Academics to trash Jerusalem celebrations

With the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem's liberation/unification next month, a left-wing group plans to highlight the "occupation."

Hillel Fendel ,

Celebrating Jerusalem Day in the Old City
Celebrating Jerusalem Day in the Old City
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

The Jewish People will begin celebrating the Jubilee of Jerusalem's liberation and reunification next month, marking the 50th year after the Six Day War – but pro-war Israelis and other Jews plan to take advantage of the yearlong festivities to call worldwide for a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem.

Previous unilateral withdrawals in favor of the Palestinian Authority have led to many Israeli deaths at the hands of Palestinian terrorists. This includes the disengagement/expulsion from Gaza.

The government decided last year to appoint a steering committee to set the tone of Jerusalem's Jubilee festivities. Its conclusions have not been widely publicized, if at all, raising questions as to their viability. Separately, Education Minister Naftali Bennett announced in February that the coming school year (5777, 2016-17) would be "Jerusalem Unity Year" throughout the nation's educational system. Details are to be publicized this coming Jerusalem Day, a month from now. Bennett explained at the time, "Those who try to detach the Jewish People from its city, should know that they have achieved just the opposite, and our links with it have grown stronger."

The campaign is specifically designed to embarrass the Netanyahu government and keep the "Israeli occupation" in the news. The organizers are planning protests around the world during Jerusalem's festive 50th year, seeking to boost opposition to Israel's continued presence in Judea, Samaria and of course, eastern Jerusalem.

The campaign is to climax on Jerusalem Day of 2017, the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem's liberation and reunification, with a series of coordinated demonstrations in Israel and around the world against the government of Israel.

Among the leaders of the $8 million program are Haaretz journalist Akiva Eldar and Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal of Tel Aviv University, working together with the New Israel Fund and J Street.

Eldar said in a recent interview that he envisions the publication of an ad in major American newspapers – a different paper every week during the course of the 50th year. Each ad will cite another "expert" as to why Israel must give up on a united Jerusalem and quit Judea and Samaria.

Nothing has been announced as to what should happen to more than 400,000 Jews living in the areas from which the academics in question wish Israel to withdraw. The possibilities include having them remain in their homes as citizens of the new Arab state, or relocating them back to "mainland" Israel as occurred with the Jews of Gush Katif. Many of the latter still do not have permanent homes, nearly 11 years later. Fewer than 9,000 Jews lived in Gush Katif, some 50 times less than the number of Jews in Judea and Samaria.