Much to Be Done
Perhaps the most gratifying statement (and in a way sad) was when the officials plainly said that the accomplishments to date would not have happened were it not for the committee. Referring to Avrohom, a senior official said: “See what a Jew from Brooklyn can do.” They acknowledged that it wasn’t Avrohom alone, but the persistence of people like Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and even the courage of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who became the first Israeli Prime Minister since 1967 to take on the enormous challenge of securing the Mount of Olives. Also singled out for praise were the officials in the PMO as well as in the JDA and the Municipality.
But Avrohom and members of the committee have no illusions as to the enormous task that lies ahead. In addition to the completion of the installation of the cameras and the deployment of the police, there is still no definitive word on a budget for 2012 and beyond to continue the work. There are still many points on the Mount of Olives that need to be gated to keep undesirables out. The surrounding areas leading to Har Hazeisim have to be more secure, perhaps with cameras and additional police, to assure safe access to the ancient cemetery. The mosque remains blight on the holiest Jewish cemetery in our history. There is the enormous task of cleaning up the Mount of Olives, posting signage at the graves of the Nevi’im and other luminaries such as the Orach Chaim Hakodosh and the many rabbinic leaders and Chasidic rebbeyim who are interred there. Regular Egged bus service must be restored and Har Hazeisim once again recapture its majesty from the days of the Bais Hamikdosh. And then perhaps Moshiach will give us all a pat on the back for what we’ve done!
For more information, please visit Har HaZeitim [Mount of Olives] Preservation’s homepage at http://harhazeisim.org
Hat tip: http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com/