02 April '14..
The New Yorker likes to insert into its articles digs at Israel. Another one popped up in the introduction to a piece on the Russian annexation of Crimea. George Packer writes,
Annexation has an ugly sound, owing to an unhappy past. The term describes, among other tragedies, Saddam Hussein’s attempt, in 1990, to swallow Kuwait whole, as the nineteenth province of Iraq; Indonesia’s invasion, in 1975, of East Timor; Morocco’s absorption, the same year, of Western Sahara; and Israel’s declaration, after the 1967 war, of East Jerusalem as part of a united capital. The German word for it is Anschluss. Like most coerced unions, annexations come wreathed in clouds of lofty, dishonest language—key themes are popular will, historic grievance, divine providence—but they almost always happen at the end of a gun.
The magazine has a reputation for skillful writing, but not so much for accuracy or for making sound historical analogies, especially when it comes to Israel.
With the exception of Israel, the annexations Packer lists - by Iraq, Indonesia, Morocco and Germany - share common traits; they were unprovoked acts of aggression ordered by authoritarian rulers. Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem was the result of a defensive war fought by a democratic state responding to aggression committed by Jordan. That's a big difference.
There are other differences too. Some of the annexations involved territories on which the annexers had dubious historical claims. There is no reasonable doubt about the connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem. Furthermore, the city had only been divided for 19 years as a result of Jordanian aggression in 1948.
But the fact that Packer lumps together these distinctly different events, each with its own historical context, is of no importance to The New Yorker. All that matters is that it sounds clever and allows the smug writers at the magazine to take another swipe at Israel.