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The Saga of Ancient ‘Palestinian Susiya’ – The Town That Never Was

The Palestinian Authority is a master at inventing history. Arabs claim they have been there long before Jews although evidence proves the contrary. The tactic is conquering the southern Hevron Hills.

International activists and Jewish volunteers from Rabbis for Human Rights help Palestinian farmers.

International activists and Jewish volunteers from Rabbis for Human Rights help Palestinian farmers.
Photo Credit: Melanie Fidler /Flash90

The Palestinian Authority, with direct financing of the  European Union and blind acceptance of lies as facts by media, is swallowing up the southern Hevron Hills, a huge area between Kiryat Arba-Hevron and Arad-Be’er Sheva.

The latest chapter in the Palestinian Authority’s re-invention of history is taking place in Susiya, pronounced “Soos-eeya,” located two miles from the old borders of Israel, on the western edge of the Judean Desert that leads to the Dead Sea, and less than half an hour from Be’er Sheva, the capital of the Negev.

The Arab strategy: An Arab family erects a tent, illegally, near the archaeological site of the ancient town of Susiya. As time passes, the tent becomes a makeshift structure, which expands into several structures. With the support of extreme left-wing activists, the ‘ancient’ town of ‘Palestinian Susiya’ is invented, reported the Tazpit News Agency.

“This makes for a great human interest story, but for one setback – the ‘ancient Palestinian Susiya’ never existed. It shows up on no records,” Tazpit wrote.

Yigal Dilmoni, deputy director-general of the Yesha Council, told Tazpit, “Fifteen-year-old aerial photos clearly show that there was no Arab village at this site… The Arabs have come for the village of Yatta, and… repeatedly disseminate lies. ”

Last week, the Civil Lands Authority issued approximately 40 stop-work orders against projects funded by the European Union and intended to firm up Palestinian Authority claims to land where they never lived until Jews came to the area in 1983.

In that year, for the first time in 1,500 years, Jews began living in the southern Hevron Hills, setting up a community in nearby Beit Yatir, two miles to the south, and in Susiya, where the old Jewish town existed until approximately the 6th century.

Until 1983, the area experienced zero growth. Hot summers, cold winters, with occasional snow, and the lack of roads and water resources kept people away. Any land that was farmed by Arabs was done during the spring and summer and abandoned after harvest time, until the following year.

None of the land was ever registered as owned by anyone. During the Ottoman Empire, and under the British Mandate, the rulers of Hevron would sit in their living rooms and parcel out lands arbitrarily. That was the extent of “ownership.”

When Jews came to Beit Yatir, the Arabs followed. Three families from  Yatta, a city adjacent to Hevron, fled because of family crimes, such as rape, and set up camp on a hill adjacent to Yatir, Their village quickly became known as the “Thieves’ Village,” for obvious reasons. They claim, of course, that they have been living there from time immemorial.

As a resident of Beit Yatir, and a security officer at the time, I and my colleague reported theft after theft to the police –laundry on the clothes lines, tricycles, shoes left outside and anything else that was not nailed to the ground. Further down the road, our moshav’s tractors often were stolen and tracks always led to the Thieves’ Village.

The police, of course, did nothing.

Susiya was established in the same year. No Arab lived there. Nor did they live in the ruins of the old city of Susiya.

But when the Civil Lands Authority last week issued the stop-work orders, the first step towards demolition orders, the left-wing movements and the Palestinian Authority reinvented history.

“The Palestinian village of Khirbet [ruins of] Susiya has existed in the South Hebron Hills at least since the 1830.”

The International Solidarity Movement wrote last week, “The residents of Susiya include more than 30 families, who were all evacuated from their homes in the old Susiya village and forced to relocate 200 meters to the southeast, in 1986,”

It is a lie. They never lived there, not in 1830 and not in 1986 and not in 1996.  A handful of Arabs sowed the land in the spring, harvest the crop in the late summer and went back to Yatta. Period.

“Susiya has been the site of creative non-violent resistance for years, resistance that is continually met with brutality,” according to the ISM.

Part of the “non-violent resistance was the cold-blooded murder of my friend Yair Har Sinai in 2001. He was shot in dead in the head and the back by terrorists while, unarmed, he was tending his flock of sheep.

The police and army, of course did nothing for five years, even though his murderers were known.

The same pattern has repeated itself over the past 15 years.

Rabbis for Human Rights has helped the Palestinian Authority destroy Jewish farms. Across the street from our home on Yatir, the Talya family, converts from South Africa, planted and cared for dozens of acres of land for a decade. The leftists moved in one day, ripped everything out, helped the Arabs plant, and won support from the IDF.

