by Claude Garrod - August 27th, 2009
On Aug. 14, The Enterprise chose to reprint a column from the Boston Globe that presented an absurd distortion of the situation in Jerusalem. The gist of the article was that President Obama was attempting to impose an apartheid policy on the Israeli Jews of Jerusalem.
The reality is that both the Arab and the Jewish populations of Jerusalem are expanding. Any building without a city permit is illegal (as in Davis), however, while Jews have no difficulty in obtaining permits for any reasonable building project, Arabs are uniformly denied. What's worse is that there is a regular policy of demolishing existing Arab housing in the city and eviction of Arab residents. (See comments by the European Union at: eubusiness.com/news-eu/1237833137.16/ and the Christian Science Monitor at: csmonitor.com/2009/0519/p06s21-wome.html.)
Thus, an expanding Arab population is being methodically squeezed into a continually diminishing space with the clear intention of driving them out of the city entirely.
What is most disturbing is that this attack on President Obama is part of an orchestrated campaign to politically undermine the president. He has been courageous in standing up to the Israel Lobby and publicly opposing the Israeli policy of continually expanding Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands while allowing no corresponding expansion of Arab housing anywhere.
The political organization, J-Street, was created by mainstream American Jews to dispel the idea that the right-wing zealots of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Israel Lobby represent the majority opinion of Jews in the United States. That organization has recently distributed an e-mail to all of its supporters warning of a deluge of articles intending to smear Obama with false accusations of radical policies. They have even created a special Web site (http://ObamaSmearBusters.com) to counter the smear campaign. We have just seen one element of that campaign and can expect to see many more.