The New York Times Inverts the History of Jerusalem

On December 6, 2017, on the eve of President Donald Trump recognizing that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, the New York Times decided to give its readers a primer on #FakeHistory.

The article entitled “The Current Conflict in Jerusalem Is Distinctly Modern,” gave a 100-year history that not only omitted important facts, it told a story that was an inversion of truth. Specifically:

  • The NYT led readers to believe that Jerusalem was an Arab city and that Jews recently began to immigrate there, when IN FACT, Jews have been a majority in Jerusalem since the 1860s
  • The NYT led readers to conclude that Jerusalem has never been important to Jews, and that it is just a recent phenomenon of right-wing Zionists, when IN FACT, Jerusalem has been central to Judaism for 3000 years for all Jews
  • The NYT will talk about the “corpus separatum” of the 1947 partition plan, but only refer to Jerusalem, when IN FACT, the Holy Basin referred to Greater Bethlehem and Greater Jerusalem, and Israel gave control of Bethlehem to the Palestinians 20 years ago

Below are some details highlighting the liberal rag’s distortions.

The Myth of Colonial Fingerprints

The lead-in to the article began to orient the reader about distinct 20th century aspects to the current conflict surrounding Jerusalem. It stated:

“the current one is a distinctly 20th century story, with roots in colonialism, nationalism and antisemitism.”

How was the story of Jerusalem remotely one of colonialism? Several international powers broke up the Ottoman Empire after its collapse; was Syria a French colonial enterprise? Read more in “Israel was never a British Colony; Judea and Samaria are not Israeli Colonies.

The article would go on to describe the nationalism of “religious settlers,” but never touch upon the deep antisemitism pervasive in Palestinian culture and actions.

Jewish Majority in Jerusalem for 150 Years

The article repeated long-standing #FakeNews by anti-Zionists that Jews were new-comers to Jerusalem, invading an Arab city:

“The three decades of British rule that followed Allenby’s march on Jerusalem saw an influx of Jewish settlers drawn by the Zionist vision of a Jewish homeland, while the local Arab population adjusted to the reality of the collapsed Ottoman Empire, which had ruled the city since 1517…. For Arabs, he said: ‘There was something of the shock at not being in the Ottoman Empire. There was a reordering of their society. The local Palestinian aristocracy, the big families of Jerusalem, emerged as leaders of the Palestinian national movement, which was suddenly being confronted by Jewish migration. Opposition to that migration fueled several deadly riots by Palestinians…‘”

This is an outrageous lie. The Times would have readers believe that there was an Arab majority in Jerusalem for 400 years. These “local Arabs” watched helplessly as the British allowed these foreigners to take over their city.

There were various demographic studies taken of Jerusalem for the past few centuries. They all agree that Jews have been a majority in the city since at least 1870, with the percentage growing well before the British took over in 1922.

Jerusalem population statistics from the JewishVirtualLibrary, which compiled statistics from a variety of places:

Year
Jews
Arabs/Muslims
Christians/Other
Total
1844
7,120
5,000
3,390
15,510
1876
12,000
7,560
5,470
25,030
1896
28,112
8,560
8,748
45,420
1922
33,971
13,411
4,699
52,081
1931
51,222
19,894
19,335
90,451
1948
100,000
40,000
25,000
165,000
1967
195,700
54,963
12,646
263,309
1987
340,000
121,000
14,000
475,000

From IsraelPalestinian.procon.org which also compiled data from various British censuses.

Year
Jews
Arabs/Muslims
Christians/Other
Total
1910
45,000
12,000
12,900
69,900
1922
34,000
13,500
14,600
62,500
1931
51,000
19,900
19,300
90,500
1946
99,300
33,700
31,400
164,400
1967
196,800
58,100
12,900
267,800
1972
261,100
74,400
11,800
347,300
1983
346,700
112,100
13,900
472,700
1995
486,600
171,700
13,900
672,2000

Jerusalem and Its Environs: Quarters, Neighborhoods, Villages, 1800-1948 by Ruth Kark, Michal Oren-Nordheim detailed the growth of Jews in Jerusalem after the Crimean War.

Year
Jews
Arabs/Muslims
Christians/Other
Total
1866
8,000
4,000
4,000
16,000
1887
28,000
7,560
7,070
42,630
1913
48,400
10,050
16,750
90,500
1931
51,222
19,894
19,335
90,503
1945
97,000
30,630
29,350
157,080

Regardless of the source of information, Jews were clearly the dominant religious group in Jerusalem for as much as 30 years before the first Zionist Congress, and 50 years before the Balfour Declaration. To state that the Jews were interlopers into an Arab city is patently false and a complete inversion of history and fact.

