Middle East 5:12 AM
Middle East 1:14 AM 3/10/2014
Jewish World 12:14 AM 3/10/2014
The Jay Shapiro Hour
Torah Tidbits Audio
David Wilder was born in New Jersey in the USA in 1954, and graduated from Case Western Reserve University with a BA in History and teacher certification in 1976. He spent 1974-75 in Jerusalem at the Hebrew University and returned to Israel upon graduation.
For over eighteen years David Wilder has worked with the Jewish Community of Hebron. He is the English spokesman for the community, granting newspaper, television and radio interviews internationally. He initiated the Hebron internet project, including email lists of over 15,000 subscribers who receive regular news and commentaries from Hebron in English and Hebrew. David is responsible and continues to update the Hebron web sites, portraying various facets of Hebron, utilizing text, audio, video and pictures. He conducts tours of Hebron's Jewish Community and occasionally travels abroad, speaking at Hebron functions.
David Wilder is married to Ora, a 'Sabra,' for 35 years. They lived in Kiryat Arba for 17 years and have resided at Beit Hadassah in Hebron for the past 15 years. They have seven children and many grandchildren.
Links to sites David recommends:
(others to be added)
Yitzhak Herskovitz: I want to help guarantee the survival of Israel.
The Talmud in the tractate Brachot teaches us that three prizes are obtained via hardship: Torah, the Next World, and Eretz Yisrael. Yitzhak Herskovitz has first-hand experience with the adversity involved in redeeming and settling Eretz Yisrael, the Land of Israel.
R' Yitzchak made aliyah over 20 years ago. A carpenter by trade, he remodeled the lift he used to transport his belongings to Israel into a wonderful home in Kiryat Arba. But a home outside Hebron wasn't enough to quench his thirst for settling our holy land. Back in 1988 he began proceedings to purchase a home in south Jerusalem, near Gilo, today called Givat HaMatos, bordering a neighborhood called by the Arabs, Beit Tsafafa.
The transaction took a few years to finalize but in 1992 he received the papers and the property was his.
Almost. But not quite.
That's because his new home had visitors who had no plans to leave. Arab squatters, the Salach clan had moved in and the new Jewish owner of the property didn't impress them. They stayed.
Yitzchak Herskovitz did what any good citizen would do. He went to the police and eventually to the courts. That's where the case has remained for the past sixteen years.
During the first Magistrate court proceedings, experts proved beyond any doubt that the papers presented by the Arabs, purporting to support their claims, to be forgeries. After years and years of court sessions, the judge ruled in Herskovitz' favor. An order was issued demanding that the police remove the illegal residents from the property. Over the years some seven eviction notices have been issued. But the Salach clan is still there. The police, despite the court order, refused to expel the illegal squatters.
Following Herskovitz' victory the Arabs appealed to a Jerusalem District Court, claiming that they owned the property. The judge decided not only to hear the appeal, but also to retry the case from the very beginning, forcing Herskovitz to keep paying an attorney and bring back all his past witnesses for a second round of court sessions.
Herskovitz' attorney, Ms. Anat Ben-Dror explained that the original court verdict did not rule on ownership of the property, rather regarded the case as an 'eviction hearing.' The Arabs, after losing the first case, then filed an 'ownership suit,' and the judge fell into the trap they set for him and began hearing the case for a second time.
Herskovitz pointed out that when the Arabs made a verbal claim of ownership twelve years ago, the Magistrate Court judge told them in no uncertain terms: 'if you claim ownership, file a claim in the District Court which has authority to rule on such an issue.' The fact that they did not follow the judge's instructions then basically proved that they themselves knew that they had no case.
Not too long ago R' Yitzchak won a small victory in court. The judge ruled that the Arabs would have to deposit all back rent as well as a monetary bond covering future costs, in order for him to cancel the eviction notice issued and still standing against them. However, as of this writing they still have not paid the money, and are still living in the house.
Yitzhak Herskovitz has himself authored a number of documents concerning his property:
" I spent 15 years of my life in court. I spent hundreds of thousands of shekels in legal fees, court expenses, investigation and expert research of their documents, which the police crime laboratory and my hand writing expert found to be fabricated. All of this just to pursue justice.
The police do not enforce the law when it comes to Arabs. Should I not be upset when I see and feel the injustice of this?
I understand that there are squatter's rights when they are legitimate. But when they are illegitimate, that person is a trespasser. A trespasser is a criminal. He should be put in jail so the public will know that trespassers go to jail.
