FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nathan J. Diament
April 23, 2009
ORTHODOX UNION DECRIES DESECRATION OF JOSEPH’S TOMB; “ANOTHER WARNING” TO THOSE WHO “WOULD HAVE ISRAEL RELINQUISH SOVEREIGNTY OVER OTHER JEWISH HOLY SITES… THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS…”
Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization decried Arab desecrations of Joseph’s Tomb in the town of Nablus. Reports this morning of a group of Israelis who went to worship at the tomb of this Jewish patriarch state that the tomb was covered in boot prints and swastikas. (ynet news report)
In response, Nathan J. Diament, director of public policy for the Orthodox Union, issued the following statement:
The Orthodox Union decries the desecrations of the holy site of Joseph’s Tomb and we call upon all people of good will to join us in condemning such acts of desecration of holy sites.
We also call upon all people of good will, especially those in positions of responsibility in the American, Israeli and other governments who, in their sincere desire to pursue a peaceful resolution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, consider plans which would have Israel relinquish sovereignty over other Jewish holy sites, most notably in Jerusalem, to view this as not the first, but another warning that this is what happens when such holy sites are not secured by Israel.
We saw such desecrations when Jerusalem itself was under Arab rule from 1948-1967; we saw synagogues in Gaza destroyed after Israel withdrew in 2005; and we see again Joseph’s Tomb vandalized today.
(More information and video footage)
Sites holy to all faiths in Israel have only been secure and accessible to people of all faiths since they came under Israeli sovereignty in 1967. Political leaders and those who seek to influence them should recognize this reality and plan accordingly.