Dozens of Arabs took to the streets again Thursday to protest the presence of Jews in the Simon the Just (Shimon HaTzadik) neighborhood of Jerusalem. This time they dressed up a child in Hamas headwear.
During the protest, the demonstrators demanded the release of an Arab being held by Israeli authorities for terrorist activity. The sound track of the video picks up a question by one Jew, who asks an Arab protester to admit that the detainee had committed the offense of which he was accused. The answer: the man under arrest was against the “occupation.” The answer also included a negative remark, in Arabic, against the United States.
Arabs and leftists, including foreign anarchists, routinely demonstrate in neighborhoods that they say should be exclusively Arab. The protests often include rock throwing and fist fights, but Thursday’s rally passed without serious incident.
Repeated Court rulings have upheld the authenticity of Jewish documents that the land and homes in which Jews reside in majority-Arab neighborhoods, among them the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood, were bought by Jews as far back as a century ago.
Jews had lived in these neighborhoods until the Arab pogroms of the late 1920s and 1930s. British authorities did not provide security for the Jewish population, and many Jews were forced to leave their homes by the Mandate rulers.
Jordan occupied the areas in the War of Independence in 1948, and the remaining Jews left the areas until they were restored in the Six-Day War in 1967. Arab squatters also refuse to pay rent to the Jewish owners, despite a court ruling to that effect in some of the cases.