web analytics
September 3, 2014 / 8 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Machpelah House Tenants Decided to Move in After Arab Sellers and their Families Were Arrested by PA

Shlomo Levinger at a press conference Thursday in front of Machpelah House from which he was thrown on Wednesday.

Shlomo Levinger at a press conference Thursday in front of Machpelah House from which he was thrown on Wednesday.
Photo Credit: Stephen Leavitt / Jewish Press

At a press conference outside Machpelah House which had been evacuated Wednesday in Hebron, Shlomo Levinger and attorney Doron Nir-Tzvi told reporters that the purchase of Machpelah House had been in the making for some three years. The tenants had planned to patiently await government approval for their purchase of the house from a local Arab.

But the arrest of several Arabs by the Palestinian Authority on suspicion of selling real estate to the Jewish group – a crime which could be punished with death – changed the plan, and the group decided to move in despite the murky prospects of staying.

Knowing full well how hard it would be to establish residency in a newly purchased house—facing a hostile Israeli civil authority whose directive is to strictly limit the growth of the city’s Jewish community, the group of buyers was moving slowly and quietly, through intermediaries and straw men, forever remaining below the radar for three years.

At the press conference, Levinger said they paid four times the value of the house, which has been estimated at around $250 thousand. Earlier in the day, when the Jewish Press asked Levinger to confirm a rumor that they paid half a million dollars for the house, he said, “I wish it would have been that amount.”

The money for the purchase came from donations of Jews from Israel and abroad. “Every week we would travel to meetings in private homes, collecting one shekel after another,” Levinger said. “There were times when we came back with only a few single shekels, other times we’d pick up thousands. We spent days and nights collecting this money, faithfully and lovingly.

“Once the money had been collected, we embarked on the purchase deal. It was a Sysiphian labor. We knew that the Attorney General’s office would be looking everywhere for possible holes in the deal.”

According to Doron Nir-Tzvi, in Judea and Samaria, real estate deals are conducted in an anachronistic fashion, whereby a deal must first be completed before the buyers are permitted to apply for government approval (Heter Iskah). Therefore, once every last T was crossed and I dotted, the buyers planned to wait patiently for their deal to go through.

Sources in the Civil Administration were telling them they couldn’t find faults with the deal, that despite themselves they would end up having to approve it.

But then the PA arrested both straw men who had been carrying out different part of the bargain, followed by the jailing of their family members as well.

At this point, Levinger et al felt that their only recourse was to take possession of the property, or risk losing the deal altogether.

Both Levinger and Nir-Tzvi expressed concern for the jailed Palestinians. Levinger told the Jewish Press earlier that he was urging the Israeli government to demand their release of the Palestinian Authority.

If Defense Minister Barak refuses to sign off on the deal, the buyers are planning to appeal to other government authorities. But Attorney Nir-Tzvi said he would not recommend that his clients approach Israel’s Supreme Court with their plight, as it would likely be an imprudent use of their financial resources, considering the probable response of the court.

I reminded Shlomo Levinger that the cause cited by Defense Minister Ehud barak for the evacuation Jewish tenants from Machpelah House was not any fault he cited in the deal itself, but the fact that as things stand in Judea and Samaria, the Defense Minister is permitted to use his power arbitrarily to maintain public order. In other words, even if the real estate deal is, indeed, pure as the driven snow, and all the sides, buyers and sellers alike, have been willing participants with not a hint of coercion – Barak would still be within his rights to evict them.

“You must have heard the saying, “Pornography, a matter of Geography,” Shlomo Levinger cited Sakini from “The Tea House of the August Moon” in the middle of hot and dusty Hebron.

“Danger to the public order is in the eye of the beholder,” he continued. “The chiefs of police here have told me, Shlomo, we passed the request along to the higher echelons, everything in our opinion has been quiet after you moved in; the Arabs were cognizant of the deal, they expected it to take effect, they took no issue with it.”

The group of evacuated tenants is determined to stay in their protest tent (“protest parasol” is how our man on the scene Stephen Leavitt called it) until Ehud Barak is ready to sign off on their right to the house – as had been originally promised by Netanyahu’s cabinet. For now, they will be celebrating the seder under that scant tent, and Levinger is asking folks not to come in droves before the Sunday of Chol HaMoed. “We don’t have enough room for everybody at the seder table,” he apologized.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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.

