Silwan Mukhtar: German News Agency Pays Arabs to Riot|
by Ezra HaLevi
27 Adar Bet 5768, 03 April 08 04:47
(IsraelNN.com) The Arab Mukhtar of Silwan, the notoriously Islamist
neighborhood just to the east of the Old City, says a German news agency pays
Arab youths to riot against City of David excavation.
The City of
David (Ir David) organization has purchased several properties in Silwan,
also known as Shiloach due to the Temple-era spring located in the valley. In
addition to the vast archeological and tourist sites currently located there,
excavations are ongoing – though they are often disrupted by groups of Arabs and left-wing Jews who have claimed that they
are disturbing the lives of local Arabs.
Hussein Siyam, the Mukhtar of Silwan, is the tribal leader of the two largest
clans in the valley to the east of Jerusalem’s Old City. He says that he has
been involved in negotiations with Ir David since the beginning. “Anyone who
tells you that there is new digging going on below the houses is lying,” he
said. “The dig existed already and they are just cleaning it out.”
He blames two entities for the disturbances. “The Committee for the
Protection of Property in Silwan is a group that gets money from Arab states and
the Palestinian Authority,” said. “And so, it is interested in spending that
money on conflict.”
The second source is more nefarious. “A German news company recruits
activists here and gives them money to make problems in order to report on
them,” he claimed.
A German journalist, also at the Mukhtar’s home, told his colleagues that the
claim seemed a bit “Middle Eastern” to him, but he conceded that local Arabs
were hired by foreign agencies – conceivably able to get the news fastest
because they are involved in producing it.
Mukhtar – Leader or Sell-Out?
Though the title of Mukhtar
no longer lends much authority with the younger generation of Arabs, Siyam
remains a fixer, solving problems between local Arabs and the municipality of
Most recently, he says, the municipality granted him the ability to authorize
80 square meters of additional building for every home in Silwan – a claim that
refutes claims by left-wing groups such as the Israeli Committee Against House
Demolitions (ICAHD) and Peace Now that eastern Jerusalem Arabs cannot get
Siyam says that three Islamist groups are active in his village – Hamas,
Islamic Jihad and Hizb a-Tahrir. Fatah is also involved, he said.
All the groups work against the Mukhtar in many ways, saying his ties with
Israel make him a sell-out. They encourage local Arabs to boycott municipal
elections and point out that the Mukhtar receives his salary from the Israeli
Siyam says he stopped getting paid from the Interior Ministry years ago. He
also laments that the police no longer come to him with communal issues. He
admits that he has little control over the youth however. “Born into Intifada,
they feel they have reached a dead end,” he says. He says that peace can be
brought about through dialogue, but the Islamist groups threaten anyone who has
anything to do with “the Jews.”
Original article: Israel Naional News
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