Hevron - Now and Forever and Growing!

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 (www.heritagehouse.org.il) and Co-Director of Young Jewish Conservatives (www.youngjewishconservatives.org). He lives in the Old City of Jerusalem with his wife and 6 children....

Why is the news today (see here) of the authorization of the construction of 31 Jewish residences in Hevron SOOO SIGNIFICANT?!!

For the first time since the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Israeli Government has officially authorized the growth of the Jewish Community in Hevron. (Another building was built in 2005 in the Tel Rumeida section of Hevron - Beit Menachem. However this was a Government attempt to relocate the Jewish residents out of their flimsy trailer houses that were being shot at nightly and into a stone/fortified building. This was in no way intended to increase the Jewish population. In the end, the brave and heroic Jewish residents of the trailers refused to move and it did actually result in doubling the size of the Jewish community in that area).

Therefore today's authorization is quite significant and the main story here. Of course one can not discount the very important fact that the actual construction and inhabitance of the now-authorized apartments would increase the Jewish population in Hevron by a solid 25%. This coupled with the real possibility of another 25% increase through the already completed private purchases and need-to-be-completed renovations of properties from arabs in Hevron (Beit HaShalom, Beit Machpela, Beit Leah and Beit Rachel). This is all without factoring in probable (G-d willing) additional near-future purchases and development authorizations.

In the next 3-5 years, Hevron could/most likely will be a very different place. A place with a much larger Jewish Population and a much, much stronger Jewish Presence. This is indeed very good news for the Jewish People!

A Healthy and Prosperous Winter,

Ben Packer

Old City, Jerusalem