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      Blessings from Hebron
      by David Wilder
      Personal Reflections on Hebron, Eretz Yisrael, Friends, Family and anything else that comes to mind.
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      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:
      www.hebron.com (English)
      www.hebron.org.il (Hebrew)
      www.ohrshlomo.org (Hebrew)
      www.ohrshalom.net (Hebrew)
      (others to be added)

      Sivan 19, 5768, 6/22/2008

      Reaction:The Two Israels-Nicholas D. Kristof in NYTimes

      Nicholas D. Kristof called me a few days ago and we spoke for a while on the phone. Obviously he visited Hebron, but did not see fit to interview me at the time, preferring a phone conversation. That fact, in and of itself, is unfortunate, for had he spent some time with me on site, seeing Hebron through Jewish-Israeli eyes also, perhaps his column would have been written differently.

      Perhaps, on the other hand, Kristof came to Hebron with an agenda and interviewed me only to be able to include a 'soundbyte' with a 'setter' in order to fulfill the seemingly 'objectivity obligation' of professional journalists.

      His 'agenda' is all too plausible, considering, for example, the books he suggested as reading material, including one by Akiva Eldar, who is one of the leading leftist columnists in Israel, writing for the most leftwing daily in the country.

      This thought is reinforced with Kritsof's reliance on "B'tzelem" – an Arab-Palestinian 'human-rights' organization, which cares only about Arab human rights, but has no interest in Israeli-Jewish human rights. It is composed of Arabs and extreme left wing activists, whose goal is Israel-bashing.

      Of course, Kristof quotes only one short sentence from our interview. He seems to have forgotten a number of points broached during our conversation:

      Kristof claims: More than 1,800 Palestinian shops have closed, in some cases the doors welded shut, and several thousand people have been driven from their homes.

      The number 1,800 is greatly exaggerated. According to ranking IDF sources the number is closer to nine hundred. (This is one of the problems with foreign journalists who are quick to accept anything and everything given to them by B'tzelem or other left-wing organizations without demanding proof of their statements.)

      Why are any stores closed in Hebron? Ten years ago they were all open. However, with the outbreak of the 'Oslo War' (the 2nd Intifada) in October, 2000, Arab terrorist gunman began shooting at the Jewish neighborhoods in Hebron from the very hills transferred to them by Israel as part of the Hebron Accords, implemented in 1997. People were shot at on the streets, and in their cars and homes. An infant was murdered by a sniper, others were wounded and a suicide bomber exploded on the main road, killing the Levy couple from Kiryat Arba. The IDF had no choice but to close stores in Hebron because of the security threat they posed. That threat still exists today. Terrorists are frequently apprehended, admitting that they planned to kill a Jew.

      At the same time it must be noted that the Arabs of Hebron have access to about 98% of the entire city, whereas Jews have access to 3% of the city. The "Arab" side of Hebron, under the control of the Palestinian Authority is called "The Safest Place in the territories" by Danny Rubenstein, another Ha'aretz writer (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/857308.html).

      He writes: Most Israelis imagine Hebron to be the site of harsh conflicts between Jewish settlers and Arab residents. But the truth is that with the exception of the point of contention at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, this is the quietest and safest city in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

      While Gaza is the scene of daily shootings and infighting between a variety of groups, and one might say that personal safety in Ramallah and Nablus is also precarious, Hebron is tranquil.

      There are no militias, no armed gangs and no hooligans. There is a traditional tribal social structure, no refugee camps inside the city and the town's large and powerful families do not permit lawlessness…The market… is a source of pride among Hebron residents. It is clean and organized. Trade between merchants is documented on computers and municipality officials say there is no more modern and efficient market in the entire PA. Nor is there a market like it in Jordan or even in Tel Aviv."

      I totally and utterly reject the statement that thousands of Arabs have been driven from their homes. This is totally false. There are Arabs who have left of their own accord, but none have been expelled, as is written in the article.

      The Abu Aisha baby story is also a fairy-tale. Did the author request proof, or accept it at face value? There is absolutely no impediment to an Arab ambulance reaching her home. It should also be noted that her home is a five minute walk to the checkpoint leading to the Arab side of the city. She and her neighbors have never had any problems getting to, or leaving their homes.

      Kristof writes: "Even if the Hebron settlement were not illegal in the eyes of much of the world, it is utterly impractical. The financial cost is mind-boggling, and the diplomatic cost is greater."

      Firstly, the Hebron Jewish community was recognized and given legitimacy by Arafat himself, when he signed the Hebron Accords in January, 1997.
      2. The claims that Hebron's Jewish community is illegal according to international law are nonsense. Jews lived in Hebron for thousands of years until being expelled in 1929, following the massacre which left 67 Jews murdered and scores wounded.
      3. What 'the eyes of the world" think is absolutely  irrelevant. The 'eyes of the world' were blind to the annihilation of 6 million Jews 60 years ago. Only yesterday we read that the UN opposes any military strike against the Iranian nuclear plants. What would they prefer: that Israel go up in flames?!
      4. The IDF is stationed in Hebron for more than one reason. Of course, they are here to protect the city's residents and over half a million annual visitors. However, they are also in Hebron to prevent the city from becoming a terrorist nest, as was Jenin and other Samaria cities, when the IDF evacuated them. Terrorists from Hebron have perpetrated mass murder in Tel Aviv and other cities in Israel. Only a strong IDF presence in the city can deter such attacks.

      As for the checkpoints, that is the only point the author allows me a reaction in his article. No point could be more valid.

      The other so-called facts Kristof mentions in the articles are nothing more than well-polished regurgitations from the Arab propaganda machine. Again, no proof of facts, only oft-repeated claims, with nothing to back them up.

      Kristof told me that he's not stationed in the Middle East. This is quite clear from the ignorance he portrays in this column. I would suggest that the next time the NY Times desires to print a column about Hebron, they should instruct their reporter to visit both sides, and examine the issues accurately and objectively, rather than publish such a biased, imprecise article.

      Sivan 16, 5768, 6/19/2008

      Guest Blog: "Dear World" by Jack Berger

      [Jack Berger (Chicago, Jerusalem, Hebron) is a dear friend whose boundless love for Eretz Yisrael is equaled only by his infinite love of Am Yisrael and Torah. I am honored to present here his most recent article.]

      In a few weeks we, in America, will be remembering and celebrating the Fourth of July. I will be reflecting and remembering two Jewish Fourth of Julys from our history. On July 4, 1946, Polish Jews liberated from Nazi death camps gratefully made their way back to their “hometown” – and were welcomed then slaughtered by their Polish neighbors in a town called Kielce. The welcome home was not very welcoming. Thirty years later on July 4, 1976, there was also a moment of liberation and welcoming, for it was on July 4, 1976, that the Israeli Defense Forces rescued Jewish hostages kidnapped by PLO terrorists, from a place called Entebbe. While there was joyous celebrations and relief in Israel, at the United Nations there was only the usual condemnation. How dare Israel invade a sovereign country?

      Yet it was President Gerald Ford who captured the moment when, in the middle of the Fourth of July celebrations in Washington, D.C., he interrupted the festivities to proudly announce that America had just been given a gift commemorating this special day of independence and freedom – “We have just been informed that the Israeli forces have rescued their hostages at Entebbe and have returned home safely.” On wings of eagles I shall bring you back!

      In 1946, Jews who had survived the death camps returned to what they believed was their home – in 1976 Jews survived death at an airport in Africa to return safely to their home – our homeland, given to us by our G-d in a covenant with our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob long ago. Some believe it has been a miraculous 60 years but the truth is, it has been a miraculous 4,000 years. As Ben Hecht wrote so cogently in his Guide for the Bedeviled,”... one should have some sympathy for Europe, Christendom and the lands of Islam. To have fought tirelessly and with so many ingenious and powerful weapons, and to have fought so small a foe as the Jew and to have lost always… is a debacle calling for some sympathy”. (p.90) Yet you Dear World have been and continue to be very persistent.

