the Hurva) that Jordan destroyed in the face of global condemnation.
Israel’s neighbors like Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Iraq and others, are each over 90% Muslim. In contrast, Israel is only 73.9% Jewish and has over 26% of the population from a variety of religions including Muslims, Christians, Druze, Baha’i, Samaritans and others.
Israel’s diversity is seen in its schools and hospitals. The signs in the country are written in Hebrew, Arabic and English. Its parliament and Supreme Court have people of different religions, ethnic backgrounds, genders and orientation. All of those dynamics are lacking in the other countries of the Middle East.
Many of those same countries that lack diversity attack Israel economically, politically and militarily. They deny the history of the Jews, their rights and any acceptance of the Jewish State. They have stood against ‘normalizing’ the Jewish State in any manner in an aggressive campaign of ‘three denials.‘ These efforts are most pronounced regarding Israel’s capital of Jerusalem, which they seek to revert back to the Arab-only, Jew-free situation they enforced in the eastern half from 1949 to 1967.
Regarding the principles of access, human rights, participation, equity and diversity, Israel stands as a beacon in the Middle East. However, the country still faces many obstacles, mostly from the biased United Nations and at the Jewish Temple Mount. Hopefully those committed to social justice will engage in the hard work to end the systemic anti-Semitism, xenophobia, Islamic privilege, religious persecution and isolation of the indigenous Jewish people in their ancient homeland and in their holy capital city of Jerusalem.