Not all Arab leaders are bad apples, and by the sheer size of this sheik’s clan, he’s protected. However, if he wasn’t the leader of Hebron’s largest Arab clan, and still held the same philosemitic sentiments, he’d be dead. That said, he’s to be commended for his steadfast friendship with the Jews, and hopefully he can successfully pass that friendship to the next generation that follows him. KGS
NOTE: This is the type of situation which the mainstream media refuses to report on, that being, not all Arabs deem Israel as usurpers, they are a rare breed but exist nonetheless. Their existence however, should not be confused with the fact that Islamic texts are entirely anti-Jewish in nature and in deed, and are the basis for most of the hatred that Muslims have against the Jews. That some individuals can rise up and swim against that strong current is a testimony to themselves, not to Islam.
The future of Hebron’s Jewish past
By Melanie Phillips
Until recently, I had never been to Hebron. In the past three months, however, I have twice boarded an armoured bus to make the journey.
The first time was with a private, non-political group to visit Hebron’s Jewish area and the Cave of Machpelah, where Abraham and the patriarchs and matriarchs are said to be buried.
It was a shock. If ever there was a illustration of the attempt by Islam to supersede Judaism, this was surely it.
This holy Jewish shrine was to all intents a mosque. Islamic prayer mats were piled high, and there seemed to be not one Jewish artefact in the place. Even the catafalques sporting labels claiming them as the tombs of the founders of Judaism were topped by Islamic crescents.
Real aggression towards Arabs in Hebron should be unreservedly condemned. But any fair-minded person would surely conclude that, in general, it is the Jews who are under siege from a racist and murderous aggression. Is it not perverse to say that because Jews are living in Hebron once again (where, after all, they were given the right to settle under the Mandate) that is an act of aggression?
My second trip was for a barmitzvah in Machpelah. Afterwards, we walked through the ‘ghost town’ with Israeli flags flying, to the sound of trumpet, shofar and drum.
Triumphalist? Aggressive? It felt instead like an expression of innocence and joy in the face of evil and hatred. Yet that hatred is not universal. Friendly relations have been established between local rabbis and the remarkable Sheikh Jabari, leader of Hebron’s largest clan, who some years ago prevented the planned torching of a nearby synagogue.
Sheikh Jabari has publicly acknowledged the right of Jews to live in Hebron. Recently, he welcomed and blessed a group of Jewish visitors and declared that Machpelah should unite Jews and Arabs. Alas, Sheikh Jabari does not speak for the Palestinian Authority, which is intent on using its new membership of UNESCO to stop what it calls the ‘Judaisation of the city’.
UNESCO has recognised Hebron as a ‘Palestinian heritage site’, demanding it be removed from Israel’s own list of national heritage sites. Hebron’s mayor has said that if the PA controlled the whole town, Jews would again be barred from Machpelah. UNESCO is merely the latest weapon the PA is deploying to erase the Jews from their own history.
In one corner, the PA is trying to ethnically cleanse the Jews again from Hebron; in the other, Sheikh Jabari is supporting the rights of the Jewish people to their own heritage. So which side are you on?