Mark vs. Kristof on Hebron

Mark vs. Kristof on Hebron

Jonathan Mark seems to argue that context is everything in his recent New York Jewish Week column reacting to Nicholas Kristof’s “Two Israels” piece on Hebron.

Mark is correct that Hebron included a vibrant Jewish community until the bloody pogrom of 1929 and that Jews do validly own property there. (Avrum Burg once movingly wrote about how half of his relatives in Hebron were murdered by Arabs while the other half were saved by their Arab neighbors.) But every writer on Hebron today need not go back to 1929. The murders of Jews in 1929 do not justify the ongoing hooliganism and lawless violence against Arabs there today.

In a better world, a Jewish community should live there in peace and security. But this community, whether made extreme by the circumstances or out of a deeply indoctrinated hatred, has instigated a rein of terror over the Arab majority of this city. Meretz USA supports the Union of Progressive Zionists’ sponsorship of Breaking the Silence, a group of IDF veterans that publicizes human rights abuses by the occupation in Hebron and elsewhere in the West Bank.

As a postscript, I add the following revelation: a couple of years ago, Gary Rosenblatt, the editor in chief of NY Jewish Week, admitted in response to my questioning that my Meretz USA association has inhibited him in publishing my work. NY Jewish Week has published me three times over the years, but repeatedly rejected other submissions, albeit politely. I was outraged and responded in an email that his associate editor, Jonathan Mark, was far more right-wing in his pronouncements than I am left-wing. Sadly for me, I evidently burnt my bridges, as NY Jewish Week has never even responded to any of my submissions or queries since.

By | 2008-07-02T14:09:00-04:00 July 2nd, 2008|Blog|2 Comments


  1. Anonymous July 3, 2008 at 12:28 am - Reply

    On the “Realistic Dove” website run by Dan Flescher Mark is constantly reminding us that the Palestinians are responsible for the lack of peace because they demand the return of refugees from 1948 to Israel. Now I see that Mark finds it perfectly reasonable that Jews expelled by violence from Hebron in 1929 should be allowed to return. I do not know if this double standard is to be explained by the fact that the Palestinians are Arabs or Muslims and the Israelis are Jews, or because Israel is more powerful than the Palestinians.

    Thomas Mitchell

  2. Henry Landsberger July 8, 2008 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    I have been to Hebron several times, and I can’t tell you how disgusted I am not only with the behavior of the settlers (throwing stones at school kids; garbage onto alleys so Palestinians have to put up netting, destroying houses) – but at THE FAILURE OF THE IDF/POLICE TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.
    Henry Landsberger

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