On el Khaladiya, the heart of Northern Jewish Quarter, another former Jewish home has been restored to Jewish hands. The Supreme Court shot down the claims of the Arab occupants that the home had been theirs. For the time being only the store front which covers over the former home behind it has been returned. The older Arab woman who tried to defend her right to live there can remain above for the next ten years if she really does move in.
El Khaladiya street was once known as Hebron Street and was the main street of the Jewish Quarter in pre 1948 Jerusalem’s Old City. Starting in 1920 and until the Jewish residents of Jerusalem’s Old City were expelled by the Jordanians in 1948 a series of Arab pograms allowed byt the British pushed the indigenous Jews into small quarter of the Old City.
Now with the recent reacquisition of the latest property, El Khaladiya feels more and more like another Jewish Quarter.
Despite the claims of the squatters, Jewish students from nearby Yeshivas that have started renovating the property found a piece of evidence that proves Jews were the original occupants of the building, a hole for fastening the mezuza to the doorpost of the apartment, which was covered up by the squatters.
“This entire street was once Jewish. What we see here is the court righing an historic injustice,” Rabbi Ben Packer said as he pointed out other properties about to be handed back to the original Jewish owners.
Al Quds University, the Palestinian University in “East” Jerusalem actually situated in Abu Dis opened up a chapter just moments from the Temple Mount, site of the two destroyed Jewish Temples and the holiest site to Jews around the world.
In an attempt to appropriate and strengthen the Islamic and Arab narrative in the Old City of Jerusalem, Al Quds in the Old City is financed by the EU and other Palestinian Authority backers.
The area the Al Quds Jerusalem branch is located in is in between the Temple Mount, the Northern Jewish Quarter and the famous Kotel HaKatan (Small Western Wall). This area is more than just strategic, but historically and religiously significant to Jews. The Northern Jewish Quarter was the home to a thriving Jewish community up until the Arab pogroms of th 1920’s and 1930’s as well a few minutes walk from the now renovated Synagogues in the area.
By the Arabs making a play for the area they are attempting to alter the fragile balance in a Jewishly historic area of the Old City.
Renovations continue on the newest Jewish reacquisition on Al Khaladiya street in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Al Khaladiya street was the main street in what was known as the Northern Jewish Quarter up until the Jews who were there since the second half of the 1800’s were violently driven out.
Rabbi Ben Packer of the Heritage House led us to the house during renovations. “The property is the latest in the Jewish return to this former Jewish neighborhood,” Rabbi Packer said as we opened the door. “This is strategic and morally correct.”
Court cases can take years, which causes the properties to cost far more than necessary. Despite the costs, the properties on Al Khaladiya fall within precedent setting cases based around a two generation rental law that is now up.
Listen to Rabbi Ben Packer below:
As the court cases continue multiple organizations and private individuals have increased the Jewish presence in these historically Jewish areas.
“The key is creating facts in historically Jewish areas with contiguity to the Jewish Quarter. That is now happening,” Rabbi Packer states.
The strategy is clearly working as more and more properties are returned to their original owners.