Inside Israel 12:14 AM 12/10/2013
Middle East 4:43 AM 12/10/2013
Middle East 5:42 AM 12/10/2013
Ask the Rabbi
News & Call-In with Tamar Yonah
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 33 years. They lived in Kiryat Arba for 17 years and have resided at Beit Hadassah in Hebron for the past 14 years. They have seven children and many grandchildren.
Links to sites David recommends:
(others to be added)
It didn't take long to realize that Mort Klein is, without doubt, one of the heroes of present-day Jewry.
All reading this: please pray urgently for the full and speedy recovery
of Taliya bat Yehudit Shlomit and Avichai ben Rivka
ZOA ANNOUNCES OPENING OF NEW
Many years ago I had the privilege to meet Mort Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America. It didn't take long to realize that Mort is, without doubt, one of the heroes of present-day Jewry. Almost singlehandedly Mort Klein took the ZOA, a once prestigious Jewish organization which had, over the years, declined, to the forefront of true Jewish patriotism in the United States. Standing virtually alone amongst major Jewish organizations in the U.S., Mort refused to keep quiet in the face of continued Arab terror and oppresion against the state of Israel. Many other organizations, for one reason or another, refused 'to buck' policies of the Israeli government, irrespective of their consequences to the Jewish people and the Eretz Yisrael. Israeli state policy was, as far as many were concerned, the equvilent of 'gospel.'
Mort Klein, realizing the dangers inherent in Oslo, the Hebron and Wye Accords and the planned expulsion from Gush Katif, refused to sit quietly by the side. He stood tall and proud and made his brilliant voice be heard, representing true Zionism in the name of the Zionist Organization of America. Frequently he found himself standing alone, with other Jewish leaders of major Jewish organizations almost abandoning their brethren in Israel, in order to tow the line of Prime Ministers Rabin, Peres, Netanyahu, Barak and Sharon, on the road to forsaking their land, their people and their beliefs.
Despite its seeming isolation, the ZOA has played a major role influencing policy in Washinton, with a permanent presence in the House of Representatives and the Senate. When the ZOA visits Washington for its annual major lobby mission on the Hill, Washington takes notice. Major senators and congressmen welcome ZOA representatives from around the United States, while others address hundreds at the organization's conference.
Today the ZOA opened a new Israeli office in Jerusalem, headed up by another old friend, Jeff Daube. Jeff, who has dedicated his life to Jewish-Israel activities, recently made aliyah, a very welcome addition to the citizens of the State of Israel.
I have no doubt that Mort Klein, together with Jeff Daube and other devoted individuals, will carry on in the best tradition of the ZOA, supporting Eretz Yisrael, Am Yisrael and Torat Yisrael. I can only add that I am proud to be able to include myself as a friend of these wonderful people.
He stood tall and proud and made his brilliant voice be heard, representing true Zionism in the name of the Zionist Organization of America.
o Mort, Jeff and all the others involved in New York, Washington and Jerusalem, best wishes and lots of luck!
ZOA ANNOUNCES OPENING OF NEW
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is pleased to announce the opening of its new Jerusalem office in Israel. On February 24, 2008 at 9AM there will be a press conference at the Begin Center in Jerusalem to formally open the ZOA/Israel office. We are pleased to announce that Ambassador Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, and President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, will be addressing the media and friends at this event. Joining Amb. Gold will be Mr. Morton Klein, President of the ZOA and Mr. Jeff Daube, the new Director of ZOA’s Israel office.
Included among the objectives of the ZOA office are:
Develop relationships with members of Knesset, Cabinet Ministers, and media elites to educate them on ZOA’s view of the important issues facing Israel.
Promote legislation calling for the development and implementation of educational policy and curricula to strengthen Zionist/Jewish identity.
Meet with birthright Israel and other mission visitors to Israel.
Meet with US government officials visiting Israel; assist in ZOA meetings with Israeli government officials.
Meet with and offer activist training to MASA participants and volunteers in Israel, including college and pre-college students spending a year or semester in Israel.
Monitor, report on and combat anti-Israel and anti-Jewish bias on Israeli campuses.
