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In a remarkable turn of fate, a Jewish professor at Princeton University expressed her pain when she learned that two Palestinian families facing eviction in occupied East Jerusalem may have saved their Jewish family from ruin.
Anthropology professor Julia Elishar recalls the close relationship between her grandfather and the Palestinian family on the verge of being evicted from their homes. When Eliakar’s grandfather, Raphael, who lived in Jerusalem, died, his grandfather was thirteen years old. Raphael had two business partners, recalls the professor who wrote in straight ahead The Jewish Community Newspaper in the United States. “One of the partners, a European Jew, took advantage of the missing widow and stole our family’s livelihood. The other partner is Arab and Jerusalemite, saved my Jewish family from destruction, helped me as much as he could, and treated my seriousness like a son.”
Al-Yashar recalls that the Palestinian partner came from a famous Muslim family in Jerusalem, Dajaniyoun, also known by al-Dawudi al-Fakhri, who was given to them by the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in 1529. “Now,” Al-Yashar says, agonized over the transformation of fate. Al-Dajani and Al-Daoudi – facing eviction from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
The contradiction between the fate of the Dajanites and the Daudiists and the kindness she showed to her grandfather is “devastating,” says Elishar. “As a Jew that an increasingly extremist Israeli government claims to speak on his behalf, it is my duty – and our all duty – to express our objections to this move. It is an unreasonable violation of the common humanity that binds us all,” he explains.
Al-Yashar, who provides background details of their ordeal, adds that the Dajani and Al-Daoudi families have until August to leave. However, court rulings decided to accept seven other families, including the Al-Kurd family, which has been fighting the eviction since settlers moved at gunpoint to part of their home in 2009, Their homes must be vacated By May 2.
“On that date, 130 Palestinians belonging to those seven families will be expelled from their homes. These homes will be handed over to settler organizations claiming property rights,” Elishar wrote. “Regardless of which coalition will end up controlling the Israeli government, these evacuations, and those that were scheduled to take place in August, now seem almost inevitable.”
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