Lately there''s been something of a rucus revolving around several palestinian flags, flying on a building across from Beit Hadassh here in Hebron. A youtube video of a young Kiryat Arba man trying to remove them two Shabbats ago has gone viral. A number of articles and blogs have appeared, the latest authored by the director of B''tzelem, Jessica Montell in the Huffington Post [huffto.NzlhNo]
"It''s the sort of story that could probably only happen in the Kafkaesque reality of Hebron. Here a few hundred Israeli settlers live in the heart of a major Palestinian city. In order to create an Israeli bubble even though they are living in the middle of a Palestinian city which is unarguably hostile to them, the Israeli military has imposed harsh restrictions on the surrounding Palestinians. Entire streets are closed off to Palestinian traffic, and even Palestinian pedestrians are prohibited on the streets immediately adjacent to the settlement buildings.
Some families are not even allowed to walk out of their front door, as the road is for Israelis only. The former bustling commercial center of Hebron is now virtually a ghost town. The gas station has closed down, of course. So have hundreds of shops and businesses, mostly by military decree. Thousands of Palestinians have been forced to abandon the city center, leaving mostly those too poor to move elsewhere."
"Hebron is not a "major Palestinian city," rather it is a Jewish city, with a mixed Jewish - Arab population. Jews have lived here for thousands of years, and will continue to live here, in the first Jewish city in Israel, for eternity.
True, an enemy flag, which symbolizes the destruction of the State of Israel, a symbol of terror which has left thousands dead and tens of thousands maimed, bothers us. It is an intentional provocation, in the heart of a Jewish neighborhood, in the city of Abraham and Sarah.
Such a provocation acts as incitement, and should be removed by the Israeli security forces. I daresay, a Taliban flag, or symbols of Al-Qaeda, in the heart of Boston, Philadelphia, Manhattan or Washington DC would probably be violently removed by neighbors, within minutes after being raised.
Here in Hebron, this is no different. We are citizens of Israel in a most important, significant and sacred city. Hebron will, eventually, be annexed, as an ''official'' city in the State of Israel. We will continue to stand guard, by our very presence here, ensuring the honor of Hebron, which is synonymous with the honor of the Jewish people, in their land, and the honor of our people''s founders, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebeccah and Leah, of David, King of Israel, who ruled in Hebron, and the honor of the Jews who lived here over the centuries. Forever! "
One person, reacted to my comment:
"Entire streets are closed off to Palestinian traffic, and even Palestinian pedestrians are prohibited on the streets immediately adjacent to the settlement buildings.
Some families are not even allowed to walk out of their front door, as the road is for Israelis only."
and yet another:
David other than Jerusalem the jewish population within the Ottoman empire was tiny. Jerusalem was about 50 percent in 1910. That pupulation total was a little less than 50,000. Land records of the Ottoman will not support your statement that Jews lived in an real numbers in Hebron. the res of your post is not worthy of a comment since it is more hate than fact.
My return comments:
Brett, fyi, I, as a Jew in Hebron, have access to 3% of the city. My neighbors have access to 97% of the city. There is one kilometer where they don''t have access, as a result of terror. The area was closed by the IDF and has been upheld by the Israeli Supreme Court twice. The former president of the court, Dorit Beinish, not known to be ultra-right wing, said in her decision, that "this is a minimum necessary for security in Hebron." Security, not only for the people who live in Hebron, but also for the close to one million people who visit annually.
The Arabs are allowed access to both sides of the city. We have access to almost nothing. So who is the victim?
And to Tom, below. It is clear you cannot respond, because there is no response, from your point of view, because I am clearly correct. It has nothing to do with hate. I do not hate Arabs. I only want to be able to live peacefully and normally in Hebron and elsewhere in Israel. I''d also prefer not to see rockets being shot into Ashkelon, and want to prevent rockets from being shot into Netanya from Kalkilya. Whici is what will happen if that is part of a ''palestinian state.'' That''s not hate, rather realizing, not being blind, to reality. Wake up.
I would suggest that anyone interested in answers to the many questions asked about Hebron, download the following booklet that I''ve authored. It deals with just about all the issues that center around Hebron: [bit.ly/1fWnbQ1].
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