Thursday, November 13, 2008

Israel Bars Liberal Rabbis from Visiting the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron

Yesterday, a group of North American rabbis on a tour sponsored by Rabbis for Human Rights, and led by the IDF veterans' group, Breaking the Silence, was prevented from visiting the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the Cave of Machpelah.

During Jordanian rule, no Jews were allowed within the site, which is also a mosque. That changed when Israel occupied Hebron in 1967. After the Barukh Goldstein massacre, an elaborate division of the Tomb of the Patriarch was engineered by Israel.

Apparently in order to visit or pray in the Tomb it is not necessary or sufficient to be a Jew, or even a Rabbi. What is really important is that one must be a rightwing racist, bigot, or settler of the Judaeo-Christian variety.

Otherwise, it is hard to explain why a delegation of forty American rabbis and their guests were barred by the Israel Defense Forces from visiting the spot.

As a Jew – no, as a human being -- I strongly believe that Jews should be allowed to visit synagogues. Heck, I am also in favor of Jewish settlement in Hebron.

Unfortunately, no Jews today live in Hebron. Only "Pseudo-Jewdos" with guns. And they call the shots, quite literally, when it comes to who can visit Hebron.



Anonymous said...

"During Jordanian rule, no Jews were allowed within the site, which is also a mosque."

Was this a religious/ethnic discrimination rule against Jordanian/West Bank Jews? Or does it just mean that Jordan didn't allow Israelis into their country?

Anonymous said...

I am sorry, but this story doesn't make any sense. Every day large numbers of Jews visit the Ma'arat HaMachpela, including Leftists. However, there is a major ongoing problem of Leftists groups coming to Hevron and instigating violent incidents. The IDF has confirmed this. These are the stories we keep hearing in the media about supposedly "settler thugs" harrassing "innocent Arabs" who are conveniently escorted by Israeli and foreign anarchists equipped with video cameras so they can show pictures of confrontations which are then used for fund raising purposes. In reality these anarchists encourage the Arabs to trespass on Jewish land. Again, this has been confirmed by the IDF.
Let's lay our cards on the tables. My belief is that the IDF had reason to believe that this group of Rabbis came, not to pray, or even to observe the situation, but to make a demonstation that could easily get out of hand.
The groups you support that come to Hevron, not to be concerned with Arabs rights but to create situations that will eventually lead to the expulsion of the Jewish population of Hevron. You yourself dehumanize them and deligitimize them with gross overgeneralizations, which shows your true position. This only confirms for me that the IDF was right in banning their visit since they viewed it as being designed to create incidents for public relations purposes.

Anonymous said...

They are not "Pseudo-Jewdos" with guns.They are Jews, sick, evil Jews, but nonetheless Jews and if there is collective responsibility in klal yisrael we own those bastards and we are partly responsible for the fact they are not in prison, or in an asylum for the criminally insane instead of being gatekeepers to the cave of Machpelah.

Jerry Haber said...

y ben david, if you are living in Israel now, I can arrange for you to see for yourself. It is not the case that every days a group of liberal rabbis, sponsored by Rabbis for Human Rights, visit the Cave of the Machpelah as an organized tour.

It is the case that Breaking the Silence has sponsored tours for the last several years, none of which was a political demonstration, recently, with the backing of the IDF, the Police, and the High Court of Justice.

But I understand your confusion, and the fact that you are mixing things up. So if you want to see with your own eyes, take a tour with Breaking the Silence. See exactly what they are doing, and whether they are doing what you say they are doing. You will get on a bus, and when you arrive in Hebron,you will be met by a police escort that will protect you from an angry mob with megaphones attempting to break up the tour.

Don't rely on me for this one. If you want more info on how to get on a tour, contact me off blog -- the email is, and see for yourself.

I will be happy to go with you, by the way. Should be fun. I am even willing to go on one of your tours, in return.

Jerry Haber said...

Ploni, I was relying on Maimonides' ruling that one suspects the Jewish lineage of a Jew who acts cruelly to others. But I understand where you are coming from. Still, I don't responsible in the least for those folks. They piss me off as a Jew and as a human being. But they are not my brothers and sisters, not according to the commentators who say that the bond between "brothers" is more than just blood.