Jerusalem, April 15, 2013…The chutzpah of Arabs expanding the Ras al Amud Mosque in clear violation of a Stop Order reached new heights in recent days as Arab workers stored construction material on the other side of the Mosque wall and near kvarim on Har Hazeisim. Israeli representatives of the International Committee for the Preservation of Har Hazeisim, led by Jeff Daube, confirmed the unprecedented desecration of the oldest and holiest Jewish cemetery during a visit to Har Hazeisim today after residents of the nearby Maale Hazeitim neighborhood discovered the renewed illegal construction of the Mosque.
Ironically, the materials were positioned near the gravesite of the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Rav Kook and other luminaries. “The chutzpah and shameless desecration of Har Hazeisim has reached a new low in the ongoing disregard, disrespect and desecration of Har Hazeisim by local Arabs,” said Avrohom Lubinsky, Chairman of the ICPHH. “How could the Israeli government and its people celebrate Israel’s independence when such total disregard for the respect of the dead takes place in front of their noses?” He added: “Is this what they call independence when Arabs defile and abuse our history and our past?”
The expansion of the Mosque has long been a bone of contention of the Committee, which ultimately secured a Stop Order by the Municipality of Jerusalem. The Mosque is located in front of the Ras al Amud Square, the scene of many stone throwing incidents including the infamous stoning of US Congressmen Elliot Engel and Jerrold Nadler. Mr. Lubinsky said that despite improved security on Har Hazeisim itself due to a network of 137 surveillance cameras and a police substation, the periphery such as the Ras al Amud Square remains a danger zone.
“It is high time that the Israeli government put an end to the Arab free reign on one of Judaism’s holiest sites as was evidenced by the unprecedented desecration these last few days,” said Mr. Lubinsky. He called for Jews around the world to unite behind the efforts of the Committee to restore Har Hazeisim to its deserved glory.