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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Joseph's tomb to be reopened

It's been ten years since an IDF soldier bled to death trying to defend Joseph's tomb. When the IDF was ordered to abandon the tomb by then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak - after he forced the soldiers to cower inside for hours - the tomb was abandoned and destroyed by the 'Palestinians.' For the last ten years, Jews have only visited the tomb (which, under the terms of the Oslo Accords, is supposed to be under Israeli control) in the dark of night under heavy IDF protection.

Now a new dome has been built atop the tomb - but by a 'Palestinian' contractor. The Jews in the area would like a constant Jewish presence at the tomb, and would like to be able to visit the tomb whenever they want. It doesn't look like it's happening.
The renovation’s rapid progress is thus being met in the Samaria Regional Council with mixed feelings.

“We are dismayed that Joseph’s Tomb is being used to promote the false notion that collaboration with the Palestinian Authority is working,” Eli Rozenfeld, who is in charge of the site on behalf of the council, told The Jerusalem Post.

“The IDF is currently in Nablus. But we all know what happens to holy Jewish sites the moment the Palestinians are solely in control. We are also dissatisfied that the army didn’t heed the Samaria rabbis’ ruling that a Jew should conduct the renovation.

“But we cannot disregard the fact that after 10 years of disgrace, the Israeli government has decided to assume responsibility over a site that lawfully belongs to us,” he said.

“This is the first step toward returning things to the way they should be,” Rozenfeld said of the renovation. “The main change still remains ahead of us – that a permanent IDF presence would enable our ongoing entry to the site.”

“The army can amend its disregard of the Samaria rabbis by the military command ceremonially handing the key to the new compound to the rabbis,” Rozenfeld added.

On Thursday, a ceremony highlighted by the commencement of the writing of a Torah scroll will take place on the Mitzpe Yoseph look-over, on top of Mount Gerizim. Marking ten years to the “abandonment of [Nablus] and Joseph's Tomb,” the event will launch a year-long campaign to promote the return of a permanent Jewish presence to the site.
I wish the Samaria activists much success in opening the tomb to Jewish access. The government should make amends.


At 9:06 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

It should never be ceded to Muslim control again.

We know how much regard Muslims have for the sanctity of other religions' holy places.

That is to say none.

What could go wrong indeed


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