U.N. advocates ethnic cleansing, Jews and Jerusalem are the target
The U.N. Human Rights Council has built a predictable pattern of Israel-bashing for some time. In fact, Israel is the only country that is automatically on the agenda of every council meeting. Over the years, the council has issued more resolutions about suspected Israeli human rights violations than by all other nations combined. Its bias is beyond redemption.
So it comes as no surprise that its latest report hammers Israel's presence in East Jerusalem and the West Bank -- the "Occupied Palestinian Territories" in the council's lingo. The report focuses on Jewish "settlements," whether in East Jerusalem or in the West Bank.
In addition to claiming that Israel inflicts human rights violations on Palestinians in both areas, the council goes a big step farther this time and demands an immediate withdrawal of all 520,000 Jews now residing in East Jerusalem and the West Bank -- not just an abandonment of "settlements," but a total withdrawal of "settlers."
Here's how the report puts it: "Israel must cease all settlement activities without preconditions. It must immediately initiate a process of withdrawals of all settlers from the Occupied Palestinian Territories" -- i.e., East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
In other words, the council -- an official agency of the U.N. -- demands that Israel duplicate for East Jerusalem and the West Bank its earlier withdrawal of all settlers from Gaza, which left Gaza "Judenrein."
And the council warns that if Israel doesn't agree to its terms, the U.N. now has a dossier which it can help to submit to the International Criminal Court should the Palestinian Authority want to bring war crimes charges against the Jewish state.
The real crime, of course, would be a massive exercise in ethnic cleansing -- the elimination of all Jews beyond the 1949 armistice line, which left East Jerusalem and the West Bank under Jordanian control until 1967, when they were captured by Israel in the Six-Day War. Jordan's "occupation" was never recognized internationally. And there never existed a prior sovereign Palestinian rule.
The armistice line was never intended as a final border, which still awaits direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Arab armies in 1967 and in 1973 tried but failed to erase the pre-1967 line in futile attempts to eliminate the Jewish state altogether. Ironically, Palestinian and Arab leaders then turned around and reconfigured the pre-1967 line as a full-fledged "border," as they fabricated the notion that anything beyond this line now belongs to the Palestinians.
With this in mind, let's move back to this week's U.N. Human Rights Council report: if it were to be implemented, which happily it won't, Jerusalem would be shorn of its historic Jewish roots. Israel would have to give up its capital's Old City, with its Jewish Quarter, the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives with its oldest and most sacred Jewish cemetery, and scores of synagogues -- new and historic. Their religious significance would be soon erased.
Because, you see, what is now termed East Jerusalem was, in fact, all of Jerusalem until the 19th century. Before that, there was no West Jerusalem. Thus, Jews put down roots and sovereignty in "East Jerusalem" dating back some 3,000 years. Jewish monarchs ruled in "East Jerusalem" for nearly an entire millennium. And even after the Roman conquest and the dispersal of most Jews, there nevertheless remained a continuous Jewish presence in the Holy Land for some 2,000 years until Arabs briefly cleansed all Jewish presence from "East" Jerusalem from 1949 until 1967 -- a span of less than 20 years.
What the U.N. Human Rights Council did, with its new poisonous report, is lay down a rationale to reverse history and chase Jews out of their historic capital. This is ethnic cleansing, based on religious intolerance, on a massive scale. If you don't believe this, check out what's happened to the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron, Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem, and Joseph's Tomb in Nablus.
Leo Rennert is a former White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief of McClatchy Newspapers.