US-Trained P.A. Shoot Worshipers at the Tomb of Joseph

May 26th, 2011

The following announcement was first posted on a community news site on April 16th, 2011:

"Ben Yosef Livnat, a 24-year-old Jewish father of four from Jerusalem, was shot dead earlier today by a Palestinian policeman at Joseph’s Shrine in Shechem."
Four other members of the religious group were wounded in the shooting.
Thousands of people on Sunday attended the funeral of Ben Yosef Livnat, who was laid to rest at Mount Olives in Jerusalem.
The funeral was attended by settlement leaders from the West Bank, right-wing activists, rabbis and public figures, and Minister of Sports and Culture Limor Livnat, Ben Josef’s aunt.
Initially, the I.D.F. released a statement acknowledging that Joseph’s Tomb was under the control of the Palestinian Authority; and that Jewish pilgrims were permitted by the P.A. to visit the shrine twice monthly.
Furthermore, the IDF reiterated its position that any Jew attempting to pray at Joseph’s Tomb without the prior authorization of the P.A. did so at their own risk.
The initial report by the IDF failed to mention that Palestinians then set fire to the tomb.
Chas Newkey-Burden, from the Proud Zionist, expressed dismay why such an outrageous occurrence as the Nablus killing would receive negligible coverage in the wider media.
In order to illustrate the lack of attention given to this murder, Newkey-Burden challenged his audience with a hypothetical role reversal scenario:
Contrast the situation of what happened at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus (which is in the West Bank and under control of the P.A.) with what would have occurred in the Old City of Jerusalem (referring to East Jerusalem, which is still under Israeli control).

Since we took sovereignty in 1967, Israel has painstakingly protected the rights of all faiths to visit and pray at their places of worship in dignity and comfort…

Israel has consistently governed the Old City of Jerusalem by allowing all faiths to enjoy their holy sites. 

Were Israel to behave how the Palestinians did in Nablus today, one can only imagine the global outrage.

Imagine for a moment, that some young Arab men, while leaving the Dome of the Rock, were shot dead by Israeli Soldiers.

And imagine if following this, Israeli youths set fire to the Dome of the Rock!

We would be talking about global outrage, even a war of cataclysmic proportion.
Under usual circumstances the matter might have ended there.
But something happened at the funeral, and its ripple effect, still gaining momentum, may soon be headed towards Congress.
The Jewish man who was murdered happened to be the nephew of Limor Livnat, the Minister of Sports and Culture.
Her passionate outburst during the funeral appeared to have shattered the fog of a political strategy run amok.
Limor let loose at her nephew’s funeral: "I woke up this morning, and Ben Josef’s mom called me and told me he was murdered by a Palestinian policeman. This is cold-blooded murder! Ben Yosef went to pray with other Jews, and he was murdered simply because he was Jewish. It is hard to grasp these things. My own nephew, a personal sacrifice, may he be the last victim."
New facts emerged as a full governmental investigation ensued:
Disturbing information emerged once the IDF Commander of the Samaria Region filed his official report:
It confirmed that Livnat was killed as he emerged from praying at the Tomb of Joseph by a unit of the US-trained NSF – The National Security Forces section of the P.A. Security Services, some of whom were trained in Philadelphia.
The report, submitted to the IDF High Command, also documents that the local NSF Commander shot wildly into several cars of worshippers emerging from prayers as they entered their cars following their visit to the tomb.
Following the shooting, a mob of Palestinians screaming "Allahu Akbar" then set fire to the tomb.
An official from the large Chasidic Breslov community commented that the P.A. was well-aware of their custom to visit and pray at the tomb.
An Op-Ed by Jonathan Tobin in the Jewish Press (April 29, 2011), notes that Joseph’s Tomb has been a repeated focus of violence by the P.A.:
In 1996, six Israeli soldiers were killed when a Palestinian mob attacked the shrine.
During the second intifada in 2000, a mob again stormed the holy site, killing the guard protecting its yeshiva students, then demolishing the tomb and desecrating its Torah Scrolls.
While the tomb has been partially restored, the P.A. who guard it deny its historical connection to Judaism, despite its obvious markings.
David Bedein, Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research, has now launched an independent investigation both in Israel & the US to establish:
• whether there was either an implicit understanding or explicit commands by any Philadelphia-trained NSF to open fire on Jewish worshippers at the tomb of Joseph
• whether foreign advisers knew of any such order
• whether the P.A. intends to prosecute the killers
It will also probe the relationship between the Philadelphia-trained NSF wing of the P.A. and the P.A. judicial system.
The results will be presented to appropriate committees of the US Congress, the Knesset and the Canadian Parliament (Canada assists with the US training of the NSF).
The author of the Op-Ed article raises the question:
"People wonder why Israel is so reluctant to give the Palestinians control over this land (Judea and Samaria). Once there is "autonomy," these holy shrines and other sacred sites will all be in the hands of armed Palestinians. Who would dare risk his life to visit?"
The attack on Jewish worshippers at Joseph’s Tomb needs to be understood as something more significant than an unfortunate instance of violence. This is nothing less than a warning for the concept of "full sovereignty" that Obama is demanding.
Since the P.A. denies the Jewish nature of every sacred place in the country including the Temple and the Western Wall, how can they be trusted to guarantee access and the right to worship at any of these areas?”

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