Monday, February 23, 2009

"Storming" Joseph's Tomb

Every once in a while, Jews in Israel get together to pray at the Tomb of Joseph in Nablus/Shechem.

Under the Oslo Accords, Joseph's Tomb was meant to stay under Israeli control, but the IDF evacuated it in 2000 when it was immediately ransacked and burned. It has since been rebuilt.

Because of the danger involved in traveling there, those who want to visit the holy site need to go under armed protection. So once a month or so, a group of Jews will go there, usually in the middle of the night, to pray, accompanied by IDF soldiers.

Inevitably, this visit is reported in the Arab media this way:
Palestinian security sources reported on Monday that dozens of Israeli settlers backed by the army stormed the tomb of Prophet Joseph near Balata refugee camp, east of Nablus.

Eyewitnesses told Ma’an’s correspondent in Nablus that the settlers who came to the area were backed by Israeli soldiers late on Sunday, around midnight. The settlers, as reported; entered the tomb under the pretext of performing religious rituals.

The witnesses added that a number of Israeli military vehicles accompanied the buses by which settlers arrived to the area and waited two hours until they finished their rituals.
The imagery of a violent takeover of a supposed Muslim holy place, with the accompanying implicit dismissal of its importance to Jews, pretty much tells you what you need to know about the honesty of the Palestinian Arab media.

Ma'an uses the same terminology for Jews visiting the Temple Mount.