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East Jerusalem isn’t ‘disputed,’ it’s ‘occupied’

By Henry Norr | March 19, 2010

On CNN, Jack Cafferty called East Jerusalem “disputed.” The other day the Washington Post referred to East Jerusalem as “disputed.” As Susie Kneedler reminds us often, it’s not “disputed.” Henry Norr is on the case, in this letter to National Public Radio:

During the “Week in Review” segment of this morning’s “Weekend Edition Saturday” show, Ron Elving referred at least twice to East Jerusalem as a “disputed” area. “Disputed” is the term the Israeli government and its advocates use and actively promote as an alternative to “occupied,” in hopes they can get out of the legal implications of occupation.

But the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, the European Union, the UK, and the International Committee of the Red Cross, among other entities, all reject the Israeli usage and consistently use the term “occupied” in reference to East Jerusalem, as well as the West Bank, Gaza, and the Golan Heights. (As it happens, the U.S. Department of State issued its annual report on human rights in “Israel and the occupied territories,” including East Jerusalem in the latter category, just two days ago).

Because these terms have clear, well established, and important legal and political meanings, choosing between them is not an innocent stylistic question. Why does NPR’s Senior Washington Editor adopt Israeli usage, rather than that of our own government, the UN, and most of the rest of the world? I think you owe your listeners a correction on this matter.

Also from Rannie Amiri:

… New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, in a March 13 op-ed column titled “Driving Drunk in Jerusalem,” feigned indignation at Biden’s treatment when he wrote that he [Biden] should have “… snapped his notebook shut, gotten right back on Air Force Two, flown home and left the following scribbled note behind: ‘Message from America to the Israeli government: Friends don’t let friends drive drunk. And right now, you’re driving drunk. You think you can embarrass your only true ally in the world, to satisfy some domestic political need, with no consequences?’”

He continues, “… Israel needs a wake-up call. Continuing to build settlements in the West Bank, and even housing in disputed East Jerusalem is sheer madness.”

Disputed East Jerusalem?

By all international standards—the U.N. Charter, the Fourth Geneva Convention, the rulings of the International Court of Justice—East Jerusalem has been indisputably recognized as occupied territory since the 1967 Six-Day War.

Furthermore, U.N. Resolution 252 “considers that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, including expropriation of land and properties thereon, which tend to change the legal status of Jerusalem are invalid and cannot change that status.” It also reaffirms “… that acquisition of territory by military conquest is inadmissible.”

Like Friedman, the mainstream U.S. media eschews the correct designation of East Jerusalem, preferring to mindlessly label it “predominantly Arab” instead.

March 19, 2010 - Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Mainstream Media, Warmongering

1 Comment

  1. […] the international community does not recognize Jerusalem and the West Bank as valid Israeli land but rather as “occupied territory,” […]


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