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Jerusalem’s Palestinians: Drawing Them In, Not Pushing Them Out

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May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Ammar Awa

With the U.S. embassy finally moving to Israel’s capital of Jerusalem, media narratives on the city’s history promote distortions, half-truths and outright lies.

According to one common claim, Jerusalem thrived for centuries as a Palestinian center before Israel seized the city in 1967, practicing “ethnic cleansing” against local Muslims by driving them from their homes to install newly imported Jews. Such false claims are easily exposed by checking widely accepted census figures.

In 1967, before Israel’s victory in the Six Day War, 196,000 Jews lived in Jerusalem, compared to only 55,000 Palestinian Muslims. In the next 51 years, it’s true that the Jewish population tripled, but the Muslim population grew even faster-exploding by an astounding 600 percent.

Far from pushing out Palestinians, Jerusalem’s economic development and enlightened governance drew them in by the tens of thousands, raising their living standards and educational level in the process.

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