In her letter of Aug 20,  Miriam Klein Shapiro asserts that “Our right to free speech implies the responsibility to respect truth.” Unfortunately, like all Israel’s supporters, she reverts to a typical ruse - twisting the truth.
She maintains that it is not true that in 1967, the number of Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem was zero, as Faris Khader wrote in his Aug 12 letter . This is a typical example of twisting the truth. The key point here is the definition of “settler.”
An Israeli Jew living in Israel is not called a settler. If he moves to the Occupied Territories he is a settler. This is the meaning of “settler” as it is used today in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict. On that basis, it is Mr. Khader who is speaking the truth and not Ms. Shapiro.
To back up her erroneous assertion she writes “As for being ‘settlers,’ a look at any atlas will confirm that in the 19th Century, the majority of the population of Jerusalem was Jewish.” There is no need to look at any atlas since there were no settlers at that time.
A much better way to find out about the population of Jerusalem is to consult a census. The Palestine Royal Commission Report of 1937, Appendix 4 gives the figures taken from 1931 Census. Jerusalem’s total population was 132,661, of which 57,762 were Jews. If there was no Jewish majority in 1931, how could there have been one in the 19th Century?
Augut 24, 2000
For a response, see