Approximately 20,000 Israelis from all over the country visited Gush Etzion on the first day of Chol HaMoed Tuesday, numbers that regional council chairman Davidi Pearl said prove the strong connection between the area and all of Israel.
He added that the throng of visitors shows that terror cannot intimidate people.
Minister Ze’ev Elkin and Uri Ariel visited the Givat Oz V’Gaon park adjacent to the Gush Etzion junction. The area was dedicated to the memories of the three yeshiva youth were murdered by Hamas terrorists last year.
Thousands of tourists also traveled through Gush Etzion to visit the Patriarchs’ Cave (Maharat HaMachpela) in Hebron and the southern Hebron Hills.
Travelers reported a heavy presence of IDF patrols on Highway 60 to deter Arabs from trying to murder Jews with rocks and firebombs.
Arabs have raised a new claim on “Arab Susiya,” located in the southern Hebron Hills, based on an alleged 1881 document from the time of the Ottoman Empire.
The tiny area of Susiya, as The JewishPress.com reported here last week, has become a critical case that could determine the future of the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The IDF has issued orders to destroy several European Union and leftist-funded tents and structures on “Arab Susiya.” If the Palestinian Authority wins an appeal against the orders, it would pave the way for Arabs to dig up claims on every inch of land in Israel.
Israel aerial photos and academic researcher have refuted previous claims that Arabs lived on Susiya in recent years, Haaretz reported on Sunday that an Arab lawyer has dug up an Ottoman-Empire-era document in the Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration, that the “Jabri” family had a deed for “land near Susiya” in 1881.
Even if the claim were valid, it does not mean that Arabs can build without permits, but it would allow them to use the land for agriculture.
Haaretz noted that previous deeds from a century ago are problematic because they do not clearly define land boundaries.
The claim of a document from 1881 is strange because the Jabri family was one of the heads of the city of Hebron, 12 miles away by road. Susiya was not exactly Boardwalk on the Hebron land board; it was not even on the board at all.
The southern Hebron Hills is a barren mountain desert area. A family in Hebron would have no apparent reason to buy or lease land in Susiya.
But if the deed really is true, it exposes the Palestinian Authority as claiming that history begins only when Arabs settle land.
If Arabs wants to start digging into history before the re-establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, then all recorded documents have to be honored.
For example, using 1881 as a starting point, there are dozens of recorded land purchases by Jews of land in such places as Gaza, Gush Etzion and the Silwan Valley in “eastern Jerusalem.”
If Arabs want to use historical land deeds as a basis for claims, and since they accept the Five Books of Moses as a prelude to the Prophet Mohammed, then there is no argument that Abraham bought the Patriarchs’ Cave in Hebron, King David, Jacob (Yaakov) bought Shechem (Nablus) and King David bought Jerusalem.
Islam began in the 7th century, hundreds of years after Jews settled the country.
The Palestinian Authority wants it both ways. If it can find a document that Arabs paid taxes on land or even owned it, it claims that is proof the land is theirs.
If they don’t have a deed, they claim it is their “ancient homeland.”
Their meaning of “ancient” is when Arabs first appears on the scene.
A fictional Palestinian Authority village is on the throes of becoming a reality that threatens a Jewish presence next to the Talmudic-period Jewish village of Susiya and which would be a catalyst to support the blood libel that all of Israel was stolen from Arabs.
Arab Susiya, with several dozen tents and structures, has been built like a Broadway stage, complete with props that enable the Arabs to spin the yarn that it has existed for centuries but that the mean IDF is trying to destroy their ancient lifestyle.
The U.S. State Dept., the European Union and lazy and inherently biased international media have swallowed the tale that is chock full of romanticism and anti-Zionism.
The southern Hebron Hills until recent years was a forgotten rural region. Archaeological evidence clearly proves that Jews lived in Biblical and Talmudic times until as late as the 9th century, coinciding with the birth and rise of Islam.
Modern aerial photographs and academic researchers have categorically established that Arabs never lived in Susiya, but the world prefers to believe starry-eyed fairy tales that Jews are land thieves.
For centuries, only a few thousand Arabs populated the relatively vast southern Hebron Hills. Other Arabs came from the Hebron area to stay in caves for two months during the season for planting and reaping wheat or to grave sheep and goats.
Other than that, they were never to be seen because their homes were elsewhere.
All of that changed soon after the early 1980s when the Jews returned after 1,500 years.
The presence of Jews in the southern Hebron Hills woke up the Arab neglect of the region, where the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate and the Jordanian occupation after the War for Independence in 1948 never issued a solitary deed of land ownership.
Yasser Arafat in Ramallah and Arabs in Hebron started getting antsy about the Jews moving into a strategic area from which Arabs staged several deadly terrorist attacks before the Six-Day War in 1967, but they had a problem. Arabs did not want to move from the urban areas of Hebron and adjacent Halhoul and Yatta and into the mountain desert where the biggest crop is rocks.
The European Union and leftist organizations came to the rescue. They pay Arabs to live in the region and to claim that their families have done so for centuries.
B’Tselem, the EU and other pro-Arab group built structures for Arabs, gave them tents, solar power and water purification systems.
They have built new villages that never existed before, dotting the hillsides with a nearly contiguous presence trumpeted with a fictitious “historical claim.” For the record, the Jews have an older historical claim, as evidenced by the ancient synagogues in Susiya and in neighboring Samoa.
The focus of the creation of this lie has been Susiya, the largest Jewish community in the area, although less than 200 families live there. It is located several hundred yards from the Talmudic=period village, which is protected as a natural park.
The European Union and leftist groups have invested tens of thousands of dollars to bring Arabs to the narrow stretch of land separating modern and ancient Susiya. The IDF, with the approval of the Supreme Court, has issued demolition orders for some – but not all – of the illegal Arabs structures.
Most of them exist with the classic Bedouin and Arab ruse of cement buildings covered by tents to give the romantic impression they are inhabited by a group of Arabs whose love for the land is greater than the temptations to live a life of convenience in the city.
Their love for money and the love for hating Zionists are even greater.
The EU and leftists fund the Arabs to allow them to live through cold, windy and sometimes snowy winters, as well as the hot and sultry days of summer.
There are aerial photographs from two decades ago showing that not one Arab lived in Susiya, but the European Union is giving away free tickets to a play that is being billed as reality.
It has all of the elements that the anti-Israel establishment needs to beat their breasts and berate Israel for being so cruel as to destroy the lifestyle of Arabs and expel them from their ancient lifestyle, which in truth dates back to approximately 10 years.
The spokesman for the fake Arab Susiya is Nasser Nawaja, the author of today’s fiction presented as “opinion” by The New York Times. He wrote, and is quoted over and over by dummy journalists, that his mother was born in Khirbet Susiya.
And I was born in Antarctica, and you, dear reader, were born in Saudi Arabia.
Nawaja makes his living as a paid servant for B’Tselem and the European Union and whose job is to dupe the United States to adopt the illusion on which is based the Palestinian Authority claim to the rest of Judea and Samaria as well as all of Israel.
The oft-documented reports that the Palestinian Authority teaches that Haifa and Jaffa (Yafo) are part of “ancient Palestine” always were laughable and ridiculous, so thought the Israel government.
It now has woken up, years too late, and Foreign Minister spokesman Emmanuel Nachson shared with The JewishPress.com a directive it issued to its emissaries around the world to put a finger in the dike to stop the flood of fabrications.
Unfortunately, the Foreign Ministry is using logic, which is of no use, and rests its case on “long-standing agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, including the Oslo agreements,” which no longer are a reference point for anything except for a study of idiocy.
The Foreign Ministry also told its foreign staff:
These clusters of structures… were built illegally and adjacent to an ancient Jewish archeological site.
Contrary to Palestinian claims that these structures have been permanently inhabited for decades, in fact, only a handful of families resided there in the 1980s and they only used the structures on a seasonal basis….
On 4 May 2015, the Supreme Court declined to issue another temporary injunction preventing demolitions.
The government is not taking to heart Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely’s advice to emissaries when she took office two months ago and said that the world needs to be reminded that Israel – all of Israel – belong to Jews by Biblical birthright. Anyone who does not agree can take his complaint to God.
The European Union the United Nations and especially the Obama administration do not care about the logic of legal or illegal buildings because they have adopted the entire Palestinian Authority hate libel that Israel is an “occupier” and that Jews have no right to live where Arabs want to live.
This has nothing to do with the “West Bank.” It has to do with all of Israel.
The “government of Tel Aviv” has closed its eyes for decades to the Bedouin and Arab rape of the Negev, well inside the “Green Line.” The squatters, many of whom have been imported from Judea and Samaria, have stolen tens of thousands of acres of state land – their “ancient land” – and the government has done nothing except to pay them to procreate their population bomb by winking an eye at polygamy and doling out outrageous child benefits.
“Arab Susiya” will be Israel’s Waterloo if it falls to international ignorance, in which the State Dept. has a stake.
When Indian reporter Goyal Raghubir, supposedly one of the better journalists covering Foggy Bottom, asked State Dept. spokesman John Kirby last week if he has “a reaction to reports that Israel may demolish part of a village called Susiya in the West Bank for expanding settlements,” the spokesman was ready with a prepared answer:
We’re closely following developments in the village of Susiya in the West Bank, and we strongly urge the Israeli authorities to refrain from carrying out any demolitions in the village. Demolition of this Palestinian village or of parts of it, and evictions of Palestinians from their homes would be harmful and provocative. Such actions have an impact beyond those individuals and families who are evicted. We are concerned that the demolition of this village may worsen the atmosphere for a peaceful resolution.
A “peaceful resolution” in the eyes of the Palestinian Authority, the European Union and the Obama administration is the expulsion of every Jew from all of Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights and half of Jerusalem.
The “peaceful resolution” is build on the foundation of the lies of the “Palestinian people” and of Israel as “ancient Palestine.”
The international community has hidden its inherent anti-Semitism under propaganda spewed out as the truth by such groups as B’Tselem and Rabbis for Human Rights, who hand out to the media a perfume bottle full of a poisonous potion.
The Palestinian Authority-based Ma’an News Agency, one of the foreign media’s favorite sources for lies, told its readers last week that “Susiya villagers reportedly built homes in 1986 on agricultural land they owned, after being evicted by Israel from their previous dwellings on land declared as an archaeological site.”
I have been living in this area since 1991 and frequently visited the archaeological site of Susiya. There never was a single structure in “Arab Susiya” until the late 1990s.
The State Dept. will not believe me. The European Union will not believe me. The United Nations will not believe me.
It is not because I am an “occupier;” it is not because I am a “settler'” and it is not because they care about Arabs, or “Palestinians.”
“Mr. Bean” has the answer in his portrayal of someone at the entrance to Hell, where the devil tells the Christians, “Yes, I am sorry. I am afraid the Jews were right,”
The world cannot admit it, and that is why it adopts the lie of an “Arab Susiya.”
South African anti-Israel groups have proven their agenda that freedom belongs to anyone who agrees with them but is a sin if anyone thinks differently.
Several groups , including the Young Communist League of South Africa and the youth wing of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party complained on Friday that the pro-Israel lobby is sponsoring trips to Israel. An e-mail from the groups stated Friday:
The Israeli lobby in South Africa is increasingly turning to old Apartheid-Day tricks to entice young South Africans and distract us from our solidarity with the Palestinian people and their progressive Israeli comrades.
The Israeli lobby is throwing free holiday propaganda trips and other gifts at young South Africans trying to undermine solidarity with the Palestinian people. One such holiday propaganda trip is planned for July 2015.
We view these holiday propaganda trips to Israel…as nothing more than ‘sanctions-busting propaganda trips.’
The statement singled out the South Africa Israel Forum, one of the organizers of trips to Israel, which it said were barred in 2012 from taking local mayors and officials to Israel.
“They now seem to be targeting students after having failed at a government level,” the groups said, obviously upset that private citizens are exposed to anyone having a different opinion.
Instead of countering with an argument, the Israeli boycotters are resorting to thought control.
A senior body of the ANC decided last December to “join the call for a cultural, academic and education boycott of Israel including travel bans for members and leaders of the ANC.”
The South African groups on Friday maintained that even a private citizen flying to Israel on a “holiday propaganda trip” is in “violation of the policies and positions of Palestinian civil society [who] call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel.”
It sounded like the old Soviet Bolsheviks or the Gestapo with a stern warning:
Participation in these holiday propaganda trips to Israel, like participation in holiday propaganda trips to Apartheid South Africa, will be viewed as the crossing of a picket line, and will be met with disciplinary action….
As students and young people we should take it upon ourselves to look for un-biased opinions in order to avoid being misled by organizations geared towards spreading Israeli propaganda.
The funniest, if not saddest, line is:
The organizers of the holiday propaganda trips to Israel try to suggest, like Apartheid South Africa apologists used to claim in the 1980s, that the issue of Palestine-Israel is complicated. We maintain that the issue is simple: Israel must end its violations of international law and oppression of the Palestinian people.
