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Posts Tagged ‘Beit Yehonatan’

Pollard Asks: Save ‘Beit Yehonatan’ in Eastern Jerusalem

Posted by Glezele Vayne on January 30, 2010


by Hillel Fendel

(IsraelNN.com) A meeting last month between the Dean of Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav, Rabbi Yaakov Shapira, and Jonathan Pollard in the latter’s US Federal prison cell may have consequences for Jewish – and Arab – construction in eastern Jerusalem.

Rabbi Shapira visited Pollard in his jail cell five weeks ago, together with Rabbi Pesach Lerner, who is Executive Vice President of the National Council of Young Israel. At one point, when Rabbi Shapira asked him what specifically he can do for Pollard back in Israel, Pollard answered, “I am very concerned for Beit Yehonatan. It needs to be looked after and made sure that not only is it not destroyed or evacuated, but that it becomes a center of Torah and prayer.”

Rabbi Shapira later spoke with Jerusalem settlement veterans from the Ateret Cohanim Jerusalem Settlement Foundation and expressed willingness to give classes there, and even possibly bring students there for the purpose.

Rabbi Shapira took over the helm of the Jerusalem yeshiva founded by the saintly Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook in late 2007, after the passing of his father, the renowned late Chief Rabbi Avraham Shapira.

Targeted From the Left
Beit Yehonatan is a Jewish-owned building in Jerusalem “Yemenite Village” neighborhood, named in honor of Jonathan Pollard. It has been declared illegal, largely because it exceeds the permitted height limit. The legal counsel of the Jerusalem Municipality, Attorney Yossi Havilio, has targeted the building, and demands that it be razed.

Even left-wing Meretz party members on the municipality council feel that Havilio is going too far, however. Dr. Meir Margalit of Meretz, as well as others much further to the right of him, say that there are many dozens of illegal Arab structures in the area, and that it is folly to pursue just one Jewish building and ignore the Arab ones.

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Cross Posted at Avid Editor’s Insights

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Jerusalem Vice Mayor: One Law for All – Raze EU Building

Posted by Glezele Vayne on January 19, 2010


Now here’s the plucky Israel I grew to know and love! Nice to see you sweetheart … where you been? — Ellie Katz

by Hillel Fendel

(IsraelNN.com) Jerusalem Deputy Mayor David Hadari says that if the authorities are so bent on razing the Jewish-populated Beit Yehonatan in the eastern Jerusalem “Yemenite Village” neighborhood, they must also demolish another illegal building: The European Union’s Beit Europa.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat appeared at a Knesset Law Committee session last week, and presented his housing plans for eastern Jerusalem. In the knowledge that there are dozens, and possibly hundreds, of illegally-built Arab buildings there, and that destroying all of them is not feasible, Barkat wishes to retroactively permit buildings there to reach four stories high, instead of the currently mandated two.

Most of the buildings in question are Arab-populated, but one of them is none other than Beit Europa, used by the European Union for various activities.

This raises a red flag for people like Hadari, who is concerned about the ongoing legal proceedings against the Jewish-owned Beit Yehonatan. The building stands six stories high, and because the authorities are unable to find the owner, they are seeking to evict the families.

Named for Jonathan Pollard, Beit Yehonatan stands in the area of the Yemenite Village, below and just to the southeast of the Temple Mount. The area was owned by and home to many Jewish families, mostly from Yemen, from the 1880’s until 1938.  On Aug. 11, 1938, following a long period of Arab riots, pogroms and looting, the British evacuated the last 30 families from the neighborhood. “The British gave assurances that the ‘Jewish refugees’ would shortly return,” according to Daniel Lurie, Executive Director of the Ateret Cohanim Jerusalem Settlement Foundation, “but of course, this never happened”- until April 2004, when several Jewish families moved back in.

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From Glezele Vayne

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