The Zionist Organization of America (
To the best of our knowledge, there are legal documents, videotapes and audiotapes attesting to the legitimacy of the sale of Beit Hashalom by its former Arab owner to a Jewish owner. Having at first confirmed the sale, the former Arab owner has now recanted, for fear of Arab retribution. Remember, Palestinian Authority law calls for the death penalty for selling land to a Jew.
After refusing to consider the aforementioned video and audiotape evidence, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that it will be possible to act in accordance with Squatters Evacuation Law and evict the residents. Therefore, until the Jerusalem District Court decides on the legal ownership of the structure, authorities may remove the tenants. This does not mean they are required to be removed, as was confirmed in no uncertain terms by former Israeli Supreme Court Justice Yaakov Turkel who said, The ruling does not obligate the State to act to evacuate the Jews, but rather gives them the freedom to decide whether to do so or not.
It should also be noted that Israeli Supreme Court President Dorit Beinish unfairly biased the panel by unilaterally removing two justices, including Orthodox Justice Edmond Levy. Our understanding is that both of the removed justices might have been more sympathetic to the Jews of Hebron. Justice Beinish substituted two justices, Ayala Procaccia and Salim Joubran, who are known to be hostile to Jews in the territories. But even with these unsympathetic justices, they did not rule that the Jews of Beit Hashalom House are required to be moved but only authorized the removal if the government made that decision.
*In fact, approximately 50 Members of Knesset (out of 120) sent letters to Ehud Barak, Minister of Defense, and Avi Dichter, Minister of National Security, as well as to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz pleading with them to not evict the Jews from Beit Hashalom. The letter also states that the Supreme Court ruling does not require the eviction and they plead with these officials to review an audio cassette tape in which the Arab seller states that he sold the building to the American Jew, Morris Abraham. (These letters were sent on November 2, 2008 to Mazuz and November 24, 2008 to Barak and Dichter). The letters signatories included Sylvan Shalom, former Foreign Minister; Reuben Rivlin, former Speaker of the Knesset; Gideon Saar, Chairman, Likud Faction; Uri Ariel, Chairman, National Union Faction; Yoel Hasson, Chairman, Kadima Faction; Yaakov Margi, Chairman, Shas Faction; Yaakov Litzman, Chairman, Yahadut HaTorah Faction; Robert Elituv, Chairman, Yisrael Beteinu Faction; Yitzhak Galanti, Chairman, Gil Faction; Rafi Eitan, Minister Gil; Tzachi HaNegbi, Chairman, Knesset Committee Security & Foreign Affairs; Michael Eitan, Chairman of Knesset Committee for State Comptroller; Limur Livnat, former Minister of Education; Yuval Steinitz, former Chairman, Knesset Security & Foreign Affairs. Some other signatories included Yuli Edelstein (Likud); Zeev Elkin (Kadima); Gilad Erdan (Likud); Yitzhak Ziv (Gil); David Tal (Kadima); Shlomo Mula (Kadima); Sarah Marom-Shelo (Gil); Michael Nudelman (Kadima); Moshe Sharoni (Gil).
The letters statements to Defense Minister Barak and Security Minister Dichter included, We Knesset members from various parties, request and demand that you act fairly and responsibly to prevent eviction from Beit Hashalom in
The letter to Attorney General Mazuz included the following statements: In light of the new evidence presented last Thursday to the prosecutor’s office: an audio cassette in which the Arab seller admits that he sold the building and received full compensation for it and in addition, the renovations was done for the purchaser.
As public representatives we believe that the new cassette that was presented to the media, strengthens the troublesome question marks around the very decision to evict the building’s residents/owners. It seems that the settlers have serious evidence to prove their claims,
This heavy feeling of bias and injustice has followed the entire case. As public representatives we warn that continued proceedings along these lines, leading to this result, is liable to significantly damage public faith in the judicial system.
For this reason we suggest that the Attorney General hold a renewed hearing, paying attention to the new evidence, paying attention to the serious intervention of the Palestinian Authority, and to pay attention to the bias against the purchasers only because they are Jewish settlers.
Approximately twenty-four hours prior to the violent eviction,
Due to the escalating crisis, even this short ceremony commemorating the opening of the
MK Arieh Eldad also lashed out at Barak, saying that he was responsible for all those wounded in the lightening-quick raid in Hebron: “Barak sent the IDF and police as part of the left-wing’s election campaign and the blood of the casualties is on his hands.”
MK Uri Ariel said: “Defense Minister Barak violated all the understandings with him, and he has provided proof that he cannot be trusted.”
Yechiel Leiter, former Deputy Director General of
Even a member of the Kadima party, MK Zev Elkin, called on Minister of Defense Ehud Barak to avoid a confrontation with Peace House activists in
Many have also asked why Defense Minister Barak has flexed his muscles against innocent civilians in Beit Hashalom, while failing to defend the Western Negev communities from
Nevertheless, as Mr. Daube reported based on his observations and conversations, the overwhelming majority of young people at Beit Hashalom were there to make a non-violent, positive statement of support. Notwithstanding the few hotheaded young people, there was an overall sense of a desire to avoid confrontation. I sat in on one meeting conducted by an adult leader, who instructed a large group of teens on exactly how to act with grace and dignity in the best tradition of Ghandi and Martin Luther King, should police forces enter to forcibly evict them. They were even given emergency phone numbers in the event that they were detained, recalled Mr. Daube.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: We are also troubled that the forced violent eviction took place before the Jerusalem District Court determined the legal ownership of Beit Hashalom. Even if the District Court rules against Jewish ownership, the