Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hebron: Holy City, Holy Mess, Holy Sheikh

Sheikh Jabari [center], a true Muslim moderate, shown here meeting in his tent with Jewish representatives in Hebron

The Future of Hebron's Jewish Past -Melanie Phillips

Hebron has become a synonym in the West for oppression of the Palestinians, but it is in fact those Jewish residents who are hanging on by their fingernails to a minimal right of access to one of Judaism's holiest sites - the Cave of Machpelah, where Abraham and the patriarchs and matriarchs are said to be buried.

It is also grotesque to call the Jewish residents "settlers" as if they are colonizing land with which they have no connection. Jews have lived in Hebron for thousands of years but have been repeatedly driven out, as in the 1929 pogrom when Arabs slaughtered 67 adults and children.

The restored Jewish presence in a town of 130,000 Arabs is a mere 90 Jewish families, restricted to an area comprising some 5% of the town.

Far from the impression that Arab Hebron is wretched and impoverished, it is highly prosperous, delivering around one third of the West Bank's entire GDP.

Friendly relations have been established between local rabbis and the remarkable Sheikh Jabari [pictured], leader of Hebron's largest clan, who some years ago prevented the planned torching of a nearby synagogue. Sheikh Jabari has publicly acknowledged the right of Jews to live in Hebron.

The PA is trying to ethnically cleanse the Jews again from Hebron, while Sheikh Jabari is supporting the rights of the Jewish people to their own heritage.
(Jewish Chronicle-UK)


LHwrites said...

Wow. Thanks for this. It shines light on a situation most other news sources distort or ignore.

Bruce said...

It would be nice to see this type of info in the NYTimes. So many news outlets paint the MidEast in broad strokes that fit their preconceived notions.