Saturday, October 16, 2010

Silwan Protest Tent

In the spirit of Wednesday's post, here's another example of Israel cracking down on non-violent resistance:
"Jerusalem city council is threatening to expel a Palestinian and raze his home if he does not remove a protest tent from a strife-torn district on the city’s eastern side, locals said on Friday.

"Residents in Silwan told AFP that city officials had delivered a 'demolition order' late on Thursday, ordering the removal of a tent set up to protest against municipal plans to level 22 homes to make way for a new tourism park.

"'They told Naim al-Ruweidi, who owns the land, that he must take the tent down by 8:00 am on Sunday,' Fakhri Abu Diab, one of the protest leaders, told AFP.

"'They said that if he didn’t do it, they would expel him and his family from Jerusalem and demolish his house.'"

Al-Ruweidi is protesting plans to build a tourist park on the site, which is associated with the "City of David" archaeological site, the Jerusalem which served as the capital of ancient Judah. The archaeology is not neutral, however, in that archaeologists not driven by Biblical considerations almost unanimously consider it unlikely that the site hosted a capital of a "United Monarchy" as implied by the name, and in any case claiming it for the Israeli heritage is an example, more defensible than most, of still an example, of emphasizing the city's Jewish heritage so as to buttress Israel's claims to it. I've been to the City of David, and before the tour, which is actually interesting and well-done, you watch a video on the history of Jerusalem which simply omits everything that happened between the Bar Kokhba Revolt and the Zionist movement even though the city's most recognizable monument, the Dome of the Rock, looms over this very neighborhood.

(Crossposted to American Footprints)



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