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December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘mount of olives’

40 Graves in Mount of Olives Cemetery Vandalized During Rosh Hashanah

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

More than 40 graves were vandalized in the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives in eastern Jerusalem during the Rosh HaShana holiday.

The vandalism occurred in the Ger Section cemetery, just in front of the “maarah” where the Bais Yisroel and the Lev Simcha, two rebbes of Ger, are interred.

Dozens of masked and hooded Arab youths broke surveillance cameras on Friday afternoon, the second day of Rosh Hashanah, before turning their rampage on the gravestones and graves nearby. Amongst the graves that were desecrated were those of Harav Yitzchok Meir Levine and Harav Shaul Moshe Zilberman zt”l.

Harav Levine was the world Agudah leader who served in the Knesset and was the architect of significant gains by Torah Jewry as the new Israeli state took shape. Harav Zilberman was the great tzaddik and gaon, known as the Vyereshever Rav.

According to Jews who live in the Maale Hazeitim development across the road, a police vehicle deployed nearby did not intervene until reinforcements arrived more than an hour later. When they did show up, the police simply dispersed the Arab youths. Some of the gravestones appeared to be smashed with sledgehammers, while others were turned over in a scene that was reminiscent of some of the worst anti-Semitic acts on a Jewish cemetery.

Dozens of Jewish graves in the Mount of Olives cemetery were desecrated during Rosh HaShana, Sept. 26, 2014.

Dozens of Jewish graves in the Mount of Olives cemetery were desecrated during Rosh HaShana, Sept. 26, 2014.

Avrohom Lubinsky, Chairman of the International Committee for the Preservation of Har Hazeisim (the Mount of Olives), called on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who is currently visiting the US “to end the ongoing Intifada in Yerushalyim which has now extended to the kedoshim buried on Har Hazeisim.”

Lubinsky said that the investment of tens of millions of shekalim over the past four years into security cameras and a police station is woefully inadequate at a time when local Arabs continue their lawless behavior in Yerushalayim. He pleaded with the Prime Minister to “allow the kedoshim ‘to rest in peace.’” He added: “Even your ancestors are buried there.”

Meanwhile, plans are being made for a Tefillah gathering at the site of the devastation on Tuesday September 30th at 4 p.m. In New York, the ICPHH is hoping to meet with visiting Israeli officials to register their protest.

Mr. Lubinsky said that the security situation in eastern Jerusalem has deteriorated significantly since the abduction of the three yeshiva boys at the start of the summer. This, after four years of steady improvements including the installation of 137 surveillance cameras, many of which have now been vandalized. A new police substation was established but of late the station is poorly manned and often closed for days. A security detail deployed at the Ras al Amud Square is often pulled for other duty and when it leaves the post, incidents happen, including the stoning of a school bus last week which terrified the young children.

Despite some 700 arrests in recent weeks, few of the hoodlums served any time and most were released the same day as minors. The government and Knesset have been slow to pass legislation mandating stiff sentences, according to Lubinsky. That is contributing to an atmosphere of the Wild West in eastern Yerushalayim, where 40,000 illegal structures have been built and where the chances of even receiving a traffic ticket are slim. Some have begun to wonder whether Israel has given up on eastern Yerushalayim despite the rhetoric of a “united Yerushalyim.”

Parents Speak Out Against Arab Violence on Mount of Olives

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Angry Jewish parents are speaking out against the government’s velvet glove approach to Arab attacks on their children’s school bus this morning (Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014) and other violence perpetrated in the Maale Zeitim (Ras el-Amud) neighborhood on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives.

Arabs attacked dozens of small Jewish children as they traveled to school by bus in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Three masked attackers pelted a school bus filled with small children with rocks in another road terror incident, badly traumatizing the young passengers – many of whom were first graders. The side view mirror was damaged and the windshield of the bus was damaged as well.

“It’s always from the same place, the same three or four meters,” said one of the Jewish residents living in the neighborhood who spoke with JewishPress.com in an exclusive interview on Sunday. “This was very much a planned attack because they knew exactly when the bus leaves and they targeted that bus – it’s the main bus that takes the children to school. They’re just little kids …” The resident, who requested anonymity, said there were periods of quiet in the neighborhood, usually after a series of attacks.

“Sometimes what the police do is to send a squad car or someone from the local civil patrol to sit by the gates to the neighborhood. While they are stationed here, of course, nothing happens. It’s when they are not here that the attacks occur – and then we call and they come back and then the cycle starts all over again.

The resident was clear about not resting the blame with the local Arabs. “First of all, no one really knows exactly who is carrying out these attacks. Local neighbors tell us it’s ‘just kids’ from the other neighborhoods, from Silwan… but you know? It’s an ongoing communication from our neighbors that they are upset with our presence here and they will continue to make it uncomfortable for us as long as possible.

“We are upset not with them but with the security establishment, the city and the police who show a disregard for the security of our children. We need a constant police presence here – and for that matter, so does the city, when tourists are attacked just for trying to visit the graves of their ancestors.“

Israel Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told JewishPress.com Sunday afternoon that Border Police patrols were stepped up in the neighborhood a couple of months ago, and other security measures were taken as well. Among them was the establishment of a police point at the Mount of Olives.

Nevertheless, Rosenfeld made it clear that establishment of a static police presence in the Ras el-Amud neighborhood could only be created through a decision by Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch.

Jerusalem City Council member Aryeh King, whose own children were on the bus, expressed outrage at the lack of a regular police presence in the neighborhood. Ma’ale Zeitim – also known as Ras el-Amud – is known as a “hot spot” in the city. The neighborhood wraps itself around the ancient Mount of Olives cemetery where some of Judaism’s foremost scholars and Torah sages are laid to rest.

Local Arabs have done their very best to prevent Jews from visiting the graves of their ancestors and sages at the sacred spot, regularly attacking citizens and tourists alike.

“Police have arrested hundreds – it may soon reach thousands,” King said on Sunday. “But there is little doubt that the policy of arrests by police is not effective. We have a great police force, but no deterrence,” he said.

“This is how Jewish residents of Jerusalem live their lives,” King added. He called for a “constant presence” instead to be established in the Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem. Only then, King said, might the rioting be stopped at the source.

ZOA Protests Mount of Olives Violence

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

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.

Chanukah Lighting on the Mount of Olives

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Living on the Mount of Olives has its perks. Sure, we have crazy traffic every Monday and Thursday mornings because of Kotel Bar Mitzvas, and no, we don’t have any nearby grocery stores so we have to stock up on big weekly shopping trips.

But there is nothing like lighting the Chanukia right across from the Temple Mount.

When I prepare my oil candles, I look over to the place that the first and second Temples stood, and I remember the fight which the Maccabees fought against the Syrian Greeks, and the Hebrew military/cultural victory which was broadcast when the Menorah was lit in purity once again. I also remember how almost three-hundred years later the Romans would sack the Temple overcoming the Great Revolt. And I remember how Bar Kochba and Rabbi Akiva fomented yet another revolution against mighty Rome only 60 years later, and took back Jerusalem for three more years before the final destruction of the Second Commonwealth.

From my window, the jewel Temple Mount is adorned by a golden crown. To the west, I see the Beit Knesset HaChurva, twice destroyed by Arabs – the second time being blown up with dynamite by the Jordanians in 1948. Now, once again, the great dome of the Churva stands tall and glorious atop the Old City. Even more to the west, I see the walls of ancient Jerusalem as rebuilt by Suleiman the Magnificent about 500 years ago. I even see the Leonardo Plaza hotel reminding me that there is a modern western Jerusalem as well.

