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.

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Read more at Jewish Journal

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

 

How European Fecklessness Encourages the Islamic Republic’s Assassination Campaign

In September, Cypriot police narrowly foiled a plot by an Iranian agent to murder five Jewish businessman. This was but one of roughly a dozen similar operations that Tehran has conducted in Europe since 2015—on both Israeli or Jewish and American targets—which have left three dead. Matthew Karnitschnig traces the use of assassination as a strategic tool to the very beginning of the Islamic Republic, and explains its appeal:

In the West, assassination remains a last resort (think Osama bin Laden); in authoritarian states, it’s the first (who can forget the 2017 assassination by nerve agent of Kim Jong-nam, the playboy half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur?). For rogue states, even if the murder plots are thwarted, the regimes still win by instilling fear in their enemies’ hearts and minds. That helps explain the recent frequency. Over the course of a few months last year, Iran undertook a flurry of attacks from Latin America to Africa.

Whether such operations succeed or not, the countries behind them can be sure of one thing: they won’t be made to pay for trying. Over the years, the Russian and Iranian regimes have eliminated countless dissidents, traitors, and assorted other enemies (real and perceived) on the streets of Paris, Berlin, and even Washington, often in broad daylight. Others have been quietly abducted and sent home, where they faced sham trials and were then hanged for treason.

While there’s no shortage of criticism in the West in the wake of these crimes, there are rarely real consequences. That’s especially true in Europe, where leaders have looked the other way in the face of a variety of abuses in the hopes of reviving a deal to rein in Tehran’s nuclear-weapons program and renewing business ties.

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Read more at Politico

More about: Europe, Iran, Israeli Security, Terrorism