Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat Visits Hebron

"I am impressed by the importance of this place and the determination of the residents."

27.7.16, 18:23
July 27, 2016

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat visited Hebron on Wednesday. He was toured by long-time Hebron representative Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, who serves as head of the Cemeteries Council in Jerusalem and works closely with Mayor Barkat. Joining the tour was Uri Karzen, Director General of the Jewish Community of Hebron and other local representatives.

Mayor Barkat visited the Tomb of Machpela in Hebron, burial site of the founding fathers and mothers of the Jewish nation. 

Inside the monumental Machpela complex, Mayor Barkat  participated in afternoon prayer services, and afterward was honored with a special "Mishebeirach" prayer in which Rabbi Horowitz blessed the mayor with continued success in his service for the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

(Left to right, Uri Karzen, Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, Mayor Nir Barkat.)

Standing in front of the ancient Jewish site, Mayor Barkat issued the following statement:

"First of all, I am happy to be here. I came to see and to share with the residents of Hebron, to come and pray in the City of the Fathers, and the Cave of Machpela. I was here a few weeks ago to console the parents of Hallel Yaffa Ariel [the 13-year-old girl who was murdered in her bed by a terrorist], and even then I was impressed by the power of this community and their determination. Today, I am on a more in-depth tour, to sit with heads of the community and to hear about their challenges. I was very impressed by the importance of this place, and was again impressed by the determination of the residents." 

(Mayor Barkat meets with local IDF soldiers helping protect the 700,000 annual tourists.)

Barkat compared Jerusalem and Hebron commenting, "we have a lot in common. Not just the religious/historical aspect, but also similar challenges in housing, economic development, cooperation with our cousins, and security challenges that we must know how to deal with. We have a lot in common and I came to strengthen and connect with the residents [of Hebron] from Jerusalem, the capital of Israel."

(Mayor Nir Barkat and Hebron community leaders.)

When the mayor first arrived and was greeted by the community, Rabbi Horowitz mentioned the words of Israel's first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, who stated in the introduction to the book Sefer Hevron in 1970:

"We will make a great and awful mistake if we fail to settle Hebron, neighbor and predecessor of Jerusalem, with a large Jewish settlement, constantly growing and expanding, very soon... Hebron is worthy to be Jerusalem's sister." 
Mayor Barkat requested a framed plaque of Ben-Gurion's words for his office.

(The mayor views photographs of artifacts found inside the underground double cave.) 

Approximately 700,000 people visit the site every year, especially on pilgrimage holidays such as Sukkot and Passover where the Jewish Community hosts music festivals. Hebron and the adjacent community of Kiryat Arba have a combined population of almost 10,000 Israelis, while Hebron's Palestinian Authority population is about 180,000.
Elected officials to have visited Hebron this summer include Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze'ev Elkin, Deputy Knesset Speaker Nava Boker (Likud), MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beiteinu), MK Dr. Avraham Neguisse (Likud), MK Roy Folkman (Kulanu) and others.

(The mayor receives a blessing from Rabbi Hillel Horowitz during afternoon prayers.)
To arrange a guided tour of Hebron contact us:
United States contact info:
1760 Ocean Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11230

In Israel contact the offices of the Jewish Community of Hebron at:
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