web analytics
July 12, 2014 / 14 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim's Restaurant in Tiberias Restaurant in Tiberias Enriches Holocaust Survivors’ Wellbeing

The generosity of Mrs. Lee Steinberg of New York helped establish the Meir Panim Free Restaurant in Tiberias.



Reclaiming The Land


Keeping-Jerusalem

Editor’s Note: This installment of Keeping Jerusalem was written by Hillel Fendel, who interviewed Chaim Silberstein, the usual co-author of the column.

What are the best ways to manifest the Jewish people’s return to the Land of Israel and the Holy City after 1,900 years? At the top of the list is undoubtedly the reclamation of land once owned by Jews and now occupied by others (usually Arabs), or by settling land in strategic areas, thus making sure they are Jewish.

Chaim Silberstein, founder and president of the Keep Jerusalem/Im Eshkachech organization, has had great success in Shimon HaTzaddik, Nachalat Shimon and other neighborhoods.

Fendel: Why is the land-reclamation front so important at this time?

Silverstein: Without building viable Jewish neighborhoods in all parts of eastern Jerusalem, and especially in and around the Old City, our claim of ownership and sovereignty rings hollow. In order to secure Jerusalem for the Jewish people forever, we need to work on three planes simultaneously and with an integrated approach – the physical, political, and educational planes. Together with our activities on the educational and political planes, these efforts must be supplemented and buttressed with physical facts on the ground. ”

Isn’t that the job of the government?

Many times we find ourselves doing the work that the government is supposed to be doing. Take hasbara, for instance. Unfortunately, it’s commonly known that Israel’s efforts in presenting its positions to the international public do not meet the needs. Similarly, when was the last time the government initiated a new neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem? We are proud to say our efforts have led to the creation of the Jewish neighborhoods of Shimon HaTzaddik, Nachalat Shimon, and more – and groups such as Elad, JRP, and the Israel Land Fund have also had significant accomplishments.

What role does all this play in terms of making sure Yerushalayim remains Israeli?

The Clinton/Barak formula for Jerusalem, originating in the Camp David talks of July 2000, was as follows: “Jewish neighborhoods for the Jews, Arab neighborhoods for the Arabs.” It is therefore clear that in any negotiations over Jerusalem, the Old City and the areas surrounding it must be saturated with Jewish neighborhoods, rendering them non-negotiable and not transferable. Redeeming lands is the charge of the hour.

When I say “redeeming lands,” I mean: locating Arab sellers, working out the sale, and following up on actualizing the sale and making arrangements for the current tenants. This occurs mostly in politically, historically, and demographically strategic areas such as the City of David, the Muslim Quarter in the Old City, and along the seam between eastern and western Jerusalem.

Have the police and courts generally been helpful to you?

My personal experience is that when it comes to evicting Arab squatters from Jewish property, the courts are inclined to employ a policy of reverse discrimination; some would call it simply “anti-Jewish.” For example, just this week, in a case we’ve been pursuing for six years regarding Arab squatters on Jewish land, a ruling was handed down that was so transparently against the Jewish owners that it left us no option but to appeal to the Jerusalem District Court. The case concerns a property in Nachalat Shimon, adjacent to Shimon HaTzaddik, where the Arabs say they are protected tenants and cannot be evicted. The court, though it rejected all the Arab testimony, accepted documents that were tenuous at best and upheld their right to live there.

What do you mean by “tenuous”?

The Arab occupants had to prove they lived on the property since 1968 – and the best they could come up with was the mother’s marriage certificate showing that she got married in the neighborhood in 1964. The certificate was (a) not an original, (b) was not submitted by a party to the certificate, and (c) does not prove they lived in the property in contention. Not to mention that we brought proof that the property was not even built up at that time. Yet the court accepted the marriage certificate as proof.

On the positive side, by the way, concurrent to the legal process, we recently submitted plans for a zoning plan for the property – and Jerusalem City Hall has approved them.

Regarding the police, I can say they bend over backward to preserve peace; they barely enforce the law in many Arab-populated neighborhoods, because their overall goal is to avoid violence or disturbances.

