Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Bibi’s unfreezes building in ‘predominantly Palestinian eastern Jerusalem’ — not

When the media report the slant and not the news
The most eastern part of the most southern part of Jerusalem.
Reproduced with kind permission of the copyright holder .
NB: There are all kinds of writings and lines on this map which we'll put in place when we describe the situation on the ground (pardon the pun).
The most eastern part of the most southern part of Jerusalem. Reproduced with kind permission of the copyright holder . NB: There are all kinds of writings and lines on this map which we'll put in place when we describe the situation on the ground (pardon the pun).

None of the English media properly describe Netanyahu’s building move, which did not stop Europe and all kinds of Nations to condemn it. How ridiculous and dishonest this all is. And hate-based animosity.

I live meters away from Beit Safafa, one of the sites under discussion. An American outlet reports Netanyahu’s pre-election permission to start building thousands of new housing units. They call the grounds in question ‘predominantly Palestinian’ in ‘eastern Jerusalem.’ This is either a lie or they don’t know what is going on — have your pick.

Also the former Palestinian Post continues its disinformation campaign on the peace process. It ‘reports’ that the move would ‘make the division of Jerusalem along the 1949-1967 armistice line impossible’ while such division is impossible to begin with. It’s like saying ‘Giving meat to a lion makes it impossible for it to ever live on a vegetarian diet.’

Here are the facts before the opinion.

First of all, ‘eastern Jerusalem’ is a new spin. For decades, they used to call it ‘East Jerusalem’ as if the Jews lived in the West of the city and Arab Jerusalemites in the East. That backfired with Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ which gives the PA an Arab Palestinian capital in ‘East Jerusalem’ and the Jews in the West. Turns out, what the PA has been calling East was not Jerusalem at all. We all knew that all along.

Second, this is not eastern but southern Jerusalem. The map is a bit complicated but eastern never becomes southern. A picture is worth a few thousand words here. Let’s make it simple and look at the above map.

The building permits concern three areas, Har Choma (here called Homa), Givat Hamatos, and Beit Safafa. You see them all indicated in blue.


Har Chomah. This ‘Wall Mountain’ used to be a blatantly green hill in the middle of no-man’s-land. When politicians decided to ‘develop’ it, almost all these trees were cut down and replaced by a sea of Jerusalem-stone-covered apartments. The southern third for Arab Palestinians — it borders on Bethlehem — and the northern two-third for Jewish occupancy.

Givat Hamatos. This ‘Plain of the Plane’ is also a deserted place south of inhabited Jerusalem. Once, en masse flown in Ethiopian Jews were housed there in trailers and caravans until a more permanent living quarter could be found. Only a few people remained and it looked a good crime scene.

Beit Jala. This is a formerly Christian Arab village, crammed in the valley between Bethlehem and Jerusalem, a bit more to the West. Muslim militants have chased away most of the Christians and on Sundays, one doesn’t hear any more church bells.

Gilo. This is the most southern city quarter of Jerusalem with 60,000 inhabitants, situated on an East-West mountain ridge. It was built up since the Six-Day War. It’s so Jewish (with a handful of Arab houses) that even the Oslo Accords let it be part of Jewish Jerusalem. Hostile media still call it ‘a settlement south of Jerusalem’ and so does the government of the Nethermost. I live there already for 25 years, right through the Second Intifada shootings from Beat Jala (never got a medal). It’s connected by the North-South Dov Yosef Road (now a mess for a light-railway path), cutting through Beit Safafa and the North-South Hebron Road between Givat Hamatos and Har Chomah (a light-railway path soon on its way there too).

Hebron Road. You could’ve guessed it, the route from Jerusalem’s Old City to Hebron (on this map called Derech Hevron). It looked deserted so the Jerusalem municipality put trees, other greens, and some stone art along it to show it’s urban, connecting Gilo on the east with the rest of Jerusalem.

Beit Safafa. A 15-centuries old village (from the time of the Byzantine occupation), it used to be predominantly Christian. The Jordan occupation split the town in two until Israel reunited it in the Six-Day war. The Muslim population is apparent from its very load calls to prayer (speakers courtesy Saudi Arabia). But a large part of its population now is Jews. There, Jews from neighboring Gilo shop, get a haircut and have their car washed.


Houses for Jews in Givat Hamatos would further encircle Beit Safaf. Look at the map. But not completely! These mapmakers have wishful-thinking-ly drawn a Palestine-Israel border and you see that Beit Jalala still connects to Bethlehem. That it would cut the ‘Arab’ area in two is simply untrue.

Further, more houses for Har Chomah and Beit Safafa will only be welcomed by all the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim inhabitants.

So, these objections by the PA, the Muslim world, Europe, and Peace Now are again much ado about nothing. They should, instead, consider the true scandal for which they happen to be responsible: the refusal to live with the Jews in peace.

It should give a welcome relief to the city that has trouble housing its offspring and the whole area that has a building stop for so many years already (trying to please the haters — in vain, of course).

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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