Today, the Orthodox Union, the nation's largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, commended Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for including Hebron's Ma'arat HaMachpela (“Tomb of the Patriarchs”) and Bethlehem's Kever Rachel (“Rachel's Tomb”) in the Prime Minister's Heritage Plan.
Under the Heritage Plan, Israel will invest $100 million to renovate and preserve one hundred historic and religious sites throughout historic Israel and construct new hiking trails for visitors to utilize.
Palestinian leaders have objected to PM Netanyahu's inclusion of the Hebron and Bethlehem sites in his plan.
Orthodox Union leaders President Stephen Savitsky and Executive VP Rabbi Steve Weil issued the following statement:
“The Orthodox Union commends Prime Minister Netanyahu for his Heritage Plan and for his common-sense decision to include Ma'arat HaMachpela and Kever Rachel in that plan.”
“While some continue to wage a campaign to deny and obscure the historic connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel (and have even permitted Jewish sites to be defaced), that connection is deep and ancient. Nowhere is that Jewish connection more obvious than these two biblical sites. Nothing the Prime Minister proposes in this plan precludes peace negotiations or what may result from such negotiations. We commend Prime Minister Netanyahu for his decision.”