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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.davidwilder.net
      www.hebron.com (English)
      www.hebron.org.il (Hebrew)
      www.machpela.com
      www.ohrshlomo.org (Hebrew)
      www.ohrshalom.net (Hebrew)
      www.womeningreen.org
      www.zoa.org
      (others to be added)

      Shevat 28, 5770, 2/12/2010

      Consideration? - Reopening Tzir Tzion - Zion Road


      A year ago I produced short movie concerning Tzir Tzion – Zion Road, which leads from North of Kiryat Arba, past the western gate of the Kirya, down into Hebron. It’s the only access road into the ‘Jewish area’ of Hebron.
      It is very interesting that Israeli military officers, responsible for security of Jews, are more concerned about ‘easing the lives of palestinians’ than they are in providing security for Jews.

       

      Years ago the road was closed to Arab  vehicular traffic following two terrorist attacks on the same day, leaving David Cohen and Hezzi Mualem dead, killed by Arab terrorists on that street.

       

      About a year ago the military commander in the area, Col Udi Bar Mocha told us of his decision to reopen the road to Arab traffic. He promised that only automobiles of Arabs living along that route would receive permits to travel on the road and that the drivers and others would undergo security checks. When Hebron leaders predicted that within a fairly short period of time the road would be opened to general Arab traffic we were promised and guaranteed that this would never happen. Such was promised to the select Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, which also investigated the affair.

       

      The reason for the commander’s reopening of the road: ‘easing of palestinian lives’ in Hebron.

       

      Our argument, opposing the opening was simple. First, any time roads are reopened to Arabs, or roadblocks are lifted, Jews are killed. Two, our experience has taught us, too many times, once concessions begin, stage two is only a matter of time.

       

      Despite our massive attempts to prevent Tzir Tzion’s opening to Arab, a half a year ago it was opened  .

       

      Lo and behold, about two months ago we were informed that Tzir Tzion, the Zion Road, was to be opened to Arab public transportation, buses and taxis. Following several conversations with military officers in the area we were promised that this new plan would not be implemented until we were able to meet with high-ranking military commanders in charge of Judea and Samaria. Immediately we requested such meetings with various officers. Time and time again our requests were rebuffed. More often than not, the requests were ignored.

       

      A few days ago we received notification that on Thursday the road would be open to Arab public transportation. Following urgent consultations Hebron leaders received guarantees from the highest political echelons that the road would not be opened, certainly not on Thursday.

       

      However, yesterday, at six in the morning, Col Ben Mocha received an official permit allowing Arab public transportation on the road. The first stage was designed to be a ‘pilot,’ a one-day trial period, during which a limited amount of vehicles would be allowed on the street.

       

      And so it was, yesterday.

       

      Presently we expect that in the near future, we expect local and national military officers, together with political figures in the defense ministry, to decide whether or not to permanently reopen the road to further Arab traffic. Clearly, the military recommendation will be in favor.

       

      Why? In their own words, ‘to ease Palestinian lives’ in the area.

       

      It is very interesting that Israeli military officers, responsible for security of Jews, are more concerned about ‘easing the lives of palestinians’  than they are in providing security for Jews.  They contend that the security situation now allows such ‘risks.

       

      However, about two months ago, Rabbi Meir Chai was murdered by Arabs belonging to Abu Mazen’s Fatah movement, ‘moderate’ Arabs, our ‘peace partners. Two days ago an Israeli soldier was murdered by a ‘palestinian police officer, again, belonging to ‘the good guys,’ the moderates.

       

      What can we expect in Hebron should the army continue to loosen their hold on the Arab population, a population which does not deny, for a moment, their goal of ridding Hebron of its Jewish community?!

       

      The next stage: Complete reopening of Tzir Tzion to all Arab traffic; to be followed by a reopening of King David Street, called by the Arabs ‘Shuhada.’ Such ‘consideration’ can and unfortunately will almost inevitably, lead to further tragedy, bloodshed, and lose of life.  It is very difficult to comprehend their priorities: ‘easing Arab life’ or protecting Jewish lives?

       

      ==========================================

       

      As I’ve finished writing, about to post, I received word that Arabs are throwing rocks at Beit Hadassah and the neighboring buildings. A neighbor called me and asked that I photograph the window in her son’s room, just broken by a rock hurled by a nearby Arab.

      Isaelis soldiers, patrolling in the area of the rock-throwing were attacked by Arabs, one of whom tried to stab a soldier. The terrorist was shot and badly wounded by the soldier, who wasn't hurt.

      Consideration?