web analytics
July 28, 2014 / 1 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Home » InDepth » Columns »

Time To Retake Joseph’s Tomb

   It was supposed to be temporary.
 
   Nine years ago last month, then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak ordered the Israeli army to withdraw from Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (Nablus) in one of the most humiliating retreats in the nation’s modern history.
 
   The move came after Palestinian policemen and Fatah terrorists had launched a coordinated assault on the Israeli soldiers who were bravely guarding the sacred burial ground of our biblical forebear.
 
   Displaying their customary respect for Jewish holy sites, the Palestinian attackers had surrounded the compound, strafed it with automatic-weapons fire and attempted to seize it by force.
 
   Rather than standing firm in the face of the Palestinian onslaught, Barak chose instead to make history of the most dubious sort. He issued an unprecedented order for the IDF to pull out under fire and surrender territory to the Palestinians as a direct result of violence.
 
   The abandonment of Joseph’s Tomb, we were assured at the time, was not permanent, but rather a tactical move dictated by the situation on the ground. Back on October 7, 2000, just hours after the last IDF soldiers had evacuated from the area, the website of Yediot Aharonot reported in a banner headline, “Israel pulls out of Joseph’s Tomb – ‘Temporarily.’ “
 
   But here we are, nearly a decade later, and the Tomb still remains “temporarily” abandoned by the Jewish state, in what has become a mark of shame for our people and our country.
 
   Indeed, who can forget the painful scenes that followed the withdrawal, when a frenzied mob of Palestinians armed with sledgehammers hacked and smashed the tomb to pieces?
 
   And what about the prayer books and other Jewish religious objects that were set alight, as the throng celebrated the destruction they had wrought?
 
   Coming just a week after the start of what came to be known as the Second Intifada, the pullout from Joseph’s Tomb fanned the flames of Palestinian rejectionism, which continue to smolder to the present day.
 
   The withdrawal set a dangerous example for the Palestinians that resorting to carnage and terror does pay, which only continues to inspire them to dream of ejecting us from the region through violence and mayhem.
 
   And that is precisely why it is so crucial that Israel reassert control over Joseph’s Tomb. We cannot and must not allow this affront to Jewish history to stand, especially now when so much pressure is being brought to bear on Israel to make still more concessions to the Palestinians.
 
   It is therefore time to turn back the clock and reclaim this part of our ancestral patrimony.
 
   Don’t believe those in the media and on the Left who cast doubt on the authenticity of the tomb, mockingly suggesting that it belongs to an unknown Arab sheikh. Nothing could be further from the truth.
 
   For example, the late Dr. Zvi Ilan, one of Israel’s foremost archeologists, described Joseph’s Tomb as “one of the tombs whose location is known with the utmost degree of certainty and is based on continuous documentation since Biblical times” (Tombs of the Righteous in the Land of Israel, p. 365).
 
   The Book of Joshua (24:32) states explicitly, “The bones of Joseph which the Children of Israel brought up from Egypt were buried in Shechem in the portion of the field that had been purchased by Jacob.”
 
   Ancient rabbinic texts such as the Midrash mention the site, as did the early Church historian Eusebius of Caesarea, who visited it nearly 1,700 years ago. Arab geographers, medieval Jewish pilgrims, Samaritan historians and even 19th- century British cartographers all concur regarding the site and its location.
 
   Prior to the Palestinian takeover in October 2000, the tomb’s compound was host to a yeshiva, and it was visited by thousands of Jewish worshipers annually.
 
   So there is no doubt that Joseph’s Tomb really is the tomb of Joseph, son of the biblical patriarch Jacob. And we owe it to him – and to ourselves – to take it back and raise the Israeli flag once again over the compound.
 
   Twice in Jewish history, Joseph was forsaken by his brothers and handed over to foreign control. The first time was in the biblical story, when he was tossed into a pit and sold to traveling merchants. The second time was in October 2000, when his tomb was surrendered to Palestinian rioters.
 
   It is not too late to right this historical wrong. Doing so will send a message to our enemies that we shall never again retreat under fire, and that we will defend our right to live and worship in this land as we see fit.
 

   So let’s at last do what should have been done long ago – take back Joseph’s Tomb, and with it, our self-respect as well.

 

 

   Michael Freund served as deputy director of communications & policy planning in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office under Benjamin Netanyahu from 1996 to 1999. He is founder and chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists “lost Jews” seeking to return to the Jewish people.

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Time To Retake Joseph’s Tomb”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
eshkol[1]
4 Dead, 9 Wounded in Eshkol Rocket Attack
Latest Indepth Stories
Young children 'recruited' by the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) terrorist group for a Shari'a jihadist army in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS poses a great threat to the entire civilized world in general and liberal democracies in particular.

kerry clown

Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring .

journalism

With no shortage of leftist media that seek to distort the news, what should our Torah response be?

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Presidential-Seal-062014

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

Clinton-051614

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

With 2013 marking half a century since Kennedy’s fateful limousine ride in Dallas, the current revels are exceeding the revisionist frenzies of years past, with a seemingly endless parade of books, articles and television specials designed to assure us that, despite everything that has come to light about him since his death, JFK was a great president, or at least a very good president who would have been great had his life not been so cruelly cut short.

As someone who for the past fifteen years has been writing a column that largely focuses on the news media, I’ve read what is no doubt an altogether unhealthy number of books on the subject. Most of them were instantly forgettable while some created a brief buzz but failed to pass the test of time. And then there were those select few that merited a permanent spot on the bookshelf.

George W. Bush has been getting some positive media coverage lately, with recent polls showing him at least as popular as his successor, Barack Obama, and a big new book about the Bush presidency by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker (Days of Fire, Doubleday) portraying Bush as a much more hands-on chief executive than his detractors ever imagined.

Readers who’ve stuck with the Monitor over the years will forgive this rerun of sorts, but as we approach the fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War – and with the stench of presidential indecisiveness hanging so heavily over Washington these days – it seemed only appropriate to revisit Richard Nixon’s role in enabling Israel to recover from the staggering setbacks it suffered in the first week of fighting.

Shakespeare had it right. The evil that men do indeed lives after them. Case in point: Nahum Goldmann, who served in a variety of Jewish and Zionist organizational leadership posts from the 1920s through the 1970s.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/time-to-retake-josephs-tomb-3/2009/11/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: