Last week’s UN Security Council vote against Israel’s right to allow Jews to buy land and build homes in the historic Jewish homeland of Judea and Samaria was a blow against human rights and religious liberty.

Once again, the international body came down on the side of Islamic religious supremacism and religious discrimination. They want the State of Israel to enforce the Jordanian/Palestinian policy: “The Middle East is an exclusive neighborhood. No Jews allowed.” It is ironic and sad that we would find that same slogan racist and discriminatory if it were put up in the USA, or if it applied to any other ethnic minority, but somehow some of us find it acceptable when applied to Jews in the Middle East.

How do some people believe the Palestinian Authority when they say that they will come to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish State next door to them only after they have gotten rid of all of the Jewish individuals living within their future borders?

How can anyone believe that they want to live in peace when the P.A. is currently punishing individuals striving for cooperation and peaceful coexistence, when they push for the boycotting, sanctioning and divestment of goods produced by Israeli Jews and Arabs working together?

This is not about Israelis and Palestinians. This is about a regional pandemic of religious intolerance. The UN vote was not a vote for Palestinian rights, it was a vote in support of the Palestinian Authority’s version of Jim Crow laws: no civil rights for Jews in “Palestinian territory,” no property rights for Jews, and “No Jews Allowed.”

This has been common policy across the region for three generations. After Israel’s independence in 1948 there was a 99 percent ethnic cleansing of Jews from the 22 Arab countries surrounding Israel. Their Jewish populations fell from 900,000 in 1948 to about 5,000 today. Thank goodness there was an Israel for those Jews to flee to.

Here’s a message to the UN: Jews lived in Jerusalem and Hebron and Judea and Samaria for 3,000 years. There was a Jewish majority in the Old City of Jerusalem up until 1948, when Jordan illegally invaded and occupied Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and committed a 100 percent successful ethnic cleansing of Jews through the forced evacuation of every Jewish resident.

The same occurred with the Jews of Gush Etzion. Hebron had already been ethnically cleansed of Jews 20 years earlier in 1929, through riots, massacres and the subsequent enforcement by the British of an appeasement policy of evicting Jews, which they hoped would satisfy angry Arab residents. Today the UN is telling the State of Israel to return to the demographic status quo created through the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Jews by Jordanian action in the historic heartland of the Jewish People.

In Jordan and among the Palestinian Authority it is a capital crime to sell land to Jews. In contrast, in Israel, there is equal protection under the law for all residents, for civil rights and property rights. If the State of Israel wants to do the right thing, it should lift all impediments to Jews buying and building in Judea and Samaria, and afford its Jewish citizens there the same rights and protections that it currently only offers to the Arab residents.

Furthermore, it is time to tell the Palestinian Authority that if they want to sue for peace, Israel’s prerequisite is that the PA offer their future Jewish citizens the same equal protection under the law that Israel offers to all of its citizens.

Here’s another suggestion for the UN: Instead of condemning Israel for allowing Jews and Arabs to buy land and build on it in Judea and Samaria, maybe they should be asking why Jordan and Saudi Arabia, among others, do not.

 

Jake Bennett is the former Arizona ADL regional director and a former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) combat soldier.

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