web analytics
March 6, 2015 / 15 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Flashpoint: The Shepherd Hotel


Keeping-Jerusalem

As we focus on Jerusalem as the central issue of the on-again, off-again – but always looming – negotiations with the PA, let us take a look at the latest flashpoint in our holy city: The Shepherd Hotel.
The essential details are these: The Shepherd Hotel stood for 81 years overlooking Shimon HaTzaddik‘s gravesite in a neighborhood that was once very Jewish but is now predominantly Arab; a Jew purchased it in 1985; the world is aghast at the prospect that a new Jewish neighborhood of 20 apartments is to be built there.
Of course, there is more to be told – and it explains the historical justification for the presence of Jews on the site: The land in question was originally owned by Hajj Amin el-Husseini, who, as mufti of Jerusalem, forged close ties with the Nazis. In 1929, when his anti-Jewish incitement led to Arab riots and over 120 Jewish deaths across the Land of Israel, he had a spacious house built there – later to be known as the Shepherd Hotel.
The mufti later rented the house to a Christian Arab historian named George Antonius, another enemy of the Jewish people. Antonius helped the Arabs create many myths of “Palestinian Arab nationalism” and, together with his wife, Katy, rendered the building a meeting place in which top Arabs and like-minded British officials often socialized.
On April 16, 1948, with British forces standing by, a Jewish convoy to Mount Scopus was attacked and 78 Jews were brutally murdered. This infamous incident occurred just down the block from the site of the Shepherd Hotel where British forces were stationed.
In terms of historical justice, then, it is a no-brainer that this symbol of anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish nationalism make way, legally and above-board, for the Jewish nation’s return to its eternal homeland and capital.
Recently, in accordance with plans by owner Irving Moskowitz to build a Jewish neighborhood there, the hotel was demolished. A few days later, a stop-work order was issued when the “Muslim Committee” complained that a historic Muslim site was being destroyed. Three days later, the Interior Ministry rejected the complaint and work resumed.
In light of disapproving noises by world leaders, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Prime Minister Netanyahu has noted repeatedly that the project is a private venture – and that the construction is an expression of democratic values: “The State of Israel cannot be expected to forbid Jews from purchasing private property in Jerusalem. No democratic country in the world would impose such a ban on Jews, and it cannot be expected that Israel will be the one to do so.”
“Just as Jerusalem’s Arab citizens are allowed to buy or rent assets in Jerusalem’s Jewish-majority neighborhoods,” Netanyahu added, “Jews are allowed to rent property in a Jerusalem neighborhood with an Arab majority.”
Just below the Shepherd Hotel site is the holy site of the grave of Simon the Just, of the Second Temple period, where Jews study, pray and visit all day long. Just across the street lies the Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood – houses that one by one are being restored, after protracted legal proceedings, to their original Jewish owners. Some ten Jewish families currently live there.
Radical left-wing groups such as Ir Amim have called for a halt to Jewish construction plans in the area and a “freeze” on the evictions of Arab residents from the area. Such organizations want the borders between the Jewish and Arab parts of the city to remain as distinct as possible, in order to facilitate the “negotiated process [regarding Jerusalem] between Israel and the Palestinians” that Ir Amim’s website calls for.
Since the Arab side insists unyieldingly that such negotiations give them nearly complete control over all of eastern Jerusalem, it is clear that those who oppose Jewish construction in Shimon HaTzaddik and the Shepherd Hotel site actually want nothing less than the division of Jerusalem.
It must be made crystal clear: Opposition to a Jewish Shepherd Hotel means support for the division of our holy eternal city of Jerusalem into two: A Jewish city, on the one hand, with the Knesset, Central Bus Station, Supreme Court, luxury hotels, and the like – and on the other hand an Arab city that includes the Old City, Mt. of Olives, City of David, Mt. Zion, etc.
On a practical level, it may well be asked: Do Jewish enclaves in Arab-populated neighborhoods work? The answer is yes, though they have 24/7 protection – similar to many buildings in New York City. An example of this co-existence is the Maaleh HaZeitim project at the foot of the Mount of Olives in the Ras el-Amoud neighborhood, a 15-minute walk from the Western Wall. Dozens of Jewish families, the first of whom moved in eight years ago, live there with barely a hostile incident recorded.
Not far away live some 75 families in the City of David, amid thousands of Arabs – many of whom live in illegal structures. The area was the site of some clashes recently, but the 20-plus years of the Jews’ renewed presence on the site of ancient Jerusalem – the seat of King David’s kingdom – have made basically little news on the security front.
In future columns, we will elaborate further on some of the above points. Meanwhile, we have seen that expanding Jewish life in all of Jerusalem is safe, legal, historically correct and politically wise.

We invite you to visit Jerusalem and take part in our bus tours of critical but little-known parts of Jerusalem and environs, and see for yourselves the implications of dividing our Holy City. For information, send an e-mail to tours@keepjerusalem.org or visit our website at www.keepjerusalem.org.

 

Chaim Silberstein is president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech and the Jerusalem Capital Development Fund. He was formerly a senior adviser to Israel’s minister of tourism. Hillel Fendel is the senior editor at Israel National News/Arutz-7 and an author. Both have lived in Jerusalem and now reside in Beit El.

About the Author: Chaim Silberstein is president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech and the Jerusalem Capital Development Fund. He was formerly a senior adviser to Israel's minister of tourism. Hillel Fendel, past senior editor at Israel National News/Arutz-7, is a veteran writer on Jerusalem affairs. Both have lived in Jerusalem and now reside in Beit El.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Flashpoint: The Shepherd Hotel”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Iran’s Zarif Paints Iran as a Lamb, Israel as the Lion
Latest Indepth Stories
Ron Prosor

Values at the very heart of the UN are threatened by extremist ideologies targeting our way of life

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Anti-Semitism today focuses on Israel and the quest to delegitimize it.

Ballots for elections "made in Samaria."

Any Jew who ties his fate to Israel should be able to vote in Israel’s elections-even before aliyah

A young Moshe Meir Weiss introduces his mother, Mrs. Agnes Weiss Goldman, to Rav Moshe in 1979.

There were no airs about him. Rav Moshe was affectionately known as the Gaon of Normalcy.

Israel’s full sovereignty over a united Jerusalem is the only path for true peace in the region.

Just like Moses and Aaron, Mordechai decides to ruin the party…

The president has made clear – I can’t state this more firmly – the policy is Iran will not get a nuclear weapon.

Obama has an apparent inability to understand Islam in particular and Mid-East culture in general

Pesach is a Torah-based holiday whose fundamental observances are rooted in Torah law; Purim is a rabbinic holiday whose laws and customs are grounded in the rabbinic tradition.

In honor of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s successful speech before Congress.

Mr. Spock conveys a message with painfully stark relevance to our world today, especially in the context of PM Netanyahu’s speech to Congress.

Obama created the “partisan politics” by asking Dem. party members to avoid Bibi and his address

Enough is enough. The Jewish community has a big tent, but the NIF should have no place in it.

I vote for the right and get left-wing policy. Every. Frigging. Time.

More Articles from Hillel Fendel and Chaim Silberstein / KeepJerusalem.org
Keeping-Jerusalem

Israel’s full sovereignty over a united Jerusalem is the only path for true peace in the region.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Despite its name, the Muslim Quarter was home to many Jews and 6 yeshivot in the 19th century

A unified Jerusalem’s most threatened by a leading Prime Minister candidate: Labor’s Yitzchak Herzog

As Israel slowly loses its grip on parts of its capital, the Arabs are working to fill the vacuum.

The EU wants to replace the US with an increased role for the UN and its built-in anti-Israel stance

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

Rav Goren: “At the request of the Jews, Omar built the Dome of the Rock as a Jewish house of prayer”

When Islam conquered the Holy Land, it made its capital in Ramle of all places, not in Jerusalem.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/keeping-jerusalem/flashpoint-the-shepherd-hotel/2011/02/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: