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60 Minutes Rabbi MEIR KAHANE PART 1

Jerusalem church land residents could end up with nothing"

The Greek Orthodox Church has sold large areas of leased land in central Jerusalem to anonymous developers.

It was revealed last week that the Greek Orthodox Church sold its rights in 500 dunams (125 acres) of land in the center of Jerusalem to an anonymous group of investors. For years, the land was leased to the Jewish National Fund (JNF) in agreements that are about to expire, but now the residents of the area have learned that the church sold the land to private developers.

There are more than 1,000 housing units on the land, in many buildings. The residents are in effect owners of their apartments only, but not of the land leased from the church and now sold.

The residents' future rights are unclear. Any of them wishing to sell their apartment faces difficulties because of the growing uncertainty, which also is also causeing the value of the apartment to drop.

On July 5, the Knesset will discuss the matter, at the request of MKs Rachel Azaria, Akram Hassoon, Yoseph Yonah, Mickey Levy, and Uri Maklev.

"The land was leased by the church to the JNF is the 1950s for 99 years. Buildings were constructed on it in which people have been living for decades," Azaria explains. "The residents knew that the agreements would expire within a certain time, but they assumed that the lease to the JNF would be extended for a further period.

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"A few months ago, however, the Jerusalemites party on the Jerusalem City Council found out that, in 2011, private developers received a 200-year lease on some of the land, and that an additional investor group signed a similar agreement a year ago. Following this, the City Council received a flood of enquiries from residents of the area who did not know what the future held for them. Last week, a large gathering of the residents was held by the Jerusalemites party, and addressed by council member Itai Gutler and architect Yehuda Greenfield. The residents are demanding to know who among them is affected by the agreement between the church and the developers and who is not, what the agreements say, and what they mean for them."

But it must be admitted that people who bought an apartment in the 1950s knew that the land belonged to the church.

"Supposedly they knew and it's their problem, but in fact it's not like that. We are talking about people who have lived in these neighborhoods for decades and knew that they were dealing with the JNF. It's not a matter of one building or a few families, but very large and prestigious neighborhoods in the heart of Jerusalem. Hundreds of residents who assumed that the lease from the church would be extended never imagined that they would find themselves having to deal with private developers who will suddenly hold the land when the lease agreements expire. In such a situation they are liable to find themselves with nothing."

So what do you plan to do?

"I have asked for an early debate in the Knesset, in parallel with a petition that the residents have brought against the Jerusalem Municipality first and foremost in order to obtain information. The second demand is that someone should take the matter in hand and conduct negotiations with the developers on behalf of the residents, rather than each apartment owner having to deal with the developers themselves. This is a major event concerning a substantial part of Jerusalem and one that will affect its character. Theoretically, the developers could ask for additional building rights and build on open areas in exchange for extending the lease. It is therefore important that the state should intervene on the matter. The value of the residents' apartments is constantly falling, even in neighborhoods like Rehavia. Anyone who buys an apartment in these areas now is taking a risk, and that affects the value of the properties."

The Jerusalem Municipality said in a statement, "The municipality is cooperating with all those concerned. In a meeting with Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked, Mayor Nir Barkat described dealing with this matter and regularizing it as of the highest importance. Later, a meeting took place in the office of the director general of the municipality attended by representatives of the JNF, the Ministry of Justice, and others, and it was decided that there should be further joint action by all the bodies involved in order to put an end to the residents' uncertainty and to ensure continuation of the lease. All state bodies are taking coordinated action via several channels, and the officials of the church are also expected to cooperate on the matter."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 4, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd.

