Jewish Heritage Sites Cause Uproar

Last week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added two key biblical sites to his list of about 150 national heritage sites. This action ensures that these heritage sites are kept in good shape for the worshippers.

Fifteen years ago, standing outside Ma’arat HaMachpela, the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron, Ariel Sharon declared, “What nation in the world has such a monument, where all the leaders of the people are buried, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Lea?! All foreign diplomats should be brought here, all visiting tourists should be brought here, and all Israeli school children should be brought here! This is our roots!”

Netanyahu’s action upset the Palestinians. They threw rocks and burnt tires. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said this move could spark what he called a “religious war.” Obama, himself a Muslim, sides with the Palestinians and criticized Israel Wednesday for designating the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and the matriarch Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem as Israeli national heritage sites.

The same day the East coast was warned to expect a strengthening storm to cause immobilizing blizzard damage. -The worst of the storm is yet to come, even as drenching rain is falling in eastern New England and snow is already accumulating and making roads slippery in the northern mid-Atlantic. Meteorologists expect the storm’s worst to take place from Wednesday evening into
Friday morning in most areas as winds, snow, rain and related problems increase in intensity.

Coincidence or consequence?

Both Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarch’s are very important heritage sites to Jews and Christians and require upgrading and preservation. Rachel’s Tomb is the site of her actual grave and the spot is covered by a large rock and eleven stones resting upon it, signifying the eleven sons of Jacob still alive upon her death. The Tomb of the Patriarchs is the oldest structure built by Herod and is worthy just for that little known fact. The ancient building housing the graves of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob and Leah, according to tradition.

It was in the city of Hebron, that Avraham’s wife Sara died. It was here that David was proclaimed king and ruled for 7 1/2 years before going on to Yerushalayim and turning it into his capital.

 In 1929, Arabs broke into a Yeshiva and massacred more than 50 people in cold blood. Because of the constant Arab violence, the Jews of the city were forced to leave.

The riots were instigated by Hajj Amin al-Husseini who had been appointed by the British as Mufti of Jerusalem. The riots started on Friday afternoon, August 23rd. Hordes of marauders attacked every Jew they saw. The next Shabbos, Aug. 24th, thousands of Arabs armed with knives, axes and pitchforks launched an attack on Jewish homes. The bloodthirsty mob killed, wounded and tortured the Jews in a most barbarous manner. Three days later, the British loaded the remaining Jews on trucks and evacuated them from the city.

In 1948, the U.N. gave this city to the Arabs and no Jew was allowed to enter it. It was only in June of ’67 (the Six-Day War) that the Arabs fearing revenge, surrendered to the Israeli Army without a single shot being fired and Jews could once again pray at the Meoras Ha’Machpelah.

Jews have always lived in this holy city except when they were banned to live there by their foreign rulers.

What makes Palestinians think it belongs to them?  It was only in 1976 that they formed their movement. Before that they were Jordanians or something else.

Muhammad created his religion only in 610 C.E., after he had some dreams. This was over 4000 years after Abraham had bought a burial plot in Hebron, the Cave of Machpela, in which he buried his wife, Sarah. It clearly is, and always has been, a Jewish heritage place.


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