The scene of the action is the Shimon Hatzadik neighborhood, which the media prefers to call by its Arabic name (what a surprise) of Sheikh Jarrah.You can't argue against bumper stickers and snappy slogans, least of all with facts.
LOCATED JUST north of the Old City, the area is home to the tomb of Shimon Hatzadik (Simeon the Just), a high priest who served in the Second Temple and who was among the last members of the Men of the Great Assembly (Anshei Knesset Hagedola) more than two millennia ago.
For centuries, the site was popular with Jewish pilgrims, and in 1876, the tomb and a surrounding plot of 18 dunams (4.5 acres) were purchased by a committee of Jews. Dozens of families subsequently moved in, with the neighborhood eventually serving as home to a thriving community of hundreds of Jews.
But in 1936, Arab rioters assaulted the area’s Jewish residents, and during the 1948 War of Independence, Jordan invaded and captured the neighborhood, bringing about a temporary end to the Jewish presence there. The Jordanians allowed Arabs to move into the deserted Jewish residences, effectively creating a cadre of squatters.
But after the liberation and reunification of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War, efforts began to correct this historical injustice by restoring the area to its rightful Jewish owners. Sanctioned by the courts and with the backing of police, Jewish families have been moving into homes in the neighborhood for years, in some instances forcing out Arab residents who had no legal or moral right to be there.
And this – believe it or not – is what incenses the leftwing activists so much. Tossing aside the area’s historical Jewish connection, they choose to ignore the fact that the Jewish presence is being renewed after it was snuffed out by Arab violence and hatred several decades ago.
Technorati Tag: Sheikh Jarrah.