web analytics
April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Jerusalem Flashpoint: Har Homa


Keeping-Jerusalem

Share Button
            Yes, attention in and on Israel has been justifiably turned toward the Shomron town of Itamar, where two weeks ago ruthless Palestinian terrorists cruelly butchered most of the Fogel family preparing for sleep after an uplifting Sabbath meal.
But behind the scenes, and on more than one front, the battle for Jerusalem continues unyieldingly – a steely war of nerves with an Arab foe that will stop only when we defeat it.
The Arabs are aligned in full force to slice away, salami-style, Jewish sovereignty from our holy and eternal city. They have already succeeded, to some extent, in some neighborhoods, where soldiers prevent Jews from even entering. Our battle is not easy – and can certainly not be won without Jewish vigilance, knowledge and activism.
Very quietly, one of the main fronts in the battle is a little-known neighborhood on Jerusalem’s southern edge called Homat Shmuel – more popularly known as Har Homa. A news report last month about Har Homa attracted little attention. However, a careful reading thereof will give us pause to think about the strategic significance of this thriving Jewish locale. The essence was this:
“Documents detailing the Israel-PA talks and leaked by Al Jazeera show that the PLO negotiating team relinquished all Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem except for Har Homa “
All neighborhoods except for Har Homa? The PLO has given up on places such as Ramot Shlomo, which sparked a recent crisis between Israel and the U.S., and Sheikh Jarrah, where a handful of Jews have moved into Jewish-owned properties amidst thousands of Arabs and where international pro-Arab activists demonstrate almost every week – and yet it has not given up on Har Homa?!
Though Fatah denied the report and said it was leaked only to make Hamas look good at its expense – Fatah gunmen even attacked Al-Jazeera studios to make this point – there are other indications that our enemies regard Har Homa in a “special” light. After the Annapolis Conference in 2007, the PA loudly protested new construction in Har Homa – netting a strong condemnation from both then-U.S. Secretary of State Rice and UN Secretary-General Ban of the Jewish neighborhood.
   Why is the PA so extra-insistent on making sure Har Homa, of all Jerusalem neighborhoods, not remain Jewish?
   For one thing, it is likely that Har Homa elicits strong Arab opposition – even if not consciously – for its multiplicity of Torah institutions. The municipality has recently allocated lots for 19 (!) new synagogues to meet the large demand; two religious schools and several talmudei Torah fill the neighborhood with the sounds of Torah study; and two well-known yeshivot – Har HaMor and Mekor Chaim Yeshiva High School – are planning to move there as soon as their campuses are ready. At least half of its 30,000 residents are observant.
   Yet this is certainly not the only aspect of Har Homa the PA finds objectionable. The PLO’s disproportionate hostility to the locality stems directly from the PA’s plans to take over the entirety of eastern Jerusalem and form a state of its own!
   Simply put, Har Homa’s geographic location is a bone in the PA’s throat. With Bethlehem to the south – separated from Har Homa only by several hundred meters of forest area – and with the Arab-populated neighborhoods of Um Tuba and Sur Baher to the northeast and A-Sheikh Saad and Abu Dis further to the northeast, Har Homa is practically the only thing preventing a contiguous north-south Arab presence all along the eastern borders of Jerusalem and vicinity.
   True, East Talpiyot, north of Sur Baher, is also in the PA’s way – but Har Homa is newer and therefore more vulnerable. Take away Har Homa, Heaven forbid, and East Talpiyot becomes a lone enclave to the north, Gilo is isolated to the west, and all of southern and southeastern Jerusalem becomes nearly totally Arab – paving the way for Arab contiguity from Bethlehem and Beit Sahour to Abu Dis, Azariya, and Isawiya, past Mt. Scopus.
   Israel’s legal right to build Har Homa is well-grounded. As the Foreign Ministry explains, the Oslo Agreements specifically did not give the PA the authority to veto Jewish construction or other activity in Jerusalem. On the contrary, it was agreed that Jerusalem would be discussed only in the final-status talks – thus paving the way for normal life, such as city-approved construction, to proceed unhindered.
   Despite this, just last month new zoning plans for Har Homa – calling for 50 housing units, nine public buildings, and an access road – were shelved by the city’s zoning and planning board. Though some are optimistic that the plans will soon be resubmitted and approved, others feel that such expectations are baseless.
   In any event, as city councilman David Hadari told Arutz-7 at the time, “Even if the problem was just bureaucracy, such as a missing form or whatever, plans for these parts of Jerusalem should specifically not be taken off the agenda. These areas are very sensitive on a national scale, and no one must think we are caving in to any pressure regarding them.”
   Unfortunately, precisely this impression is being given: that Israel’s resolve regarding strategically crucial Har Homa is not strong.
   Jerusalem-lovers can inform the city council members of their concern regarding Har Homa and their desire to see the plans approved promptly. Hadari can be reached at hddavid@jerusalem.muni.il and Likud City Councilman Elisha Peleg can be reached at plelisha@jerusalem.muni.il.
Let it be stated clearly and unequivocally:
   Giving up or weakening any Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem is a critical threat to security, morale, and strategic integrity. Har Homa, East Talpiot, Pisgat Ze’ev and others are buffers that prevent an Arab territorial continuum from Ramallah to Bethlehem from suffocating Jewish Jerusalem.
For more information on how to participate in keeping Jerusalem Jewish, via updates, bus tours of critical parts of Jerusalem, and more, send an e-mail to tours@keepjerusalemorg or visit the Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech 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.

   Their column appears every other week.

Share Button

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 live 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.

No Responses to “Jerusalem Flashpoint: Har Homa”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Putin-Obama Meme 1
Egypt Signing Unprecedented $3 Billion MiG-35 Deal with Russia
Latest Indepth Stories
Al-Aksa Mosque was claimed to be the site from which Mohammed ascended to Heaven, but it was built nearly 50 years after Mohammed died.

Jerusalem only seems important in the Islamic world when non-Muslims control or capture the city.

Israeli police enter the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City to disperse stone-throwing Palestinian protesters.

Jordan’s king is adding fuel to the fire on the Temple Mount, blaming Israel for violence by Muslim Arab rioters.

Imam Suhail Webb who boasted his Muslim community persuaded Brandeis President Fred Lawrence to withdraw an invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

At Brandeis, much of what counts as Western civilization got cold feet and won’t stand with Hirsi Ali.

Text of anti-Semitic flyer distributed to Jews in Donetsk, Ukraine on Passover 2014.

But the lesson from this meditation is that hidden behind the anti-semitic act is the greatest light.

As support of their messianic dream, Halevi and Antepli approve dishonoring Hirsi Ali as a ‘renegade.’

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

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

Under the plan, a person who was not a citizen of either the Jewish or Arab state was to be appointed governor to administer Jerusalem and to conduct external affairs…

Neve Yaakov

Is it not ironic that the renewal of a decades-old Jewish town is considered an “illegal settlement” on “occupied territory”?

Much has been written about President Shimon Peres’s promises to grant the Vatican official status in Jerusalem and control over its holy sites.

One of the claims made by pro-Arab interests on Jerusalem is against archaeological findings.

National park status is, unfortunately, not an ironclad guarantee against Arab encroachment.

While the Temple Mount evokes such strong Muslim emotions, it is no longer clear that it does the same for most Jews.

Gilo, Har Homa and Ramat Shlomo – among the Jerusalem neighborhoods liberated from Jordanian control during the Six-Day War – are scheduled to gain hundreds of apartments.

What exactly does MK Hanegbi mean when he says “no division of Jerusalem?”

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/keeping-jerusalem/jerusalem-flashpoint-har-homa/2011/03/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: