For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Steven Stotsky CAMERA Media Analysis 24 February '10
Boston Globe columnist James Carroll has done it again. On February 22, 2010, he penned another highly biased opinion piece about Israel, relying heavily on personal claims leveled by Palestinians. The topic is evictions of several Palestinian families from disputed property in eastern Jerusalem. The writer promotes falsehoods about the disposition of the property and trashes Israeli legal proceedings that preceded the evictions. Beyond misrepresenting the facts and history of the case, Carroll offers a skewed portrayal of the two sides. Though he's written forthrightly and eloquently (in Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews) about the history of Christian hostility towards Jews, he has long seemed unable to apply the same approach to Israel. The February 22 commentary about supposed "creeping annexation" of Arab land echoes recent similar bias and error about Jerusalem.
The column focuses on the eviction of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem. Carroll describes the land on which the homes were built for the Palestinian families in the 1950s as "vacant," obscuring a crucial element of this story. The land had been purchased by two Jewish organizations in the late 1800s, but was siezed by the Jordanians during the 1948 war. Regrettably, Carroll, who once wrote of being troubled that a clock owned by his mother in Germany might have previously been stolen from Jews, does not reflect on how the Arab families he champions were similarly the beneficiaries of violent dispossession of property from Jewish owners. He dismisses out of hand the history of Jewish ownership while giving voice in detail to the claim by the Arab occupants that their failure to secure the property deed was due to the 1967 war in which Israel took control of the land.
The 700 word piece also never mentions the salient fact that even after Jewish claims of ownership were confirmed, the evictions only came about because the Arab families stopped paying rent.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"