A Wrong Turn in East Jerusalem

One Jewish man's brush with death in a Palestinian neighborhood shows why the city can never be divided.

Prior to 1967, the year Israel liberated Jerusalem from Jordanian apartheid-rule, Jews were not permitted to enter into their illegally occupied biblical capital. Jordan’s "No Jews Allowed" policy meant that no Jew had prayed at Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall -- the last standing remnant of King Solomon’s temple -- during the previous twenty years.

Today, in East Jerusalem, controlled by Arab Palestinians and determined to be, according to Western powers, the capital of "Palestine," the situation is worse. Under Jordanian authority, Jews were banned from Jerusalem; under Palestinian rule, Jews are welcome, so that they may be summarily executed upon arrival.

This was again made overt last week when Nir Nachshon, a 28-year-old Israeli, was led astray by his faulty GPS navigational device and accidentally ended up in the east Jerusalem Palestinian village of Issawiya.

The realization that Nir had inadvertently entered hostile territory came, in his words, “just as I made the turn.… But I didn’t realize how big the issue was. This is Jerusalem. This is home.”

According to Nir, once he was identified as a Yahood, “immediately a 12-year-old boy started screaming ‘Jew, Jew’. Each time [the boy] called out, dozens more people arrived.… They started throwing rocks and cement blocks right into the car. I realized I was going to die and started thinking this isn’t the way to die.”

Thankfully, Nir’s life was saved by one of the village’s Muhtars (civil servant): “Someone came out of nowhere and tried to rescue me from the people; there was screaming but [I] managed to get to his house.… The people in the house said they needed to get me out of the village or they would also come under attack.”

Accordingly, not only did saving the life of a Jew jeopardize the ongoing security of Darwish Darwish—the heroic Muhtar who resuced Nir—but also undoubtedly destroyed his political career, as the likelihood of Darwish, a “traitor,” being reelected by his constituency is slim to none.

Lying in his hospital bed in Ein Kerem Medical Center, Nir recalled how during the assault he searched among his assailants for “children or young people, to look them in the eyes and find an ounce of humanity in them, but all I could see was murder.”

These are the murderous stares that will one day, if the West has its way with Israel, emanate from the official capital of "Palestine.” These are the stares that, contrary to Nir’s assertion, confirm that parts of Jerusalem are no longer “home” for the Jewish people.

And the West is to blame.

Nir’s great error was buying a cheap navigational device, which unintentionally led him wayward; the West’s great error is that its GPS is self-directed, yet the West is conscientiously leading Israel into "Issawiya."

This is achieved by continuously validating Palestinian belligerence, incessantly reinforcing the need to unconditionally surrender half of Jerusalem—in order to usher in “peace”—to a people whose definition of peace incorporates war, and who lack even a remotely legitimate claim to it. By beating Israel over the head to submit to dividing Jerusalem, the West is effectively endorsing the creation of a genocidal capital in the "holy of holies," where Jewish people have resided, without exception, for more than 2000 years, a place where they will, in the future, enter at their own risk, if not avoid at all costs.

This is why Jerusalem can never again be divided.

This is why Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated during his June 1 Jerusalem Day speech:

Forty-four years ago, Israel’s soldiers…brought back Jerusalem to its proper place.… Jerusalem has once again become the capital of the Jewish people.… There’s nothing more holy to us than Jerusalem. We’ll keep Jerusalem. We’ll keep its unity[.]

One can only hope that it is not too late to realize Mr. Netanyahu’s vision.

Although for Nir Nachshon it almost certainly is.

Charles Bybelezer is the publications chairman at the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.
He can be reached at [email protected].