web analytics
April 1, 2015 / 12 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


ZOA Protests Mount of Olives Violence

Attacks, neglect at holy site reached epic proportions; ZOA asked US Consul General to intervene

Smashed windshield of a Jewish car at the Mount of Olives.

Smashed windshield of a Jewish car at the Mount of Olives.
Photo Credit: Yael Shiloh / Tazpit News Agency

The Zionist Organization of America has called on US Consul General in Jerusalem Michael Ratney to condemn stoning attacks against Jews at the Mount of Olives, and to press Palestinian Authority officials to deal with the issue from their side.

The Mount of Olives is the oldest extant Jewish site in the world, dating back at least 2,500 years, and is the largest Jewish cemetery in the world. The cemetery, which contains more than 150,000 graves, includes the graves of Hebrew prophets, generations of leading rabbis, Israeli politicians and centuries of simple Jews who felt that if they couldn’t live in the Holy City, at least they wanted to be buried here.

But the site has been subject to neglect and to Palestinian violence for years. Illegal Palestinian building has continued unabated – there is an illegal mosque just 10 meters from the grave of Israeli Prime Mininster Menachem Begen – despite court orders instructing police to demolish the illegal structures.

Worse, Jewish pilgrims to the cemetery are routinely stoned, most recently in early April, when US citizen Tova Richler was prevented from attending her father’s funeral by Palestinian stone throwers.  In addition, Congressmen Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) were subject to a rock attack at  the cemetery in 2012.

ZOA Israel Director Jeff Daube said he is grateful to Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY), whose HR 4028 bill would amend a former bill to include international cemetery desecrations. He has also asked the US special envoy on anti-Semitism, Ira Forman, to classify the rock attacks as anti-Semitism since only Jews are being targeted.

“I would remind the Consul this is an ongoing and worsening problem over the course of too many years. Having previously raised the problem in several meetings and letter correspondence, including with Ratney’s predecessor Consul General Daniel Rubinstein — without any known steps thus far having been taken by any U.S. official to mitigate the disgraceful status quo — I would suggest it is time for Ratney to enter the conversation,” Daube said.

Daube also said he has asked the Consul General to elicit condemnations in Arabic from local Arab leaders and muhktars, and from Palestinian Authority  officials.

(It should be noted that existing Israel-Palestinian agreements bar the Palestinian Authority from maintaining a presence in Jerusalem).

The ZOA letter additionally asked that the Mount of Olives area attacks be included in this year’s publication of two annual State Department reports, the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and Country Reports on Terrorism. Daube noted that Palestinian rock attacks were omitted from the 2013 editions of both reports, but that the terrorism report did contain “extensive and disproportionate” references to the price tag attacks on Arab property.

Daube expressed guarded optimism that Consul General Ratney would be sympathetic, having arranged a meeting in November, 2012 between Ratney and Michael Palmer, the father/grandfather of Asher and Yonatan Palmer at which the Consul General said that protecting American citizens was his “number one job.”

The Palmer were US citizens who were murdered in a Palestinian Arab stoning attack on Asher’s car.

The letter also referenced a recent IDF radio report detailing the reality for Jews living in Mount of Olives neighborhoods. In March, Jews were attacked by Arabs with rocks, boulders or Molotov cocktails at least 157 times, up from 150 reported attacks in February and 140 in January. The fewest number of reported attacks in any month over the last 18 months has been nearly 80, and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch admitted to the Knesset Interior Committee that 66 percent of violent crimes in Israel go unreported.

“It’s a no-brainer that mourners and pilgrims of all nationalities should not have to worry about terror and intimidation, or be confronted with desecrated gravestones and deliberately strewn garbage, when they visit Judaism’s holiest cemetery. That consulate officials have not ever contacted and supported at least the American victims, nor voiced concern to them, nor expressed outrage let alone condemnations, is very disappointing. Hopefully the recent attacks on Ms. Richler and others will catalyze an adequate response to the habitual civil and human rights abuses directed at Jews, in this and other parts of eastern Jerusalem,” Daube said.

About the Author: Meir is a news writer for JewishPress.com - and he loves his job.


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 “ZOA Protests Mount of Olives Violence”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Obama Stops Punishing Egypt for Dumping Muslim Brotherhood Prez
Latest News Stories
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Obama finally stops punishing Egypt for overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi

Hezbollah  terror group shows off its arsenal in Lebanon.

The IDF will have hard choices to make in the next war with Hezbollah.

Chaim Topol as Tevye the Milkman

Chaim Topol, has been awarded the Israel Prize for lifetime achievement.

20th Knesset Opening Session

The Knesset opening session was buzzing with new faces, as 39 new Members of Knesset joined their veteran colleagues in the swearing in ceremony.

The Temple Institute renacted the entire Pesach sacrifice ceremony.

“On days like today we want these children to feel the joy that any normal child experiences on their bar mitzvah.”

A family. 7 Children. An indescribable tragedy. How do they go on? How do we react? And what lessons are we supposed to learn?

More than 40 refugees were killed in a Saudi-led air strike while PA office accuses Israel crime by building homes.

The military implicitly admits to having improperly allowed a missionary group to indoctrinate soldiers.

Talks are likely to extend beyond Obama’s self-imposed deadline that he had said he won’t change.

The Iranian regime is hard up for propaganda, but maybe it is prophesying the future.

The Arabs rolled burning tires and three rocks at soldiers at the central Gaza security fence.

The Histadrut national labor union and the Federation of Israeli Employers have agreed to raise the minimum wage to 5,300 shekels ($1,334) by 2017, approximately half the average salary in Israel. The employers and the union previously agreed to a three-stage hike in the minimum wage. The latest agreement adds a fourth stage whole pegging […]

The clowns are back in town while ringmaster Netanyahu tries to tame the beasts.

A Reuters poll shows that America is increasingly polarized, especially about President Obama.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu continued to lash out at a possible “bad deal” with Iran Monday and said, “The agreement being formulated in Lausanne sends a message that there is no price for aggression and on the contrary – that Iran’s aggression is to be rewarded.” Netanyahu said in a statement: The moderate and responsible […]

More Articles from Meir Halevi Siegel
Economics Minister and Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett

Jewish Home leader blocks exhibition of dead bodies citing Jewish tradition to honor the dead; NIF objects.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Cabinet holds special session in Ashkelon, faces criticism from local residents, officials over lack of aid package

For two-and-a-half years, residents of the Golan Heights understood that domestic interests in Syria would keep war away from them.

4,000 dunams in G’vaot area declared state land, will open door for large construction project.

With Judeophobic attacks spiking around United Kingdom, local Jews say not enough done to enforce hate crime laws

Drug dealers suspected of aiding Hezbollah make inroads into Israel; smuggling attempts also included Jordan, Syria

Only time PLO seems interested in justice for Palestinians is when Israel is involved

For years, Binyamin Netanyahu’s views on negotiating with terrorists, and on negotiating under fire have been clear: In his defining treatise on the subject Terrorism: How the West Can Win, Netanyahu spelled out clear guidelines for dealing with the scourge of attacks on civilians. Amongst other principles, the then up-and-coming Likud leader said clearly that terrorists must […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/177449/2014/05/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: