‘Back to Joseph’s Tomb': Settler fundamentalists plan to re-establish presence in Nablus
In order to understand the dangers of this campaign, and how hypocritical the demand for “freedom of worship” is, it’s important to remember that Yitzhar’s Od Yosef Hai yeshiva was originally located at the tomb. Just last week the yeshiva’s dean published “The complete guide to killing non-Jews.”
Back to Joseph’s Tomb
Roi Sharon, Maariv, November 19 2009 [page 6]
The right wing has marked its next target: nine years after the IDF’s withdrawal from Nablus, right wing groups plan to restore the Jewish presence in Joseph’s Tomb.
The new initiative was born as a result of the current security situation in the Palestinian Authority territories, after many roadblocks to the Palestinian cities were removed. After the removal of the Hawara roadblock near Nablus, illegal visits to Joseph’s Tomb increased. Contrary to earlier years, when Joseph’s Tomb worshippers would infiltrate in the depths of night using various bypass roads, in recent months worshippers enter during daylight of day and via the main roads.
The promoters of this initiative are the hill top folks, residents of Samaria’s settlements, rabbis and long time settlers. A group of several dozens has united under the name “the Nablus core,” and in recent days began circulating a position paper which states: “for nine years now Joseph’s Tomb remains burnt, desecrated and abandoned…it is time to remove the stain.”
An epistle to be sent to Samaria residents in the coming days states: “for nine years Joseph’s Tomb has been forsaken and there is no Jewish presence in the city of Nablus. Nine years have passed since the destruction, burning and pogrom. We all recall and are pained with the sight, how hundreds of savages who defeated the Israeli Defense Forces, broke, burned and rejoiced. Have we forgotten? Have we grown despondent? We are determined to change the situation: not to forget. Not to grow despondent.”
“The vicinity of Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva in Nablus today stands abandoned, even though this is Israeli territory according to all opinions and even according to Israel law,” states the letter. “Never has their been an official decision concerning this shameful abandonment, it was executed quickly and unannounced, under pressure, at a time when the IDF was an all time low. Today there is no security impediment to dwelling in the area again, and it is realistically possible to secure the place. Today the roadblocks are all open, and every Arab from Balata enters and leaves Nablus freely, traveling to all destination of Judea and Samaria. And only we shall remain shut out?”
Organizers plan on recruiting as much wide spread support as possible through PR campaigns. As a second phase, organizers plan to pitch a protest tent at the entrance to Nablus. In the future they will attempt a march into the city towards the tomb. In the last phase, a massive entry into the vicinity of the tomb is planned, with the goal being to remain there.
Benny Katzover, who is involved with the initiative, told Ma’ariv last night that “the basic demand to allow Jews free worship is an elementary one which no people in the world would give up, and it is also mandated by the miserable Oslo Accords — just as is the case with Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem. We must battle in order to change this intolerable situation, in which this sacred place remains in a state of disgrace, destroyed and shattered, and Jews may enter it only once a month in the dead of night.”