No Exceptions

Ben Packer,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Ben Packer
Originally from Petersburg, Virginia, Ben Packer moved to Israel in 1999, where he served in the IDF's Givati Brigade in the Gaza Strip. Ben served as a Rabbi on campus at Univ. of North Carolina and at Duke Univ. Ben now serves as Director of the Jerusalem Heritage House ( and Co-Director of Young Jewish Conservatives ( He lives in the Old City of Jerusalem with his wife and 6 children....

After a fitting announcement (so close to Yom Yerushalayim) earlier in the week about upcoming approval for the construction of a new Jewish-owned building in the "Kfar Teimanim/Silwan" neighborhood of Jerusalem, reports are now coming out that say the building request will be denied due to political pressure. This is quite the pathetic turn of events. 

However, maybe it would be best to look at this potentially very negative situation as both a learning experience and an opportunity. Why is there so much excitement about this building plan? Is this the only example of Jews being stopped from building in Jerusalem? FAR FROM IT!!! There are requests for building permits in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Nachalat Shimon/Shimon HaTzadik, Beit Hanina, Kidmat Tzion, Atarot and elsewhere - ALL IN JERUSALEM! ALL SUBMITTED BY JEWS!!! ALL BEING HELD UP FOR "POLITCAL" REASONS!!! 

Maybe its not the time to just celebrate the building of one more Jewish building in "Kfar Temeinim/Silwan" (although, G-d willing, it should be approved!!), maybe its the time to call on our elected "leaders" to approve all of these plans! To stop illegally discriminating against Jews, in Jerusalem! To send a message - we are back and we are here to stay, in all parts of Jerusalem!

Yom Yerushalayim Sameach!

Ben Packer

Old City, Jerusalem

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