This is going to be a two-part posting. I participated in a tour of eastern Jerusalem, which incorporated the Shepherd hotel of Sheikh Jarrah as well as part of the Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood.
Today, I want to share what someone else has written: I’ve often praised Daniel Greenfield, who, writing as Sultan Knish, does a great job on his blog. His piece, “The Crime of Building a House,” not only pertains to the Shepherd Hotel, it sets matters into a context that is best called obscene:
“In Niger, two Frenchmen were murdered by their Islamic kidnappers. Saudi Arabia sentenced a 23 year old girl who was gang raped to a year in prison and 100 lashes. Iran arrested two dozen Christians for the crime of being well… Christians. Which of these awful things did Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the EU’s Red Baroness Ashton forcefully condemn?
“The answer is none of them.
“Instead they forcefully and vigorously condemned the demolition of a hotel built by a Muslim Nazi collaborator and now owned by an American-Jewish businessman who bought it in order to build an apartment complex on the spot. An apartment complex for a mere 20 families that is somehow worse than all the aforementioned murders and atrocities. So much worse that they demanded the personal intervention of the highest diplomatic officials of the United States and the European Union.
“The Shepherd Hotel in Jerusalem is not the Plaza Hotel. It is a dilapidated neighborhood eyesore that has been abandoned since the 1980’s. No one lives in the Shepherd Hotel, a grim ugly fortress surrounded by barbed wire, that remains behind as a legacy of the Mufti of Jerusalem, who championed Hitler and helped recruit Muslims to serve in the SS. But with its demolition, people might actually begin to live on that spot. Children might actually play on ground that had been previously fenced off by barbed wire. And the worst thing of it all is that those people and their children will be Jews.
“…In her statement, Hillary Clinton said the United States is “very concerned” about the demolition of a Nazi collaborator’s abandoned hotel. In a world where North Korea and Iran are racing ahead to build nuclear weapons, Russia and China are racing to outstrip the United States in weapons development and the economy is on the brink– that is what the Obama Administration is “very concerned” about. That 20 Jewish families will be able to have homes in the capital of their own city.
“Hillary Clinton chose to attack Israel from Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE, a totalitarian regime whose own construction boom was built on slave labor imported from India. Where there are no political freedoms and where non-Muslim foreigners have few rights, if any. Where a video showed the brother of the ruler of Abu Dhabi torturing a man in ways too horrifying to describe, with the approval of the police and the judicial system over a debt. Where 42 percent of the prisoners are there for being indebted. The UAE is essentially a slave state, built on the backs of mostly non-Muslim migrant workers with no human or legal rights.
“While in Abu Dhabi, Hillary Clinton might have called on its rulers to open up the system to democratic elections. She might have raised the issue of Western women who are raped in Dubai and then sentenced to jail for being raped. Or the case of Roxanne Hillier, who was sentenced to jail for just being in the same room as her male boss. It certainly would have been appropriate for Hillary Clinton to have challenged the UAE on its abusive treatment of female visitors and tourists. But none of that happened.
“Instead Hillary Clinton used the platform of a barbaric skyscraper studded dictatorship to denounce the only democracy in the region. In a speech more inspired by Monty Python, than any concern for human rights, she described the demolition of a long abandoned hotel as a ‘disturbing development’ and warned that ‘this move contradicts the logic of a reasonable and necessary agreement between the parties on the status of Jerusalem.’ Yet oddly enough, Arab construction does not contradict such an agreement, only Jewish construction does.”
According to The Independent (London), Secretary of State Clinton told her aides confidentially that her tour to the Middle East was an “apology” tour, to mend relationships after damage done by WikiLeaks. She’s not about to criticize UAE, then, is she?
This, by the way, is not the first time members of the Obama administration have criticized Israel from an Arab country.