Running Away from Jerusalem
Posted on January 4th, 2011
Adidas, the global sportswear company whose running shoes I have bought for the last time, has decided to join Brazil, Uruguay, and other under-achieving South American countries in a denial of history. Apparently, they demanded that the Jerusalem marathon not pass through any areas of “occupied” Jerusalem. So now, the organizers will make sure that none of us run that close to those “illegal” neighborhoods of the city. (Thanks Israel Matzav.)
It seems like every day, someone else wants to “revise” history to promote the myth that there is a Palestinian city of “East Jerusalem” that was conquered by an invading Israeli army in 1967. According to this myth, any Jewish presence in the city of “East Jerusalem” is at best suspect and at worst illegal. The fact that the city of “East” Jerusalem is home to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall does not really change anything since Jewish claims to these holy sites are based on ideology rather than fact. In fact, these areas may actually be Islamic sites rather than Jewish ones. Or so the claim goes.
Once you accept the myth of “East Jerusalem”, then you can understand why all Jewish housing there is ‘illegal’ and should be torn down while Arab homes must be allowed to flourish, unhindered by such petty details as permits or building codes. You understand why other countries do not want to locate their embassies in Jerusalem and maintain the fiction that the seat of the Israeli government is in the trendy cafes of Tel Aviv.
You can also understand why it would be inappropriate for the Jerusalem Marathon to actually pass by the most historical areas of the city. The runners might actually see that there is no such thing as “East Jerusalem” and that there are both Jewish and Arab neighborhoods located throughout the Holy City. They might notice that people are actually praying in churches, synagogues, and mosques as they run by and that under Israeli sovereignty, the city is open to peoples of all religions.
Are you one of the few people who actually knows history as it occurred? If you are then you know that from 1948 to 1967, what is now referred to as “East Jerusalem” was under Jordanian military occupation. The Old City of Jerusalem, where Jews had lived for thousands of years, became “Jew free.” All the historical synogogues were destroyed and a garbage dump was placed next to the Western Wall in a concerted effort to eradicate all evidence of Jewish habitation.
If you read this blog then I am sure you are aware of all this, so I have an even more important question: Do your kids know? Do your friends know? Do your co-workers know? Does the guy you buy your sneakers from know?
Propaganda can only be fought with facts. Only if we talk about how Jerusalem is the heart of the Jewish people and the ancient and modern capital of Israel until our voices are hoarse can we expect the rest of the world to take notice.
Adidas, a major sponsor of the marathon, has no foreign policy beliefs. They believe in selling shoes and making money. They bought into the myth because some people (including a few far left members of the Jerusalem City Council) sold them on it. They were afraid that if they went along with the “occupation” marathon, people would stop buying their shoes.
Now it’s our turn. You can write to Adidas at email@example.com. Tell them that you are disappointed with their decision to bring politics and propaganda into the Jerusalem Marathon. Let them know that our voices are stronger than those who claim to speak for “human rights” and that we’re ready to let our wallets and purses do the talking as well.
And if anyone who reads this still wants to debate about whether Jewish claims to Jersualem are legitimate, they can take me on any time.
But you’ll have to catch up to me first.
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