Switch to Forum Live View Breaking the silence on Jewish property rights
|3 years ago :: May 04, 2012 - 7:10PM #1|
Who owns the land, the Jews who were displaced by the Arabs or the Arabs who displaced them? In Jerusalem, the owrld seems to have picked the Arabs who displaced the Jews. Is this fair? Is it the right decision? If you think so, why?
Breaking the silence on Jewish property rights
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In 1876 Ashkenazi and Sephardi communities in Jerusalem jointly purchased the site next to Shimon Hatzaddik’s tomb. They built dwellings for the pilgrims on part of the site. The Jewish residents of some 100 homes were among the first to be expelled when hostilities broke out at the end of 1947. Arab families moved into the empty Jewish homes. From 1949 to 1967 Jews could not visit the holy sites under Jordanian rule — a violation of the 1949 armistice agreement.
This year’s celebrations will take place against a backdrop of legal wrangling over the ownership of Shimon Hatzaddik, Nahalat Shimon and Jewish neighborhoods adjoining the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Over the last few years, human rights and left-wing groups have held weekly demonstrations protesting Jewish settlement in “Arab East Jerusalem.”
Some Jewish former owners have been resorting to the Israeli courts to have their properties returned to them in areas conquered by Israel in 1967.
” I demand to get my property back,” 76-year-old Elisha Ben-Tzur told Ynet News a couple years ago. “My grandfather built this house and the synagogue that was burned down by Arabs in 1948. Before Sheikh Jarrah, we lived in Silwan, but were expelled out of there as well.”
The courts have not always ruled in the Jewish petitioners’ favor, recognizing that the current inhabitants’ rights must also be protected under the law. The only Arab tenant families to be evicted from Sheikh Jarrah were those that had failed to pay rent. But groups such as Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity have insisted on portraying these cases as “Israeli settlers evicting the rightful Palestinian owners.”
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Again, Silwan is being misrepresented as a Palestinian village in East Jerusalem, despite the fact that poor Yemenite Jews lived in stone houses at the southern end of the village for about 50 years. Only in 1938, after attacks on the Jewish residents, did Silwan become Judenrein on the advice of the British.
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There is a battle to be fought on behalf of these Jews, who were not even aware that they were entitled to claim ownership of their homes under Israeli law. But international groups such as J-Street and Yachad have yet to show any interest in the rights of disadvantaged Jews. Arab rights, it appears, trump Jewish rights every time.