The First parcel of land that the Jewish People ever owned was in Hevron. Abraham bought it so he could bury his beloved Sarah. The Rabbis teach us that Abraham over-paid for the land so there would never be a dispute as to who owned it, Abraham was wrong. The ownership of Hevron is disputed, to the point that the present Israeli government wont let Jews purchase land in this Holy City. In fact the tomb itself is run by the same Muslim WAQF that controls the temple mount and Jewish worship there is very restricted.
According to Arutz Sheva of MK’s have signed a petition urging the Government to allow Jews the right to purchase property in Hevron.
The petition begins with a mention of this coming Sabbath’s Torah reading:
“This coming Sabbath, we will read in the synagogues the portion known as Chaye Sarah, where we read the story of our father Abraham’s purchase of the Machpelah Cave for its ‘full price.’ This was the first Hebrew land purchase in the Land of Israel, and it led the way for generations to come. Even then, our forefather Abraham knew, as did other nations of the world, to value of ‘the right to purchase,’ and certainly would not discredit it.
“As of now, the undersigned, Members of Knesset from various parties, call on the government of Israel to honor the ‘right of purchase’ of Jews in the City of the Patriarchs, and to allow Jewish settlement in those homes and lands which were purchased for their ‘full price,’ including:
- houses and lands purchased by Jews over the generations which were stolen as a result of the 1929 massacre [in which 67 Jews were slaughtered in their homes and synagogues by their Arab neighbors], and
- buildings purchased recently for their ‘full price,’ for example, Beit HaShalom [Peace House] between Hevron and Kiryat Arba.”
- Hevron, the petition states, is the city in which the Jewish monarchy commenced with King David, and where Jewish settlement is anchored by ancient historic privilege, by contemporary government decisions, and by recent international agreements. Mass visits of hundreds of thousands of Jews each year prove that the Jewish people vote with their feet in favor of a continued Jewish presence in Hvbron. “Therefore,” the petition concludes, “there is no justification for the State of Israel to prevent Jews from actualizing their ‘right to purchase’ those properties that were legally purchased for their ‘full price.'”
The signatories include all MKs of the Likud and National Union parties, and all the United Torah Judaism MKs, except for one who is abroad. Among the coalition parties – Ministers and Deputy Ministers are not permitted to sign petitions – all the eligible MKs of Shas and Gil (Pensioners) signed, 7 of 9 non-ministerial Yisrael Beiteinu MKs, and 8 of Kadima’s 17 eligible MKs. The Kadima MKs who signed are Zev Elkin, Tzachi HaNegbi, Yoel Hasson, David Tal, Michael Nudelman, Ronit Tirosh, Avigdor Yitzchaki, and Otniel Shneller.
From the year 1540 until 1929, Jews lived on a large plot of land in Hevron, commonly known as the Jewish Quarter. It was purchased by Rabbi Malchiel Ashkenazai, a refugee from the Spanish expulsion in 1492. Following the 1929 massacre and the exile of the community’s Jewish population, this property, including houses and synagogues, was abandoned and left uninhabited.
In 1953, Jordanian troops assisted Hevron’s Arab population in devastating the remains of the Jewish Quarter. The beautiful Avraham Avinu Synagogue was razed and turned into a goat sty, apartment buildings were destroyed, and nothing remained of the Quarter’s earlier splendor. On part of the land, the Jordanians built an outdoor food market, which continued to operate even after Israeli liberated the city during the Six Day War in 1967.
Some 12 years ago, when Arab-initiated violence in Hevron was at one of its highs, the army decided to clear out the Arab store-owners in the marketplace. “The sole purpose for the closing,” wrote Hevron Jewish Community David Wilder at the time, “was to provide security for the Jews in Hevron, [which had been] jeopardized by the hundreds of Arabs who frequented the market every day. Interestingly enough, the Commander-in-Chief of the IDF at the time was none other than Maj.-Gen. Ehud Barak, who supported the action…”
After Olmert became PM he asked the Jews of Hevron to leave–promising that they would be allowed to come back in two months—that promise like much of Olmert’s promises have never been honored. For the full Arutz Sheva Story go to:Majority of ‘Eligible’ MKs Sign Petition for Hevron