This is part of an ongoing false narrative that the New York Times gives its readers even regarding current events. For a despicable example, read “The New York Times will Keep on Telling You: Jews are not Native to Israel,” in which every Israeli – even those whose parents and grandparents were born in Israel – was described as a foreigner, while every Arab was described as a local.

The 1947 Partition Plan Included Bethlehem

The Times continued to go over history, touching upon the 1947 UN Partition Plan.

“After the war, in 1947, the United Nations approved a partition plan that provided for two states – one Jewish, one Arab – with Jerusalem governed by a ‘special international regime’ owing to its unique status. The Arabs rejected the partition plan,… Jerusalem was divided: The western half became part of the new state of Israel (and its capital under an Israeli law passed in 1950), while the eastern half, including the Old City, was occupied by Jordan.”

The Times will forever refuse to correctly state that the Holy Basin in the partition plan was much larger than just Jerusalem, and included Greater Bethlehem.


The “corpus separatum” of the 1947 UN Partition Plan

Israel handed control of Bethlehem to the Palestinian Authority in December 1995 as part of launching the Oslo Accords with some tangible results. That concession of handing over half of the corpus separatum is never mentioned by the Times.

The Crimes of Jordan

The fact that Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank, the eastern half of Jerusalem and Bethlehem were not sanctioned by the international community is NEVER mentioned, while the world’s opinion about Israel’s taking of the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem is ALWAYS mentioned.

The fact that Jordan evicted all of the Jews from the eastern half of Jerusalem and the West Bank is NEVER mentioned.

The fact that Jordan gave citizenship to all Arabs in the newly acquired territories but specifically excluded Jews is NEVER mentioned.

Because for the Times, the problem is the Jews.

The Lie that Israel Doesn’t Care about Jerusalem

Throughout the article, the Times sought to portray Israeli Jews as ambivalent about Jerusalem as a capital city:

  • It was the for the British that Jerusalem was so important – they are the ones who established Jerusalem as a capital… It was not anyone’s capital since the times of the First and Second Temple.”
  • “Paradoxically, Zionism recoiled from Jerusalem, particularly the Old City,.. first because Jerusalem was regarded as a symbol of the diaspora, and second because the holy sites to Christianity and Islam were seen as complications that would not enable the creation of a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital.”
  • Jerusalem was something of a backwater, a regression to a conservative culture that they [early Zionists] were trying to move away from,”
  • “The early Israeli state was hesitant to focus too much on Jerusalem, given pressure from the United Nations and European powers,”
  • “Having accepted the idea of international control of Jerusalem, the early Israeli leadership sought alternatives for a capital, perhaps Herzliya or somewhere in the south,”

Get the message? Israel really was never focused on Jerusalem until the 1967 war, according the Times.

But how does that warped narrative fit into the following facts:

  • Jews moved to Jerusalem both before and after the British Mandate took effect in remarkable numbers, as detailed above
  • The Israeli national anthem, written in 1877, was focused completely on Jerusalem.
  • Israel made Jerusalem its capital shortly after the war of independence concluded, in 1950. It placed all of its governmental buildings there.

All of these facts about the early Zionists also doesn’t include the facts that Jews have always faced Jerusalem when they pray, regardless of where they are in the world. They pray for the return to Jerusalem and the reestablishment of the city to its former glory, several times a day.

How does the Times spew the absurd notion that Jerusalem is a novel idea to Israeli Jews?

Jerusalem is Important to All Jews, Not Jewish Extremists

The Times narrative continued that this once irrelevant city all of the sudden jumped into the minds of religious extremists after the Six Day War in 1967.

  • The turning points in 1967 were two: the great victory, including the fast shift from fears of defeat before the war to euphoria and the feeling that everything was possible, and the emotional impact of occupying the Old City…. Images of Israeli soldiers praying at the Western Wall… became seared into Israel’s national consciousness.”
  • “Jerusalem became the center of a cultlike devotion that had not really existed previously…. This has now been fetishized to an extraordinary degree as hard-line religious nationalism,”
  • “The victory of the right-leaning party Likud in 1977… helped solidify this new emphasis on Jerusalem as integral to Israel’s identity. Religious settlers became more prominent in political life in Israel,”
  • “As part of this shift, Jerusalem’s symbolic importance intensified,”

It is unquestionably true that many religious Jews flocked to Jerusalem. They have been doing so for thousands of years because it is the most holy city in Judaism. They are not “right-leaning” or “religious settlers.” They are people who came to live in their holiest city.