Develop programs, projects and materials with Israeli students; engage them in the political process off-campus.
Get American expatriates more involved in Israel-US crossover politics (e.g. Jerusalem Birthplace Act).
Assist in the development of a robust, vocal, and active Anglo-Israeli nationalist presence.
Provide first person reports to ZOA leadership on political/ideological climate and events in Israel through a publication called “The View From Here – ZOA Israel Report”.
Build coalitions with like-minded organizations and think tanks.
Maintain (pre-existing) database as a resource for US and Israeli interested parties.
Track the activities of ISM, hostile NGOs and other like-minded anti-Israel agitators. Develop proactive measures to mitigate their impact.
Engage in humanitarian-political projects drawing attention to most pressing needs especially those neglected by government institutions.
Address the misinformation and misconceptions among government representatives, on both sides of the Atlantic, one towards the other.
Publish letters and essays in the Hebrew and English local outlets.
Mr. Jeffrey Daube’s extensive experience on Capitol Hill advocating for pro-Israel legislation over 14 years gives him a unique ability to communicate an accurate sense of Congress to the Israeli people. His noteworthy contributions to the passing of the Jerusalem Birthplace Act (October 2002) and the US-Israel Energy Cooperation Act (December 2007) further demonstrate the efficacy of citizen involvement in the political process, a political advocacy culture which the ZOA would like to see promoted more in Israel.
In particular, with well over 200,000 North Americans living in Israel currently, the ZOA plans to help empower this often politically underrepresented group of steadfast Zionists. Daube comments: “In my brief tenure here thus far, I have been gratified by the response of this community to the opening of the ZOA office. Expatriate North Americans desperately want to do their part to support and strengthen Zionism, and are just looking for the appropriate means. ZOA in Israel hopes to offer one such mechanism, working with like-minded organizations wherever possible, to help this group attain a robust and respected nationalist voice.”
The ZOA presence in Israel will also provide opportunities for post-high school, collegiate, and graduate students studying in Israel to increase their appreciation for and pride in the State of Israel, especially in anticipation of their returning to campuses that are often fraught with anti-Israel rhetoric. The already active ZOA presence on these campuses will bolster the impact of awareness-building activities begun in Israel.
Daube comes to this position with a wealth of experience in the pro-Israel advocacy world. Besides being very actively engaged with many Zionist organizations, including ZOA, NORPAC (board member), AIPAC, Tehilla (steering committee member), One Israel Fund, Palestinian Media Watch, and Peace for Generations, Daube has also authored various educational materials, including Israel Between The Lines, a weekly newsletter; Dubious Allies: The Arab Media’s War of Words Against America,an exhaustive compilation exposing anti-US sentiment; and many other in-depth reports on Palestinian incitement, Palestinian terrorism, Palestinian abuse of civil and human rights, anti-Semitism in the Egyptian press, Saudi Arabian sponsorship of terrorism, the Hebron Accords, the future of Jerusalem, energy independence, and the Iranian/Russian nuclear threat. In addition, Daube prepared much of the background material for NORPAC’s annual missions to Washington. He has also had numerous letters to the editor published in major Anglo-Jewish and community newspapers.
Serving as co-chair for his synagogue’s Israel Emergency Fund, Daube managed the collection and distribution of many hundreds of thousands of dollars, mainly on behalf of victims of terror and their families, IDF soldiers, and paramedical groups, since the Palestinian Arab terror war began in late 2000. He also initiated and coordinated numerous pro-Israel community events in his former home of Riverdale, NY, and plans to use those organizational skills to arrange ZOA activities in Israel, including programs for visiting leaders and missions.
Daube, who received a B.A. and two M.A. degrees from Columbia University, including one in Instructional Technology and Computing from its Teachers College, had been an educator for 31 years prior to his aliyah at the end of December. As such, he had made the pervasive destructive messages to children found in Palestinian textbooks and media one of his signature issues; also a major focus of his lectures and seminars delivered to community and university groups throughout the US. In his new capacity at ZOA, Daube will continue to highlight this phenomenon as a paramount threat to lasting peace in the Middle East.
