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.
Sheera Frenkel Jewish World Review 18 May '10 Posted before Shabbat
JERUSALEM — (MCT) Aryeh King has a vision of the future of Jerusalem that would horrify the diplomats and U.S.-led negotiators who arrived this week to try to resuscitate negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
"I've heard people say Jerusalem is for everyone, but it is not," the right-wing activist and founder of the nonprofit Israel Land Fund told an audience earlier this week. "Jerusalem is for the Jews, and we need to stop apologizing about this." As he ran through a PowerPoint presentation on the future of Jerusalem, more than two dozen local city and development experts applauded.
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Officials in the Jerusalem municipality say King is among the most influential and effective activists moving Jewish settlers into largely Arab east Jerusalem. As a close confidant of Florida billionaire Irving Moskowitz, he has the means and the backing to bring his vision of Jerusalem to life.
On a large projector in Jerusalem's Begin Center, a museum and research center created for Israel's sixth prime minister, Menachem Begin, King displayed his ideal map of interspersed Arab and Jewish communities between the Palestinian cities of Bethlehem and Ramallah.
King made no apologizes or concessions as he described the process by which he helps Jews settle in the disputed area. He made no apologies for the Arab straw men — people who pose as buyers and put their names on land deals — he uses to buy property from Palestinian families and then transfer ownership to Jewish settlers. The Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank, has ruled that Arabs who sell their property to Jews are violating a law, a crime that's punishable by death.
By using non-Jews as his straw men, King said, he outmaneuvers the Palestinians, who otherwise would be punished by their communities. "There are loopholes in place and well-established means of moving Jewish families anywhere. We have used this method for years, and it works, despite the best efforts of the government to stop us," he said.
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!"