Do you find that Arab owners are generally willing to cooperate, as long as the deal remains secret?

There are three possible ways of buying from an Arab. One: when he knows the buyers are Jewish and he agrees to sell directly anyway. Two: when he knows Jews are behind the purchase and insists on selling to an Arab front man. Three: when the seller is unaware Jews are behind the sale and the Jews have to work anonymously through an Arab front man.

What projects do you have on the burner at present?

The Jerusalem Capital Development Fund, our land redemption organization, is focusing on purchasing properties north of the Old City and adjacent to the east-west seam. At the moment, we have ten deals on the cooker, and we’re looking for investors.

 

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@keepjerusalem.org or visit Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech’s website at www.keepjerusalem.org.

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.

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 “Reclaiming The Land”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
drone
Live Updates: Latest Gaza Rocket Launches (New Attack: 8:41 PM)
Latest Indepth Stories
Lewis-071114-Main

A woman who knows that her family is financially stable is a happy, relaxed mother.

An Iron Dome Missile Battery near Tel Aviv on the first day of Operation Protective Edge, July 8, 2014.

We hit their missiles in mid-air with computer-guided projectiles invented and built by Jews’ between rounds of rigorous scientific education or yeshiva study.

Jonathan S. Tobin is Senior Online Editor of Commentary magazine.

How will all this end? Hamas seems to think it will be Netanyahu who will blink first.

Gilad Shaar (L), Naftali Frenkel (C) and Eyal Yifrach (R) are the three Israeli teenagers whom Arab terrorists kidnapped on June 12, 2014.

There is a major moral distinction that needs to be taken into account when one considers the murders of Israeli teens Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frankel and the murder of Palestinian teen Muhammad Abu Khdeir. The difference is that the Palestinian Authority has embraced such mass murderers as heroes and Israel punishes all […]

“a groundbreaking shift toward equitable and efficient treatment of our most vulnerable children”

“After all, we must remember that God isn’t our ‘employee.’ He doesn’t always do as we wish.”

Israelis dodge bullets to become leaders in nearly all fields. Palestinians use aid money to build rocket launchers.

Water: a fluid with life-giving force, a thin liquid even a trickle of which can assure survival. Crops, fields, land, people – we all need water. We need water for growth, for purity, for beauty, for subsistence. What do we do when water sources are depleted? We have learned not to behave like the young […]

Jerusalem: The historic and spiritual capital of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

Immediately end the occupation and declare Israeli sovereignty over the entire Jewish Homeland.

On which planet is Obama living on when making ridiculous pronouncements on the Middle East?

This Is for the Zionists. for a people exiled from their land Time after time after time their crime was their ethnicity and so their history as a people has been filled with blood   With blood and with tyranny, as nations and invading armies uprooted them, looted their homes, took away the songs of […]

Like all patriotic Americans, I cheered implementation of the Bush Doctrine to preemptively protect American lives from the perceived threat of WMD.

In fact, the two suspects were arrested by Israeli authorities – not, as the Times tried artfully to suggest, by Mr. Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.

Formerly an attorney at the prestigious law firm Proskauer Rose for 40 years – six of those years as its chairman – Fagin holds degrees from both Columbia and Harvard Universities. He retired in 2013 to devote more time to the Jewish community.

More Articles from Hillel Fendel and Chaim Silberstein / KeepJerusalem.org
The Kotel in Jerusalem, Israel on Dec. 14, 2013.

Jerusalem: The historic and spiritual capital of the State of Israel and the Jewish people.

Keeping-Jerusalem

It is critical to note the solid legal basis for the position that no part of Jerusalem is actually “occupied.”

Jerusalem: extraordinary financial and building growth and satisfaction by both Jewish and Arab residents.

Arab attacks on Jews must be stopped and Jewish construction in Jerusalem must proceed without hindrance.

The Arab world is simply not built to accept the existence of Israel in its midst.

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…

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.

    Latest Poll

    Israel's Iron Dome Anti-Missile System:





    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/keeping-jerusalem/reclaiming-the-land-2/2011/10/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: