Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

11 Adar II 5771 - March 17, 2011 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Widespread Destruction at Cemeteries Throughout Eretz Yisroel

By Yechiel Sever

The Antiquities Authority has been waging widespread destruction in recent days and past months at various ancient cemeteries throughout Eretz Yisroel, while dismissing all objections to the shameful disregard for the honor of the dead.

Figures involved in the matter say during the past year the Antiquities Authorities has declared war on the living and the dead, removing skeletons, constantly razing various cemeteries and uprooting more and more Jewish graves around the country.

They report that extensive work is currently under way at the cemetery in Yavneh to make room for a railway project, with an enormous team of 100 archaeologists working at the site, destroying graves continuously. They have laid out five huge tarps, under which they are carrying out their work tirelessly.

Activists who visited the site were appalled to see boxes containing human bones destined for research at museums. "The archaeologists working at the site refuse to allow any oversight, and those who came to protest were kept at a distance," said one observer.

Excavation work is also taking place in the Haifa area, at the cemetery near Kiryat Bialik, where the work is being carried out by the National Roads Company after the Antiquities Authority applied heavy pressure on government companies to carry out the project. For years the National Roads Company complied with the halachic instructions issued by rabbonim, yet now, for the first time, company personnel are carrying out excavation work at the cemetery.

Another Jewish grave site under attack is taking place near the memorial for the tanna, Rav Avdimi of Haifa, where skeletons are being unearthed to pave the highway. Activists on their way to protest were stopped and subjected to brutal treatment. Some were jailed for several days. Here as well, no rabbinical supervisors are allowed access. If an inspector arrives, they halt the work and summon the police.

The honor of the dead is also being disregarded in Farod by the Housing Ministry. At the Upper Galilee community a burial cave near the grave of Rav Yishmael Hakohen was maliciously destroyed based on top-level orders.

And in Jaffa, the destruction of graves in the ancient cemetery continues without relent. The builders, through the Antiquities Authority, are preparing for a fast-track operation to unearth graves from the Second Temple Period and have brought in equipment to accommodate personnel reinforcements.


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