web analytics
March 30, 2015 / 10 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

The Lessons Of Joseph’s Tomb


A good move, may it yield results: Thirty-five members of the Knesset recently signed a letter to IDF Central Command, asking that Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (called Nablus by the Arabs) be opened again to visits by Jews, with steps taken to provide security.

The letter was initiated by Uri Ariel (National Union/NRP) and was signed by all the MKs of National Union/NRP as well as a number from United Torah Judaism, Shas, Likud, Kadima, Pensioners and Yisrael Beiteinu.

What happened to the Tomb in recent years has been particularly galling to anyone concerned with Jewish heritage, Jewish pride, and Jewish rights in the land of Israel.

The history of this site is clear: The Book of Joshua (24:32) states, “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.”

Dr. Zvi Ilan, who was one of Israel’s most prominent archeologists, referred to 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.”

The Tomb was traditionally a place where Jews visited and prayed. With the Oslo agreements it was turned over to the PA, but with “guarantees” that Jews were to have freedom of access and freedom of worship at the site.

In September 2000, early in the Al Aksa Intifada, Palestinian militia attacked the site and Ehud Barak, the prime minister at the time, ordered IDF forces stationed there to retreat. Presumably he did this to lower tensions in the area and was counting on PA police to honor their commitment to safeguard this place.

But PA police stood by as Palestinians swarmed the tomb, destroying everything in sight, including prayer books, and moving to turn it into a Muslim site complete with a green-painted roof. This was months before my aliyah, but I was in Israel and saw on TV Palestinians climbing over the Tomb and setting fires. It is telling how viscerally I react to this memory even now: the retreat was a grave error and a moment of ignominy and shame for the IDF.

In 2002, with Operation Defensive Shield, the IDF moved back into Shechem and to the Tomb. Monthly visits by Jews were arranged, but three years ago the IDF commander at the site suspended them because of the threat of terrorist attacks.

The Knesset letter was drafted now because there is to be a change of command, with someone new in charge at the site.

The memory of what was done to Joseph’s Tomb is especially bitter in the face of fallacious and deliberately inflammatory Muslim claims that the Jews are threatening their holy sites by rebuilding a bridge to the Mughrabi Gate on the Temple Mount. While all work is being done outside the Mount, their incendiary cry is that Israeli efforts threaten the Al-Aksa Mosque.

The Muslims have day-to-day control of the Mount, even though Israel retook it in 1967, because Moshe Dayan gave them this courtesy in a foolish attempt to be conciliatory. They constructed a new mosque on the Mount in recent years, in the process excavating and destroying ancient Jewish archeological ruins. Yet word is that Prime Minister Olmert has granted Jordan permission to build a new minaret right there, on the Mount – the first new one in 600 years.

The lessons are all there for us to see, but I am not sure we learn them. Foolishly, we turn ourselves inside out to appease Muslim claims concerning holy sites and yet receive nothing but antagonism and hostility and violence in return. For our sites, there is total disregard – and worse.

About the Author: Arlene Kushner is an independent journalist. Her website is www.arlenefromisrael.info and she can be reached at akushner@netvision.net.il


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 “The Lessons Of Joseph’s Tomb”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
One-third of polled Republicans see President Obama as the biggest imminent threat to the USA.
One-Third of GOP Voters See Obama Worse for US than Assad and Putin
Latest Indepth Stories
jabotinsky with sword

Jabotinsky said “Go To Hell” was a good retort to opponents of the Jewish people; fitting for Obama.

Obama Racine

Obama pulled off one of US history’s greatest cons,twice fooling a gullible electorate and most Jews

Auschwitz Entrance

While in Auschwitz I felt a tangible intensity. I could sense that I was in a place of sheer evil.

Bibi and Obama: Head to Head

Obama needs to wake up. The real enemy is not Netanyahu but Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad,IS

My beliefs & actions have led to numerous death threats against me; my excommunication by my church

In November 2014, Islamic Relief Worldwide was classified as a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

Too rarely appreciated for its symbolic weight; it can represent freedom and independence.

Erica Pelman is a spiritually-driven woman. She is founder and director of “In Shifra’s Arms” (ISA), an organization that offers aid to pregnant Jewish women of all religious backgrounds practically, financially and emotionally. Its arms are open to any pregnant woman in need whether single, divorced, separated, or from a financially-strapped family. “Presently, we are […]

Many so-called “humanitarian NGOs” frequently abuse Israel by applying false moral equivalencies

Israeli history now has its version of “Dewey Defeats Truman” with headlines from 2 anti-Bibi papers

In God’s plan why was it necessary that Moses be raised by Pharaoh, away from his own family&people?

In their zechus may we all come to appreciate that life is a fleeting gift and resolve to spend every precious moment of it as if it were the last.

In any event, Mr. Netanyahu after the election sought to soften his statement on Palestinian statehood and apologized for what he conceded were remarks that “offended some Israeli citizens and offended members of the Israeli Arab community.”

A worthy idea any way you look at it.

More Articles from Arlene Kushner
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin planting an olive tree during a visit at the settlement of Migron in the Benjamin region. Jan 12, 2012. Rivlin called on the government to take responsibility for the current situation, in which the High Court ordered homes demolished by the end of March.

“They arrived in the middle of the night. It was brutal. I woke up after they broke down the door and were already in the living room.”

A good move, may it yield results: Thirty-five members of the Knesset recently signed a letter to IDF Central Command, asking that Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (called Nablus by the Arabs) be opened again to visits by Jews, with steps taken to provide security.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-lessons-of-josephs-tomb/2007/02/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: