For nearly a thousand years, the Islamic rulers of the Holy Land forbade Jews from entering the tomb of the patriarchs and matriarchs, allowing them to climb only seven steps into the tomb and beating them mercilessly if they rose any higher. When Israel captured the tomb in 1967, Jewish pilgrims came to Hebron, swearing never again to be separated from their origin. As my host explained, even amid the worst terror attacks, property values never decline. There are no fluctuations in the commitment to pray by the graves of those who gave the world monotheism.
Yet these residents have been demonized by the entire world. They face daily character assassination in the media by those who would decry their simple desire to walk in the footsteps of Abraham. World leaders regularly engage in extreme defamation of families whose only wish is to raise their children in the Judean hills of King David. President Barack Obama rises at the United Nations and calls for a further moratorium on building in the settlements, as if it's a crime for peaceful people to have children and add rooms to warm and hospitable homes.
Abraham, at whose tomb I prayed with my children, is the father of all peoples, Jew and Arab alike. The Arabs are my brothers, equal children of God in every respect. And Arabs and Jews must learn to live peacefully together in the land. Neither group should be asked to abide by a moratorium that stifles the natural expansion of either population. It is not the spiritual-seeking settlers who threaten the peace but rather the murderous groups of Hezbollah and Hamas, who wish to make all of Israel judenrein.
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