The BBC is so fond of referring to “Arab East Jerusalem” to make the point that this part of the city should be a homogenous demographic that doesn’t include Jews. But what happens when the BBC visits the western part of Jerusalem?
In this video, the BBC reports from Lifta, an Arab village abandoned in 1948. Many Jerusalem residents will be familiar with the area in question as it is located at the western entrance to the city and is visible from some of the main highways in the area. The BBC report refers to Lifta’s “exquisite mosque”, a subtle ploy to imply some deep spiritual and living breathing connection to the village as well as to presumably induce negative feelings towards anyone who might interfere with a house of worship.
However, any observer can see that all that is left of this village are tumbling down stone structures that have been left untouched for decades and what may have been a mosque is nothing more than an empty edifice. Lifta is also known as an area whose crumbling structures are used by criminals and drug users seeking somewhere quiet and off the beaten track to engage in unsavory pursuits.
It also happens to be within a few minutes walk from Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station, International Convention Center and many Jewish neighborhoods and is clearly within the 1949 Armistice Lines and part of Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty before the reunification of the city in 1967.
Does the BBC reporter not see the gross hypocrisy of promoting the opinions of a former Lifta resident who complains that he is unable to live in his former home while complaining that Jews from around the world could live there instead? After all, the BBC is so quick to parrot the line that the eastern part of Jerusalem belongs to the Arabs.
So if the BBC recognizes “Arab East Jerusalem”, why does it not recognize a “Jewish West Jerusalem”? The BBC isn’t prepared to recognize a united, undivided city but it still tries to have its cake and eat it.