JTA reports on growing moves by religious Jews to divide and conquer Arab villages with previously minimal Jewish presence:
“We fear these are extremists who want to make Peki’in into a Jewish village,” Mofeed Mohana, a former city councilman, told JTA. “They are buying homes and walk around with guns. We are not against Jews living here in equality and partnership, but we are against this.”
Teplow dismisses Mohana’s fears.
“I frankly don’t care what they think. My attitude is that a Jew has a God-given right to live in the Land of Israel and I’m not stealing anyone’s house — I’m buying it,” Teplow said. “What is Zionism? It’s Jews going back to their land. If you are going to put limits on Jews going back to their national homeland, you end up hampering Zionist goals.”
The tension in Peki’in is playing out in cities and towns across Israel as a movement to boost the Jewish presence in mixed Arab-Jewish cities gains steam. In places like Jaffa, Lod, Ramle and Akko, seed groups of Orthodox Zionists are buying property in predominately Arab neighborhoods where there is a minimal Jewish presence, moving in and setting up yeshivas.