CNN special report on Jerusalem reversed who ethnically cleansed whom in the Palestinian/Israeli dispute

I watched with dismay CNN's special report on Jerusalem (pay link) on the history of Jerusalem, first broadcast on August 22, 2021.  One particular portion of the documentary was so egregious for promoting propaganda that I was shocked to see it get through the editors.  James Zogby, a well-known Palestinian propagandist, was speaking about Jerusalem regarding the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War.  He had the nerve to say Israel ethnically cleansed the Arabs from Jerusalem's famed Old City, particularly the area in front of the holiest site in the Jewish faith: the Western Wall/Temple Mount.


Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem (photo credit: Mwinner, CC BY-SA 3.0 license).

What Zogby failed to tell the viewers was that the area he was describing was only 19 years earlier home to dozens of synagogues and Jewish neighborhoods.  The area Arabs he described were living in a neighborhood known as the "Jewish Quarter."  Every last Jew was evicted from the Jewish Quarter by the Arabs when they invaded and conquered the Old City in Israel's 1948 War of Independence.  In that war, seven neighboring Arab countries and the local Arabs (now known as Palestinians) attacked the nascent Jewish state and lost.  But they didn't lose everything.  Jordan, which attacked from the east, captured the Old City — a site where Jews had resided continuously for thousands of years.  There were also numerous historic synagogues in the Jewish Quarter.  Jordan ethnically cleansed the entire Old City of Jews and destroyed virtually every synagogue — dozens of them.  So Mr. Zogby reversed history — it was the Jews who were ethnically cleansed, not the Arabs.

Moreover, when Israel captured the Old City from the Jordanians just nineteen years later in 1967, the Israelis maintained the Muslim Quarter as Muslim and let Jews refill the Jewish Quarter.  No ethnic cleansing there!  Further, the Israelis let Jordan remain in charge of religious affairs at the Temple Mount, which is holy to Muslims, Christians, and Jews and is known to Muslims as the Harem al Sharif.

Compare the treatment of the Old City holy sites by Israel and the local Muslims.  Israel permitted Muslims to stay and make full use of their holy sites.  By contrast, when the Arab Muslims controlled the Old City from 1948 to 1967, they ethnically cleansed every last Jew and blew up the synagogues.

CNN should not distort the facts.  The ethnic cleansing of the Jews of the Old City was a travesty.  So was the CNN broadcast on Jerusalem.  The network's Orwellian fiction tried to reverse history 180 degrees by leveling a charge of ethnic cleansing at the victims of that horrible crime.  In the process, CNN followed a long tradition of journalistic discrimination against Jews.  CNN should correct its mistakes.

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