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Joshua's Altar, Jacob's Well & Joseph's Tomb: Part Four: Desecration of Kever Yosef

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  • Joshua's Altar, Jacob's Well & Joseph's Tomb: Part Four: Desecration of Kever Yosef

    I don't remember who made the statement at the heading of this post. It doesn't show up on a Google search. It was probably from a YouTube video that is no longer available.

    This series is part of a video presentation I made for Sunday School back in May, 2009. While researching it, I was surprised to learn of the shocking series of events that took place just a few weeks earlier, on April 23, 2009. It was never reported in the newspapers.

    “Joseph’s brothers had sold him again!”


    October 7, 2000

    The IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) defenders in the compound withstood the attacks and stopped several attempts by armed Palestinians to break in. An IDF border policeman (Yusuf Madhat) was wounded, and the heavy rioting prevented his evacuation for treatment in time to save his life.

    In order to prevent further loss of life and to lower tensions in the area, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak authorized the temporary evacuation of the site, based on the agreement of the Palestinian Authority to safeguard the location, in accordance with their obligations under the Oslo Accords to protect holy sites, Jewish, Muslim and Christian, and ensure access by all. The PA also pledged to prevent any vandalism and to return the Tomb to its original state after the violence settled down.
    The PA pledge was brazenly violated about two hours after the Israeli evacuation, when a Palestinian Arab mob entered the Tomb compound and began to systematically destroy everything in sight, including all remnants of the Yeshiva. The furniture and books that were left behind were burned by the mob. The Palestinian police stood by, failing to prevent any of these violent activities, despite their commitment to guard the Tomb. Within hours, Joseph's Tomb was reduced to a smoldering heap of rubble.


    Palestinians hoisted a Muslim flag over the tomb. Amin Maqbul, an official from Arafat's office, visited the tomb to deliver a speech declaring, "Today was the first step to liberate (Jerusalem)."

    The Mayor of Nablus, Ghassan Shakaa, said that the site would be repaired. Workers were seen fixing the damage, however, they were also painting the top of the dome green - the color of Islam. Workers say that they want to return the shrine to its former appearance before 1967, but news reports indicated the Palestinians were planning to build a mosque on the spot. It was immediately ordered to be repainted a neutral color.


  • #2
    February 23, 2003


    The sacred Jewish site regarded as the grave of the biblical patriarch Joseph has been turned into a pile of rubble by Arab vandals, according to Israeli officials. The carved stone over Joseph’s grave was demolished.
    Prime Minister Ariel Sharon confirmed Sunday that the large stone marking the grave was destroyed some time during the past two weeks, the Israeli News Network said.

    October 7, 2007


    On May 14, 2007, 700 Jews from the Breslov hasidim visited the site for the first time in two years. In October of that year, it was discovered that the tomb had been vandalized, and filled with burning garbage.

    Shechem's Arabs have turned Joseph's Tomb into a garbage dump, Jews who visited the site during Chol Hamoed Sukkot discovered. The group of visitors, which included Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu of Tzfat, prayed at Joseph's Tomb with IDF permission on the second day of Sukkot and was shocked to find that the holy site was in ruins.

    Arabs have smashed the dome that capped the structure and the grave's marker. More disturbing, however, was the discovery of piles of freshly dumped, smoldering garbage. The walls of the structure were covered with soot, and it was clear that this was the result of recent burning.

    February 11, 2008

    Palestinians tried to burn down Joseph's Tomb. It marks the second time the Palestinians attempted to burn down the tomb. Palestinian security officials in Nablus said yesterday they were called to the tomb to find 16 burning tires inside the sacred structure. A Palestinian police official who inspected the site said there was some fire damage to the tomb.

    December 2008

    December of 2008 saw Joseph Tomb's restored and the military began allowing worshipers to visit it once more, but only at night and under heavy military guard, for their own safety.

    April 23, 2009

    407.jpg408.jpgBootprints on the grave; graffiti on the wall. Note the drawing of a boot atop the Star of David.

    Recently visits to the tomb were made clandestinely by Breslav Hassidim, against IDF orders. Now, the Yitzhar-based organization Shechem Ehad (shoulder to shoulder) organizes monthly visits to the tomb.

    On the night of April 23, 2009, over 500 visitors were transported into the area in bullet-proof vehicles and under heavy IDF protection. Upon entering the tomb they found it had been defaced – the headstone smashed and swastikas sprayed on the walls, as well as graffiti of a blood-dripping sword over a Star of David, and another "trampled" by a boot.

    "We saw a drawing of a Star of David with a boot stamping on it on one wall," said David Ha'ivri, a spokesman for Samaria Regional Council chairman Gershon Masika, who was one of the visitors. "Putting your foot on something is the ultimate insult in the Arab world," added Ha'ivri. "It is sad that is the way they treat a holy site. But nobody was particularly surprised." Ha'ivri said that in the past year, since Masika was elected head of the regional council, there had been regular monthly visits to the tomb coinciding with the new Jewish month. "Every time, we bring white paint to cover up the graffiti," said Ha'ivri.

    Kever Yosef Today

    courtyard burned.jpgcourtyard 2013.jpg Then & Now

    courtyard 2014.jpgtomb 2014.jpg respect1.jpg

    Last edited by Faber; 11-06-2020, 12:09 PM.


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