Several years, our community’s children along with hundreds of other school students, celebrated Tu B’Shvat by planting planted more than 1,500 saplings on land adjacent to the our regional headquarters. A “rabbi” from the Human Rights group marched in, and announced that the children were illegal occupiers. The next day, the saplings mysteriously disappeared.

Why? Politics.

There is no law in the southern Hevron Hills. There is politics. There are IDF officers who want to advance in the ranks and have to adopt the government policy, which is “malign neglect” of Jews.

As security officer at the time, I was called by the Talya family to come to their farm becuase five Arabs had trespassed. When I arrived, I saw them surveying the land, well within the fence of the Talya farm which is legally zoned for Yatir agriculture.

I called the authorities, and an officer asked me, “What are they doing?”

“They are  surveying the land.” I answered. “Today, they survey. Tomorrow, they claim it is theirs, and the next day they plant and build.”

His reply was, ”What do you care? They are not bothering you.”

The government looks the other way, preferring to set its red lines around Efrat and Maaleh Adumim.

Losing control of the southern Hevron Hills is a free pass to terrorists who use the back trails to smuggle weapons from Bedouins in the Negev, as far away as the Dead Sea and south of Arab. Terrorists also take explosives from the area and use the same route to travel freely and wait for the right moment to blow up Jews in urban centers, from Be’er Sheva to Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem.

The gradual erosion of Israel control over what is supposed to be Israeli-cojntrolled “Area C” has endangered the entire area. Thousands of Arabs have moved in, set up tents and built homes with the funding of hundreds of millions of dollars by the European Union.

Lacking any history of the area, most media swallow up the Arab story, hook, line and sinker.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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18 Responses to “The Saga of Ancient ‘Palestinian Susiya’ – The Town That Never Was”

  1. Ken Kelso says:

    Thank You Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu for this brilliant article.
    Everyone needs to see how the Pals lies and how these Europeans go along with these lies to sell out Israel.

  2. Ken Kelso says:

    Thank You Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu for this brilliant article.
    Everyone needs to see how the Pals lies and how these Europeans go along with these lies to sell out Israel.

  3. The Palestinian Authority is a master at inventing history, a lying master. Arabs claim they have been in the land of Israel long before the Jews, although evidence proves the contrary. The tactic is simple, conquering the southern Hevron Hills, conquering the land of Israel without shooting one bullet.

  4. The Israeli authorities are unfit to rule the land! Jews on the Left are unfit to be Jews.

  5. I am studing the Holly Books since 1970..I never read in any place into these books that to be Jew, you must have some special political orientation. In fact Mr. Theodor Herzl was full of very much leftist ideas.. And he was the founder of Zionist movement. To don't mention Ben Gurion or Golda Mehir.. Weren't them good Jews? Nurit.. Respectfully I must say that you are confused.

  6. Raul, you do not have the depth of Judaism and what it means to be a Jew.
    To be a Jew, means to follow the wisdom of our Book and NOT to go against the nation. It has nothing to do with politics. Theodor Herzl was NOT Leftist, he was secular, assimilating Jew. But he well understood the need of the nation, to have a homeland . If he lived today he may have not been able to accomplish what he had accomplished then. Ben Gurion was a socialist, bordering Communist and NO ONE can say he was a perfect Jew, far from that BUT, he had the "courage" to declare the state, though as the story goes, he did not want to declare Israel a sovereign state and Menachem Begin, who was in the opposition, told him you better declare Israel independence or I will. The rest is history.
    Today, what I call a "good Jew" is the one who does not go against the interest of the state of Israel and the Jewish nation. Unfortunately, most of the people who hold a seat in the government of Israel are NO GOOD JEWS and many Jews on the Left are slowly creating a new Judaism and for me they are not good Jews. Remember, I am not a religious person but, I have a good sense of right and wrong when it comes to Israel and the future of the Jewish nation. And when we have a today a phenomenon of anti-Semite Jews, we are down a slalom of being a nation.

  7. I'm ashamed to be a european woman. I hate the EU, most of all because they support the very wrong party, and that also of my money. I do my utmost to support Israel by Facebook etc. and I know a jewish family in Susiya. Thank you for this article.

  8. Tim Upham says:

    This competition contest is so ugly. Who was there first, who has the right to be there, and who does not. As long as this contest goes on, it will be distracting away from the present need: finding peace and coexistence for two people who for decades have not been living with it.

