Jerusalem dare not speak its name in Wash. Post travel section
Washington Post travel writer Daniela Deane may be an expert on Israeli breakfasts, but she flunks political geography 101 when she describes eating places in Jerusalem - "Morning glories - Israel's breakfasts can't be beat" Aug. 12, page F3) Deane starts by informing readers that she "moved to Jerusalem a few months ago." Fine. Plain and simple.
But a couple of paragraphs later, we find that her digs no longer are in "Jerusalem" -- but in "West Jerusalem." This is followed by her discovery that Fridays are the best days of the week for Israeli breakfasts "in West Jerusalem." (Why leave out eastern Jerusalem? Aren't breakfasts just as delicious there?) But Deane is stuck in her awkward terminology. Stores and cafes and restaurants in "in West Jerusalem" are mostly all shut by 3 PM on Fridays, she reports. (Only there?)
It's obvious that just as the State Department can't bring itself to calling Jerusalem the capital of Israel, Deane has trouble digesting the fact that there is even a "Jerusalem" to begin with.
Having gotten herself mired in recognizing only "West Jerusalem" for great Israeli breakfasts, she stumbles even more when she locates the new Mamilla Mall in "Israeli-occupied Jerusalem." So having started by allocating only "West Jerusalem" to Israel, she ends up by insisting that all of Jerusalem belongs to somebody else.
What next? Israeli-occupied Tel Aviv?
Interestingly, the Post's copy desk seems to have had no trouble in calling Jerusalem "Jerusalem." In a larger-type teaser sentence pointing to Deane's article, readers are told that "Jerusalem's cafes and restaurants come alive on Friday mornings...."
No slicing Jerusalem in half, no declaration that all of Jerusalem is "Israeli-occupied." Just a unified city and capital called "Jerusalem." Ignoring, disputing, denying or misshaping this reality is a first step toward delegitimizing the Jewish state and its sovereign rights rooted in 3,000 years of ties to the land.
Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers