Mistakes and Distortions in JPost's Feature on Hebron

Batya Medad ,

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Batya Medad
New York-born Batya Medad made aliyah with her husband just weeks after their 1970 wedding and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Political pundit, with a unique perspective, Batya has worked in a variety of professions: teaching, fitness, sales, cooking, public relations, photography and more. She has a B.S. in Journalism, is a licensed English Teacher specializing as a remedial teacher and for a number of years has been studying Tanach (Bible) in Matan. Batya blogs on Shiloh Musings and A Jewish Grandmother. ...

Many Mistakes and Distortions in JPost's Feature on Hebron

The Jerusalem Post's Friday edition had a big feature about Hebron, the Jews, Arabs and history. There are so many misleading distortions and mistakes that any good researcher could have corrected/prevented, I'd say not to read it at all.

I will just mention a few things here and hope that people a lot more knowledgable than myself will go through it carefully and thoroughly. Just to explain that I have more than a simple passing knowledge of Hebron and Kiryat Arba. My husband and I spent Shabbatot and even the Passover Seder in Hebron, 1970-71 and had been signed up for an apartment in the first stage of Kiryat Arba.

Distortion #1:

"Hebron was once a model of Jewish-Muslim coexistence,"

That's a totally idealized version of the history. Relations were not all that rosey. Although there are a couple of isolated stories of Jews being friendly with neighboring Arabs and then rescued by them, this was the exception to the rule. There were always tension and attacks on Jews. And when the massacre began, the Jewish community was horrified that even most of the Arabs who had always seemed friendly attacked and killed with great enthusiasm.

Totally False #1:

"In the late 19th and early 20th century, Jews and Arabs lived side by side in Hebron, sharing shops, hospitals, and holy sites."

Moslems forbade Jews to enter the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

About 700 years ago, the Muslim Mamelukes conquered Hebron, declared the structure a mosque and forbade entry to Jews, who were not allowed past the seventh step on a staircase outside the building. (Jewish Virtual Library)

Distortion #2:

"On April 4, 1968 a group of Jews led by Levinger posing as Swiss tourists checked in at the Arab-owned Hebron Park Hotel. The next day, after koshering the kitchen, the group announced that they were staying put. Then-defense minister Moshe Dayan ordered their evacuation, but compromised with a deal: they were resettled in a nearby military base, which eventually became the Kiryat Arba settlement, a suburb of the city of Hebron, now numbering over 7,000 Israelis."

Until Kiryat Arba, which isn't in Hebron, was built, a number of Jewish families lived in the police compound in Hebron, known in Hebrew as "hamemshal." That is where we visited. Kiryat Arba wasn't habitable until either late 1971 or early 1972.

Besides these inaccuracies, the most sympathetic person in the feature is the Arab, which just shows how subjective the writers and how poor and incompetent the editing and fact-checking in the article.