Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Jews expelled from E. Jerusalem in 1929

 The Jewish-owned neighbourhood of Eshel Avraham is opposite the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem

This item from Arutz Sheva caught my eye because the descendants of those Jews expelled from 100 homes in the Eshel Avraham neighbourhood in East Jerusalem in 1929 still retained their title deeds until April of this year, when they decided to sell the properties. Whether you agree or not with the efforts of the Israel Land Fund to 'retain Jewish control' over the property, is another matter.

Arieh King, Jerusalem councilman and director of the Israel Land Fund, told Arutz Sheva about the struggle he has been engaged in over the last year to keep a block of buildings in the "Eshel Avraham" Georgian neighborhood area of eastern Jerusalem in Jewish hands.

The site in question consists of a dunam of property, and three homes spread over 800 meters in the neighborhood located opposite the Damascus Gate to the north of the Old City on Hanevi'im Street. The neighborhood was established in 1892 by Jews who immigrated from Georgia and held 100 homes for affluent families - and later violently occupied by Arabs in the 1929 riots that killed seven local Jews and destroyed homes and synagogues in the neighborhood.

In April, around the Jewish holiday of Pesach (Passover), the Jewish families in France who still hold the rights to the block decided to sell it for roughly 11 million shekels (nearly $3 million) and turned to a real estate agency to help them in doing so.

The agency owner suggested the site to King, who found a buyer from America interested in purchasing the property.

However, a few days later, roughly 10% of the property was sold to an Arab family despite the fact that the American buyer had "shaken hands" on the deal. Now King is trying to facilitate the purchase of the rest of the property, and fears outside influences and shady money may endanger the chances of keeping the property in Jewish hands.

In recent days, one of the owners agreed to sell 50% of the property in his possession, and currently both sides are engaged in negotiations.

Asked whether the whole issue is a matter of money, King told Arutz Sheva "yes and no, we don't want the owners to take a loss and are even willing to pay him 10% more; on the other hand, we don't want Jews to take advantage of the situation and try to extort us."

"The main thing is to leave the property in Jewish hands," stated King. "Jews were slaughtered there less than 100 years ago by an Arab mob; the place must not be transferred to Arab control."

Read article in full


Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

what happened to the Jews in the Eshel Abraham quarter outside of the Damascus Gate [sha`ar Sh'khem] has to be put in the context of the time. There were pogroms against Jews in half a dozen places. The worst was in Hebron where 68 Jews were murdered while British police stood aside. After the massacre, the British forces removed the remaining several hundred Jews from Hebron, effectively finishing off the ethnic cleansing process begun by the Arabs. Although Jews, such as one of the Bajayo family, tried to return and reestablish the community this did not work although one Jew, a cheesemaker I believe, stayed till December 1947 or early 1948.

Eshel Abraham was also known as the Nisan Bak quarter. As said, it was populated by Georgian Jews.

I don't understand the motives of those real estate owners now living in France.

ben said...

The residents of this quarter, which was also known as Mitkham Eligulashvilli after the French-Georgian benefactors who built it, included Polish and Russian Jews, and also Greek Orthodox Christians, as well as Georgian Jews.

The massacre of 1929 took the lives of many elderly Jews who were slaughtered in the synagogue. The perpetrators also vandalized and ransacked many of the homes. I recently spoke to an eyewitness to the aftermath, who saw the decapitated head of one of the victims in a basement room. Then as now, the cry of these Islamist criminals was "Alahu Akhbar" and "Din Mohammed a Seif", and then as now beheading and mutilating their victims were the norm.