“This is what fascism looks like” – say Canadians watching Jewish fanatics and Israeli soldiers on Jerusalem Day

 

Jewish Canadian David Kattenburg was appalled as he watched right wing nationalist Israeli fanatics (left) sing and wave Israeli flags in front of the Damascus Gate (in occupied Palestinian Territory) a few days ago. On the same day, another Canadian, this one of Palestinian origin, watched Israeli police storm into the Al Aqsa mosque using tear gas to disperse Muslim worshippers. “This is what fascism looks like”, said Kattenberg. Read more and see videos.

Two Canadians, one Jewish and one Muslim, got a close look at different sides of the ugly face of fanatical Jewish racism on “Jerusalem Day”, which this year fell on June 3rd according to the Jewish calendar.

Jerusalem Day is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the establishment of Israeli control over East Jerusalem in the aftermath of the June 1967 Six-Day War. The day is officially marked by state ceremonies and memorial services.

After being a multi cultural, multi religious city for centuries, Jerusalem was dramatically changed in 1948 when Zionist forces captured the western third of the city, expelling the non Jewish residents and declaring Jerusalem as the capital of the new State of Israel.

For the next 20 years, Israel controlled West Jerusalem (now completely Jewish), but it was unable to take over East Jerusalem (including the Western Wall and the Al Aqsa Mosque) which was under Jordanian control.

June 5, 1967 – Jewish control over Jerusalem expands

In the 6 day war, however, Israel took over the rest of Jerusalem, putting its Palestinian citizens under Israeli control.

Every year, thousands of Israeli Jews celebrate this event, and Israeli right wing fanatics use Jerusalem Day demonstrations as a way to forcefully show to the Palestinians (Muslim and Christians) that Jerusalem is now a city for Jews. Demonstrations are held at the Damascus Gate, the main Palestinian entrance to the Old City followed by a loud parade through the Old City and finally arriving at the Western Wall.

kattenburg fp pageDavid Kattenburg, a Canadian Jew from Winnipeg was there and watched appalled as young Jews (many apparently American) wildly celebrated Jewish control over East Jerusalem (and domination over the Palestinians), under the protecting eye of Israeli soldiers.

(If you are on Facebook check out David’s posts on June 2nd and 3rd from Jerusalem.)

CTIP reached Kattenburg a couple of days later for a video interview about what he saw in Jerusalem.

 

Meanwhile at the Al Aqsa mosque….

At almost the same time, Israeli soldiers were entering the Al Aqsa mosque, using tear gas and noise makers to disperse the crowd which had come to pray at the end of Ramadan. Unarmed Palestinians responded by chanting “Allu Akbar” (God is Great) and throwing anything they could get their hands on (rocks, chairs, shoes) at the police.

A Canadian Palestinian was there and sent me a 19 minute video. (It is not his video, but he was in the Haram Al Sharif while these events took place.) He is reluctant to give his name because of possible Israeli repercussions on him or his family.

When the soldiers entered the compound where Palestinians were gathered, praying and singing, they “began throwing chairs at the door to keep the soldiers outside,” he said to me.

(Disgracefully, Israelis wouldn’t know anything about this. Israel Hayom, the most widely read newspaper in Israel, reported the incident as a “Muslim riot” which they claimed was put down by police.”

An ugly tradition

“Jerusalem Day” demonstrations have become an annual event in Arab East Jerusalem.

This year, as Kattenburg explains, the police cleared the square of journalists or anyone with a cellphone, so the record of what happened is limited. However, in 2015, some journalists were able to follow the young Jews hoodlums as they paraded through the narrow streets of the old city, shouting anti Arab slogans, while Israeli police protect them. The Palestinian shopkeepers are forced by police to close up their shops in their own city while the march comes by.

What to make of this?

Canadians are led to believe that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is one of two sides who hate each other and won’t make peace. The videos from the Damascus Gate and outside the Al Aqsa mosque seem to tell a different story – one of Israeli fanatical determination to demonstrate exclusive Jewish control over this historic and multicultural city, intimidating Palestinians and trying to force them to submit to the idea of Israel as a “Jewish State”.

Final comment. As we noted in last week’s post, Canada, which says it recognizes East Jerusalem to be Occupied Palestinian Territory, and which prides itself on human rights, tolerance and multiculturalism, has so far not made the slightest comment about these blatantly racist events.

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Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) encourages and promotes a thoughtful discussion among Canadians on the Israel/Palestine issue, including a well informed and sensitive discussion about solutions. CTIP encourages serious people who disagree with any column to make comment. Disagreements respectfully offered are welcome. To learn more about what CTIP does, contact us at chair.ctip@gmail.com.

10 comments

  1. It is disgraceful that our prime minister shares Netanyahu’s bed. His alignment and unconditional support of Israel despite the ongoing atrocities, human rights violations, murder, torture, imprisonment of children, and the wanton destruction of Palestinian homes, hospitals, schools and lands – renders Canadians indirectly complicit in these war crimes. Our PM needs to be aware of this. He seems out of touch with the realities and the ongoing violations of international law by Israel. i have written him and Freeland and just received polite replies. Politics is the only profession I know of that doesn’t require any prior knowledge or training .This is evident from the dismal record of our foreign policy. I have been informed that much of the information on which they base their knowledge derives from mainstream corporate controlled media.

  2. Peter, I agree that it is regrettable that Jewish nationalists march through the old city. However the unification of Jerusalem is celebrated not just by Israeli Jews, but by Jews all over the world. Your article mentions that non-Jews were expelled from western Jerusalem in 1948, but it does not mention that Jews were likewise expelled from the eastern part of Jerusalem in the same conflict.

    Your readers might also benefit from knowing that not all Israeli Jews support the provocative march through the old city. This photo shows Israeli Jews at the Damascus gate handing out flowers to Palestinians at the Damascus gate, just before the march was held. Israel is not perfect, but if you only highlight the negative, people can get a misleading picture of what is going on there.

    1. In regard to Jews also were expelled from east Jerusalem, keep in mind that Jews, Muslims and Christians lived there for hundreds of years in relative harmony. The problems started when the European Zionists came there with a plan to take over Palestine with utmost brutality. What the Palestinians did which paled in comparison to the atrocities which the Zionists did, was the by product of it.

      In regard to some Israelis behave decently, absolutely yes, but overall their numbers in the country are very small compare to rest who became utterly racist and fascists in the last few years.

  3. Peter, I agree that it is regrettable that Jewish nationalists march through the Arab neighbourhoods of the old city. This is a needless provocation.

    That said, it’s important to recognize that the unification of Jerusalem is celebrated not just by Israeli Jews, but by Jews all over the world. The date marks an end to a 19 year period in which Jews were denied access to their holiest site, the Western Wall, as well as to numerous other Jewish holy cites in Judaea and Samaria that were occupied by Jordan between 1948 and 1967.

    Your article mentions that non-Jews were expelled from western Jerusalem in 1948, but it does not mention that Jews were likewise massacred or expelled from the eastern part of Jerusalem in the same conflict, as well as from the Etzion Block.

    Your readers might also benefit from knowing that not all Israeli Jews support the provocative march through the old city. This photo shows Israeli Jews at the Damascus gate handing out flowers to Palestinian Arabs, just before the march described in your article was held. Israel is not perfect, but if you only highlight the negative, people can get a misleading picture of what is going on there.

    1. Hey David, a small historical correction if you don’t mind.

      You are right that a number of Jews were expelled from East Jerusalem in 1948. The actions of the Zionists had inflamed racial/ethnic tensions.

      There was a massacre in the kibbutz/settlement of Etzion. I cannot defend that, (nor would I want to) any more than I assume you would want to defend the massacre of Palestinians by Zionists at Dir Yassin a month earlier.

      After 1949, Jerusalem was divided – Israel on one side and Jordan on the other. Only a very few (mostly internationals) were able to cross at the Mandelbaum Gate, the only passage way.

      But it is misleading to say that “Jews were denied access to the Western Wall”. It is true that ISRAELI JEWS were denied access to Jordan (where the Western Wall was located.) Misrahi Jews from Iraq and perhaps other countries, continued to come to pray at the Western Wall for many more years.

  4. Disgraceful behaviour of Israeli Jewish fanatics in East Jerusalem which they are trying to ethnically cleanse of Palestinians through intimidation and bullying and force.. Canada is silent and the Cdn ambassador Ms Lyons probably goes to the celebrations to signal Cdn support or complicity. Jerusalem day flies in the face of Canadian policy of not recognizing Israeli annexation of Jerusalem nor the illegal settlement in Palestine and insisting on a 2 state soln with West and East Jerusalem respectively the capital of Israel and Palestine. More than ever with the Israeli Jewish encroachments on the al Aqsa mosque, Amb Michael Bell’s plan for the internationalization of the holy sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam to ensure access and good management should be Canada’s contribution to the peace process including Trump’s “deal of the century.”

  5. When the Arabs took control of east Jerusalem and Judaism’s holiest site, they expelled all the Jews from the Jewish quarter, they did not allow jewish worshipers from publicly praying at the site.

    There are currently 300,000 arabs living in Jerusalem, there were exactly 0 jews living in east Jerusalem after the arabs took control of that city in 1948

    West Jerusalem is a new city, it was established by jews in the late 1850s with the two neighbourhoods of Yamin Moshe and Mishkanot Shaananim, so when you write “After being a multi cultural, multi religious city for centuries, Jerusalem was dramatically changed in 1948 when Zionist forces captured the western third of the city” you are being misleading, at best

    1. Hey Ahik, I have a demographic map of Jerusalem done by the British in 1944. Jerusalem, including the surrounding area was definitely a mixed city. You are right that Jews began immigrating in the late 1800’s, and then a flood of European Jews came in under the British occupation. As a result there were neighbourhoods that were prominently Jewish. Others were predominantly Palestinian (Christian or Muslim). However, when the Zionists took over west Jerusalem, all the non Jews were forced out.
      Here is one example among many: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uY-7WOvt9j0&t=11s

  6. Those Jewish hooligan youth are the product of many decades of carefully being brained washed by the lies, cover ups and a well articulated propaganda by Israel and Jewish lobbies around the world. And not only the youths, the intolerance and racist behaviour is rampant in Israel. A few weeks ago an Israeli chief Rabbi said that Hitler had the right idea of some races are superior to others. Only he went after the wrong people. Jews are the superior race and all other people everywhere should be slaves to the Jews.Another chief Rabbi, a few years ago declared that killing gentile babies is permissible, so they don’t grow to be enemies of Israel.
    And what about Ayelet Shaked, minister of justice, who a few month ago said she if a fascist and proud of it, and Palestinian mothers should be killed.
    This all part and parcel of an atmosphere of instilling hate to the heats of Israelis and the ones who go there from abroad. This is the way of making the people not to feel any empathy toward the Palestinians, so there’ll be no resistance to the taking over West Bank, with all the atrocities which it entails.

    This is the same atmosphere as in Nazi Germany and the way which the German youths were cultivated.

  7. All of this discussion shows that there is more than enough injustice; every group has committed some. Injustice breeds more injustice. Its time to inject some justice and hope that it also breeds.

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