Stone thrown at Engel meant for all Jews

To the Editor:

The recent article by Miawling Lam, “Attack on Engel, others in Israel fizzles” opens with the following quote:

“Vandals hurled a large rock at Congressman Eliot Engel in a dramatic turn of events during his recent visit to a Jewish cemetery in Israel.

Engel, fellow Congressman Jerrold Nadler and Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Malcolm Hoenlein escaped unscathed after they dodged a large baseball sized rock at the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives last Friday.”

Located in Jerusalem, the Mount of Olives is the most famous Jewish Cemetery in the world. It contains the graves of 150,000 people including such notables as Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Henrietta Szold the founder of Hadassah and various other cultural figures, well known Rabbis and politicians.

One would think that such a site would be protected by the Israeli government. Sadly, this is not the case.

According to an Editorial in the Jerusalem Post on February 29, 2012:

“This incomparable site is systematically targeted by its Arab neighbors, who regularly desecrate it and attack mourners and visitors.”

“Vandals still smear human feces on tombs and deluge them with household rubbish and construction debris. Markers are daubed in tar and paint. Hate graffiti are scrawled and gravestones are hammered and shattered. Nocturnal devastation is accompanied by daytime assaults. Mourners fear going there. Vehicles are habitually stoned from the yard of a nearby Arab school in an especially eerie expression of enmity.”

“Inconceivably, there’s no respite from the deliberate predations on the mountain slopes where Jews have been interring their dead for over 3,000 years.”

The writer closed his editorial with this apt summation: ” A state which aspires to keep its capital undivided must surely be capable of stopping the rampant anarchy and abandon on the Mount of Olives.”

One must wonder what this  type of behavior says about the Arabs. How can they be trusted to live in peace with Israel when they can’t even let dead Jews rest in peace and harass people going to the cemetery to visit graves of loved ones?

David Frankel

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