I do not believe a person can fathom the pain of what trespassing does to me. The restraint that I bear goes beyond comprehension. I have been told by many not to trust the Israeli courts. I now understand why. It goes without saying: the courts and the government are responsible to protect the property rights of their citizens.
This is the primary function of the government. This is their duty and responsibility. They must provide for the safety and security of their citizens in Hebron, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or in Beit HaShalom and in Givat Hamatos.
Many of my of my acquaintances and friends keep telling me: Sell it and forget it!
The best answer I can give is that I love my children, I love my family and I love my people. I want them to have a home that they can come home to. We cannot allow Arabs to occupy our homes and our properties, to steal and rob our Land from us.
I want to help guarantee the survival of Israel.
(This article was first printed in the Jewish Press Magazine, Page M8, July 18, 2008 issue)
Tomorrow’s planned prisoner exchange is very bittersweet. Almost everyone has an opinion and all sides have some element of legitimacy. On one hand, the price is so very high; on the other hand, we have a responsibility to bring our soldiers home, dead or alive. A soldier, entering battle, must know that anything and everything will be done to bring him home, be it to his family, or to ‘kever Yisrael’ – to a Jewish grave. Yet, perhaps the swap will serve as motivation to capture more soldiers, and exchange them for other terrorist killers. But, who can forget the unbelievable ‘mesirut nefesh’ – total dedication, of Rabbi Shlomo Goren, then Chief Rabbi of the IDF, to wade through enemy mine fields to recover bodies of Israeli soldiers killed in action.
It’s something of a catch 22 – whatever you do is right, and whatever you do is wrong. I know that I’ve asked myself countless times, ‘what would I do if, (G-d forbid), it was one of my sons.’ In truth, I don’t know.
Of course, with the release of two Israeli soldiers, either dead or alive, a huge dark cloud shadows their return: where is Ron Arad, whose fate is still unknown? Is he dead or alive? Is he in Lebanon or Iran? According to Israeli intelligence sources, having studied the newly-released photos of Arad, taken about 20 years ago, the pictures were taken not in Lebanon, rather in Iran. Perhaps Ron Arad is still alive, wasting away in an Iranian dungeon?
However, with enigma surrounding Ron Arad and the as of yet unknown condition of Regev and Goldwasser, at least people know their names, show some concern for them and their families. Unfortunately, it’s not that way with all Israeli MIAs, POWS. There are those, who, for one reason or another, have been forgotten, despite that fact that they wore the same uniform as the others, fought for the same country as the others, and whose fate is just as unknown as the others.
Ron Arad was captured in October, 1986. Four years earlier, in June, 1882, during the battle of Sultan Ya’akub, Israel lost three of its finest. During the battle, commanded by Ehud Barak, three tank warriors, Tzvi Feldman, born in 1956, Yehuda Katz, born in 1959, and Zacharia Baumel, born in 1960, disappeared. They may have been killed during the brutal fighting. However, there were accounts of people who saw them displayed during a parade in Syria. Their families have gathered accounts over the years, which, at the very least, raise a reasonable doubt as to their fate. Perhaps they are long gone. But perhaps not. And, if we use the Regev-Goldwasser measuring stick, what difference does it make? Why have the IDF and the Israeli government totally forgotten about these three men? Why aren’t they household names, as is Ron Arad? Why didn’t Israel demand a full report from Hizballah concerning the fate and location of these three men just as they did concerning Ron Arad? Why doesn’t the Israeli media exert pressure on the government and IDF concerning then, as they did concerning Regev, Goldwasser, Arad and Gilad Shalit? Why does Gilad Shalit’s name continue to make headlines, while most Israelis, 22 years later, have no idea who Katz, Feldman and Baumel are?
I have an answer, but don’t really like it. As a matter of fact, I despise what I think. It really stinks. It’s even worse than that. But I can’t think of any other viable reason.
These three men came from the wrong side of Israeli society. They all had Kippas on their heads. They belonged to religious tank units. Their families were not left-wing supporters of ‘peace,’ Labor, and Arabs. The men weren’t media lovelies. Rather, they were young idealistic patriots, who fought for their country, their people and their belief. Their belief hasn’t betrayed them, but their country and their people have.
But that’s not all.
It’s clear that serious negotiations for the release of Gilad Shalit will continue between Israel and Hamas. Clearly, Israel should demand information and release of the three above-discussed men. But in my opinion, that’s not enough.
Hamas terrorists are not stupid. If, as is expected, Israel receives two bodies for killer Kuntar, Hamas is going to demand an even higher price for a ‘live’ Israeli. That price will almost undoubtedly include Marwan Barghuti, a convicted murderer and leader of the ‘2nd intidada’ which claimed thousands of Israeli lives, dead, maimed and wounded. The present Israeli government will almost assuredly OK the deal. However, Israel must demand more than the release of POW Gilad Shalit. After all, Barghuti will only be one of the hundreds of terrorists freed by Israel. Israel must look towards its best friend and ally, put its foot down, and tell the United States: look at what we are being forced into in order to release one Israeli soldier. What is the price of one man? Is there a price? Yet, the price is too high. We must bring home more than one POW. When we release Barghuti and Hamas releases Shalit, you must free Jonathan Pollard. If we can do it, so can you.
At every Jewish wedding, the happiest day in a person’s life, we repeat the words, ‘If I forget thee Jerusalem….’
I add :
If we forget thee, Tzvi…
If we forget thee Yehuda…
If we forget thee Zacharia…
If we forget thee Jonathan…
If we forget all of you, who are we, what are we, why are we?
This morning started off fairly regularly, as Sundays go. A favorite person of mine was coming in to visit.
My friends Prof. Rachel Suissa and her husband Erez Urieli have lived for a number of years in Norway, but are both native Israelis. They initiated an organization there called 'the Center against anti-Semitism, which negates much of they slander spoken and written about Jews and Israel in general, and more specifically about places like Hebron. They produce a high-quality publication four times a year, which is distributed in tens of thousands of copies to influential people in Norway and throughout Scandinavia.
Rachel flew in last week for a short visit and this morning drove into Hebron. We had a meeting with a few people here in our offices and met with others she knows here in the community. I also pointed out to her the presence of Israel-hating anarchists who have chosen Hebron as a location to spout their abhorrence of Jews in Hebron.
At about 11:45 we were on our way to grab a bite at the Gutnick Center, next to Ma'arat HaMachpela. We never made it.
About 30 meters from the Ma'ara I drove past a group of what looked to be diplomats, being guided by an Arab. I pulled over the side, stopped the car and got out. Asking who the people were, I was told 'French diplomats.' I approached the head of the group, pulled out a business card, introduced myself, and asked if perhaps I could speak with them too, as to present 'another side' of the story.
However, they didn't have time. A soldier there told me, in response to a question, that the Arab was allowed to that point, but no further. I went over to the car to take out my camera in order to record the event and later figure out who our distinguished guests were.
As soon as I walked over with the camera a member of the group came over and started waving his hands in the air, trying to block my view to prevent me from photographing. Wherever I went, he went too, and eventually moved his hands from the air to me and to the camera, pushing me, and holding on to my arm and the camera. At one point my glasses went flying, thanks to his active hands.
Rachel, see what was transpiring, came over to try to stop him from assaulting me. For her efforts she received an elbow in the stomach and a big push from the Frenchman.
I called over to the soldier asking him to notify the police because we had been attacked. When he refused, I continued with the group, on their way to Ma'arat HaMachpela, where I called to a border policeman that I had been attacked, and requested that he prevent to offender from leaving. He did just that and called the police. The attacker was taken to Hebron police headquarters where he was questioned and Rachel and I issued a complaint against him.
I don't have names of everyone on the group, except for the French Deputy Consul General in Jerusalem, Alexi LaCour Grandmaison, who was carrying a book in Arabic called "Hebron, the old city."
But that wasn't the end. Whey I arrived at police headquarters in Kiryat Arba to issue the complaint, I walked into an office where I had been instructed to go. As soon as I walked in an officer with a tag on his shirt identifying him as Ya'akov ben Moshe, began ranting and raving, screaming at me, as if I'd just committed murder. He yelled that he would stop Jewish terrorism in Hebron and that he'd 'take care of me.' When I asked him why he was speaking to me in such a way; after all he hadn't heard my side of the story, he yelled, "I'm the boss here and I'll do whatever I want to do.'
After a few minutes of this, including threats against me, he walked out. I followed and asked for his remarks in writing. He started yelling again and screamed at me 'jump…'
Rachel and I finally concluded issuing our complaints, however, because the Frenchman holds a diplomatic passport, probably nothing will be done to him.
However, I find it sad that foreign diplomats tour Hebron with Arabs, read Arab literature about Hebron, and choose to ignore the Jewish community here in the city. Then again, they are French.
So, that's what I did today – all in a day's work.
See photos: http://www.hebron.com/english/article.php?id=409