Daube, who has devoted his entire life to the Zionist cause, sees his Israel appointment “as a tremendous opportunity and responsibility” stating, “I am sure that, with the guidance of the National ZOA Office in New York, and the help of numerous committed Zionists both here and in America, the ZOA in Israel can make a difference.”
ZOA President Morton A. Klein said, “We are pleased to open our new ZOA office in Jerusalem. We look forward to giving a stronger voice to a majority of Israelis who are opposed to supporting consideration of any Israeli concessions before there is full Palestinian Arab compliance to their Oslo/Hebron/Wye/RoadMap obligations to end terror, arrest terrorists, confiscate illegal weapons, and end incitement. We will also be fighting to take Jerusalem and the so-called Palestinian refugee issue off the table. ZOA also opposes any discussion of a Palestinian Arab state before there is a total transformation of the Palestinian Arab culture to one that promotes peace and conciliation. We are also pleased to have such a talented and committed individual as Jeff Daube to be our director in Israel. Many Israelis have repeatedly asked us over the years to open a ZOA Office in Israel. I am glad we have now fulfilled that dream.”
ZIONIST ORGANIZATION OF AMERICA: Media Advisory
VETERAN US JEWISH GROUP OPENS JERUSALEM OFFICE - TOP PRIORITY: JOINT INITIATIVE OF AMERICAN JEWS & AMERICAN OLIM
Ambassador Dore Gold headlines news conference this Sunday together with Mort Klein, President, Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) and Jeff Daube, ZOA Israel Director
PRESS CONFERENCE: Sunday, February 24, 2008. 9:00a.m. sharp, Menachem Begin Heritage Center, 6 S.A. Nahon Street, Jerusalem
Contact: Jeff Daube
On 052-538-0840 or via email: email@example.com
Jerusalem Feb.20th 2008 — The opening of a Jerusalem office by America's oldest pro-Israel advocacy group, the Zionist Organization of America, is the beginning of a new initiative to involve American olim and pro-Israel Jews in the US in joint actions on behalf of the Jewish state.
"There are many areas of Israel-US crossover politics where a strong body of involved American-Israelis and American Jews can bring about positive change," notes ZOA President Mort Klein.
Several new initiatives will be announced at Sunday's news conference. Ambassador Dore Gold will introduce Jeff Daube, the new ZOA Jerusalem office director. Prior to his aliya, Daube was a long-time Israel activist with organizations including NORPAC, AIPAC, Tehilla, One Israel Fund, Palestinian Media Watch, Peace for Generations. Daube is also the author of the Israel Between The Lines newsletter; Dubious Allies: The Arab Media's War of Words Against America; and reports on Palestinian incitement; Palestinian terrorism; Palestinian abuse of civil and human rights; anti-Semitism in the Egyptian press; Saudi Arabian sponsorship of terrorism; the Hebron Accords; the future of Jerusalem; energy independence and the Iranian/Russian nuclear threat.
With 30,000 U.S members and chapters in 13 major American cities, the ZOA is one of America's most active and vocal pro-Israel groups. ZOA works to strengthen US-Israeli relations through educational activities, public affairs programs, working on Capitol Hill and combating anti-Israel bias in the media, textbooks, and on campuses.
The Zionist Organization of America was founded in 1897 and is a long-standing member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Past presidents include Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and Rabbi Dr. Abba Hillel Silver.
Zionist Organization of America
Jacob & Libby Goodman ZOA House, 4 East 34th Street, New York, N.Y. 10016
(212) 481-1500 Fax: (212) 481-1515 email @ zoa.org www . zoa . org
February 11, 2008
Contact: Morton A. Klein – 917-974-8795; Jeff Daube – 011-972-538-0840
Attn: NEWS EDITOR
What a way to kill a day. On the way into Kiryat Arba this morning I stopped to buy gas. As I was hanging the gas pump back in place after having filled the tank, I suddenly realized that I'd filled the car with 28 liters of solar - that is kerosene, rather than gas. Big UGH. So, it took a while to get someone to open the tank and drain it, so I could keep going. But rather than spend the day at the Jerusalem Conference in Jerusalem, for the 2nd day of the proceedings, I spent most of my time at the gas station. By the time I'd finished I figured that if I sat down to listen to lectures I'd probably fall asleep. So I didn't make it. (Instead I sat and wrote a new article posted on the Hebron website: [http://www.hebron.com/english/article.php?id=381]
The idea behind this conference is tremendous. The left holds a very prestigious conference annually called the Hertzelia Conference. Amongst other things, this event serves as a front for political leaders to spout their nonsense. As I recall this is were Sharon announced his plans to destroy Gush Katif.
