Wednesday, July 2, 2008

History is in the footnotes

At least, that's often the way it feels with the Isreali/Palestinian conflict. The JTA blog posts a footnote, explaining their conventions for describing someone from eastern Jerusalem as either Arab or Palestinians when most residents of eastern Jerusalem are accurate described either way.
Now, here’s where things get tricky. Eastern Jerusalem is code for the part of Jerusalem that was controlled by Jordan until the 1967 Six-Day War — i.e. Arab. But now Jerusalem is a united city, since Israel annexed East Jerusalem in the war’s aftermath (though almost no one in the international community officially recognizes that action). When East Jerusalem became part of Israeli Jerusalem (and we began calling it “eastern Jerusalem” — note the lowercase), the Arabs who lived there were offered Israeli citizenship. Some accepted it, but most did not. Virtually all, however, were granted Israeli ID cards.
Make sense? Well, unfortunately, a great deal of the way we talk about the conflict only kinda makes sense. It's convention to avoid footnotes.

Yitz Jordan cuts through the footnotes:
Mr. Dwayat benefitted no one, actions like his benefit no one, and no person or group of people has ever truly emerged “victorious” from a terrorist incident such as this. The only people who will see any positive effect from the carnage in Jerusalem are the propagandists who will use the spilled blood to fuel their mind-control engines, pumping this up in various media outlets as either a “victory” or a “strike at the enemy”.
Unfortunately, no matter how true, this observation doesn't advise anyone (who will listen) going forward.

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