Jewish visitors to the Tomb of Joseph, under Israeli jurisdiction according to the Oslo Accords, do so with army permission, but only in the stealth of night.
As 12 Knesset Members, accompanied by IDF soldiers, conducted the first daytime visit to the Tomb of Joseph since the year 2000, MK Michael Ben-Ari (NU) said Tuesday that he feels both shame and pride. “Shame for surrendering to the terrorists [PA policement, ed.] who provide security to Knesset Members, they should not have been here. And pride that the Nation of Israel does not abandon its history and neglect Joseph the Righteous."
National Union Chairman MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh) said in the course of the visit that he possesses an original set of letters in which Jews who lived in Shechem in the late 19th century corresponded with their fund raising emissaries abroad. “As one who has spent his whole life raising finds for the settlement enterprise and education, I say that here, too, in Shechem, there should be a vibrant Jewish community with Hesder yeshivas and educational institutions.”
MK Danny Danon (Likud) shared his kafkaesque feeling of unease. "While the Defense Minister is in China, we are here, depending on the goodwill of the PA policemen who murdered Ben-Yosef Livnat," he said.
MK Aryeh Eldad (NU) said upon exiting the Tomb that “we must and can bring back a Jewish presence to Joseph’s Tomb, both military and civilian. I we do not do so, the Arabs will know that it is possible to drive Jews out of a place in the Land of Israel by force and murder.”
Deputy Minister for Senior Citizens Leah Ness (Likud) commented: “In these times, when the State of Israel is fighting against the declaration of a Palestinian state, it is important to strengthen our hold everywhere in the Land and especially in the holy places including the Tomb of Joseph.”
MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) termed the daytime visit “a breakthrough toward the resumption of regular visits to the Tomb in all hours of the day.”
The MKs sang the Israeli anthem HaTikva at the Tomb and thanked the IDF for accompanying them.