Colum­nist misses real is­sues in Jerusalem?

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - OPINION - BY ZAIN ESSEGHAIER GUEST OPIN­ION Zain Esseghaier of Char­lot­te­town sup­ports peace through jus­tice in the Holy Land

I am dis­ap­pointed with Prof. Sre­brnik’s piece on Jerusalem (The Guardian, Nov. 13). For Prof. Sre­brnik to go all the way to Jerusalem only to write on the Man­del­baum Gate re­minds me of the fa­mous scene from the Pink Pan­ther movie in which In­spec­tor Clouseau chas­tises a blind busker for play­ing mu­sic with­out a li­cence while next door a bank is be­ing robbed.

Prof. Sre­brnik missed an op­por­tu­nity to write about top­i­cal is­sues. He writes about a united Jerusalem with­out men­tion­ing the il­le­gal an­nex­a­tion of East Jerusalem, con­sid­ered un­der in­ter­na­tional law to be an oc­cu­pied ter­ri­tory.

Prof. Sre­brnik missed an op­por­tu­nity to write about “Is­rael’s re­vo­ca­tions of the res­i­dency sta­tus of thou­sands of Pales­tini­ans from East Jerusalem over the years (which il­lus­trate) the two-tiered sys­tem Is­rael main­tains in the city,” ac­cord­ing to Hu­man Rights Watch (HRW).

The same HRW also writes about “en­trenched dis­crim­i­na­tion against Pales­tini­ans in Jerusalem.” HRW also re­ports about Is­rael’s trans­fer of “thou­sands of its own Jewish cit­i­zens to East Jerusalem, a war crime un­der in­ter­na­tional law, while re­fus­ing to ap­prove most zon­ing plans in Pales­tinian neigh­bor­hoods that would al­low ex­pan­sion.”

Prof. Sre­brnik could have writ­ten about the de­mo­li­tion of Pales­tinian homes be­cause they were built with­out a per­mit that is al­most im­pos­si­ble for them to ob­tain (HRW).

Prof. Sre­brnik could also have writ­ten about the dis­crim­i­na­tion Pales­tini­ans suf­fer in the process of bud­get al­lo­ca­tion leav­ing them with poor in­fra­struc­ture, and in­ad­e­quate health and ed­u­ca­tion ser­vices (HRW).

While in Jerusalem, Prof. Sre­brnik could have writ­ten about the above facts but he did not. Will Prof. Sre­brnik do the de­cent thing, while he is still in Jerusalem or when he comes back, and write about the hor­ren­dous and/or apartheid-like con­di­tions un­der which many Pales­tini­ans live in Jerusalem, in the oc­cu­pied ter­ri­to­ries, and even in Is­rael proper where they are treated as sec­ond class cit­i­zens?

As the ti­tle of Prof. Sre­brnik’s piece states, “There is more to Jerusalem than just fa­mous sites.”

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