Josephs Tomb 311.
(photo credit: Tovah Lazaroff)
Vandals painted two swastikas on Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, the IDF reported on
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Soldiers discovered the swastikas when they went to the tomb on
Wednesday night to prepare for the arrival of worshipers to the tomb in advance
of Yom Kippur.
Although the Palestinian Authority controls Nablus,
permission has been granted for Jews to visit the tomb once a month, late at
night under IDF escort. Around 1,300 worshipers visited the tomb before dawn on
The IDF painted over the graffiti before the pilgrims arrived,
but the vandalism was still evident and settlers publicized the incident, which
comes after an arson attack on a mosque in the Beduin village of Tuba Zanghariya
in the Upper Galilee.
In response to the vandalism at Joseph’s Tomb,
right-wing politicians, settler leaders and activists called on the government
to take back sovereignty in Nablus, which is located on the site of the biblical
city of Shechem.
The incident did not illicit the same outrage as the
Tuba Zanghariya incident, they noted.
The National Union said the
swastika vandalism was an “embarrassment” to the country.
Dani Dayan, who
heads the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip,
said that the vandalism had occurred almost on the same date, 11 years ago, that
Israel had withdrawn from the tomb after six Palestinians and one Israeli, the
Border Police’s Cpl. Madhat Yusuf, 19, from Beit Jann, were killed in clashes
“The Palestinian police can not be relied on.
Israeli rule can the place be kept intact and the freedom to worship be
observed,” Dayan said.
The left-wing group Gush Shalom also condemned the
“The swastika is the despicable symbol of a murderous racist
ideology, and it goes without saying that daubing this symbol anywhere in the
world is a vile deed — all the more so at a location holy to the Jewish
religion,” its spokesman Adam Keller said.
“Joseph’s Tomb at the heart of
the city of Nablus is a place sacred to Judaism, and the desire of religious
Jews to visit it is completely legitimate,” he said. Keller said that although
Nablus was a Palestinian city and essential to the “State of Palestine,” it was
important for the tomb to be protected and open to all believers, Jews or