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      Arabs Desecrate Tomb of Joseph - Again

      Arabs have once again desecrated the Tomb of Joseph in Shechem, daubing the structure with anti-Israel and anti-Semitic graffiti.
      By David Lev
      First Publish: 10/6/2011, 11:08 AM

      Selichot at Kever Yosef
      Selichot at Kever Yosef
      Meir Barchiya/Samaria Regional Council

      Arabs have once again desecrated the Tomb of Joseph in Shechem, daubing the structure with anti-Israel and anti-Semitic graffiti, swastikas, and other symbols of hatred. Shocked visitors to the site said that it was simply an act of barbarism, that clearly showed what the fate of Jews would be if the Arabs ever do wrest control of Judea and Samaria from Israel.

      The desecration was discovered late Wednesday night, when over 2,000 Jews entered the compound in the PA-controlled city of Shechem for Selichot (pre-Yom Kippur penitential prayers). The prayer service was organized by the Samaria Regional Council and the Shechem Echad organization, which advocates a Jewish return to the city, in coordination with the IDF. The first wave of visitors saw the vandalism and alerted group leaders to the situation. Those inside the building quickly began painting over the offending symbols and comments with whitewash, while hundreds of worshippers continued to descend on the site.

      Speaking to Arutz Sheva Thursday, Gershon Mesika, chairman of the Samaria Regional Council, had a hard time holding back his shock and anger. “Only barbarians are capable of doing such horrible things. Those who have this pathological need to continuously desecrate a holy place do not deserve the title 'human being.'”

      The desecration gives the lie to the PA's claims that it is responsible enough for statehood, Mesika added. “The PA's terrorist police continuously tell the media that they are capable of guarding the Tomb of Joseph without the help of the IDF. But they have now proven that they lost any shred of humanity. These terrorists in uniform who presided over this desecration are the same ones who murdered Ben Yosef Livnat, h”yd. Maybe they themselves vandalized the Tomb,” Mesika said, adding “Woe to the nation that continuously allows its holy sites and symbols to be desecrated without consequence or response. Israel must take full control of the Tomb of Joseph, which is even specified in the Oslo Accords. We must restore our respect and honor, by restoring the Yeshiva and the permanent Israeli presence at the Tomb.”

      The Shechem Echad organization also expressed its shock, saying that “it is shocking and angering that we see the Tomb of Joseph and other holy sites in Samaria desecrated over and over. This is an unacceptable situation, and must be corrected.”

      Visitors to the Tomb Wednesday night ranged from a large contingent of Hassidim, led by their Rebbe, to secular Jews. Witnesses reported seeing tears in the eyes of soldiers who were guarding the group. Rabbi Elyakim Levanon of Elon Moreh commented that “just a month ago the media was trying to frighten us with tales of 'black September' and all that it was supposed to entail, but it was clear then that when Israel showed that it was in control those threats evaporated. I call on the government to act in a strong manner, like Joseph himself, and show Jewish pride and bravery against those who rise up against the Jewish people.”