Monday, June 22, 2015

The Jewish Ghetto in Hebron

Michael L.

The city of Hebron (or Hevron) is among the most ancient of Jewish cities and is the home of the Tomb of the Patriarchs where Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah are said to be buried.

Today Jews inhabit about 3 percent of this old Jewish town and the Arab residents very definitely do not want them there.

My friend Yosef, of Love of the Land, alerted us to this:
Jews peacefully confronted this racial and religious persecution, showing their objection by leaving their ghetto which comprises approximately 3-percent of the city to walk quietly through the marketplace. They were faced with threats, physical and verbal intimidation, followed by stones -- for no other reason than that they dared to cross the line in protest of apartheid. Israeli residents then left the market as the hostile population chanted Allah Hu Akbar, pushing against the gate which protects the Jewish population from their neighbors. Stun grenades afterward were necessary to scatter the threatening mob.
The video below is a production of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and therefore in its opening blurb suggests that Jews walking through Hebron represent some sort-of assault on the great Arab majority in that city.  Those Jews were protected by Jewish soldiers, which is why the video focuses on soldiers.

At about the 40 second mark the Arabs start chanting "Alahu Akbar!  Alahu Akbar!" which, given recent history - if not ancient history - is essentially a call for violence.

What continues to amaze me is the ease within which western-left Jews comply with this obvious bigotry toward their brothers and sisters in that part of the world.

If Hebron is not Jewish than there is no place that is Jewish.

But there seem to be Jews that believe what it means to be Jewish is to be helpless and without a home.


  1. As always, what else can one say but thank you, for keeping us in mind. Also a reminder to all friends of Israel Thrives that we are more than happy to have you drop by our happy little community if you happen to be in the area.

    1. For those of you who may not know, Yosef is a resident of Hevron and is the owner of Love of the Land.

      Yosef and his wife, Melody, are among those few brave souls who dare to disobey Barack Obama and his partner Mahmoud Abbas by living where Jews have lived for thousands of years.

    2. Hi Mike,
      I am aware that Yosef and Melody are residents of Hevron.
      And I think they are very brave. And I wish them nothing but well. Always.

      I was responding to the sentiments you expressed in your post about the western - left.
      I think trying to understand the western-left is extraordinarily important.
      I think we should try and do more of that.
      That way we can be less amazed at what they do and don't do.
      And, it is very important to try to understand the psychology of the Jewish western-left, as they are playing such a significant role in what is happening.

  2. You explained the assimilation viewpoint in America very thoughtfully. World history shows us that assimilation was not successful in the long run for Jewish populations who believed they wore an an immunity cloak.

  3. To me what is astonishing is that when you ask Jew haters what they mean by Hevron what they're actually talking about is Kiryat Arba which is what, 12km outside of town plunked down in the middle of brown rolling hills of nothing on land everyone agrees, even the Arabs, was legitimately purchased for money, by the Jews. Kiryat Arba displaced no one and nothing because it was put in a place where nothing was before. Nothing at all.

  4. "Western -left Jews don't feel that those people in Hebron - or any other part of Israel - are their brothers and sisters. They are embarrassed by them. Uncomfortable with them. They are offended by them."

    Yes and I have never understood that.

    What is there to be offended by?

    Futhermore, of course, from a historical perspective the Jewish people have considerably greater claim to Judea and Samaria then do, say, the Italians to Italy or the French to France.

    Jews were thriving in the area long, long before there even were any such places as London or Paris, not to mention Washington, D.C.

    Who are these people to tell Jews that we have no rights to our own land?

    It pisses me off to no end, I tell ya.

    "The idea that Jews should be in Israel because of religious history is something they can't take seriously. They never will. They cannot take seriously any claims that rely on biblical texts. They do not take the Bible seriously. They think it's mumbo-jumbo."

    I am not particularly religious, either.

    For me it is the simple matter that the Jewish people ARE a people and we come from a specific place where we have lived for thousands of years.

    I may live in diaspora, but Judea and Samaria are just as much the homes of the Jewish people as Italy is ultimately the home of Italian people wherever the may reside.

    I don't begrudge them, so why should they begrudge us?

    We're even willing to share our land with our former conquerers.

    It is they who refuse to share it with us.

  5. Jacob was being snarky... or so I hope!

  6. Mike,
    you have to understand it. You can disagree with it, but it's imperative to understand it.
    Maybe the experience of Jews in Europe is more meaningful in understanding it than their counterparts in America.
    The whole idea of ' assimilation ' and the desire to find a way to protect oneself. It is possible that is difficult for American Jews to grasp.

  7. We need to define the "it" in this conversation, Kate.


    Is that it?

    Is the idea that western Jewish assimilation has weakened diaspora Jewish ties to the Jewish people, including in Israel?

    That is unquestionably true.

    For the life of me, though, I have no idea what could or should be done about that.

    In a sense - if we are on the same page - what you're talking about is natural as rain.

    My old man came over on the boat from the Ukraine in 1922, Kate, as a baby and had me quite late in life. He went through Ellis Island and his mother, my grandmother Sarah, mopped floors in Brooklyn. His father died in Argentina before they gained visas into the United States, so somewhere in Argentina is a gravestone that says "Lumish" on it. He fought in World War II in the Pacific. Kwajalein. Marshall Islands. Eniwetok

    If Truman had not done the terrible deed I would probably never have been born.

    I grew up in post-Vietnam War America during the period of the trailing off of the Civil Rights Movement in the 70s and 80s.