      Indeed it appears that you have been quite upset and even angry with us Jews over the past 60 years. Today it is the repression of the Palestinian Hamasnik murderers in Gaza, yesterday it was Hizbalnik terrorists of Lebanon and before that it was the bombing of the nuclear reactors in Iraq, and just a few months ago it was the bombing of the nuclear facilities of Bashir “chip off the old block” Assad in Syria. It appears that Jews, who triumph and therefore live, upset you greatly. For too long, Dear World, you had always enjoyed your Jews served up powerless… but over the last 60 years our people in our homeland have become less accommodating.

      Of course, Dear World, long before there was the modern state of Israel, we, the Jewish people, upset a German people who elected a man named Hitler and we upset an Austrian people who cheered his entry into Vienna and we upset a whole slew of Slavic nations – Poles, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Russians, Hungarians and Romanians. We go back a long way in the history of upsetting you. We upset a Cossack by the name of Chmielnicki, who massacred our people by the tens of thousands… and we upset the Crusaders who on their way to the Holy Land decided to slaughter defenseless Jews for the sport of it. We upset a Roman Catholic Church that did its best to define our relationship through Inquisitions and we upset the arch-enemy of the church, Martin Luther, who in his call to burn synagogues, preferably with Jews in them, while showing a less than admirable Christian spirit of love for his brother.

      And it is because we became so upset over upsetting you that we decided to leave you and go back to our homeland – the same homeland that you drove us from 1900 years ago. Having left you and your pogroms, inquisitions, crusades and holocausts – we still seem to upset you. You are angry that we have not given up our biblical homeland where our patriarchs and matriarchs walked, and where our prophets heard the words of our G-d, and spoke truth to the world… you call it the West Bank; we call it by its historical name of Judea and Samaria, our ancient land revived where our people today, over 300,000 flourish, have lots of babies and build homes and where, to your astonishment, the once barren soil has come back to life. I know it perplexes you. Is it because we Jews have so much land and your oil bearing friends the Arabs have so little that you desire to take our land from us through lies and revisionist history? Where were you, the mythological Palestinians and your quest for a mythological homeland from 1948 to 1967! From 1948 to 1967 you were Jordanians or Syrians and so today you can take your choice, but not one inch of our land.

      In 1920, 1921 and 1929 there were no territories of 1967 to prevent peace between Arabs and Jews – in fact there was no Jewish State to upset anybody. Never the less you watched as Arabs slaughtered Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Safed and in one day in 1929 managed to slaughter 67 Jews in Hebron. Why in 1929 did Arabs massacre 67 Jews? Could it have been because you were upset over “Israeli aggression” in 1967? And why were 510 Jewish men, women and children slaughtered between 1936 and 1939 – because you were upset over the “Israeli aggression” of 1967? And when in 1948, when our state was reborn thru a democratic vote by your friends at the United Nations, another 6,000 Jews were killed in a vicious war you began. Was that because of the war to defend our country in 1967? Today your double talking Abbas is just another Arafat terrorist in a suit. You knew Arafat was a homicidal pimp who brainwashed the gullible, while blessing his suicide-bombers claiming they were courageous martyrs… but you, Dear World, praised and honored him as Jewish women and children were slaughtered by his delusional “shahids” looking for those 72 black-eyed virgins. The truth is it was your appeasement that encouraged him. It was those Kodak moments at the White House where you acted as a cheerleader giving him smiling handshakes and peace prizes. You knew that the Palestinian Liberation Organization – PLO – was an Egyptian terrorist organization created by Nasser in 1964. They never ruled Palestine. There is nothing in their history that tied them to this land. These are the same Arabs who in their vile hatred in the 1920’s and 1930’s swore “it bach al Yahid” – “massacre the Jews… destroy Israel” How pathetic that Arab mothers have only dreams of martyrdom for their children’s future, as they languish in the 1300 year old hatreds of their grandfathers.

      Dear World, you stood by in 1948 as seven Arab states launched their Final Solution promising to finish the work that their hero Hitler had begun. You expected to once again feast on powerless Jews, but it was you who forged our strength in the ovens at Auschwitz. Having closed all avenues to your countries of refuge, you gave us no choice – and we thank you for finally wiping all illusions from our eyes giving us our only option… to take up the sword and return and rebuild our ancient homeland.

      You stood by in 1967 as Nasser, cheered by wild mobs, again vowed to drive the Jews into the sea… and let’s be honest, you will stand there silently tomorrow preparing magnificent eulogies written by your shameless speechwriters, for piles of dead Jews, as Iran develops its nuclear capabilities offering us extinction. You’ve no doubt heard the Iranian boasts of what its country will do when it gets the bomb. You may not believe Mr. Ahmadinejad, but we have experience in believing such people. Today we of numbered arms remember and are willing to trade all of your pornographic eulogies for live Jews. You have allowed the noble dreams of the United Nations to become a hypothetical circus for Jew hatred. We know, and you know, that the dreams of the Arabs is for our extinction but this time we will do everything necessary to defend our people and our land and if that bothers you, Dear World, think of how many times in the past you have bothered us. (Adapted from my proud, strong, Jew-loving Rav…of blessed memory)

      Yet the wisdom and truth of our Torah are as relevant today as when it was first given to our people…

      For it was that “…Yaakov had not been seen in over 20 years and there was joy in the land. There was no longer anyone to disturb the stability of a society built on materialism and idolatry, or to point an accusing finger saying, ‘You are immoral.’ Then one day, Yaakov returns… The inhabitants are informed that the Shechina (the spirit of G-d) is again active in the holy land, so Hashem prepares the conditions necessary for the newly arrived Hebrews… On their return, their sister Dinah is attacked and violated, and family honor and justice demand retribution. The brothers of Dinah, Shimon and Levi, the sons of Yaakov, go to war... The news travels far and wide to every corner of the land, “Yaakov has returned… and has taken his toll on the immoral people of Shechem. Things will never be the same again. The Jews have returned!

      “… For the actions of his sons, Yaakov is gripped with fear of what awaits him at the hands of the pagan peoples of Canaan. “You (Shimon and Levi) have made me odious in the eyes of the inhabitants”, yet he travels to Bet El to offer a sacrifice to Hashem, and, to his amazement, he is not attacked. It now becomes glaringly apparent that the pagans are more afraid of him than he is of them. The lesson becomes internalized by Yaakov and his sons. This is the language which speaks to these people – they scavenge at the blood of the weak but shrink away before the courageous and strong. With this lesson firmly imbedded in his consciousness, Yaakov can now have the peace he so desires.” Appeasement only brings dishonor and emboldens our enemies. Justice comes before mercy. Peace after victory.

      Sixty years ago, Dear World, after having taken six million of our brothers and sisters, you were still not satisfied, so Hashem produced the conditions for the world to learn that there are Jews who have decided to live and that they have returned to their ancient homeland – Eretz Yisrael. The War of Independence; the Six Day War; the Yom Kippur War; the destruction of the Iraqi atomic reactor and so much more. This is the language which you the nations of the world understand… (adapted from Rav Nachman of Yerushalayim).

      Dear World, my people would like nothing more than to continue to share their incredible medical, cultural and technological discoveries as gifts to mankind and live in peace but clearly understand your gas chambers are no longer an option. If you have noticed, in just 60 years we have created a pretty incredible country and to be clear, have learned to do whatever it takes to observe our Torah’s commandment to Choose Life! As I began, we hope that doesn’t upset you too much, but if it does – get used to it. Now recite after me – Am Yisroal Chai and Happy Sixtieth and many more!

