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ZAIN ESSEGHAIER: Columnist misses real issues in Jerusalem?

A UN convoy passes through the Mandelbaum Gate in Jerusalem in this 1964 file photo.
(File Photo)
A UN convoy passes through the Mandelbaum Gate in Jerusalem in this 1964 file photo.(File Photo) - FILE

As the title of Prof. Srebrnik’s piece states, “There is more to Jerusalem than just famous sites.”

I am disappointed with Prof. Srebrnik's piece on Jerusalem (The Guardian, Nov. 13). For Prof. Srebrnik to go all the way to Jerusalem only to write on the Mandelbaum Gate reminds me of the famous scene from the Pink Panther movie in which Inspector Clouseau chastises a blind busker for playing music without a license while next door a bank is being robbed.

Prof. Srebrnik missed an opportunity to write about topical issues. He writes about a united Jerusalem without mentioning the illegal annexation of East Jerusalem, considered under international law to be an occupied territory.

Prof. Srebrnik missed an opportunity to write about "Israel's revocations of the residency status of thousands of Palestinians from East Jerusalem over the years (which illustrate) the two-tiered system Israel maintains in the city," according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). The same HRW also writes about “entrenched discrimination against Palestinians in Jerusalem.”

HRW also reports about Israel’s transfer of “thousands of its own Jewish citizens to East Jerusalem, a war crime under international law, while refusing to approve most zoning plans in Palestinian neighborhoods that would allow expansion.”

Prof. Srebrnik could have written about the demolition of Palestinian homes because they were built without a permit that is almost impossible for them to obtain (HRW).

Prof. Srebrnik could also have written about the discrimination Palestinians suffer in the process of budget allocation leaving them with poor infrastructure, and inadequate health and education services (HRW).

While in Jerusalem, Prof. Srebrnik could have written about the above facts but he did not. Will Prof. Srebrnik do the decent thing, while he is still in Jerusalem or when he comes back, and write about the horrendous and/or apartheid-like conditions under which many Palestinians live in Jerusalem, in the occupied territories, and even in Israel proper where they are treated as second class citizens?

As the title of Prof. Srebrnik’s piece states, “There is more to Jerusalem than just famous sites.”

- Zain Esseghaier of Charlottetown supports peace through justice in the Holy Land

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