Last Wednesday, 15 Jewish families moved into three new buildings in the Eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Shiloach Heights, also known as Silwan. Over the last 48 hours, the surrounding arabs have attacked the Jewish buildings relentlessly.
The last 48 hours has seen rocks hurled at the Jewish residences, molotov cocktails thrown at the buildings, and an attempt to set fire to one of the stairways.
Daniel Luria, Executive Director of Ateret Cohanim expressed the following after the attacks:
“Want to live in peace and coexistence and we or any Jew should be able to purchase and live in safety in any neighborhood of Jerusalem like arabs who buy in Armon Hanetziv or French hill without being attacked with stones Molotov cocktails and wild sick animal like aggressive behavior .
“Will never accept Judenrein areas ( as advocated by left wing radicals peace now) forbidding jews to buy and live in peace in any neighborhood.”
Shiloach Heights stands atop Arab Silwan and encompasses three large buildings overlooking the Kidron valley, City of David, and parts of Jerusalem’s Old City. Before Wednesday night’s entry, the Jewish community in Silwan stood at 21 families living in 6 buildings.
The newest three buildings are a strategic paradigm shift for the Jewish community in Silwan as they begin to provide contiguity between the Jewish community on the Mount of Olives as well as link into the rest of the Shiloach neighborhood.
I wrote the following last week on the strategic value of the latest purchases facilitated by Ateret Cohanim:
“Shiloach or Silwan has always been the corridor that the Palestinian Authority wanted to use to claim access to Jerusalem’s Old City. The acquisitions today in a sense have gone a long way into preventing that. The new buildings directly link the Mount of Olives neighborhood with Jewish owned building in the Shiloach. This creates for the first time a thin, but nearly contiguous strip of Jewish owned buildings in the Silwan neighborhood.“
The abject violence exhibited by the surrounding Arabs has been stoked to pressure the Jerusalem municipality to hold back Jewish purchases in strategically important areas. Thankfully, the Jerusalem municipality has done the opposite.
For the PA, this is the most important of all the strategic areas they still have a hold on. For them every house is a battle, because to lose “Silwan” and watching it turn into the Shiloach would crush their ability to claim connection to the Old City.
However, the Shiloach is more than just another strategic neighborhood. Also known as the Yemenite Village, it was the main destination and location for the growing Yemenite Jewish community that arrived in Jerusalem in 1882. Ultimately destroyed by Arab pogroms in 1938 after the British removed the Yemenite Jews, the historical boundaries of the Yemenite Village form the nucleus of the modern community.
The three domed Yemenite Beit Knesset, restored to Jewish hands, serves as a magnate for new Jewish families looking to be part of something far bigger than a geopolitical shield.
The return to the Shiloach is about reconnecting to the Jerusalem of last century and rectifying a set of historical injustices perpetrated by the Arabs and allowed by the British authorities. It is the best answer to those around the world who have refused to accept the return of the Jewish people to their rightful Land.
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