      Shabbat Shalom

      Sivan 10, 5768, 6/13/2008

      Belated Hebron Day Wishes

      If there was light in Hebron, there was light in Jerusalem.
      As printed in this week's Jewish Press

      Last week we celebrated not only Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day. We also marked the return to Hebron, 41 years ago, during the 1967 Six Day War. It’s no coincidence that these two festive days come one after the other.

      Hebron and Jerusalem have been connected for thousands of years. The Kingdom of Israel was initiated by King David in Hebron over 3,000 years ago. David lived in Hebron for seven and a half years, immersed in the spirit of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, before moving up to Jerusalem, establishing it as the eternal capital of the Jewish People.

      Later we read in the Talmud that every day, early in the morning, a Cohen would ask, prior to beginning the day’s work, ‘has the sun yet risen, even as far east as Hebron?’ If the answer was ‘Barkai,’ yes, then work could commence. If the response was negative, they would have to wait. Why was Hebron so much a part of work at Beit HaMikdash? It was in order to awaken ‘Zechut Avot,’ the merit of the Forefathers.

      In other words, if it was dark in Hebron, it was still considered to be dark in Jerusalem. If there was light in Hebron, there was light in Jerusalem. This has more than just a literal meaning. In 1929, following the riots and massacre, Hebron’s surviving Jews were expelled from their homes. The few Jews who were able to return in 1931 were again expelled in 1936. Twelve years later Jerusalem fell, and just as Ma’arat HaMachpela was off-limits, so too was Temple Mount.

      On the 28th of Iyar in 1967 we returned to Jerusalem. It was only logical that the next day the Jewish people would return to the first Jewish city in Israel, Hebron. Finally, after a 700-year exile, Jews could again worship at the second holiest site to the Jewish people in the entire world, the Tomb of the Patriarchs, Ma’arat HaMachpela, in Hebron.

      The magnificent building atop the caves of Machpela was constructed by Herod, King of Judea, some 2,000 years ago. It is the only 2,000-year-old building in the world which still exists in its entirety and is still used for the identical purposes for which it was built − to pray at the entrance to Gan Eden, the Garden of Eden, at the site of the tombs of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Lea.

      Entrance to Jews was declared off-limits by a Marmaluke emperor named Bibers, who a short time earlier had also closed off Temple Mount to anyone and everyone not Muslim. The closing of Ma’arat HaMachpela was, it seems, an afterthought, which continued for 700 years. Presently our Muslim neighbors tell us that should they again ever control this holy site, no one not Muslim will be able to worship there because “it is a mosque and only Muslims and pray in a Mosque” − this, despite the fact that the building was built by Herod about 600 years before Mohammed was born. When asked why Jews live today in Hebron, one of the central reasons is, of course, Ma’arat HaMachpela. It is crystal clear that only a Jewish community in Hebron preserves Jewish access to this site. If, G-d forbid, there weren’t any Jews in Hebron, Jews would have no access to Ma’arat HaMachpela.

      Many times I’m asked how we can celebrate, with the many issues that cloud our presence in Hebron. Over half a million people visit Ma’arat HaMachpela annually. This past Pesach over 50,000 Jews visited Hebron. Hebron’s tours attract hundreds and thousands of tourists each year. This is a reason to celebrate.

      When the Oslo Accords, followed by the Hebron Accords 11 years ago, abandoned over 80 percent of the city to the Arabs, many people voiced their skepticism as to the possibility that Hebron’s Jewish community could survive. When the Oslo War (second intifada) began on the eve of Rosh Hashanah in 2000, and the community came under daily shooting attacks from the surrounding hills, there were many who wrote the community off as “finished”. Who could survive such murderous attacks?

      But despite the problems from the Arabs, the media, the Israeli and international left, and many Israeli politicians, Hebron’s Jewish community still exists. Not only does it exist. It thrives. It grows and expands. My wife and I have two daughters and seven grandchildren living in Hebron, with a son and his family a few miles away in the southern Hebron Hills community of Beit Haggai. Many of Hebron’s children have stayed, wanting to bring up their children in the shadow of Abraham and Sarah, just as they grew up. What could be more heartening and encouraging than to see “the younger generation” following in the footsteps of their parents, both their immediate parents and their ‘grandma and grandpa,’ the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, King David, and all the other illustrious residents Hebron has been home to. How could one not celebrate these fantastic facts?!

