Judaizing Jerusalem - by Stephen Lendman
The Middle East Monitor (MEM) covers significant regional issues and events through its weekly newspaper and reports like Samira Quraishy's September 2009 Briefing Paper titled, "The Judaization of Jerusalem," discussing Israel's "escalating campaign of land seizures, house demolitions and eviction(s) of Palestinians."
Israeli scholars agree, including Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Professor Oren Yiftachel, in a 1999 paper titled "Ethnocracy: the Politics of Judaizing Israel/Palestine," saying Israel is an ethnocratic regime "enhanc(ing) a rule by, and for, a specific ethnos, and a dominance of ethnicity over citizenship (by) facilitat(ing) the expansion of one ethnic group over contested territory or polity." It evolved around "the central Zionist (uni-ethnic) project of Judaizing and de-Arabising Israel/Palestine, (and as a consequence undermining) equal citizenship and popular sovereignty," reserving it solely for Jews, exposing the myth of a democratic nation.
Hebrew University Professor Moshe Ma'oz, Ankara's Bilkent University Professor Jeremy Salt, Professor Norman Finkelstein, Professor James Petras, and many other scholars agree that Israel pursued this policy since 1967, planning it decades earlier, based on the Zionist notion of dispossessing Arabs to make greater Israel an exclusive Jewish state.
Jerusalem is its epicenter, a religiously important city for Christians, Muslims and Jews, today the scene of epic injustice and discrimination of its Palestinian residents.
For Zionists, the city is politically important, as its historic capital, national and religious center, as well as the symbol of Judaism's revival and prominence. For Christians, it's where Jesus lived and died, and for Muslims it's their third holiest site (the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque) after Mecca's Sacred Mosque and the Mosque of the Prophet in Madina.
After its 1967 annexation, East Jerusalem underwent legal and bureaucratic changes to its physical, cultural and spiritual character under Israel's Judaization plan. Settlements were established and expanded, at the expense of land expropriations, dispossessions, home demolitions, the Separation Wall, and other draconian measures to transform the city to an entirely Jewish one. As a result, Palestinian culture and religious heritage are threatened by the establishment of "facts on the ground," a process begun after the city's annexation that continues relentlessly to this day.
At the time, official annexation would have caused rupture or confrontation with the international community, because of the city's symbolic, religious and historic importance. In addition, international laws would have been hard to get around besides ideological differences among Israeli officials. Further, direct annexation would have forced the government to make all city inhabitants citizens, contrary to the plan to Judaize the entire city