The issue is so simple because it has nothing to do with reality.
It brings to mind a story of a widely-known South African woman, now deceased, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature and was part of the anti-Israel movement.
When she wanted to visit Israel for an arts festival, her colleagues berated her and rejected her argument that “she wanted to see things for herself.” Gordimer stood her ground, visited Israel and told Israeli author and leftist Amos Oz that she wanted to meet a “real-life settler.”
Oz called on me because I live near his home in Arad.
After hearing the “settler” telling her about Jewish-owned land in Judea, Gaza and Samaria, and after hearing about the largely false claims of “Palestinian ownership,” she concluded the conversation by stating:
I must say I am confused.
The South African boycotters are cordially invited to our house in the southern Hebron Hills, but I doubt if they are brave enough to hear a different opinion.
Avidan Ofer is in Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital recovering from head and face wounds at the hands of Arab attackers, but a widely-quoted Palestinian Authority media agency has reported that Ofer and several other Jews were the attackers and Arabs were the victims in Monday’s terrorist attack between Kiryat Arba-Hebron and Arad-Be’er Sheba.
Ofer told The Jewish Press the Jews that he and other farmers from Mitzpeh Yair, were plowing their fields when 10 Arabs chased after them and beat them with rods and sticks. The land was clearly part of Mitzpeh Yair. I know that for a fact because it is located two miles from my house in Beit Yatir.
He said he could identify the assailants, who are from an illegally built village a mile to the south and which has grown thanks to assistance from foreign leftists and the European Union.
The IDF confirmed there was a fight” between “settlers and Arabs” and that one Arab and three Jews were “lightly injured.” One of those suffering from light injuries is also in Hadassah Hospital with a set of broken teeth and wounds to his jaw, after having been beaten by the attackers until soldiers responded to a distress call.
A military spokeswoman told The Jewish Press that police arrested seven Jews and two Arabs but could not comment on who initiated the attack. However, since the Jewish farmers were farming their land, the answer is clear.
Why didn’t the Jews defend themselves? After all, they had guns.
The answer is disturbingly simple. Any Jew who shoots a bullet, even in the air, is going to be arrested by the friendly Israeli police, and his weapon will be taken away from him. The Jews use their guns only when they are on the verge of having to say “Shema Yisrael,” the first words of the prayer said before someone dies. That is the extent of Jewish self-defense in most of Judea and Samaria.
The IDF “protects” Jews by tearing up their farms and blindly accepting Arab claims that the land is theirs, and the police dutifully record Jews’ complaints and often end up arrest them after an Arab files a complaint. Arabs almost never are arrested in “routine” assaults and stealing.
The IDF is very aggressive when it comes to talking about protecting Gaza Belt residents from Kassam rockets, even if their actions don’t match their words. When it comes to “settlements,” the military plays down almost every incident except clear murders.
It is a lot easier to pretend there is no trouble with the Arabs. No extra work. Peace and quiet.
So the IDF confirmed their was a “fight.” The government does not want to ruin U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s attempt to convince himself that Mahmoud Abbas really wants Jews to stay alive and in peace.
One of the debilitating factors in the efforts of Jews to hold on to any inch of land they can in the southern Hebron Hills is the Palestinian Authority propaganda machine and the silent guns of the Israeli government media folks.
Here is how the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency reported Monday morning’s attack, under the headline “Palestinian farmers clash with settlers in south Hebron hills.”
The report stated, “The clashes occurred after settlers attacked a group of farmers tending their land. Ismail al-Adra said that ten settlers attacked him and several other farmers while they were on their way to tend their fields…. Another farmer, Mousa al-Adra, was also attacked and injured, together with a foreign solidarity activist who was filming the settler attack….Israeli forces arrived at the scene and detained a number of farmers, accusing them of attacking settlers….
“There are several radical Jewish outposts in the south Hebron hills, with settlers regularly attacking local Palestinians with impunity.”
This conflicting report is obviously a lie, even to those who have not taken Journalism 101.
In every Palestinian Authority report of alleged Jewish attacks, some of them true and many of them questionable, the location is noted. Bethlehem-based Ma’an apparently decided not to define the area because it would open it to counter-claims of a confirmed lie. If, as the article states, Jews attacked the Arabs who were “tending their land,” where was that land? The answer is clear. “Their” land was in Mitzpeh Yair, just like all of the land in Judea and Samaria is “their” land.