In his May 7 Opinion piece, “On Jerusalem Day, Don’t Write Off Liberals,” Rabbi David Gordis betrays his bias almost immediately.
While proclaiming his support for Israel, he has in reality adopted the Palestinian propaganda line when he refers to the “future status of Jerusalem including its ‘conquered’ Palestinian neighborhoods.”
In truth east Jerusalem is no more Palestinian than any other part of Jerusalem. Jews had been a majority of the population of Jerusalem, east and west, since the 1800s. In 1949, at the end of the War for Independence, Jordan occupied and annexed east Jerusalem, and forced all Jews to flee. In 1967, Israel re-took east Jerusalem and united the city. The Palestinian claim to east Jerusalem is thus based solely on this 18-year hiatus in thousands of years of Jewish residence.
Rabbi Gordis goes on to accuse those who oppose totally ceding east Jerusalem to its Jordanian-Palestinian conquerors of “being resistant to genuine progress toward peace.” In fact, 10 years ago Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians a capital in east Jerusalem, as well as the return of some 95 percent of the Occupied Territories, and their response was the second intifada.
The resistance to any progress toward peace comes not from recalcitrant Israelis but from the Palestinian leadership, which continues to refuse to accept Israel as a Jewish state on any part of what they consider sacred Muslim land. Peace will come only when that changes.