Soldiers guard Jews in Peace House
Soldiers guard Jews in Peace HouseFlash 90

Israel media on Wednesday escalated a campaign against Jewish rights to the Peace House in Hevron following a High Court ruling that the more than 20 families there must leave.


Voice of Israel government radio news anchorwoman Estie Peres, who previously has faced complaints of an anti-religious and anti-nationalist bias, called the building the "House of Conflict."  Official news reports use that term as well.


Peres interviewed Prof. Zev Sternhell, an outspoken anti-nationalist who recently was wounded when extremists threw a pipe bomb at his Jerusalem home. Peres focused on the issue of Hevron Jews ignoring a court order and threatening the rule of law.


After asking polite questions for several minutes, she turned the microphone over to Judea/Samaria human rights leader Orit Strook, who tried to point out that the media has incorrectly reported that the Supreme Court ruled that Jews have no right to the house. She reminded the interviewer and listeners that the justices decided that the issue of who owns the building must be decided in civil courts.


Peres, however, cut off Strook, saying she was straying from the main issue.


Strook also tried to point out the judicial bias against Jews in Judea and Samaria in general and Hevron in particular. She noted that one newspaper reported Wednesday that the government is considering a proposal to overturn the illegal status of tens of thousands of Bedouin homes and allow them to remain standing under law. The proposal also would allow Bedouins to take legal ownership of more 150,000 acres of government land that they claim is theirs by ancestry.


The media and government call the illegal Bedouin areas "unrecognized" but refer to Jewish houses in Judea and Samaria as "illegal."

The media and government call the illegal Bedouin areas "unrecognized" but refer to Jewish houses in Judea and Samaria as 'illegal.'


Other anti-nationalist emphasis was provided by the Haaretz newspaper, which reported on Tuesday night's emergency meeting of nationalists in Kiryat Arba. It highlighted one quote by a rabbi that the "State of Israel has become the enemy of the people and the land of Israel."


None of the several other speakers agreed with him and, as Haaretz told readers several paragraphs later, Rabbi Eliezer Waldman said "stop this nonsense" of calling the state an enemy. The problem is with the ruling government," he explained.


All of the speakers insisted violence would not be initiated from the defenders of the Peace House.  


Ynet, the English Internet branch of the Yediot Acharonot newspaper, also joined the campaign against Hevron Jews. It published an op-ed peace by Dror Etkes, an official of the strongly anti-Yesha Yesh Din group.


He wrote, "While the settlers made every effort to create the impression they legally acquired the home, suspicions grew that we are dealing with yet another case of forged purchase documents.  


"It is clear that they again attempted to force the Israeli public to accept the establishment of another settlement in the heart of Hebron."


Ynet did not publish an opinion supporting a Jewish presence in the Peace House.