As further evidence of the long-standing importance of Jerusalem to the entire country – even the “secular European socialists” that the article highlighted – was Israel’s adoption of a particular menorah as its national emblem in 1949: the one that was pictured in the Arch of Titus in Rome. That menorah symbolized the ransacking and destruction of the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem 2000 years earlier. The deliberate selection of that menorah as the symbol of the Jewish State of Israel was to show that the Jews had returned from the diaspora, to its sacred land and holiest city, Jerusalem.

Today, the entire Jewish people continue to be engaged about Jerusalem. The current controversy surrounding creating a pluralistic place for prayer at the Western Wall is because of the strong interest of Reform and Conservative Jews for Jerusalem. The notion that the city is only important to “cultlike… religious settlers” is absurd.

Jews Belong in Eastern Jerusalem

The Times continued its horrific background by concluding that Jews have no rights to be in the eastern part of the city:

  • “Palestinians say that Jewish settlers have encroached on East Jerusalem,”
  • “‘The entire international community has been in accord that Israeli annexation and settlement of East Jerusalem since 1967 is illegal, and refuses to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,'”

As the Times never explained to readers that all of the Jews were evicted by the Jordanians in 1949, it made their appearance in the eastern half of the city seem strange and foreign. It is not. Jews returned to parts of their holiest city where they lived for centuries.

The Times also did not give background to the international laws of 1920 (San Remo) and 1922 (Mandate of Palestine), which both clearly and explicitly stated that Jews could live throughout Palestine – including the Old City of Jerusalem – and that no person could be excluded from living anywhere in the land due to religious beliefs.

No matter. The paper chose to quote anti-Zionists. It is surprising that it did not state that Zionism is a form of Racism.

Oh, and for those keeping score that Israel limits Arabs in Jerusalem, look at the statistics above again. Under the British from 1922 to 1948, the number of Jews and Arabs BOTH went up by three times. From 1967 to 1995, the number of Arabs in Jerusalem under Israeli rule tripled again, while the number of Jews only went up by 2.5 times. How does the Times keep giving people the impression that Jews overran the Arabs during British rule (when both groups grew by the same percentage) and that Israel has been forcing out the Arabs from Jerusalem (even though the growth of Arab residents surpasses Jews!)


As the world waited for the United States to recognize the reality that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, the New York Times fed its readers anti-Zionist red meat. It crafted an article that Jews never much cared for the Arab city of Jerusalem until 50 years ago, and that the only Jews who really care about it now are religious fanatics. The masters of #FakeNews are trying their best to instigate a jihad.


Related First.One.Through articles:

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

The Anger from the Zionist Center

The Palestinian’s Three Denials

The Arguments over Jerusalem

The Custodianship of a Child and Jerusalem

Obama’s “Palestinian Land”

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

Arabs in Jerusalem

Music video: The Anthem of Israel is Jerusalem

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In Inversion, New York Times Admits “The Truth is Hard to Find”

Ever since politics introduced the concept of “Alternative Facts” and “Fake News” some months ago, the mainstream media has been fighting back that it is the real authority on the truth. The New York Times has sought to portray itself as the media source that uncovers the truth and has pushed the tagline of “the Truth is Hard to Find,” as it features its journalists in large promotional advertisements.


Double page advertisement in The New York Times about Jodi Ruduren
April 23, 2017

On April 23, 2017, the Times featured an enormous spread to convey how its Middle East reporter, Jodi Roduren, went deep into a hidden Hamas tunnel to tell a story behind the Gaza War in 2014. The caption in the advertisement read: “Forty-six feet underground, Jodi Rudoren, Jerusalem bureau chief, ventured into a secret tunnel used by Hamas insurgents to launch surprise attacks from Gaza into Israel.”

If only the New York Times actually reported such events during the war in 2014.

