U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a rare condemnation of Arab violence against Jews but managed to moderate it with a call to “both sides” to respect holy sites.
Reacting to the arson of Joseph’s Tomb (Kever Yosef) last week by Palestinian Authority Arabs, he stated through his spokesman:
This reprehensible act is yet another example of the escalating violence in the region, threatening to further inflame sensitivities owing to the religious significance of Joseph’s Tomb.
And then came the “balance,” lest Israel escape from libel:
The secretary-general calls on all sides to respect the sanctity of all holy sites, refrain from any inflammatory actions or statements and reject the extremist elements that are pursuing a political agenda seeking to transform the current situation into a religious conflict.
After dozens of Palestinian Authority and Jerusalem Arab terror attacks that have resulted in the murders of nearly a dozen Jews, the shock of the arson of the holy site finally prompted PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas to break his silence and condemn the rioters.
His criticism was in stark contrast to his campaign that charges Jews with preventing Muslims from praying at the Temple Mount, even when “praying” means shooting at police at throwing rocks and firebombs at security officers and non-Muslim visitors.
Israeli Cabinet Minister Uri Ariel commented on Facebook:
Torching one of the places holy to the Jewish people is a new low, and a result of Palestinian incitement.
While the Palestinians brazenly lie about us harming the status quo on the Temple Mount, they go out and burn and desecrate the sacred places of Israel, and that won’t be forgiven.
The Foreign Ministry stated:
Israel condemns in no uncertain terms the harm to Joseph’s Tomb committed for the sole reason that it is a place where Jews pray. The torching of Joseph’s Tomb clearly demonstrates what would happen to the holy places in Jerusalem if they were placed in the hands of the Palestinian leadership.
Only Israel can protect the holy places of all religions in Jerusalem.Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu