Jews and Palestinians in Israel have been at each others’ throats basically since the British showed up and screwed everything up. It’s been an intractable struggle that’s been going on for the better part of a century.
The latest episode incarnation this week involves the US trying to get a Jewish-American hotel owner and “millionaire bingo magnate,” who is trying to turn his Shepherd Hotel (pictured) in East Jerusalem into a block of apartment buildings. The U.S. government is calling for a halt to the project, saying that it represents new settlement on the internationally-recognized Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem.
Irving Moskowitz, a longtime supporter of conservative Israeli and American politics and equally long contraversial agent provacateur, pulled the same stunt about 12 years ago — and has a longstanding relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
As if that weren’t weird enough, now, the Israeli foreign minister and ultra-nationalist, Avigdor Lieberman, is calling for a 1941 photograph to be circulated in Israel’s embassies around the world. The photo is of Adolf Hitler meeting with the then-grand mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, and presumably is meant to imply that Palestinians then and now were Nazi collaborators and perhaps have the same moral standing today as neo-Nazis.
Not surprisingly, the Agence France Presse is reporting that “[f]oreign ministry staff opposed the move.”