One Response to “Machpelah House Tenants Decided to Move in After Arab Sellers and their Families Were Arrested by PA”

  1. Bobby Brown says:

    They had no choice!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Journalist Steven Sotloff hid from his Islamic captors that he was Jewish but fasted on Yom Kippur.
Beheaded Journalist Hid His Judaism from ISIS Captors
Latest News Stories
King Abdullah of Jordan

King Abdullah’s participation in the upcoming NATO summit will be of “immeasurable illumination” on the strategy of confronting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Syria (ISIS).

American-born IDF spokeswoman Lt.Libby Weiss takes you on a tour of a Hams terror tunnel.

Each of 30 terror runnels cost $3 million to build.

Journalist Steven Sotloff hid from his Islamic captors that he was Jewish but fasted on Yom Kippur.

Journalist Steven Sotloff, beheaded by the ISIS, secretly practiced his Judaism but hid it from his captors, according to a fellow kidnap victim who was among those freed. The ISIS posted a video Tuesday showing the execution of Sotloff, less than two weeks after it distributed a similar video of the beheading of journalist James […]

Quneitra Syrian Flag

Two stray mortars landed near the border Tuesday evening in the Eastern Golan Heights.

O.J. Simpson is converting to Islam. He was charged with his ex-wife’s murder in 1994. She was nearly decapitated.

Rockets and violence over diplomacy and passivity is the Palestinian Arab ruling style of choice, as reflected in a PCPSR poll.

Maybe Abbas should accuse Lady Ga-Ga of incitement for saying “Shalom.”

The prosecutor says Masterson told police, “I didn’t want him to think I’m scared.”

Honey cake, gourmet honey, flavored honey, and honey as a recipe in chicken, and even fish, are all expected to contribute to soaring sales of honey this Rosh Hashanah and holiday season. Ironically, the US Department of Agriculture is conducting hearings to define honey or just how much honey is required to qualify for “pure […]

Abbas does not have to push agenda because he has the Obama administration is his spokesman.

The Islamic State (ISIS) has just released a video showing the beheading of another American journalist, Steven Sotloff, according to a monitoring group.

Cantor can thank his defeat to a Tea Party candidate for leading him to more lucrative and stable career.

Hamas won the war in political terms, but that won’t stop Kerry.

A farmer in the (legal) Tikkun Olan Cannabis farm near Tzfat. This is one of their greenhouses. The company is licensed by Israel’s Ministry of Health to grow, process and distribute the medicinal plant.

Israeli intelligence sparked a massive manhunt that foiled an Arab terror attack, caught two suspects and kept Israeli civilians safe.

More Articles from Yori Yanover
rain ATM

A Jerusalem woman is trying to hold on to her umbrella while withdrawing some cash at a Meah Shearim ATM, Sunday, March 9, 2014. The rain appeared out of the blue (which is how rain should), after a warm week that started to feel like summer. Well, it don’t feel like summer no more. Last […]

Rabbi Meir Mazuz (seen visiting a synagogue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn) declared in a public Internet psak that it is legal for a Jew to go up to temple Mount.

Needless to say, Shas, the Haredi Sefardi party, is not happy.

“The only difference between this world and the time of Meshiach is our bondage to the gentile kingdoms.”

Here’s the Israeli Navy boat INS Hanit arriving in Eilat on Saturday, March 8, 2014, after capturing the Klos C, which was carrying dozens of advanced Iranian-supplied weapons made in Syria and intended for Palestinian guerrillas in the Gaza Strip. Here’s Israeli Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ram Rotberg speaking with the INS Hanit soldiers in […]

Pat Condell has a new video out, so, sit back, have fun. By the way, Message to Offended Muslims should not be confused with Message to Off Handed Muslims. Also, I’d love to hear what he has to say about Haredim.

The description that came with this picture says: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with American actor Bette Midler during an event at the house of Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan in Hollywood on March 6, 2014. But Bette Midler is not really an actor, she’s a singer who made movies for the LGBT community and […]

We will shut them up in the campuses, we will shut them up in the high schools, we will shut them up at the 92nd St. Y.

An Israeli female soldier (because they’re better at removing babies from their homes) evacuates a baby from a settlement in Judea and Samaria some time in the recent past. I’m thinking, if the baby was angry enough, couldn’t he evacuate in return, right there in her arms? Imagine the same picture, except with a settler […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/machpelah-house-tenants-decided-to-move-in-after-arab-sellers-and-their-families-were-arrested-by-pa/2012/04/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: