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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Joseph Tomb’

Take Back The Holy Sites

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Displaying their customary respect for Jewish holy sites, Palestinian vandals struck again last month, desecrating an ancient synagogue in Naaran near Jericho.

In addition to damaging priceless relics, the perpetrators spray-painted swastikas, Palestinian flags and political slogans, adding insult to injury in their hate-filled assault.

The defilement of the site was discovered by a group of Israeli worshippers who visit it regularly to maintain a Jewish presence in the area.

The synagogue in question was built more than 1,500 years ago, predating the establishment of Islam and serving as tangible proof that the Jewish presence in the Land of Israel preceded that of our foes.

Indeed, perhaps that is one of the reasons why the Palestinians attacked it. After all, the Naaran synagogue gives the lie to their dubious claim to the land.

Needless to say, this latest outrage received virtually no coverage in the mainstream press. Only a handful of Israeli news outlets bothered to mention it, and the international media showed no interest in sharing the story with their audiences.

Contrast this with the whirlwind of reports last October when an Israeli Arab mosque was desecrated and you begin to get a sense of the hypocrisy at work in the media. Indeed, the incident in Naaran is just the latest in a long line of Palestinian acts of sacrilege that have targeted Jewish religious sites.

Remember Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem (Nablus)?

It was nearly twelve years ago, on October 7, 2000, that the IDF withdrew from the site under cover of darkness after a joint assault launched by Palestinian police and terrorists. The Palestinians, of course, agreed to protect the tomb, but that promise quickly went up in smoke. Several hours later the burial ground of the biblical Joseph had been reduced to debris.

Palestinians armed with pick-axes and hammers attacked the tomb, smashing the stone structure and ripping it apart, brick by brick. They burned Jewish prayer books and other religious articles and subsequently began transforming the site into a mosque. It was then and there, at Joseph’s Tomb, just days after the start of the Second Intifada, that the Palestinians learned two very dangerous lessons – lessons that continue to haunt Israel until today.

First, they saw that violence pays. Israel’s retreat from Joseph’s Tomb was the first time Israel had fled under fire, abandoning territory to Palestinian control under threat of the gun.

Second, the Palestinians learned they could deliberately assault Jewish sites of immense historical, religious or emotional significance without fear of retribution from Israel.

The same holds true of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where successive Israeli governments have failed to stand up to wanton Palestinian acts of desecration. And therein lies the “original sin” of various Israeli policymakers, who have consistently capitulated, retreated and withdrawn whenever the Palestinians have trampled on some of our most important national symbols.

Instead of displaying some elementary Jewish pride and confronting the Palestinians to prevent them from assaulting what is holy to us, we prefer to shrug our collective shoulders, look away in shame, and hope for the best.

That may have made sense when the extent of our national power was limited to community councils in the shtetls of Eastern Europe, but surviving in the modern-day Middle East requires an entirely different approach.

For far too long we have inculcated in the Palestinians a sense of impunity when it comes to vandalizing or defiling Jewish holy sites, and it is time for this to change. In light of the Palestinians’ serial abuse of Jewish holy sites, it should be clear to all that they cannot, must not, be entrusted with safeguarding or administering them under any circumstances whatsoever.

The Palestinians have once again failed to demonstrate even the modicum of decency and civility that calls for respecting houses of worship that belong to others.

And so Israel should not hesitate to do what should have been done already: take back Joseph’s Tomb, reassert its sovereignty over the Temple Mount, and eject the PA- controlled Muslim Wakf from the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron.

These three sites, more than any others, symbolize our ties to this Land, and the abiding faith upon which they are based. It is time for all of them to return to sole Israeli control, along with all Jewish holy sites in Judea and Samaria.

Settlement Freeze Is Over: Construction In Yesha Resumes

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

JERUSALEM – The construction freeze in Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria ended at midnight Sunday, but construction is resuming slowly, due to the Sukkot holiday.

Jewish building teams are or have been at work in only two locations as of Monday morning: at Joseph’s Tomb in Shechem and in the city of Ariel.

Work at Joseph’s Tomb actually started on Saturday night. A new, five-ton gravestone was placed on the site, with the help of cranes, atop the exact spot on which the original stone was vandalized and destroyed by Palestinians.

In Ariel, the fourth largest city in Judea and Samaria with some 17,000 residents, work began Monday on more than 50 new housing units. The new homes have been designated for the former residents of Netzarim, displaced since the Gaza Disengagement of 2005.

In Revava, a community of 250 families northwest of Ariel, hundreds of celebrants let off balloons, cheered and sang to mark the end of the government-imposed moratorium on construction work.

(INN)

Time To Retake Joseph’s Tomb

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

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.

Time To Retake Joseph’s Tomb

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

   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.

Quick Takes: News From Israel You May Have Missed

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

Security forces acting on orders from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last week destroyed a synagogue used by Jews to worship near Joseph’s Tomb, Judaism’s third holiest site and the believed burial place of the biblical patriarch Joseph. Under the 1993 Oslo Accords, which granted nearby strategic territory to the Palestinians, Joseph’s Tomb was supposed to be accessible to Jews and Christians.

But following repeated attacks against Jewish worshippers at the holy site by gunmen associated with then-PLO leader Yasir Arafat’s militias, Prime Minister Ehud Barak in October 2000 ordered an Israeli unilateral retreat under fire from the area.

Currently, Jewish pilgrimage to Joseph’s Tomb is legal only several times per year in convoys protected by the Israel Defense Forces. Still, some Jews regularly attempt clandestine visits to the holy site.

Jewish students last year built a structure on the West Bank’s Mount Gerizim, which is just outside the tomb area. The structure was used as a synagogue and was constructed on the Mount so Jews can pray and study Torah as close to the tomb site as possible. Dozens of Jewish students congregated daily at the makeshift synagogue.

But Olmert’s office and Israeli government officials deemed the structure – which they refused to call a synagogue – illegal since it was built without a government permit. While Jewish construction projects deemed illegal in Jewish cities in the West Bank are regularly bulldozed by the government, Olmert’s office has taken no action against hundreds of thousands of Palestinians living in illegal outposts in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

This column previously exposed the fact that the Israeli government has allowed Palestinians and the United Nations to build illegally on hundreds of acres of Jewish-owned lands in Jerusalem purchased by the Jewish National Fund using Jewish donor funds solicited for the purpose of Jewish settlement.

In addition, the city of Jerusalem, under orders from Olmert, deleted files documenting hundreds of illegal Arab building projects throughout eastern sections of Jerusalem, housing tens of thousands of Palestinians, according to a report by the Jerusalem Forum.

More Amnesty?

Most members of the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades terrorist group granted amnesty by the prime minister last month have not turned in their weapons, despite media reports to the contrary. Some haven’t even signed their amnesty contracts, WND has learned.

Part of the amnesty deal required the 178 terrorists – all of whom are members of the Brigades, the declared “military wing” of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah organization – to disarm and to sign a document stating they would not carry out terror attacks.

A widely circulated Associated Press article this week quoted a senior Palestinian security official stating that “all but three Al Aksa members have surrendered their weapons and sworn off violence, as part of the arrangement.”

But calls this week to the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades members granted amnesty yielded a different story.

Abu Yousuf, a senior leader of the Brigades in Ramallah, told WorldNetDaily that most Brigades members turned in one of several pieces of weaponry they possess.

He said most Brigades members have two to three guns, including one to two personal weapons and one assault rifle issued by the Palestinian Authority – since the majority of Brigades members are also members of Fatah’s security forces.

The Brigades’ failure to keep their side of the amnesty deal is well-known to the Israeli security apparatus. But according to senior Palestinian officials, Olmert officials said the prime minister would strongly consider also granting amnesty to 206 Fatah fighters – mostly Brigades members – who haven’t yet officially received amnesty.

Christian Professor Forced to Accept Islam

Hamas-linked militants kidnapped and forcibly converted to Islam a female Christian professor in the Gaza Strip, according to the professor’s family and Fatah officials.

Hamas members denied the accusations, accusing rival Fatah of spreading lies.

The professor, Sana al-Sayegh, is the head of Gaza City’s Palestine International University. She failed to show up at work on June 24. According to sources close to her family, about five days after she disappeared Sayegh called her parents to say she was being held against her will in order to marry a Muslim man, who was also a professor at the university.

A few days later, the family said it received a copy of a conversion document, which was signed by known Islamic terror group sympathizers. Fatah officials say Hamas assisted in kidnapping Sayegh, whose family stated she would “never” convert willingly to Islam.

Sayegh’s family and Gaza-based Christian leaders attempted to meet with Ismail Haniyeh, former prime minister of the Hamas-led PA, but Haniyeh declined a personal meeting. Instead, according to the sources, a delegation of Hamas militants was sent to the Sayegh household to inform them the professor had converted “willingly” and that Sayegh no longer wanted to associate with her family unless they all converted to Islam.

Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief for  WorldNetDaily.com. He appears throughout the week on leading U.S. radio programs.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/quick-takes-news-from-israel-you-may-have-missed-91/2007/08/08/

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