  9. Tim Upham says:

    This competition contest is so ugly. Who was there first, who has the right to be there, and who does not. As long as this contest goes on, it will be distracting away from the present need: finding peace and coexistence for two people who for decades have not been living with it.

  10. Benjamin Fox says:

    The only Palistians are Jews. the rest are Arab liar's and sent form hell which Alllah rules.

  11. The leftists R Rabbis that helped the P.A what kind of Rabbis R they? Rabbis for name only? they have no morals, no courage to stand with the families and protect their farms from the trespassed such a shame.

  12. Siuyin Ho says:

    Why is it that so-called "left-wing" activists support the PA? Strange one really because the PA's political muster and ideological clout really hinges upon more "right-wing" leanings. The fact is that the people of Israel's struggle for land rights and international recognition as the rightful custodians of all the lands in the vicinity should be supported by all human rights activists worldwide and anyone concerned with the wellbeing of our planet instead of being taken advantage of by "right-wing" military arms racers or anyone else who is bent upon tarnishing the name of Israel in bolstering it's "worldly prestige" when G-d commanded Israel to have nothing to do with "worldly prestige". Israel is meant to be a Holy Nation set apart from the mediocrity of both getting rich quick and arms-race mentalities. It is supposed to uphold the supreme value of G-d's Law, the Natural Law upon the face of the earth and set an example for this. Israel returning to it's roots as a desert people who know the ways of the L-rd in living in harmony with the sacred knowledge and spiritual freedom which G-d breathed into the desert for the purification and resilient continuity of His people is where our nation should be heading – not away from this to another "Tisha B'Av" situation.

  13. Roselyn Joyce Mcdonagh says:

    Thank you for your information. I try very hard to be informed and have wonderful friends who try to help Jewish people. It is so good to have a truthful report available to me. Thanks again Rose.

  14. Lisa Kamins says:

    one of my many questions, which I have had for years (living in Israel for 25 years) is why, if the police and army know who the murders are, do nothing about them? are there some weird political reasons? if so, they must be very sick reasons not to arrest and prosecute murderers of an innocent person, just because he was a Jew.

  15. To equate the two is preposterous. This little land by order of the league of nations was supposed to be the only haven for Jews period. Why all the compassion for Arabs (from Arabia) who unlike Jews with but one country smaller than New Jersey have 22 other nations that could welcome them. In fact, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and a number of others FORCE Arabs to stay in refugee camps in order to continue the pressure against Israel when if they were truly compassionate would allow these BROTHERS to become full citizens of the countries they currently reside in. No competition, just wrong and right. When Muslim countries started killing and exiling their Jewish populations Israel absorbed them, totaling 860,000 Jews. Israel, unlike their neighbors, didn't keep their brother Jews in refugee camps to ensure Morocco, Algiers, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon would take them back and pay reparations for the lives lost in those pogroms, farm land, businesses and of course the homes stolen from Jews. They treated them like true brothers and ushered them into society and made them citizens. Saudi uses only 11% of its land for its population. It could easily, if really interested in solving the Arab-Israeli conflict, could have situated all those displaced Arabs due to the war in 1947-9 in their own country made towns and they would have had permanent resident status for years. Instead they make them stay in squalor camps. Some hospitality and brotherly love. More like apartheid of their own brothers, keeping them from good jobs, homes, and schools.

    Lastly, this has not been going on for decades but centuries as Jews have always been under the knife of Islam to convert or be killed by the sword. Your dishonest simplification of this conflict suggesting that it is just about who was there first shows how distant you are from a true understanding of intentions by both people. Israelis have been spearheading advances in medicine and technology to better the world and have brought Democracy to the middle east for its Christian, Jewish, AND Muslim citizens. The others advance nothing except in word and action to claim time and again by leaders to the person of the street that one day soon the Jews will be annihilated from the globe. Does one need any more proof that the League of Nations knew what it was doing when it demanded a safe haven for Jews by cutting out everything from the Jordan river Westward for the Jewish people to finally reestablish their country where it once stood before Romans threw most Jews into exile?

  16. Actually sent from the Arabian peninsula where this particular clan was starving and went to Palestine to find work where at the time more & more Jews were coming to build the land, many with money to develop and create businesses and agriculture.

  17. Tim Upham says:

    The Romans did not throw all of the Jews into exile. Why was there the Bar Kokhba Rebellion from 132 to 136 C.E.? Why were Jews in Jerusalem, when the Arabian tribes conquered it from the Byzantines in 634 C.E.? Jews are one of the people, but there have been many, many others.

  18. Benjamin Fox says:

    jEW'S HAVE defended their enemies more then any nation on earth and continue more then any on this planet.

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