Prayers at Joseph's Tomb (archive)
Prayers at Joseph's Tomb (archive)Flash 90

Visitors to the Tomb of Yosef in Shechem were shocked to discover Wednesday night yet another instance of major Arab vandalism to the holy site. Arabs trashed furniture, destroyed books, and defaced the site with anti-Semitic graffiti, and there was evidence that they had tried to burn the structure down. In addition, human and animal waste was found all over the floor of the site.

Mesika joined with more than 2,500 other people Wednesday night who visited the site. The visit was organized by the Samaria Regional Council and the Shechem Echad organization, and the visitors were accompanied by IDF soldiers and police. Accompanying Mesika to the site was the Admor m'Rachlov.

Samaria Council Chairman Gershon Mesika called IDF officials to express his shock at the damage. “Only barbarians are capable of doing terrible things like this, destroying a holy place,” said Mesika. The State of Israel must reclaim the Tomb of Yosef, as described in the Oslo Accords. We must return with strength and faith and reestablish our presence, and that yeshiva, at the Tomb,” he said.

Deputy Council Director Yossi Dagan pointed a finger of blame at the PA police who are supposed to be guarding the site. “The Palestinian terrorist police are responsible for the site when IDF soldiers are not present. They have proven a long time ago that they have lost all semblance of humanity. These are the terrorists in uniforms who murdered Yosef Ben Livnat h”yd, and now they dump their waste and try to burn down the Tomb.”

The large crowd of Jews that had arrived to worship were forced to wait outside for long minutes as soldiers and police cleaned up the site.

Speaking at the event, the Admor m'Rachlov spoke to the crowd, saying that those who merited praying at the site should merit “to serve G-d fully, with all our beings, and to be a merit for the success of those who are ensuring the safety of this site.”