Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Hebron Jews: Memory and Conflict in the Land of Israel

Academic journal article Middle East Quarterly

Hebron Jews: Memory and Conflict in the Land of Israel

Article excerpt

Hebron Jews: Memory and Conflict in the Land of Israel. By Jerold S. Auerbach. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2009. 223 pp. $34.95.

It takes a careful and measured historian to do justice to the long history of Jewish life in Hebron and its restoration after the terrible 1929 Arab pogrom that decimated the community. Auerbach, a professor of history at Wellesley College, has succeeded.

Hebron is the cradle of Judaism, the resting place of the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs, and was the capital of Israel under King David before Jerusalem came to occupy that historic role. Auerbach takes the reader through the story of the re-creation of the Jewish communities in the territories, established under both Labor and Likud governments. He presents a history in which successive Israeli governments failed to provide adequate protection when these communities were increasingly subjected to both random and calculated attacks by neighboring Arabs. In the Oslo and post-Oslo era, as neighboring hillsides were transferred to Palestinian control and with armed Palestinian forces in close proximity, the travails and tragedies of Hebron's Jews have only increased.

Auerbach takes pains to explain the competing viewpoints of his protagonists. …

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