As detailed in “The New York Times’ Buried Pictures” about Rudoren’s story when it was written on July 28, 2014, Rudoren mischaracterized the entirety of the story about the terror tunnels:

  • It took three weeks for the NYT to post a single picture of the terror tunnels, even though they were the root cause of the war;
  • On the day that the paper finally showed a picture of the tunnels, it only placed a small black-and-white photograph on page A6, even while it posted a large color picture on the front page of Palestinians mourning, and a large black-and-white picture of Palestinians mourning above the picture of the tunnel;
  • Rudoren’s article made light of Israeli concerns about the tunnels, referring to the Israeli invitation to tour the tunnels as a “propaganda push,” rather than a chance to report on the nature of the battle from a first-hand encounter;
  • Roduren wrote that “Israelis exchange nightmare scenarios that are the stuff of action movies” about the tunnels, as if the threat was simply imagined.
  • Compare Rudoren’s late and under-emphasized report during the 2014 war, with the front page story on May 21, 2016 that Palestinian Arabs are scared about the tunnels (because Israel will destroy them).

Yet the Times describes itself as the discoverer of “truth,” even while it misleads readers.

Consider two stories on the next day, July 30, 2014, when the Times repeatedly blamed Israel for bombing a power plant even though there was no proof that it was not done by Hamas, either intentionally or not. The two articles also did not mention the dozens of rockets that Hamas fired into Israel, nor that Hamas refused to accept a ceasefire.

Just two days before Rudoren’s article about the Hamas tunnels, she wrote that anti-Israel riots in Europe had an “anti-Semitic tinge,” belittling the thousands of people storming streets in Paris yelling “Hitler was right” and attacking Jews and Jewish stores.

Roduren was a key player in the New York Times’ biased and terrible coverage of Israel:

  • In October 2012, Roduren wrote an article about “honor killings” in Gaza and the West Bank. Rather than point the finger squarely at the disgraceful Islamic practice performed by Palestinian Arabs on their own family members, Rudoren repeatedly blamed Israel. How? Read the fact-altering “news” for yourself.
  • Rudoren’s May 2014 coverage of the Pope’s visit to Israel was disgraceful in repeatedly stretching facts to fit a narrative that Palestinian Arabs are victims of racist Israeli policies
  • On July 6, 2014, Rudoren wrote about the Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat, making it sound like an ancient Arab neighborhood rather than an ancient Jewish neighborhood
  • In September 2014, when Palestinian Arabs were firebombing Jewish homes and a gas station in an attempt to create a large explosion, Roduren minimized the riots and that Israeli soldiers over-reacted to the Arabs’ “crude gestures toward Israeli soldiers.”
  • Her front page article on March 13, 2015, “As Israeli Settlements Take Root, So Do Complications,” repeated Palestinian propaganda as fact when she claimed that a few thousand Jews living in the West Bank threatened the “viability” of a Palestinian State.

The examples of Roduren’s anti-Israel bias and deliberate misrepresentation of the facts were present in almost every article that she wrote for the Times. Her bias was so intense, that when Foreign Press Association wrote about threats its journalists received from Hamas about its reporting on the war, Roduren took to Twitter to defend Hamas. Yes, that same anti-Semitic terrorist group that dug terror tunnels into Israel.


On September 17, 1993, A.M. Rosenthal wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about the Oslo Accords. He concluded with a prescient comment about the news media confusing their biased narrative and hope for the future with actual facts: “[There] is the tendency to confuse hope for the future with present reality….Pray for peace but add another prayer for truth upon which it depends.”

The New York Times may write that the “Truth is Hard to Find.” In truth, for the liberal paper, the facts are difficult to print.


Related First.One.Through articles:

New York Times Lies about the Gentleness of Zionism

New York Times’ Tales of Israeli Messianic War-Mongering

The New York Times Refuses to Label Hamas a Terrorist Group

Educating the New York Times: Hamas is the Muslim Brotherhood

The New York Times Thinks that the Jews from Arab Countries Simply “Immigrated”

Every Picture Tells a Story: Goodbye Peres

Every Picture Tells a Story: Arab Injuries over Jewish Deaths

Every Picture Tells a Story- Whitewashing the World (except Israel)

Every Picture Tells a Story: The Invisible Murdered Israelis

Every Picture Tells A Story: Only Palestinians are Victims

Social Media’s “Fake News” and Mainstream Media’s Half-Truths

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Israel Plans to Build in Israeli Territory. It’s News

On March 30, 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans for a new town in Area C of Judea and Samaria for the residents of the demolished settlement of Amona. The new US Trump administration gave its tacit approval for the homes for the Israeli families.