 

 

Beyond Words

Selected Writings of Rabbi Meir Kahane,

1960-1990  

Volume 3

 

An Interview with Rabbi Meir Kahane,

Kahane Magazine,  April 1978, p.22

There is a truth, a Jewish truth that no one speaks today.  The Jewish Idea has been corrupted and silenced.  There must be one person who is prepared to speak the entire truth in the truthful way.  No one else speaks about the holocaust that must grip the Galut; no one else speaks about the need to remove the Arabs from Eretz Yisroel; no one else says that to depend on the Americans will not bring salvation but rather Divine punishment; no one else ways that if the government of Israel will not annex the lands, Divine Punishment will again strike us; no one else says that we must defy the government if it defies Jewish law; no one else speaks as a Jew, and with the Jewish Idea.  That is my obligation.  If I have support and if I have followers, well and good.  If I am able to build an organization, so much the better.  But if I have to be alone and shout out the lonely truth in that way – that will be my role.

 

“On A Hill Near Shchem,”

Jewish Press, October 13, 1978

Conversation between Rabbi Kahane and the soldiers of Israel 

 

“Why do you have to give us such a hard time?” asked one soldier.  “I am not the only one who gives you a hard time,” I replied, “you are the ones who are

breaking the law.  The law says that a Jew must live in Eretz Yisroel and settle everywhere, and you prevent it.”  “The only law that we have is the government, and you are violating it.  Besides, we want peace and you are destroying the chances for peace.”    “And you really believe that by giving up Sinai and giving the Arabs Judea and Samaria, you will have peace?  Don’t you remember how they went to war when they had the Sinai and Judea-Samaria?”  The soldiers had now gathered around me and one said:  “But things are different today!”  “How do you know?” I shot back, “Why do you risk the state by trusting an enemy that started four wars?”  “We have to gamble!  It is impossible to keep on fighting.  I am willing to take the risk.”  It was clear that this was the view of most of the soldiers, almost all of whom were irreligious.

 

“I’ll tell you,” I said.  “If you really want to gamble, trust me – not the Arabs.  I tell you that if you will all put on tefillin for a month, the Messiah will come.  And if you gamble on tefillin and the Messiah does not come, what have you lost?”

 

. . .  Tomorrow would be Friday, Begin was coming home.  At the airport he would be greeted by thousands of cheering Israelis and he would cry out to them: “I have brought you peace!”  Voices.  Voices. Voices. From yet another airport; from yet another Prime Minister; to yet another cheering crowd.  “I have brought you peace in our time . . .” It was Chamberlain coming home from Munich.  The bus started up and the settlement had come to an end.  This time there was no singing.

 

“The Second Revolution,”

Jewish Press, October 20, 1978

While no other Prime Minister used the name of G-d, Begin mouths it and then gives away Jewish rights because Jimmy Carter, in his eyes, is more real.  Fear of being isolate?  Trembling at the fact that no newspapers supported Israel?  Worry over the loss of allies? The redemption of the Jewish people will come with the greatest grandeur precisely when Israel is isolated!   And these are the words of the Prophet Isaiah as he envisioned the final redemption, words we read in the synagogue on the week before Rosh Hashanah; words that were mouthed without listening to them or understanding them.  The Prophet speaks of the anger and vengeance of G-d against Israel’s enemies:

 

“I have trodden in the winepress ALONE, and of the nations THERE WAS NONE WITH ME. . . For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redemption is come.  And I looked and there was none to help . . .  therefore has My own arm brought salvation . . .” (Isaiah 63:3-5)

 

Not through Jimmy Carter are we saved, and not through allies and gentile salvation.  Begin, who gave into pressure, is no better than all the others whom he so bitterly criticized when he was in opposition.  Fear of the gentile has taken precedence over the awe of G-d.  That is the heart of the problem. That is why Begin brought home, not peace, but war.  For peace will only come when He who creates and grants peace will agree.  That agreement can never come in response to violation of Torah and to Hillul Hashem.

 

Perhaps a final note.  All that I have written would have been bad enough.  But there might have been some mitigation had Begin, at least stood before the people gravely, sadly, in sorrow and said:  “This is a black day for us.  But we had no choice.”  I would have differed with him then, too, and been angry.  But at least we would have been spared the sight of a huge and happy welcome at the airport – so strikingly similar to the return of Chamberlain.  At least, Begin might not have pretended that he had brought us good tidings and peace. At least, he would have been honest.

 

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