Friday, 22 January 2010

BBC: ”East Jerusalem is not a Jewish city”

Jerusalem. Image courtesy of Berthold Werner, Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

In BBC's documentary Panorama Jane Corbin takes a walk in Jerusalem and suggests that practically everything Israel does in East Jerusalem is illegal since in her view it is not a Jewish city.

History knows a very different kind of Jerusalem. The Israelites ruled the city over 3000 years ago and even in the 19th century during the Ottoman period, there were more Jews than Arabs in Jerusalem. In 1844, out of a population of 15, 510, the Jews numbered 7, 120. There were 5, 000 Muslims and 3, 390 Christians in the city. At the time of Israel’s War of Independence (1948), 100, 000 Jews, 40, 000 Arabs and 25, 000 Christians lived in Jerusalem.

In reality, East Jerusalem was an Arab city only from 1949 to 1967 after the Jordanians expelled the Jews from their homes. In addition, it might be good to remember that up to 1865 ”Jerusalem” consisted of what is now known as East Jerusalem. The other parts of the city were built later.

Panorama gives the impression that many Israelis are scoundrels who will do anything to keep East Jerusalem in Jewish hands. The programme makes a big issue of Palestinian sufferings.

Corbin does not seem to know about the ethnic cleansing of 1948, when the Jews of East Jerusalem were forced to leave the dwellings that had been theirs for decades if not centuries.

Panorama is obviously not interested in objective reporting. Incidentally, the British have had a pro-Arab bias almost since time immemorial. For instance, in the 1948 war they sided with the Arabs. Recently a British MP claimed that the Israelis are playing mini-Mengele.


Bard, Michael. Myths & Facts Online: Jerusalem

BBC: Denying Jewish Jerusalem. Honest Reporting 20 January 2009