My friends at Arutz 7, about 5 years ago, had a great idea: let's sponsor our own conference, bring who we want, and espouse a different view from those heard in Hertzelia.
Each year the event seems to get bigger and better, with many important people participating, dealing with various significant topics important to Israel and the Jewish people. I was sorry I missed it this year. (The first day of the two day event we were snowed in here in Hebron.)
How can we reach our goals if we are not even setting them? How can we find the best solution to a problem if we are not considering all options?
(See: The Jerusalem Conference in Video and Audio (Day 1)http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/125328)
However, while looking through the schedule, some question marks popped up in my head. Did they really have to invite Tzippy Livny to speak about the importance of 'peace' with the terrorists?
Earlier today I received an article from a man I've never met, but whose email I receive regularly. He asked some of the same questions. Actually he didn't ask; he made his views very clear. I decided to post the article here and throw it out to you to comment on. So with that...
Jerusalem Conference – What a Waste!
by Steven Shamrak
I visited and reviewed an official website of the Jerusalem Conference which took place this week. The only thought that came to mind was "What a waste!" The waste of time, human and financial resources and the waste of opportunity to set the agenda for reaching a Jewish National Goal and uniting Jews and our true friends around the world behind it.
The site stated: "The Jerusalem Conference openly deliberates core issues that will determine Israel's future as a viable modern democratic Jewish State. The Jerusalem Conference provides a broad public forum for diverse viewpoints to freely discuss issues of national importance. Topics range from national affairs and security to social welfare and economics, from Jewish education to Aliyah, Israel as a Jewish State to its functional relationship with its neighbours and nations of the world."
Very fine words, but only words! While I was reading an itinerary of the conference, I recalled the conversation between Alice and scarecrow in "Alice in Wonderland". She asked him which road to take, but did not know where she was going. His answer was: "Take any, it will get you there!" For many years, the leadership of the Jewish people has lost the vision of the modern Zionist pioneers and, unfortunately, has been pushing Israel toward self-destruction!
The Jerusalem Conference discussed wide range of topics:
Strategic Threat from Iran, Syria, Lebanon & Gaza; Importance of Aliya, Jewish migration to Israel; Israel's and the World's Economy; even the possibility of the World War III was discussed. Arab terrorism, the Palestinian Media and Education, The Winograd Commission, the new wave of anti-Semitism and anti-Israel Media bias also were mentioned.
I was surprised that one subject, which has been completely neglected and even sabotaged by governments of Israel for decades, was correctly defined: "Hasbara: Just Confused or Deliberately Non-Existent?"
Nobody booed Tzipi Livni or left in protest when the foreign minister of Israel told participants that she talks with Palestinians with "tears of paratroopers at the Western Wall" in her mind. "Time is not on Israel's side, and we will eventually have to concede parts of the country" she said. I wonder, were they crocodile tears? It is her government which, by exhibiting a total lack of self-respect and an absence of any determination to pursue the Jewish National Goal, has made "Time is not on Israel's side" a current ugly reality. She has no interest in and is completely ignorant of the fact that any reality can be changed by the setting of objectives and an enduring determination to achieve them!
Livni continued with her scare-mongering tactic saying that Israel would be faced with giving up its identity as a "Jewish, democratic and secure state" if it does not agree to a land-for-peace deal with the PA. She and all of those political hypocrites dishonour the memory of the Israeli paratroopers who liberated Jerusalem!