      True, Hebron has faced many struggles, and we have no illusions about the immediate future. However, one of Hebron’s most important inhabitants taught us an unforgettable lesson. Kalev ben Yefune, when arriving in Eretz Yisrael to spy the land for Moshe Rabbenu, knew he would need some special spiritual guidance to escape the slanderous exclamations of of the other ten spies. His solution was to come to Hebron and pray at Ma’arat HaMachpela, to ask Hashem to give him strength to overcome the evil intentions of his comrades. His prayer was answered, and he was able declare: “Eretz Yisrael is very, very good.”

      As was then, so too today. In Hebron, we are able to maintain our spiritual strength and faith, just as Kalev, being privileged to live next to Ma’arat HaMachpela. The same spirituality that emanated then still radiates today and gives us the ability to carry on, as shalichim for all Am Yisrael.

      Recently a reporter, interviewing me, asked me about 'this problem and that problem and this issue and that issue.' Concluding, he stated/asked: "I guess you don't have too much to celebrate this year." I quickly responded, "To the contrary, we have much to celebrate. The fact that we are here is reason for celebration. True, there are problems, but those we will overcome. We overcame 2,000 years of galut (diaspora). The most important factor today is that we are here in Eretz Yisrael, we are here in Hebron, we are back home. For these reasons, of course we celebrate." [Added to the original article]

      This is the essence of Hebron Day. For this we thank G-d for the privilege to live in the city of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs and pray that the merit of our Forefathers will rain down upon on all our people, wherever they may be, and that just as light in Hebron brought light to Jerusalem, so too, today’s light from Hebron will shine brightly and bring spiritual strength and faith to Jews around the world.

      A belated Happy Hebron Day.

      Sivan 1, 5768, 6/4/2008

      Urgent and immediate request for assistance

      My name is Tehila Shimoni. I'm 27 years old, the wife of Yosef Chaim Shimoni 28 years old, and mother of Itai, two and a half years old. I would like to tell you about my young family.

      As it is written "whoever saves one life, it is as if he saved an entire world."

      My husband and I both were born in Kiryat Arba. He went to the army, to a special unit, "Egoz"- that fights terrorists in Judea and Samaria and against" Hizballah" in Lebanon.

      When we married 5 years ago we chose to live in "Giva't Harel"-in the Binyamin Settlements. This settlement is named after our loved brother in law, Harel Ben Noon, who was murdered by an Arab terrorist on the same hills.

      My husband Yosef works in a company that ensures that the Arabs will not take over more lands in our holy land.

      A few weeks ago Yosef wasn't feeling well. We went from doctor to doctor and then from one hospital to another, and they told us that it's just an infection. On Israel's Independence Day he was accepted for emergency surgery and unfortunately diagnosed with a very violent cancer that spread in his stomach.

      After counseling with doctors, we were told that the treatments in Israel are limited.

      My husband and I were raised on the laps of our ancestors: Avraham and Sarah, Yitzchak and Rivka, and Ya'akov and Leah, all of whom refused to give up hope.

      After searching all over the world we found a clinic in Germany that treats successfully such cases They combine chemotherapy treatment with other unique treatments. We sent a family member to Germany to examine those clinics and we understand that we have to be quick and arrive as soon as possible in order to improve our chances of success.

      The estimates of the expenses are 150,000 Euro (almost $250,000) which we don't have, even after opening all our savings.

      My uncle, Ofer Ochana, who some of you many know from the Gutnick Center Restaurant in Hebron, suggested that I write and tell you my story. Therefore I ask any of you that can help me save my husband's and the father of my children's (I'm two months pregnant) life!

