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WATCH: How Hebron went from integration to segregation

A tour of Hebron covers the history of the city, from its former incarnation as a space shared by Jews and Arabs to the massacres in 1929 and 1994, and from the Oslo Accords to segregation.

Read more:
How the 1929 Hebron massacre invigorated the Zionist movement
Special Coverage: The Goldstein massacre – 20 years of segregation in Hebron 
Richard Gere on segregation in Hebron: It’s exactly like the Old South

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    1. i_like_ike52

      The first Jews who returned to Hevron after the Six-Day War, led by Rabbi Moshe Levinger made great efforts to integrate into the life of the city. In his first days, he went to the municipal building and asked to be registered as a taxpaying citizen of the city. I visited the city in 1977 and Jews walked around the city and did business there. However, in 1980 there was a major terrorist attack at the Jewish Beit Hadassah building in which 6 people were killed and relations deteriorated after that. However, it should be pointed out that Hevron is the major Arab industrial center in the West Bank and Jews from the area are actively involved in marketing the products produced there in Israel. A good example are my favorite Tosetti sandals which are very popular in Israel.

      Hevron has been settled by Jews almost continuesley for 4000 years and we will not give up our rights to live there. I have frequently heard arguments that the 1929 Massacre was the work of only a few “extremists” and that relations were supposedly idyllic before that between Jews and Arabs. If that was true, why did the Arabs acquiesce in the expulsion of the Jews in 1929 and then again, totally in 1936?

      Reply to Comment
      • Bruce Gould

        The 10 minute video says many interesting things about both the history of Hebron and the current situation, absolutely none of which you address.

        Reply to Comment
        • i_like_ike52

          What he says about the 1929 massacre is a load of garbage. His attempt to divide the Jews of Hevron into “good Jews” (Edot HaMizrach/Sefardim) and “bad Jews” (called “Zionists”) and the Arabs only really intended to kill the Zionists (apparently they killed some Sefardim “by accident”) is a gross falsehood. What he calls “the Zionists” were NOT Zionists, they were what today are called Haredim. These people were unarmed and were not part of the Zionist movement. All they wanted to do was set up a yeshivah and study Torah.

          The speaker is repeating the nonsense about the supposedly idyllic conditions that existed in Hevron and Jerusalem before the nefarious Zionists arrived. IF it was really like that, then why were the Jews (including the “good Sefardim”) driven out of the city?

          Reply to Comment
          • No Humanity, No Peace

            The extermination of the indigenous population of Hebron was the original sin of Palestine. Every policy of Palestine (her military alliance with Nazi Germany, her support for Soviet Russia, her role in the Ba’athist crimes, her complicity in the Jihad) all stem from that decision in Hebron in 1929. Since they forfeited their humanity on the Altar of Moloch, no Palestinian (or Muslim or Arab) has ever recovered.

            Unless and until the guilty Palestinians come to terms with their history – and take responsibility for what they did – there can never be peace.

            Reply to Comment
      • Baladi Akka 1948


        You’re an American newcomer to the Middle East, you’ve said so yourself under a former pen name, thinking you have any link to the Ancient Hebrews, Israelites or whatever you call them needs a medical treatment, it’s a pathology … well, maybe a day in Disneyland, Florida could make it up.

        Reply to Comment
        • Itshak Gordin Halevy

          Dear Baladi, Your forget in your comments one important thing: According to some Arab leaders the “Palestinian people” does not exist. Zuheir Moshen, one of the Saika leaders, member of the Fatah declared: “The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestine state is only a mean for continuing our struggle against the State of Israel for our Arab unity”
          Everybody can find and read his declarations on the net. Other Arab leader confirmed.

          Reply to Comment
          • Baladi Akka 1948

            I’m always impressed by people who can “quote” Zuheir Mohsen (and not ‘moshen’) leader of al-Saiqa (and not saika), member of the PLO (and not Fatah …. this confusion tells us that IGH doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about), al-Saiqa is the Palestinian branch of the Baath party, a Pan-Arab nationalist party, so claiming the the Palestinians are part of the larger Arab people is just a logical consequence.
            Anyway, the Arabs of Palestine are the natives of this land whereas people like I_Like_Ike and IGH are foreign squatters.

            Reply to Comment
          • Itshak Gordin Halevy

            I understand that you do not like what your leaders say or write. He also wrote: “Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people” This Moshen is not an ugly Zionist. He tells the truth. We can find many others who say the same.

            Reply to Comment
          • Baladi Akka 1948

            He didn’t write &nything, this is supposed to be from some obscure ‘interview’ with a Dutch magazine. You see, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, you just picked up a ‘quote’ on some fascist Zionist website …. maybe you should just stick to Torah-reading.

            Reply to Comment
          • Itshak Gordin Halevy

            Please do not speak about the Torah because you do not know it. The problem with the Arabs generally is that they make waking dreams and they believe in them. It is the reason why they are in decline for centuries. The whole world can see this endless fall. Great rabbis had predicted it. I think that it comes from your mentality and from your religion. That is why a lot of Arabs and Muslims here in Israel or abroad convert to Judaism

            Reply to Comment
          • Baladi Akka 1948

            So we can conclude: you picked up a random quote from zuheir Mohsen on some random website, you confused the PLO and Fatah, you didn’t know the ‘quote’ was from an oral interview with some Dutch magazine. I don’t care about the Torah, but I think you should stick to things you know something about and Palestinian politics and how to debate, giving sources etc certainly is out of your reach !
            As far as Arabs/Muslims converting to Judaism, keep on dreaming, if you looked into the topic, the other way around is true too, but thanks for once again exposing that you’re a racist till the core.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Baladi Akka 1948

      In the video Hisham Sharabat says that some of the local Jews of Hebron went to the local council and expressed their disagreement with the Zionist settlers taking over their property.
      One of these Hebronite Jews was Haim Bajayo (also known as Haim Hanegbi, co-founder of Matzpen): after the Reconquista, his family was explled to the Maghreb, later they moved to Egypt, and finally to Hebron during the Ottoman Empire (many of the local Hebronite Jews were in fact Jews from al-Andalus).
      In this video, he goes to see the mayor of Hebron to say that he does not want his property bach before all the Palestinians get their property back, and he asks to be buried in a Muslim cemetary:
      This is a short extract from a wonderful documentary about Matzpen and Haim Hanegbi (on the net).

      Reply to Comment
      • Baladi Akka 1948

        Ahh : ‘back’ ‘expelled’ ‘cemetery’ etc

        Reply to Comment
    3. carmen

      “Levinger has been arrested and charged at least 10 times starting in 1975 in relation to incidents in Hebron or Kiryat Arba.[7]

      In 1984, Rabbi Levinger was arrested on suspicion of involvement with the Gush Emunim Underground.[8] In July 1985, Levinger was fined approximately $15,000 and given a three-month suspended sentence for trespassing in the house of a Hebron woman and attacking her six-year-old son. Levinger told the Jerusalem Magistrate Court that the boy had thrown a stone at his son.[9]

      In 1988, Levinger was indicted on two separate criminal charges involving events in Hebron. On September 30, 1988, Levinger, who had been hit a week before by a rock, was attacked by stoners who smashed his windshield, injuring his son. He reached an Israeli checkpoint. Levinger pulled out his pistol, turned round and went back down the streets shooting at shop windows, killing Palestinian store owner Hassan Abdul Azis Salah.[10] A customer was also wounded. Levinger claimed he had been surrounded by Palestinians who threatened his life,[10] and only to have shot into the air to defend himself against stone throwers. In a press conference following the shooting, Levinger said, “Regarding the actual deed, I will respond when the time comes. I have already said that as far as the substance of the case goes, the State Attorney’s Office knows that I am innocent and that I did not have the privilege of killing that Arab. Not that I may not have wanted to kill him or that he did not deserve to die, but I did not have the privilege of killing that Arab.”[11] He was charged with “manslaughter, causing bodily harm in aggravated circumstances and intentionally damaging property”.[12] During one court appearance, Levinger approached the court waving his gun over his head and saying he had been “privileged” to have shot an Arab. After he was sentenced, he was carried off to jail on the shoulders of a cheering throng. His trial began in August 1989, despite protests by 13 right-wing Knesset members and hundreds of supporters.[13] Levinger pleaded not guilty to the charges but accepted a plea-bargain to the lesser charge of negligent homicide.[14] He was sentenced to 5 months imprisonment and 7 months suspended, of which he served 92 days.[15] During his imprisonment, he was given leave to attend a public event in Hebron.[16] On his release in August 1990, he told Israel Radio, “If I’m in a situation of danger again, I’ll again open fire. I hope that next time, I will be more careful and I won’t miss the target.”[17]

      In another case, which related to an event five months before the first, he was alleged to have assaulted a Palestinian woman and her two children after other Arab children had “made fun of” his daughter. At his trial in May 1989, the magistrate dismissed the evidence of the Arab witnesses on the grounds that they were interested parties and wanted to see Levinger in prison for ideological reasons, and also dismissed the evidence of two IDF soldiers who testified to the assault.[18] Six weeks after Levinger’s release from prison on his separate negligent homicide conviction (see above), the Jerusalem District Court overturned his acquittal on the earlier assault charges.[19] He was sentenced to 4 months imprisonment, plus an additional 10 days for an outburst in court.[20] He served about two months. On his release in March 1991, he said “Over the years, I’ve carried out dozens of actions and all of them were against the law. It was worthwhile to violate the law, as all these actions advanced the whole Land of Israel.”[21]

      In July 1995, Levinger was sentenced to seven months imprisonment for a violent altercation in the Tomb of the Patriarchs in September 1991. The court found that Levinger had pulled down the partition separating Jewish and Muslim worshippers and assaulted an IDF officer.[22] He served four months in prison in 1996.[23]

      In December 1995, Levinger was sentenced to six months in prison and six months suspended for an incident in June 1991. He was found guilty of rioting in the Hebron market, of overturning stalls, forcing other merchants to close their shops, and of firing his pistol. His defense was that he was attacked by Palestinians throwing rocks.[24]

      In December 1997, Levinger was sentenced to six months jail and fined $2,300 for disturbing Muslim prayers at Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs in 1994 and of blocking an army commander from entering Kiryat Arba.[25]”

      The late Moshe Levinger and his little woman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiijlI9bq4E

      Reply to Comment
    4. Itshak Gordin Halevy

      Hebron is a holy city for Judaism. Some streets have been closed for security reason, to save lives from terrorism. It is not a high price. Treating the Jewish inhabitants of colonists is a dishonesty.

      Reply to Comment