My Response To The British House of Commons Concerning The Shiloach

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The recent letter from the British House of Commons (British – Palestine All party Parliamentary group) is both astounding in its lack of integrity and honesty and extremely arrogant, given the role that the British played in Jerusalem during the Arab riots and pogroms under the British Mandate.
Have the British totally forgotten their Judeo Christian roots? Are they ashamed of their own history? Have they truly forgotten what took place in the Jewish National Homeland (Palestine) under their watch?

Allow me to remind the House of Commons of a few facts

  • Ownership of land is determined by title, whether that land is in Arab country or in Israel. There is no question as to the title in both Shiloach-Silwan and in the Shimon HaTzaddik neighbourhood (Sheikh Jarrah)
  • The so-called Arab neighbourhood of Silwan was first a Jewish neighbourhood called Kfar HaShiloach or the Yemenite Village of Shiloach, established in 1882 before a single Arab was living in the area. At its peak over 150 Yemenite and Sefardi Jewish families lived in the area. 
  • Arab pogroms and riots (1920s-30s) decimated the Jewish life in these and other neighbourhoods in Jerusalem UNDER the British nose, eyes and control.
  •  In August of 1938 the British Authorities pulled out the British policemen from the Shiloach-Silwan and then forcibly evicted the Jewish families who had survived in the area till this point. The British High Commissioner wrote that he hoped that the Jewish refugees would be able to shortly return to their homes. This was a clear written British recognition that the area was a JEWISH NEIGHBOURHOOD and that the REFUGEES WERE JEWISH WHO HAD THE FULL RIGHT TO RETURN HOME !!!
  • All this documentation exists.
  • The British never kept their promises, the Synagogues were ransacked, Bible scrolls were burnt, the Arabs looted all homes, pulled apart buildings and then squatted on the Yemenite land.
  • The next occupiers were the Jordanians, who although were never recognized by international law in Jerusalem, took over as a “General Custodian” of “enemy land” (Israeli-Yemenite..etc).
  •  In 1967 after the Six Day war when Israel was victorious, after being attacked by the surrounding Arab nations, all this land becomes part of a united Jerusalem.(Israeli General Custodian takes control of certain areas and properties) 
  • These are undeniable facts.

80 yrs later, after the Jews were forced out of Shiloach by both the Arabs and the BRITISH, we the Jewsih people, have returned home. 80 yrs later Jewish life has returned to both Shiloach (Silwan), the City of David, the Mount of Olives, to Simon the Just (Sheikh Jarrah) and to the Old City of Jerusalem.Jews have the full right to buy and live in peace , side by side with Christians and Moslems in any and every neighbourhood of Jerusalem. There will not be “judenrein” areas within Jerusalem.Over 4000 Arabs have bought and live in predominantly Jewish neighbourhoods of Ramot Eshkol, Armon HaNetziv, French Hill and Pisgat Zeev etc and noone says a word. There is silence from the House of Commons. Yet suddenly – if a Jew moves into a predominantly Arab neighbourhood – then the extreme left wing radicals of Peace Now or Ir Amim and the House of Commons awaken. Such arrogance. Such hypocrisy.
No international law has been broken, except by the Arabs who have been illegally squatting on old Jewish properties or in green zoned areas or the illegal and unethical Arab edicts(fatwas) declaring death against any Arab selling to Jews.Arabs have willingly sold their homes in most instances, or the courts have ruled that the Arabs are in fact illegal squatters on old Yemenite of Jewish property (Shiloach-Silwan). In regards to the Shiloach (Silwan)- it has been ruled in every instance (including the Supreme court of Israel) that the land was part of a Sanctified Yemenite Trust and that the Trust has full rights to reclaim her land. The Trust in fact had even proposed to the courts that they would act beyond the letter of the law and even offer some compensation to the Arab squatters. 

In the audacious letter the “group” writes about “…demonstrating full solidarity..” with the Palestinain families who will be evicted by the rule of law and by the Israeli judiciary including the well respected Israeli Supreme court itself.

  • Where was the British solidarity (even partial) when Jews were being massacred by Arabs in the Arab pogroms and riots of 1920, 1928-29 and 1936-38? 
  • Where was the British solidarity when Jews were being forcibly evicted by the British who refused or who were unwilling and incapable to protect the Jewish residents of the Old City of the old Yemenite Village of Shiloach (Silwan) and in the Jewish neighbourhood of Simon the Just (Also known as Sheikh Jarrah)
  • Where was the British police or army when 78 Jewish doctors and nurses were massacred by the Arabs in 1948 a hundred metres from the British Consulate of today?

The British sat by idly and in fact one of their regiments was in the house of the Nazi Mufti Haj Amin El Husseini (wanted by the British himself) and did nothing for 8 hrs while the massacre took place. They were a mere 100 meters from the tragic attack.
I suggest that the House of Commons have a good look at some history books and then look into the mirror before they write another distasteful and dishonest letter, distorting the facts.It’s time for the House of Commons to find some decency and some COMMON SENSE !!! 

Article by Daniel Luria

Daniel Luria is the Executive Director and International Spokesman for Ateret Cohanim. He is considered a global expert on Jerusalem, with a focus on urban land reclamation initiatives. he is a sought after speaker, guide, and informal educator in relation to his work in Jerusalem.

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