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) laughs with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a joint news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The move was seen by many as very controversial, as it came just a few months after the UN Security Council passed UNSC Resolution 2334 that deemed Israeli homes east of the Green Line (EGL) as having no legal validity. The development was also the first one announced by Israel since it signed the Oslo Accords with the Palestinian Authority in 1993.

But the Oslo Accord of 1993 and the subsequent Oslo II signed in 1995 made clear that the majority of EGL – known as Area C – was under complete Israeli civilian and military control: it was Israeli Territory. So even though the Israeli government did not announce any new Israeli developments, there was no question as to the administrative authority of the Israeli government to do so.

These facts were not found in the mainstream media.

CNN’s story “Israel approves construction of first new settlement in more than 20 years,” included the following statements:

  • Israel’s Security Cabinet on Thursday unanimously approved the construction of a new settlement in the West Bank, according to a message from the Prime Minister’s office, marking the state’s first new settlement in Palestinian territory in more than 20 years.” only calling the region “West Bank” and not including the Israeli name “Judea and Samaria” or neutral nomenclature like EGL. It further misstated that the town was in Palestinian administered land, not Israeli.
  • The new settlement, which will be constructed north of the Palestinian city of Ramallah,” anchors the location to a “Palestinian city” and not the Israeli town of Shiloh.
  • It included this quote from a Palestinian Arab, but quoted no Israelis in the article: “”Israel’s policies remain unchanged as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his extremist, racist coalition government continue to persist with their systematic policies of settler colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing, showing a total and blatant disregard for Palestinian human rights, independence and dignity,” Ashrawi said in a statement.” Nice propaganda language to promote.
  • “The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution in December condemning Israeli settlements constructed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as illegal. These territories, occupied by the Israeli military since 1967, are where Palestinians plan to create their future state.” No education to readers that EGL was taken from JORDAN in a DEFENSIVE WAR and that the new town is located in the Israeli Territory of Area C where Israel has civilian and military rule as agreed by the Palestinian Authority.

Reuters had a story called “Israeli cabinet approves first West Bank settlement in 20 years.” Sound familiar? The article stated:

  • Israel’s security cabinet on Thursday approved the building of the first new settlement in the occupied West Bank in two decades, even as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu negotiates with Washington on a possible curb on settlement activity.” Adding the word “occupied” gave the deliberate misrepresentation that the land was Palestinian, and not Israeli territory.
  • Like CNN, Reuters also chose to quote Hanan Ashrawi “”Today’s announcement once again proves that Israel is more committed to appeasing its illegal settler population than to abiding by the requirements for stability and a just peace,” said Hanan Ashrawi, an executive committee member of the Palestine Liberation Organization,” but it did also quoted Netanyahu: “I made a promise that we would establish a new settlement … We will keep it today.” Further, Reuters omitted the highly offensive vitriol spewed by Ashrawi.
  • Reuters also added this rationale: “Such settlements, in territory that Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war, are deemed illegal by most of the world. Israel cites biblical, historical and political links to the land, as well as security interests, to defend its actions.” It added a few reasons why Israel has “links” to the land, but never mentioned international law of 1920 and 1922 permitting Jews to live in the area, nor political AGREEMENTS signed with the Palestinian Authority.

The Wall Street Journal’s article titled “Netanyahu Pushes New West Bank Settlement,” tied the decision to Netanyahu, not the Israeli cabinet, and did not include any time period relaying how “new” this settlement was.

  • At least until the opening sentence of the story. “Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday proposed the first new settlement in decades,” so readers got the history that this was a break from recent norms.
  • The WSJ spent the first eight paragraphs of the story giving some background on the approval process of the new town as well as the tacit approval of the White House to move forward with the project. Only at the ninth paragraph did the paper discuss the controversy around the development, before it quoted Ashrawi. This compared to CNN and Reuters which quoted Ashrawi much earlier in the fourth paragraph to set the tone of the article.

There was not a single article in any major media that mentioned the reality that the new development will be in Israeli administered territory. Of the major media, CNN was the most offensive, airing hateful Palestinian Arab propaganda and actually calling the land “Palestinian Territory.”

Is Trump wrong about CNN being #FakeNews?


Related First.One.Through articles:

Heritage, Property and Sovereignty in the Holy Land

“Settlements” Crossing the Line

CNN’s Embrace of Hamas

Names and Narrative: CNN’s Temple Mount/ Al Aqsa Complex Inversion

Stopping the Purveyors of Hateful Propaganda

A “Viable” Palestinian State

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