When American Jews ended up in an Arab city, something unexpected happened

by Leah Rosenberg

This man is a hero. He is not just any hero. He is an Arab hero from Hebron. An Arab that understands that all people are human beings – even Jews in the Land of Israel.

They were almost lynched. But this Arab citizen of Hebron, Fayez, clearly watched the lynch develop, saw what was happening and acted.  Fayez took them into his house. He literally saved the lives of these young Jews.  In response, the young Jews came back to visit with their wives and brought Fayez a truly fancy chandelier worth alot of money. It was a very nice gesture.  Fayez had no idea how to fit the gift in his car, but in the end, they managed to get it in.

Hebron History

Why should a few lost Jews in an Arab town necessarily be a life-threatening event?  Of course – this should have never happened.  Tourists should always be careful and not blindly rely on apps to direct them.  However, making a mistake in the Land of Israel should never mean that a person pays with their life!

But, Hebron and other cities with large violent Arab populations in the State of Israel are a different story.

Many of the Jews who lived in Hebron in the 1910’s and 1920’s claimed that they enjoyed cordial relations with the neighboring Arabs.

However, in 1929, under the British Mandate, before Israel had an Army, violent groups of Arabs went rampaging in a few cities.

Jews were killed by Arabs in Jerusalem and in the Northern part of Israel.  But, the worst massacre of Jews was in Hebron.  There was no Arab hero for tens of Jews who were massacred and tens of other Jews who were severely wounded.

After that, no Jews lived in Hebron for almost 40 years until Israel liberated the occupied city from Jordan in the miraculous Six Day War.

The Arabs expected the worst.  But, Israel peacefully allowed the Arabs to pray at the Cave of the Forefathers.

Gradually, the Jewish Community of Hebron has built up over the last few decades.  But, they are still a threatened minority in a sea of anti-Jewish hatred.

Fayez is the exception.  If there would be a majority of Arabs like him, Jews and Arabs in Israel would live well together.



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