    Everyone was "assimilating" with everyone else.

    The fundamental question is this:

    "Why do European and American Jews tend to think that Israel is a priori guilty of mistreatment of the local Arabs when the facts of history tell a very different story?"

    What the Arabs have claimed - against all rationality and decency - is the moral high ground and that is why the western-left, these moral narcissists, go with the brutal Arab majority over the beseiged Jewish minority.

    And that, my friend, is precisely why we need to place the conflict within thirteen centuries of Arab-Muslim domination of the Jewish people within our own homeland.

  8. Mike,
    I've sent you a link about assimilation in terms of Jewish history, it's not the same thing as general assimilation. It has a completely different significance.
    A very negative one. That is what makes it so important to understand it.

    Also, do you know any Italian -Americans who advocate that Italians should not live in Italy?

    The "it" you have to understand is the fact that so many Jewish people will advocate that Jews should not live in Israel. And why that is so.

  9. Link to a history of Assimilation in the context of Jewish history around the world:

  10. Kate, you are not actually arguing with me.

    What you are talking about has little, if anything, to do with what I have said in previous comments.

    I agree that it is true that the Arab-Israel conflict is fueled by the West, but I certainly would not give the West precedence over the Arabs.

    And as for assimilation, what can be done about that?

    I have no problem with assimilation and I understand that it has different connotations for Jews, but what of it?

    For those of us in the diaspora opposing assimilation is like being in opposition to the fact that the sky is blue.

    There is nothing to be done about it and, furthermore, the implication is that assimilated Jews are somehow wrong to be who we are.

    And I must wonder what it means to be a non-assimilated Jew in the West?

    Chassid, perhaps?

    Somehow how we seem to be talking around one another.

  11. I am kind of arguing with you on some things.
    I know I am. Some things particularly.
    Some are not included below.

    Some points:

    The Arab/Israeli conflict would still be going on, of course, but it would be seen entirely differently if the west were opposing it. They are not opposing it, they are now, in fact, supporting it. With great enthusiasm. That is the main problem. The main problem.

    As for assimilation: Well, having no problem with it is to not understand how - particularly in Europe - it has led to enormously complicated and destructive dynamics which affect many Jewish people psychologically. That psychology, is a big factor in what we are seeing.

    What of it?
    The effects of it are leading to the willingness to abandon Israel, and, sometimes, to be rushing to the front of the queue to do so.
    To divorce themselves - publicly and privately - from wanting to appear to support Israel in any way. And, worse, to be vocal in their denunciation of Israel and Zionism. And, therefore, of their fellow Jews.
    This lends credibility to all others who wish to do the same, as they can claim that anti-Semitism plays no part in what they are advocating.

    'Assimilated' Jews are not integrated, they are often people who have been cultured to despise their own religious and cultural heritage. And, their ethnic heritage.
    That's enormously destructive.

  12. PS

    And slightly off topic:

    From someone's twitter feed today:

    A small example of why the problem needs to be understood from the European angle.

    Hope the link works.

  13. Kate,

    "The Arab/Israeli conflict would still be going on, of course, but it would be seen entirely differently if the west were opposing it. They are not opposing it, they are now, in fact, supporting it. With great enthusiasm."

    And where have I suggested otherwise before you insisted on this premise?

    In any case, assimilation, or integration, are matters for the individual.

    There is no "solution" that can be imposed on such a thing and I very much doubt that even attempting to "solve" the matter would be in any way beneficial.

    I would like to here the various ways that you find it problematic, however.

    Do you think that we will lose our character as a people?

    Do you think that the Jews, themselves, will simply fade out?

    What, exactly, is the problem with assimilation?

  14. Mike,
    I'm saying that the conflict is the way it is because of the participation of the West. Through government, media, culture, NGOs, and through various reasons of political and economic expediency.
    If the West were opposing what is happening rather than collaborating with it, we would not be looking at the same landscape.
    That is not what you think.
    We differ.

    The problem with assimilation:

    'Assimilation' has not been a matter for the individual in Jewish history. There was a very strong - and somewhat controversial - movement re assimilation. That meant many people were, in effect, influenced to think and act in particular ways. Totally understandably. Unfortunately, the hoped for fruits of that movement did not exactly work out the way they were supposed to. European history demonstrates that.
    One of the problems has been that Jewish people have felt it more difficult to identify - in any meaningful way - with being Jewish. I grew up with people whose ideas around being Jewish were, liking Woody Allen films and some kinds of jokes, and enjoying a few delicatessen foods.
    Most people are not religious and not very interested in Jewish culture. They would be hard- pressed to define what Jewish culture is.
    In some sense, none of that would matter if it were not for what we see happening. A very serious re- emergence of anti-Semitism. And, of course, a venomous hatred of all things Israel.
    If you want to discuss and understand the reasons for those things, it is necessary to understand the psychology, and the political ideologies at work. Particularly in Europe, but not exclusively. America is now, I think, beginning to experience something of the ' derangement ' of anti-Semitic feeling that Europe is so familiar with.
    What is fascinating is that many prominent voices in this belong to people who are, themselves, Jewish.
    There are reasons for that.
    They need to be understood, as far as is possible.
    None of this is going to get better.
    You can't blame it on some degree of Muslim anti-Semitism if it is clear that the voices who should be standing up to counter that and challenge that are, instead, remaining silent. Or, worse, endorsing it.