The Jewish History of the Neighborhood at the Center of Recent Violence in Israel

While rioting and acts of terror have been ongoing in the Jewish capital for some weeks, the latest pretext has been a district court’s decision to allow the eviction of the residents of four homes in Sheikh Jarrah, a mostly-Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem. The Supreme Court has postponed the hearings on the issue, which were originally scheduled for today. Micha Danzig explains the historical background:

Sheikh Jarrah is an Arab neighborhood that was established in 1865. And before 1949, there was a separate Jewish neighborhood within it, . . . known by the name “Shimon HaTzadik” (Simon the Righteous), named after the famous sage whose tomb is located there.

Because of the tomb and its significance to the Jewish people, the Sephardi Community Committee and the Ashkenazi Assembly of Israel purchased the tomb and its surrounding land (about 4.5 acres) in 1875. Shortly thereafter, it, along with the neighborhood of Kfar Hashiloaḥ in the Silwan area of Jerusalem, became home to many, mostly Yemenite, Jews who had migrated to Jerusalem back in 1881. Notably, by 1844, Jews were the largest ethnic population in Jerusalem.

Between 1936 and 1938, and then again in 1948, the British empire assisted Arabs . . . in ripping Jews from their homes in Shimon HaTzadik (and in Kfar Hashiloaḥ). The Yemenite Jewish community was also expelled from Silwan, for “their own safety,” by the British Office of Social Welfare. Essentially, the British preferred to force Jews out of their own homes rather than expend the resources to protect Jewish families and their property rights in Jerusalem.

Then, in 1949, [the Jordanian army] either killed or ethnically cleansed every last Jew [in the area]. After Israel gained control of all of Jerusalem from the Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel passed a law that allows Jews whose families had been forced out of their homes by the Jordanians or the British to regain control of their family homes if they could provide proof of ownership and the current residents could not provide proof of a valid purchase or transfer of title.

Read more at Jewish Journal

More about: Israeli War of Independence, Jerusalem, Palestinian terror

Despite the Toll of War at Home and Rising Hostility Abroad, Investors Are Still Choosing Israel

When I first saw news that Google wasn’t going through with its acquisition of the tech startup Wiz, I was afraid hesitancy over its Israeli founders and close ties with the Jewish state might have something to do with it. I couldn’t have been more wrong: the deal is off not because of Google’s hesitancy, but because Wiz feared the FTC would slow down the process with uncertain results. The company is instead planning an initial public offering. In the wake of the CrowdStrike debacle, companies like Wiz have every reason to be optimistic, as Sophie Shulman explains:

For the Israeli cyber sector, CrowdStrike’s troubles are an opportunity. CrowdStrike is a major competitor to Palo Alto Networks, and both companies aim to provide comprehensive cyber defense platforms. The specific issue that caused the global Windows computer shutdown is related to their endpoint protection product, an area where they compete with Palo Alto’s Cortex products developed in Israel and the SentinelOne platform.

Friday’s drop in CrowdStrike shares reflects investor frustration and the expectation that potential customers will now turn to competitors, strengthening the position of Israeli companies. This situation may renew interest in smaller startups and local procurement in Israel, given how many institutions were affected by the CrowdStrike debacle.

Indeed, it seems that votes of confidence in Israeli technology are coming from many directions, despite the drop in the Tel Aviv stock exchange following the attack from Yemen, and despite the fact that some 46,000 Israeli businesses have closed their doors since October 7. Tel Aviv-based Cyabra, which creates software that identifies fake news, plans a $70 million IPO on Nasdaq. The American firm Applied Systems announced that it will be buying a different Israeli tech startup and opening a research-and-development center in Israel. And yet another cybersecurity startup, founded by veterans of the IDF’s elite 8200 unit, came on the scene with $33 million in funding. And those are the stories from this week alone.

But it’s not only the high-tech sector that’s attracting foreign investment. The UK-based firm Energean plans to put approximately $1.2 billion into developing a so-far untapped natural-gas field in Israel’s coastal waters. Money speaks much louder than words, and it seems Western businesses don’t expect Israel to become a global pariah, or to collapse in the face of its enemies, anytime soon.

Read more at Calcalist

More about: cybersecurity, Israeli economy, Israeli gas, Israeli technology, Start-up nation