For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Another demonstration took place over the weekend against Jews moving into Sheikh Jarrah, that area of East Jerusalem known to Jews as Shimon Hatzadik. Palestinians and much of the media claim it is 'Arab'. The controversy over property rights concerns this blog because the underlying assumption is that Arab rights trump Jewish rights: nobody seems to care that Jews were forcibly evicted from land and property in East Jerusalem before 1948, nor does anyone worry about Jewish property seized in Arab countries. The Jews are the 'interlopers', while the Arabs are 'indigenous'. A proper reading of history shows that nothing could be further than the truth. Karni Eldad writing in Haaretz says Jews have had to buy their property in Jerusalem twice over :
"In 1948, scores of families were expelled from their homes in Jerusalem. The city was divided and squatters took over their houses and built on their properties. These refugees prayed to return to the homes they purchased legally in the 1920s and 1930s.
"In 1967, legal proceedings began for the restoration of ownership to those refugees. The squatters pursued every possible means, in every court, to delay the implementation of the possession by the legal owners. Every such legal proceeding lasted for decades, until an appeal was made to the High Court of Justice.
"In 2009, the High Court of Justice had its say too - the squatters must be evicted and they must also pay compensation to the owners of the land for all the years they made use of it. The proceedings against all the squatters has not yet been completed, but this year dozens of Jewish families are slated to return to their homes. Jewish? What? Yes, yes. These are families that are now purchasing, for the full price, their own properties in the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood, better known as Sheikh Jarrah.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"