Photo Credit: Screenshot, Arab Social Media
Joseph's Tomb was damaged by Arab rioters, April 10, 2022.

Those who identified the vandalism of Joseph’s Tomb on Sunday as another “side effect” of Ramadan are doing the Palestinians a favor. Vandalism, the damage and desecration to Jewish but also Christian holy sites in recent generations is first and foremost a “side effect” of the fanatical Islam that has been adopted by many Palestinians. The Ramadan issue pertains only to the timing.

The Palestinians’ “tolerance” for members of other religions and their holy sites has accompanied the conflict for generations. Arabs in Jerusalem harassed worshippers at the Western Wall before we founded a Jewish state. The Palestinians in Jerusalem vandalized and set on fire 38,000 tombstones on the Mount of Olives before we “occupied the territories” between the 1948 War of Independence and the 1967 Six-Day War. Some of these tombstones were torn out to become pavement stones and bathroom floor tiles.


The Palestinians found it difficult to wean themselves of their old habits when Israel liberated the mountain and Jerusalem and continued to damage the ancient cemetery on the Mount of Olives, although with far less success.

On the eve of Sukkot 1996, as riots at the Western Wall Tunnels were underway, Joseph’s Tomb came under heavy gunfire. Six Israeli soldiers were killed, and the Palestinians destroyed the yeshiva and burned hundreds of holy books. In October 2000, Palestinians attacked and set the ancient Shalom Al Yisrael synagogue in Jericho, whose mosaic floor included Jewish symbols and the words “shalom al Israel,” meaning “peace unto Israel,” on fire while plundering and vandalizing its contents. It was during this incident that a Border Police officer bled to death after attempts to coordinate his rescue with the Palestinian police failed.

We have seen repeated attacks on the tomb and the Jews visiting the site every few years since. The Palestinians also threatened the welfare of Jewish worshippers at Rachel’s Tomb over the years. To date, hundreds of Molotov cocktails have been thrown toward the site from Bethlehem, and it is only thanks to the high surrounding walls that visitors there have remained safe from injury. Likewise, Palestinians armed with weapons have tried to harm soldiers and civilians visiting the site, usually without success.

At the holiest site to the Jewish people, the Temple Mount, which is just the third holiest site in Islam, Jews have suffered from harassment and threats for years. It is only thanks to the police and the Shin Bet security agency that more harm has not been done. Throughout the years, dozens of attacks on Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount have been thwarted. In one of the few instances in which Israel tasked the Palestinians and their security mechanisms with the security of the site, Jews were pelted with rocks on the Western Wall, something that happens from time to time when the responsibility for the security is Israel’s sole responsibility.

Another incident saw the burning of synagogues in Gush Katif following the expulsion of Jews from there following the 2005 disengagement. The Palestinians have shown contempt toward the list of 23 Jewish holy sites that under to the Oslo Accords, they have pledged to ensure Jews free access to. That pledge has become a dead letter.

Christians have also experienced continuous harassment by radical Palestinian Islam, including the form of damage to monasteries, the blackmailing of Christian businesspeople, and the expropriation of land. The migration of Christians from the territories of Judea and Samaria overseas, which began in the early 19th century, has significantly accelerated as a result of this harassment.

The story, then, is not Ramadan but rather Islam and what the Palestinians have made of it. For years, the damage to Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria has been accompanied by the denial of the Jewish narrative, and the dejudaization of the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, and Jerusalem, as well as the conscious and religious Islamization of Jewish holy sites around the Land of Israel. Take for example Rachel’s Tomb, which is now referred to by some Muslims as the Bilal bin Rabah Mosque.

{Reposted from the IsraelHayom site}


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