To the east of the Temple Mount I see the continuation of my mountain – the Mount of Olives – the mountain of Jewish History. The voices of the massive cemetery answer ‘Amen’ as I light the Chanukia. Voices like the Prophet Zecharia who foresaw the rebuilding of the Third Temple, voices like Israel’s youngest fallen soldier: ten year old, private Nissim Gini, who is buried in a mass grave along with 47 other defenders of the Old City as it fell to the Jordanian legion in 1948. Voices like Rav Kook, Rav Goren, and even Eliezer Ben Yehuda who dedicated their lives to the birth of the Third Jewish commonwealth in the Land of Israel. They all answer ‘Amen’ as I light the Chanukia with my wife and children in the construction site know as Jerusalem.

Yet there are other voices, loud voices, that I hear, or am forced to hear, as I light the oil candles. These are the voices of the Fatah club right underneath my balcony. “Allah HuAkbar” is not a friendly invitation to serve God in the Holy City. No, the meaning behind that call is that in the name of God, Jewish sovereignty is to be snuffed out, and if I and my children are in the way, then we are to be snuffed out as well. The chant is meant to energize the adherents and strike fear into victims. But as I look unto the Fatah club through the light of Chankiah, I am filled with the determination of the Maccabees that we shall prevail over these forces of darkness.

And then there is the Temple Mount itself. In the misty night, the well placed lights illuminate the Golden Dome. On the one hand I am happy that at least the Temple Mount is respected with a memorable edifice. On the other hand, that very structure appears in every anti-Israel Jihadist propaganda. Indeed, as my friend Alex pointed out to me, our holiest place is the seed of greatest hate against us. Ironic.

Tears come down as I ponder the history of the self-sacrifice that this place engenders in our people. But I am heartened that we are part of a long chain of history, and that long chain will eventually lead, as promised, to victory. That victory will not mean subjugation of people, or the abrogation of freedom. It will mean the subjugation of evil men, and the abrogation of tyranny. Isn’t that what Chanukah is all about?

New York Family Rescued From Arab Lynch Mob in Jerusalem

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

On Wednesday, the Arfons family, visiting Israel from New York, were rescued from an Arab mob who tried to lynch them – in Jerusalem.

The family was on their way to visit the grave of their grandfather, located on the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world, going back an estimated 3000 years, and holds approximately 150,000 graves.

According to the father, Yoel, when they reached the area near Augusta Victoria, two Arab-owned cars suddenly blocked them, one in the front, and one from behind.

The Arabs in the the cars then got out and began stoning the car, smashing it, and attempting to physically pull the family out of the vehicle.

One of the passengers, a cousin (40), suffered a hand broken and internal injuries as he protected two children who were in the car, ages 14 and 17. The cousin was taken to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus for treatment. The rest of the family suffered injuries and bruises, but were treated on site.

The police spokesperson said they are searching for the attackers.

Mount of Olives Lynch 2

 

Mount of Olives Lynch 3

 

On Thursday, there were over a dozen stoning attacks against Jewish-owned cars and buses in Judea and Samaria.

The Situation on the Mount of Olives

Friday, February 15th, 2013

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai is joined by Abe Lubinsky to talk about the preservation of the Mount of Olives and the importance of keeping Diaspora Jews connected today the story of Israel. They discuss the current state of the Mount of Olives and how there are big plans for it in the future.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Fifth Day of Attacks on Mount of Olives Jews

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Arab rock attackers have entered their fifth day of targeting Jewish vehicles just a 3 minute drive from Jerusalem’s Old City, using local minors to alert them as to which cars contain Jews so they can pelt them with stones and cinder blocks.

Residents of the Jewish neighborhoods of Maale HaZeitim and the adjacent Maalot David have expressed outrage that Jerusalem police and security officials have not taken steps to protect them, failing to send a patrol car or place any security personnel at the scene, a single location from which attacks have occurred daily, damaging private property and contributing to a sense of danger in the region.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/fifth-day-of-attacks-on-mount-of-olives-jews/2013/01/01/

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