      As it is written "whoever saves one life, it is as if he saved an entire world."

      Funds can be donated via the Hebron Fund in NYC, at 1760 Ocean Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11230 or via internet at www.hebrontruma.com. Please note on the check or web donation that the funds are for the Yossi Shimoni Fund.

      In Israel checks can be deposited in Bank HaPoalim, Branch 695, Account number 595954. Please fax the deposit slip to 02-9944521. More information can be received from Efrat at 050-628-5603 or Moshe at

      Also, your prayers are very much needed for: Yosef Chaim ben Mazal Tov.

      Thank you very much.

      Tehila Shimoni

      Iyar 25, 5768, 5/30/2008

      TIPH: Fact and Fiction

      In an article published by the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) called "About TIPH [http://xrl.in/5hl]," it is stated: The two parties [Israel and the Arabs] agreed that TIPH should be the neutral witness on the ground who monitors and reports on the situation. TIPH's neutrality might be weighed against the following TIPH statements:

      In a TIPH information pamphlet [http://xrl.in/5hm] they state: Typical TIPH reports concern violence and harassment around settlements, shooting incidents and misconduct by police or soldiers, house searches, prolonged ID-checks and restrictions of freedom of movement.

      In an article titled "A Brief History, [http://xrl.in/5hk ]" TIPH refrains from stating that Ma'arat HaMachpela was closed to Jews and Christians for 700 years, despite the fact that it is a " holy city for the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths."

      They also state "After the war of 1948, Hebron came under Jordanian rule which lasted until the war of 1967 when Hebron was occupied by the Israeli army."

      Note that Hebron came under Jordanian rule but was occupied by the Israeli army."
      Also note that "since then (2002) the Israeli army operates over the entire area in violation of the agreements." However no violation of agreements or obligations of the Arabs is mentioned.

      An article headlined "Six years since two TIPH observers were shot dead in Hebron" [http://xrl.in/5hf] refrains from mentioning that the observers were killed by an Arab terrorist. It was also noted that members of TIPH and representatives of the Palestinian authority were present at a memorial for the two TIPH officers. It is not clear whether any Israelis were invited to participate.

      In an article headlined "Israeli settlers occupy Palestinian building in Hebron" [http://xrl.in/5hg] "TIPH urges the IDF to evacuate the settlers from the building to avoid that new facts of the ground are being established, TIPH Head of Mission Karl-Henrik Sjursen says. This action of the settlers can be seen by the Palestinians as an unnecessary provocation in an already tense environment. It might have serious consequences for the security situation in the city, TIPH Head of Mission Karl-Henrik Sjursen adds.

      In an article headlined "Increased violence around newly occupied house in Hebron" [http://xrl.in/5hh] TIPH states, "The occupation of the house has not only led to increased violence but also further destabilized the situation in Hebron as a whole. In this respect TIPH again urges the Israeli authorities on all levels to take necessary measures to evict the occupants."

      In an article headlined, TIPH welcomes the eviction of illegal occupants from the wholesale market in Hebron [http://xrl.in/5hi],TIPH states, TIPH is concerned about the recent development in the city of Hebron and urges the Israeli authorities to uphold law and order and protect all people living in the area.

      - In the light of the ongoing violence and the continuing violation of both Israeli and international law we also encourage the Israeli authorities to evict the settlers occupying the house on Patriarchs’ Hill with no further delay, TIPH head of Mission Karl-Henrik Sjursen also says.

      A map sold in Hebron, distributed by the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, donated by and under the auspices of TIPH, contains the symbol of Palmap – the entire state of Israel. The map labels all Israeli sites in the city as 'palestinian:' The Avraham Avinu neighborhood is called Al Hisbeh settlement; Beit Romano is Madraset Qsamah; Beit Hadassah is Al Dabboya; the Gutnick Center is called Al-Isterahah settlement; and of course Ma'arat HaMachpela is called Al Haram al Ibrahimi. The map also describes Hebron as an "Arab Islamic City."
      In a TIPH public opinion poll [http://xrl.in/5hj] they ask:

      Table 11:
      Knowledge about some of activities implemented by TIPH according to place of residence
      One of the possible replies is: Physical protection of houses against settler harassment.
      Is TIPH responsible for 'physically protecting" Arabs from 'settler harassment?'
      Does TIPH act to 'physically protect' Jews from 'Arab harassment?'

