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Monday, December 3, 2007

Ethnic cleansing and apartheid in Israel

Did you ever wonder why there are so few mixed Arab-Jewish towns in Israel?? Part of the answer is that  rioting liquidated the smallest Jewish communities in Arab towns long before the establishment of the state. Thus there were no Jews in Nablus by the 1920s, and one native of Nablus was confident that there were never any Jews in Nablus, though of course there had been Jews there.
Unbelievably, this shameful process is repeating itself in modern Israel. Peki'in has a special significance, because it was, until a few years ago, the last town in which Jews had supposedly lived continuously since before the fall of the second temple. Not long ago, the last of the original Peki'in Jews died -- others had moved away. But some other Jews had come to live there. Now they are being forced out due to racism of their Druze neighbors and police incompetence.
Ami Isseroff  
Last Jewish family leaves Peki'in

De Jung family, who emigrated from Holland four months ago, flee Druze village after locals torch their car. All nine Jewish families who used to live in Peki'in leave due to repeated harassment
Goel Beno Published:  12.03.07, 09:31 / Israel News 
The last Jewish family to remain in Peki'in after riots shook the Druze village last month, has recently decided to move out as well, after its car was torched last weekend.
Ruth and Abel De Jung are the ninth family to leave due to repeated harassment by local residents. The only Jewish resident to remain in the village is Margalit Zinati, whose family has lived in Peki'in for centuries.
The De Jungs, both Holocaust survivors, emigrated from Holland to Israel four months ago, and are now considering returning to Holland. In the meantime they are staying with friends, as they currently have no place to live.
Ruth and Abel's son, Gabriel, and his wife Elizabeth, have already left the village with their two sons three months ago, and now reside in the community of Katzir.
"We chose to come to Peki'in from Holland. We wanted to live in a place where people of all religions live side by side. At first we were very much respected, and paid our neighbors in kind," Gabriel recounted. "Until one day, my son came home crying and said that the children in his kindergarten no longer call him by his name, but al-Yahud (the Jew)."
Gabriel and Elizabeth have no plans of returning to their Peki'in house, which was purchased from a Christian family, at least not in the near future. "We have a lot of anger in our hearts. On the day of the riots I arrived at the village and couldn't bear to say hello to my friends there," said Gabriel.
Aviv Zegelman and his wife, Orit, left the village with their six children after their house was burned to the ground during last month's riots. They stated that they would return to Peki'in "only after tensions subside and the police confirm that it's safe. At the moment we have nothing to come back to, and it's very dangerous there."

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