Livnat: PM must enable Jews to worship at Joseph’s Tomb

Religious site "is supposed to be under Israeli control, even according to the Oslo Accords, to which you are so loyal,” Livnat tells Netanyahu.

April 28, 2011 03:42
2 minute read.
Culture Minister Limor Livnat

Limor Livnat. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Only days after her nephew was killed trying to reach Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat called upon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to take steps to enable more Jews to pray at the site.

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Livnat spoke during a Knesset plenum discussion about the Sunday shooting.

“Joseph’s Tomb is one of three places that is recorded in the Bible as being purchased at full price; it is supposed to be under Israeli control, even according to the Oslo Accords, to which you are so loyal,” said Livnat.

“I say today to the prime minister that Jews must be enabled to pray regularly at Joseph’s Tomb, just like at the Machpela Cave and just as was determined in Oslo.”

“They murder us because they don’t even want us within the 1967 borders,” continued Livnat. “There are those who say that it was irresponsible, and in doing so blame the murder victim and the wounded.

“No question of coordination or lack of coordination is a justification for murder. The Palestinians refuse to sit down with us for negotiations, but we are to blame for the fact that there isn’t peace. They murder worshipers, but we are to blame because they didn’t coordinate.

They murder an entire family, including a baby, in their beds, but why are they living in Itamar anyway?” The discussion was included in Wednesday’s special recess plenum session at the behest of the leaders of the Knesset’s Land of Israel Caucus.

“What happened there was a terror attack and not an ‘incident,’” caucus co-chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) said. “Jews will come back to visit the tomb just like any other place, without having to sneak in.”

The caucus, Elkin told MKs, demands that the IDF provide security for people trying to visit the site, which is surrounded by Palestinian-controlled areas, and that control of the tomb itself should be returned to Israeli security forces.

Arye Eldad (National Union), the other co-chairman of the caucus, said the shooting of Livnat’s nephew, Ben-Yosef Livnat, was “a terrible murder.”

“The Palestinian policemen stood there in a position that was coordinated with the civil administration. The answer to Ben-Yosef’s murder is simply to return the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva to the tomb,” Eldad declared.

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