Jerusalem, known as simply “Jerusalem” throughout its millennia-long history, has been the capital of three native states in the past 3,000 years – Judah, Judaea and Israel, all of them Jewish. It has had a restored Jewish majority since pre-Zionist 19th century Turkish rule. When modern Israel – the land’s next native state after Roman-destroyed Jewish Judaea – declared its independence in 1948, the neighboring kingdom of Jordan, along with other Arab states, invaded to destroy Israel, and succeeded in capturing part of Palestine west of the Jordan, including part of Jerusalem. Jordan attacked again in 1967, and Israel succeeded in ousting it from all of western Palestine, including the part of Jerusalem that it had held for 19 years. But still today, almost a half-century after Israel reunited the city, the Western media joins in preserving “East” Jerusalem as the name of the portion of the city that invading Jordan had held for 19 years, as though “East” Jerusalem had been a place name known to history.
The media insistently calls Jews “settlers” in the heart of Jerusalem (e.g., Philadelphia Inquirer 5/8/15 headline – “Israel: Settler Homes OKd” – to AP article on Israel’s approval of Jewish housing in its Ramat Shlomo neighborhood. But . Jews as diverse in political view as Netanyahu and the American Reform movement’s Rabbi Yoffie agree that Jews are not “settlers” in Jerusalem.
*** 6/9/15 Washington Post: Israel has “controlled western Jerusalem” since 1948 and “occupied East Jerusalem” since 1967
*** AP, 11/13/14: “…continued Israeli settlement construction in east Jerusalem”
*** AP 11/6/14: “… stepped-up Jewish settlement construction in the eastern sector [of Jerusalem]”
*** AP 11/4/14: “Israeli officials pushed forward Monday with plans to build new apartments in an east Jerusalem settlement ….”
Accuracy and Balance
The Jerusalem Post’s 1/10/15 “Words Matter” editorial properly castigated the foreign media for using “another ideology-driven, but geographically impossible term,” that of “East” Jerusalem, including “ironically regarding [Israel’s] capital’s southernmost neighborhood,” Gilo, purchased by Dov Joseph for the Jewish National Fund before 1948. “Gilo was once indeed occupied territory: it was Jordanian-occupied Israeli territory from 1948 to 1967, after which its Israeli sovereignty was restored.”
And, The Jerusalem Post, among other news sources, reported on Thursday,6/5/14, per article lede:
Australia will no longer describe east Jerusalem as “occupied” territory, the country’s attorney-general told the Senate on Thursday, signaling a significant policy shift welcomed in Israel.
“The description of east Jerusalem as “Occupied East Jerusalem” is a term freighted with pejorative implications, which is neither appropriate nor useful,” George Brandis said . . . .
“It should not and will not be the practice of the Australian Government to describe areas of negotiation in such judgmental language,” he said.