JERUSALEM — Dov Hikind, a member of the New York State Assembly, was in this disputed city on Wednesday looking for property to buy. He said he was most excited about a new apartment complex overlooking the Old City called Nof Zion.Read the rest here.
At noon, Mr. Hikind led a group of about 50 American Jews in laying a cornerstone for the next phase of Nof Zion, with construction scheduled to start next spring. “I want to buy here,” Mr. Hikind said. “I might make a deal while I am here this time.”
More than a real estate deal, though, it would be a statement: Nof Zion, a private Jewish project, is in Jebel Mukaber, a Palestinian Arab neighborhood of East Jerusalem, in territory Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 war. Israel claims sovereignty over all Jerusalem; the Palestinians demand the eastern part as the capital of a future state.
Even within Israel, the idea of Jews moving into predominantly Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem stirs heated debate. Two well-known Israeli families refused City Hall’s offer to name the street leading to Nof Zion for their deceased relatives, according to the local Jerusalem press.
But illustrating the complexity of the Jerusalem conundrum, others argue that Jews, Christians and Muslims should be able to live wherever they like. Not allowing Jews to live in certain neighborhoods of the city “is segregation,” said Mr. Hikind, a Democrat who represents several heavily Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn.
Israeli concerns about 'segregation" would perhaps not be quite so laughable if they were not actively and aggressively segregating the Palestinians. Palestinians in Israel are at best second class citizens who face constant harassment and discrimination. We will not even discuss Israel's treatment of those living outside of its (claimed) borders.
I think one can be sympathetic to Israel's right to exist and to the challenges they have had to face from terrorists and Arab military attacks while at the same time recognizing that they have a clearly expansionist foreign policy. You can only steal someone else's land and bulldoze their homes for so long before they will pick up a rock, a knife, or a gun.
Arab terrorism can not justify Israeli imperialism. And I would argue that Israel is the author of a great deal of their own problems. The United States should tell the Israelis to knock it off or we are going to take a knife of our own... to the military aid we send them every year. We have enough problems in this country right now. We don't have the money to be supporting the neo-colonialism of other nations.