20 questions 58.
(photo credit: courtsey)
What is the current legal status of
Beit Yehonatan? Can you describe your vision for east Jerusalem? Can a
Jewish and democratic state of Israel exist between the Mediterranean
sea and the Jordan river?
This week's 20 Questions hosts Daniel Luria, the executive director of
Ateret Cohanim or JRP (Jerusalem Reclamation Project), an NGO which
aims to reestablish Jewish life in and around the Old City.
When asked about equal rights for both Arab
and Jewish evictees to return to their homes, Luria asserts that a comparison cannot be made
between the two scenarios. A Jew who is kicked out of his home
following riots and pogroms is a radically different case from a
Palestinian who leaves his home at the behest of his own leaders who
operate under the belief that they will eventually win it back two-fold.
Two sets of refugees does not make for moral equivalence.
According to Luria, there is no such thing as East Jerusalem because the area labeled as such contains too many exclusively Jewish neighborhoods and furthermore, Jerusalem cannot and will not be divided.
Luria insists that he is not against Arabs moving into any Jerusalem neighborhoods, so long as they agree to live peacefully and side by side in a unified Jewish capital. However, Luria strongly objects the international community’s “hypocrisy and gall” in saying that Jews do not have the right to move into certain neighborhoods, and further posits that in doing so they are no less guilty than those who propagated racial segregation in America.
Luria states that the goal of this country was not to simply be a utopia or another America, rather it is supposed to be the Jewish state for the Jewish people and anyone who wants to live here must accept that fact.
According to Luria, the idea that Palestinians may have sovereign rights to the land is absurd; the very concept of a Palestinian nation is a relatively new one that was invented by various leaders and by Oslo.
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