There were many distinguished people at the conference. Some of them tried to impress others with 'innovative' idiocy such as, US Senator Sam Brownback who advocated a confederation of Judea and Samaria, historical Jewish land, with Jordan. He does not care how detrimental it would be for the future of the Jewish people to lose all hope for reunification of Eretz-Israel. No one had pointed out to him that neither Jordan nor the PA is interested in this stupidity, but they are quite focused on the destruction of Israel. Alternative ideas like the Sinai Option or organising a transfer of all of the hostile population from all Jewish land to Arab and Muslim countries were not even raised.
How can we reach our goals if we are not even setting them? How can we find the best solution to a problem if we are not considering all options? So many important people attended the Jerusalem Conference – What a Waste!
A specially baked cake, prepared by Elisheva, with the
word Amen (in Hebrew) written on it.)
As I’m writing this, a very special event is taking place a few meters from where I’m sitting. Usually I sit in our living room, staring at this screen. However, tonight I was banished to my bedroom, while the living room was overrun by several dozen women from Hebron.
And then she cried out, ‘it’s been over 50 years since I could say Amen after Kiddush.’
A couple of nights ago my wife received a call asking if she could host Sunday night (tonight), a unique meal. It’s called a meal of Amens.
She agreed, and a few hours ago our apartment started filling up with all sorts of interesting and tasty-looking foods; fruits, vegetables, cakes and drink. By 9:15 the living room was full up with more women than there were chairs. One of the women, acting as the moderator, began talking. (I listened from a crack in the door, not too far from them).
She spoke first of two subjects: speech and food. There is always so much to say. The question is whether we use our power of speech to express the positive aspects of our lives, and holiness, or do we desecrate our G-d – given gift of gab. And so too with food. There is such an overwhelming amount of food available, as opposed to thirty or forty years ago. Do we really appreciate what we’ve been given, or do we take it for granted?
One of the ways to sanctify both of these facets of our lives is to bless G-d prior to eating. The brachot – blessings – occur in two parts. A person who wants to partake of his meal, recites a blessing before eating. Whoever hears that blessing answers ‘Amen.’ And it is written, ‘he who answers Amen is greater than he who recites the blessing.’ Why?
The word Amen, in Hebrew, the letters Aleph, Mem, Nun, are the initials of G-d, the faithful King. They are also the root letters of the word Emunah, which means faith. A person who answers Amen to a blessing is reaffirming his faith, his belief in G-d.
There are five kinds of food to be blessed: Wheat (break or cake), Wine (Grape juice), fruit of the tree, fruit of the earth, and anything else (meat, milk products, other beverages.)
Each type of food represents a different kind of worldy blessing. Wheat represents a blessing for employment; wine, for a mate; fruit of the tree, children; fruit of the earth, health and long life, and the last blessing covers anything and everything – happiness, repentance, etc.
As I’m writing the women are sitting in the other room, listening to various stories of people who recited special blessings and those who recited Amen. When they conclude a particular subject one of the women recites the blessing over a morsel from one of the above categories. All the other women answer Amen. They then go around the room reciting names of people who are in need of such a blessing, be it for children, health, a spouse, or anything else.
I listened to some of the stories told and would like to repeat one of them.
A religious Jew acted as an escort for a sick person who had to travel to the United States for medical treatment. On a Friday night, following the beginning of the Sabbath, they were told that it was necessary to be x-rayed. Even though it would normally be forbidden on the Shabbat to ride in an elevator, for such medical needs it was permitted. The two men, the ill man and his escort, rode the elevator down 17 flights to the x-ray department where they waited to be called. While speaking to each other in Hebrew, they suddenly heard a weak voice calling to them. A very old woman, also waiting in the room, was speaking to them, in Yiddish.
They began talking and she told them her story. She had been born in Europe, and when World War Two began, her parents asked Gentile neighbors to hide their daughter. She survived the war and later immigrated to the United States, her Judaism long forgotten. And here she was, decades later, speaking Yiddish. She suddenly asked, ‘it’s Friday night, the Sabbath. Can you recite Shabbat Kiddush for me?’
In order to recite the special Sabbath prayer, the escort realized he would have to climb up 17 flights to bring back the wine needed for the blessing. He also realized that he would have to trek far outside to reach the stairs, to get back to his room. But he decided to do so, despite the distance. In very cold weather and the long walk, he climbed the stairs and reached the door to the 17th floor, only to find it locked. He looked towards the heavens and asked the L-rd to help him. Suddenly the door opened. Another person, having lost his way, had opened that door by mistake.
He took the bottle of wine, walked back down the 17 flights, found the woman and recited the Sabbath Kiddush blessing for her. As he finished, she said with all her might, “AMEN.” And then she cried out, ‘it’s been over 50 years since I could say Amen after Kiddush.’ She repeated herself over and over again, until the two men were called in for their x-ray. When they returned, the woman was no longer there. When they asked where she was, they were told that a few minutes earlier she had passed away.
It is written that a person who repeats the word Amen, with all their might, opens the door to the Garden of Eden (Tractate Shabbat, 119B). It seems that this is what she had done, only moments before departing from this world.
A few meters from me the women are still reciting blessings and many Amens, with goal of saying at least 100 Amens, praying for people who are in need of health, happiness, or anything else. This really is a unique meal, a meal of Amens, a meal sanctifying their beings, the food they eat and the essence of their souls. I can only wish upon all of you that you too should be privileged to participate in such a meal, or, at the very least, like myself, witness it from not too far away. It is quite a purifying experience.
This is a tale of good against evil, light over darkness, truth versus lie.
Finally - the windows have arrived!
It's very late, and I just arrived back home from an enjoyable and fruitful parlor meeting in Jerusalem. I haven't had time to post anything yet on the Hebron web site - will try to tomorrow, including photos and a video - but I have to write something:
YES - we started instillation of windows in Beit HaShalom this afternoon!!!
Hopefully the work will be finished on Sunday, before the next snow storm hits.
I never thought I could be so excited about, of all things, windows - I mean, who even thinks about windows. But I guess it's just like everything else we take for granted, until it's missing. Think of your house, apartment, car, without windows. Think about families, with lots of little kids, trying to live in an apartment, during a heavy rain or snow storm, without windows. That's the way it is/was in Beit HaShalom here in Hebron - until today.
Last week we received 'permits' to finally put closed windows in the building - it's really an amazing story, more of which I'll try to write about tomorrow.This is a tale of good against evil, light over darkness, truth versus lie.
But what must be remembered, above all - is that this is not only a story about simple windows. This is a tale of good against evil, light over darkness, truth versus lie. Those who refused us the right to install windows don't care about windows - they simply don't want Jews in Hebron. They are willing to provide 'humanitarian aid' to the 'poor palestinians' in Gaza, who elected Hamas, and allow their people to shoot rockets into Israel. But humanitarian aid to to Jews - in Hebron? Of course not - Ehud Barak, told Hebron families 'if it's too cold, go live somewhere else.'
Windows in Beit HaShalom represent a major victory over those who pushed all the buttons in an attempt to have us expelled. We're still there - and now, so are the windows!
So for now, lila tov - good night - and blessings from Hebron.
My answer, many times over is, how can you not bring children to Hebron?
In all seriousness, wouldn't it be safer for the settlers to treat Hebron like Shechem? You never had people living in Shechem, endangering their children. There were just students who came in to study there at the holy site. Why endanger Jewish children just to make a political point, when you could work and study in Hevron, and not subject your children to walk the streets where Arab terrorists tread?
Being that this question was seriously asked, I think it deserves a very serious answer. Let's start from the end: not subjecting my children to walking the streets where Arab terrorists tread. OK - not in Hebron, but where? Last week a terrorist exploded in Dimona. Only a miracle and a very quick policeman prevented the second terrorist from exploding too. - Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beer Sheva, Hadera, Afula - where no - where in the State of Israel can a Jew walk 'safely,' without being targeted by terrorists? I am unfamiliar with such a place. Wherever we go, we are in their sights.
So, there are then two possible solutions: not to live in Israel, which I do not view as an option, or to live normally and naturally in our homeland, in our cities, in our homes. Hebron is the first Jewish home, the first Jewish city in Israel. What could be more natural for a Jew than to live in Hebron?!
Now let me return to the second point, about 'making a political point.' I am not, nor or are any of the other Jews living in Hebron, to the best of my knowledge, making a 'political point,' as such. I live in Hebron, following in the footsteps of thousands and tens of thousands of Jews who lived in Hebron throughout the generations. I live in Israel, not for political reasons, rather for religious reasons. A Jew is commanded to live in Eretz Yisrael. This is where G-d wants us to live - He created us, the Jewish people, to live in our land, in Eretz Yisrael. He didn't limit us - live only where there are lots of other Jews. When Abraham wandered the Land he was all by himself. When he bought Ma'arat HaMachpela there weren't too many others like him in the neighborhood. Yet that didn't prevent him from living here, or from purchasing the Caves of Machpela for the Jewish People for eternity. Jews are commanded to live all over Israel, even..... Tel Aviv. But Tel Aviv isn't mentioned in the Bible. Hebron is, numerous times. It is called by our sages, one of the four holy cities in Eretz Yisrael. This has nothing to do with politics - it has to do with Torah.
And almost the last point - comparing Shechem to Hebron - treating Hebron like Shechem.
There was an international agreement about Joseph's Tomb in Shechem. Arafat signed it. The United States guaranteed it. But the above photos show what happened to Joseph's Tomb. BECAUSE Jews DID NOT live there. Had Jews lived in Shechem I have no doubt that just as we have access to Ma'arat HaMachpela, so too would we have access to this holy site.
For 700 hundred years this is the way it was for Jews in Hebron. They could pray at the 7th step, outside Ma'arat HaMachpela, the 2nd holiest site to Jews in all the world. And today?
Hundreds of thousands visit Hebron and Ma'arat HaMachpela annually. Only because there are Jews living in Hebron. The Arabs tell us straight out: Should they ever, G-d forbid, control this site, we will not be able to worship here. So, what do we choose - this photo or one of the above?
And the last point: Children. The question is focussed on children: how can you bring children to Hebron? My answer, many times over is, how can you not bring children to Hebron? You know, there are problems with kids all over the world. But in Hebron, we don't have problems with drugs, prostitution, and other such epidemics. Our children, when they finish their military service, don't travel to India or Thailand searching for their guru, because their guru is in their backyard - they pray there every day and every week - Avraham, Yitzhak, Ya'akov, Sarah, Rivka, and Leah - at Ma'arat HaMachpela.
We too have problems with youth, who doesn't. But our kids don't live for a 'bigger house' or a 'bigger car.' They live ideals, they grow up on ideals, and they escort these ideals into the future. Our kids continue living in Hebron, or in other communities in Judea and Samaria. Some, the really dedicated ones, make their way to Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv, to bring some of the idealism of Hebron to the Big City, where idealism is usually translated into how many vacations have people taken outside Israel. These kids, the ones from Hebron, from Gush Katif, from Yehuda and Shomron, these kids are the future leadership of the Jewish people in Israel. They live faith, they have nerves of steel, and they won't let the White House, or anyone else bully them into betraying their beliefs. Watch and see. They are our future.
Is is dangerous? Perhaps. More dangerous than elsewhere? I don't know. But I do know that if we don't live our ideals, if we abandon our homeland, our cities, there is no such thing as a vacuum. And those who fill the vacuum we leave have no intentions of stopping in Hebron, or Beit El or Elon Moreh. They too have ideals, which they hope will lead them to Haifa, Tel Aviv and Beer Sheva. If we continue living where we are today, that won't happen.
So, briefly, that's why we live in Hebron, and refuse to treat this holy city as was Shechem. We prefer our presence at Ma'arat HaMachpela to the kinds of pictures of Arabs dancing on the ruins of Kever Yosef. And above and beyond that, we really truely love Hebron. We will never abandon our Saba and Savta, our Grandma and Grandpa, here in Hebron
(See also: http://web.israelinsider.com/Views/2502.htm)