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Beit Ezra: The government's second test?

By David Wilder
4/23/2013, 5:04 PM

Last December I wrote an article about Beit Ezra – the Ezra House – here in Hebron.

“Presently, there is no doubt whatsoever that this is Jewish land, and that there are no real, justifiable, legal Arab claims to this property. However, the State Attorney General’s office has decided that Arabs who lived on this land which they stolen from Jews have ‘protected resident status’ and refuse to allow Hebron’s Jewish community to utilize the property. This, despite a ruling by an Israeli military judicial panel of three judges which concluded that there is a firm legal basis to allow the Hebron Jewish Community to utilize this land.”

A few days ago, one family moved out. Another family sealed off two rooms of their home.  The Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the buildings be emptied by April 24. They did not require the government to fulfill the other half of the original commission’s conclusions: that the buildings be transferred to Hebron’s Jewish community for public use, such as a nursery school or kindergarten.

So, as with other Jewish property in Hebron, these structures remain vacant. They can be added to a long list: Beit HaShalom, Beit HaMachpela, Beit Shapira, ‘the Shuk,’ aka, the Shalhevet neighborhood, to start with.

There are a number of points which must be stressed:

  1. The reason the buildings were evacuated quietly is because the community agreed to accept the verdict of the original panel. In other words, despite all labels attached to us, we are law-abiding citizens, and despite the government’s continued refusal to adhere to its own agreements and obligations, we do.
  2. We fully expect the original commission’s conclusions to be implemented. We fully expect to receive total license to utilize these buildings, as was specified in the panel’s report. We expect the government to fulfill its obligations immediately, as we have fulfilled ours.
  3. The present government and Knesset includes many of Hebron’s staunchest friends. Ministers, deputy ministers, and MKs, in the Likud, the Jewish Home party and even in Yesh Atid, must now come through. They were not elected just to occupy a comfortable chair, a big office and drive around in a state-financed car. Their job is to accomplish what we’ve all set out to do: that is, to continue Jewish dominion in Judea and Samaria. Our presence must include all facets of every day, normal life. We cannot be excluded from our land and our property because we are Jews living in Eretz Yisrael, in the State of Israel. To the contrary, because we are Jews in Israel we must be encouraged to settle our land. That is why Jews came back to Israel – to live here.
  4. This is a classic example of left-wing, political agendas attempting to prevent Jewish residency on our land, here in Hebron. Our representatives, in the government and in the Knesset must take affirmative action to ensure, not only that Jews won’t be expelled from their land and property, but rather will be persuaded to continue moving into such areas, as Hebron and other places throughout Judea and Samaria.
  5. MK Orit Struk, from Hebron, whose own apartment is adjacent to Beit Ezra, said: "The government is determined to carry out the judicial recommendation of former Deputy Attorney-General Mike Blass while ignoring the decision of the Settlement Ministerial Committee to allocate Ezra House to the Jews of Hebron, in addition to the ruling of the Supreme Court to decide the issue before evacuation."
  6. While these words are one hundred percent correct, they are not enough. This government must end continued expulsion of Jews from their homes, and perhaps, first and foremost in Hebron, the first Jewish city in Israel. We expect our friends and representatives to use their democratically-obtained authority to put an end to these disgraces. They are nothing less than an abomination, and desecration of the God’s sanctity. He didn’t give us Eretz Yisrael in order to have Jews expel Jews from their land. 

We hope and pray that Beit Ezra will not remain an empty shell for very long, and that soon we will celebrate it redemption, here in Hebron. A few days ago Minister Naftali Bennett, following government approval of the ‘Open Skies’ program, was quoted as saying that the government had ‘passed its first test.’ So perhaps Beit Ezra is its second test?