Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bibi: Recognize Hebron's Heritage!

Bibi: Recognize Hebron's Heritage!

As has been recently reported by the Israeli press, the Netanyahu administration, announced intentions to 'refurbish Israeli heritage sites.' As reported by Arutz 7-IsraelNationalNews, at the Hertzelia Conference a few weeks ago, the Prime Minister, referring to today's education, "bemoaned the surroundings of cultural shallowness, of diluted knowledge and spirituality," which he said "dilutes and weakens the national strength."
Am Yisrael's eternity is more important than lunch with George, Hillary, Joe or Barack

The antidote, he said, is reminding students of their "Zionist heritage," encouraging them to find themselves in the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. His plan aims to allow them to do so by walking the length and breadth of Israel []."

Netanyahu seemed to be following in the footsteps of one of his predecessors in office, Ariel Sharon. Fifteen years ago, standing outside Ma'arat HaMachpela, the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron, Sharon declared, "What nation in the world has such a monument, where all the leaders of the people are buried, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Lea?! All foreign diplomats should be brought here, all visiting tourists should be brought here, all Israeli school children should be brought here! This is our roots!"

This being the case, it would be expected that such a significant program would include first-hand experiences at such sites as Ma'arat HaMachpela and Tel Hebron, today referred to as "Tel Rumeida." These sites express, as no words or expressions ever can, the quintessential heritage, not only of the Jewish people, but of all mankind.

However, it seems that present-day political considerations are more important than the age-old legacy of Am Yisrael. Today's media reports the bewildering fact that Netanyahu's list of sites to be included in the National Heritage project does not include Ma'arat HaMachpela or Tel Hebron.

Is this fact truly perplexing? Perhaps not. It should be recalled that in January, 1997 this same Binyamin Netanyahu literally chopped up Hebron into two unequal sections, abandoning over 80% of the city to Arafat and his terrorist cronies, leaving the Jews in something of an Israeli-imposed ghetto. The land transferred to Arafat included the hills surrounding the Jewish community; these hills, Abu-Sneneh and Harat-a-Shech, became the source of two and half years of shooting attacks, constant terror on the street, in cars and in people's homes, the results of which were lethal and catastrophic.

It would be expected that the new-old Prime Minister might wish to atone for his previous sins, and place Hebron, Ma'arat HaMachpela and Tel Hebron in the forefront of a national heritage program, thereby, if not compensating for his previous errors, at least indirectly declaring, in other words, "Hebron, from Now and Forever – Hevron, Meaz u'letamid."

But, it seems, Netanyahu has yet to internalize the mistakes of over a decade ago.

Yet, Hebron today has tremendous support, in Israel and internationally. Knesset members of all factions visit, tour and meet with Hebron leaders. Last year some half a million people visited the "Jewish side" of Ma'arat HaMachpela, people of all religions and nationalities. Today MKs from the Likud and Kadima will later visit, Hebron, showing their continued support for its Jewish community.

We hope that Netanyahu will, finally, realize that Am Yisrael's eternity is more important than lunch with George, Hillary, Joe or Barack, and publicly place Hebron, together with Jerusalem, at the peak of Israeli's heritage.

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