      Figure 26
      : One of the choices given when asked about about how long they think that the organization should stay, was: that TIPH should stay until the end of occupation.
      Why does TIPH relate to a Jewish presence in Hebron as 'occupation?' Why does TIPH take for granted that the Jewish presence (occupation) will come to an end?

      Figure 30:
      TIPH is currently holding a campaign to raise the awareness of the citizen on their legal rights under occupation. Did you hear about this campaign and the activities?
      Again, TIPH relates to Jewish presence in Hebron as 'occupation.'
      The Public Opinion Poll [http://xrl.in/5hj]
      Some interesting responses:

      Figure 2:
      Only 9% of the population is unemployed.

      Figure 4:
      69% are optimistic – 21% are pessimistic
      65% of those living in H2 are optimistic

      Table 7
      Issue of concern:
      Economic hardship: In H1 – 21% - In h2 – 25%
      Not concerned at all: In H2 – 24%
      TIPH influence

      Figure 8 – Table 9
      62% feel less secure since inception of TIPH
      H1- 61% H2 – 69%
      Only 22% feel more secure

      Figure 9 – 10

      Household needs: 29% answered employment – 40% answered security
      Community needs: 31% answered employment – 69% answered security
      The report states: "The need for employment is higher among respondents living in H1. So is the need for education and security."
      Table 11: Have you heard about TIPH implementing…
      Physical protection of houses against settler harassment - 90% no
      Figure 16:30% - TIPH is working to fulfill its mandate
      Figure 17: What is TIPH doing in Hebron:
      12% Physical protection of houses against settler harassment
      Figure 18:
      65% TIPH doesn’t really see what is happening in the city or don't know

      Figure 19
      58% never met TIPH member

      Figure 21
      86% never reported incident to TIPH

      Figure 22
      49% reporting incident doesn't improve situation

      Figure 23:
      83% haven't benefited from TIPH

      Figure 25:

      34% satisfied with TIPH work in community

      Figure 26:
      Question of duration of mandate:
      35% - TIPH shouldn't be here
      58% - TIPH should stay until end of occupation

      Figure 27:

      Support of TIPH presence
      46% support
      54% - not support/indifferent

      Figure 28:
      Support sending more TIPH observers:
      54% oppose
      From the above statistics we can learn:

      1. TIPH is far from being a "neutral observer." To the contrary, TIPH is clearly biased towards the Arabs in Hebron, and shows absolutely no concern or sympathy for the Jewish community in Hebron.TIPH relates to an Israeli presence in Hebron as 'occupation' and seem to be working to end this 'occupation.' They also assume the the 'settlers' harass Arabs. However no mention is made of Arab terror against Jews.

      2. The TIPH presence in Hebron has little, if any influence, on the Arab population of Hebron. They see little, if any need for TIPH, with many of those asked rejecting any positive TIPH influence and rejecting their necessity in the city.

      3. According to the poll, only 9% of Hebron's residents are unemployed; this compared to reports of between 25-27% in all of 'the west bank.' Economic hardship concerns only a quarter of the population. In other words, the claims of 'Israeli repression' due to closed shops in the H2 region of Hebron are false. Some 65% of H2 residents are classified as 'optimistic' concerning the future.

      Clearly, from the above facts and statistics, Israel, in allowing TIPH to remain in Hebron, is supporting an overtly enemy organization, which actively works against Israel, has no cares for Jewish rights or security, and is totally ineffective in working the Hebron's Arab population. Israel must end the TIPH mandate in Hebron and demand that they immediately leave the country.