Monday, March 22, 2010

Jewish Eastern Jerusalem

As Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu prepares to meet American President Barak Hussein Obama, the controversy over building in Jerusalem grows more heated.
What's this all about?
Can we just take out a red magic marker and draw a line down to Jerusalem and divide it?
Voices joined Ateret Cohanim/Jerusalem Reclamation Project director Daniel Luria on a tour of Eastern Jerusalem to see how its Jewish and Arab neighborhoods are totally intertwined.
Our stops were:
* A Jewish house on the Arab side of Abu Tor.
* Beit Yonatan in the Yemenite Village (Silwan Valley).
* The King's Garden.
* Maaleh HaZaytim on the Mount of Olives.
* Beit Achim and Kidmat Zion on the Jerusalem side of Abu Dis.
* Beit Orot on Mt. Scopus.
* Shimon HaTzaddik (the Arabs call it Sheikh Jarrah).

Actually, Voices wrote about the controversy with the Beit Orot building project two months ago:

You're invited to explore this entire Eastern Jerusalem issue in our Voices TV video clips:

and later this month in Voices Magazine - you will be able to read it on line at .

1 comment:

  1. Jewish Reality and Pride
    by Evelyn Haies, President Rachels Children Reclamation Foundation and Bnei Rachel Corp.
    I couldn’t sleep when the facts about Kever Rachel as a Jewish Heritage site were challenged. I saw our Jewish history of nationhood, Torah, morality and love being humiliated and nullified. I saw my reality targeted again by hate with the tool of falsehoods, fabrications and friction. Yaakov Avinu met the challenge of the angel and became Israel. Rachel Imeinu met the challenge of Jewish motherhood and sisterhood by not putting herself first; she put midos first and is remembered as Mother Israel over 3600 years. Emunah meets the challenges. As I am Chaya, granddaughter of a maternal Rachel Kampinsky Dickstein and a paternal Rachel Rabinowitz Solomon, my namesakes, their history of conviction and identity are my foundation. There are no facts in my lineage that are rewriteable. Rachel Kampinsky and her father Shmuel survived the sinking of The Denmark when they fled Russia Poland after the 1881 pogroms. Rachel Rabinowitz is the daughter of the famous Shepsel Rebbi of Eastern Europe. My family did not lose their way where they sought sanctuary, they worked hard and followed the orthodoxy of their ancestors that trusted in G-d. My first daughter is Rachel, Mirachelle is a granddaughter, a grandson is Shmuel. Other names in our families, Miriam, Melech, Esther, Daniel, Devorah, Malka, Shlomo, Bina, Yehoshua, Avraham, Aaron, Yirmiahu generated from Biblical times.
    Keeping the facts of our history is also important. The Philistines were invaders from the north, Macedonia. They were conquered by David, the name of my father’s grandfather, Chaim ben David. The Roman conquerors renamed Israel Palestine to confuse the Jews as to their affiliation to the land but the Jews prayed to return to Eretz Israel and Jerusalem throughout their exiles and supported the Jews who never left, who studied in Jerusalem, Hebron, Tsefat, Pekiin, Acco and Tiberias. The Roman name Aetola Capitolina never replaced the name of holy Jerusalem.
    In 1827 the Montefiores visited Israel which was under Ottoman occupation. Sir Moses was allowed to visit the recognized Jewish holy sites of Jerusalem, Beis Lechem and Hebron. He was sold land outside the walled city of Jerusalem, refaced and expanded Rachel’s Tomb in 1841 and supported yeshivas in Hebron which was populated by such famous Jewish families as the Slonims and Shneersons. It is their descendants that are buried in the holy Hebron cemetery. It was the Kalisher Kehillah that bought the land across from Rachel’s Tomb in 1875. It was Nathan Strauss who bought land there in 1924, both now behind the wall. Rachel’s Tomb was never a mosque. After the brief Jordanian Occupation in 1967, the Daybooks and keys to Rachel’s Tomb were returned to the Jews.
    On September 28 1995, Prime Minsiter Yitzchak Rabin refused to sign Oslo II until it included the amendment to recognize 29 Jewish holy sites. The Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, Rachel’s Tomb, Joseph’s Tomb and Shalom Synagogue in Jericho were to always be under Jewish control. As archaeology validates Jewish reality, the Jewish mind must remember that they are coming to confuse us again. The roots of the past are the foundation of the future. Remember, we are Rachels Children; she is our uncontestable heritage.