Jerusalem – Two members of a newly formed Committee for the Sanctity of Har Hazeisim said that the condition they found on a recent tour of Har Hazeisim in Yerushalayim “was beyond disgraceful.”
Avrohom Lubinsky, who took the initiative to form the committee after reading the State Comptroller’s Report on the Israel government’s “benign neglect” of the Mt. Olives said that Har Hazeisim had turned into a Palestinian “playground, dumping area, and outright site of destruction.” Peretz Levin, a Vice President of Goldman-Sachs and a member of the committee spent five days on Har Hazeisim and took more than five hours of shocking and disturbing video.
Levin reported that there was no area of Har Hazeisim that was spared the wanton destruction, filth, and abuse. He said that neighboring Palestinians use the cemetery roads as a shortcut and on evenings parade their donkeys through the area. “I witnessed Palestinians walking on graves as if it were a pedestrian mall,” he said. His heart-wrenching video confirms the findings of State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss that Har Hazeisim has all but been abandoned by the Israeli government. Lubinsky met with officials in the Prime Minister’s office to lodge a strong protest at the government’s turning a blind eye to the systematic destruction of Har Hazeisim.
Last month, Lubinsky’s brother Menachem and Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents, who are members of the Committee, met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara. The two were visibly shaken at the reports of the desecration and destruction. Ironically, many Israeli government leaders and Knesset members seem unaware at the condition of Har Hazeisim.
Levin’s video shows graves that were recently deliberately destroyed by Palestinians living in nearby villages and in the cemetery. He found a fully functioning soccer field on Har Hazeisim with the goal posts being broken fragments of graves. He also found at least one dead animal between the graves, roving dogs, drug paraphernalia, and garbage strewn everywhere. Many of the Committee participants reported being victim to stones being hurled at them by youngsters and at least one participant had a Molotov cocktail thrown at his car. The deteriorating state of Mt. of Olives was called a “national disgrace” as the cemetery is neglected, Palestinians roaming freely between the graves, construction material being strewn about by Palestinian workers building illegal structures nearby, and even a gazebo with couches and refreshments for relaxation. At the burial site of the Rachmovstrivka Rebbe Levin found used water pipes and piles of refuse were everywhere.
Bh that Klal Yisroel has such special people like the Lubinsky brothers, Mr. Hoenlein and Mr. Levin who are willing to give their time and use their influential connections to accomplish such a holy project. There are so many kedoshim buried on Har Hazeisim, including so many thousands of yidden who were moiser nafshom for yiddishkeit while alive. Thank you so much gentleman and may this bring you a ksiva va’chasima tova and good health and nachas.
put the haradim are protesting construction of an emergency room expansion. hypocrites………………..
I was there 2 weeks ago & I saw one Jewish man urinating against a wall in the cemetery. Disgusting. There’s no respect. Meanwhile, I contacted a Shul in UK because of the state of the cemetery they oversee, just 4 weeks ago. Nada. They take no responsibility for the state of the place, including a rat’s skeleton on the path, toppled matzeivos, the roof of an ohel that’s literally about to slide off, dog feces on graves, & the damage SOMEBODY did to my Bubby’s matzeivo AFTER my mother had paid for its repair. All they did was pass the pound, nicely, it’s true, in typical English-gentleman style, but they won’t do anything.
I think I’m going to write to the Jewish media in the UK to make a fuss & hopefully, get something done. We don’t always look after the living & we certainly don’t look after the dead.
There are many jewish cemeteries througout EY which are in desparate need of repairs and maintenance. Har Hazesim is just one competing for attention and resources. Is there any reason why the kevoirm here are more important than the others? All need immediate attention and it shouldn’t get priority simply because some American askanim get some media attention on the issue.
Kol hakavod to the Lubinsky brothers.
No. 2 was being sarcastic but he raises an incredibly good idea. Why not put the Chareidi bochurim who are the first to demonstrate about disturbing kevorim to WORK on restoring these old cemetaries. What could be a bigger kiddush hasehm. They don’t need great skills to clean up the headstones, weed the plots and creates a data base of where each kever is located and what is written on the matzavah.
This would resolve one of the biggest embarrassments for EY and also the government could pay a small stipend to these unemployed bochurim who sit around kollel all day doing nothing to do a big mitzvah.
#7 absolutely wonderful. Most of the bochurim who do the proesting are leidigayers anyway. They serve no purpose in beis medrash. Let the state arrest them and give them community service to clean har hazeisim and any other cemetary in bad situations. And this will definitely make a kiddush hashem to atone for the chilul hashem they made.
#7 because this isnt fun, this is serious. they arent rioting, causing property damage, only doing good things why would they want to and yoiu cant insult the state this way
Just to name a few that are buried there. Reb Shmuel Salant, Reb Yosef Chaim Zonenfeld, Reb Avrohom Shag, the Imrei Binoh, the Oihr Hachaim Hakodoish, the Pri Chodosh, Reb Nochem Shodik and literally thousands of Tzadikim. I don’t think that there is a cemetery anywhere with so many Tzadikim in one place. The picture above should have been of one of them to drive home the message.
I heard part of the show with Zev Brenner. They mentioned that 124 cameras were supposed to be installed but weren’t, a patrol was supposed to be there at all times, but isn’t; and that a police station treat was once stationed there had been removed (probably for “political” reasons. They also mentioned that a decent budget was set aside for this but never used for this. This screams to high heaven; Rabosei wake up!
Great suggestion, # 7! Now wait for the screams of outrage to start.
>>”This would resolve one of the biggest embarrassments for EY”
It’s an embarassment because the secular state of Israel has no feeling for jewish issues like kavod hamais unless they can press coverage that sent a special IAF C-130 transport plane to carry a body someplace. I’m sorry but people that think like you are much bigger embarassment are a far bigger embarassment to EY and all things Jewish:
>>”and also the government could pay a small stipend to these unemployed bochurim who sit around kollel all day doing nothing….”
You’re a believing Jew?? If you believed in G-d in the first place you would understand those bochurim learning Torah in Yeshivas and kollelim do more for the safety and security of EY than 1000 ochlai nevailos & traifos, Mechalalei shabosos, and boalai nidos, that happen to be wearing IDF uniforms. And if you learnt a little Shulchan Aruch you would know that talmidei chachomim are patur from all taxes related to security issues, because they are the security of the land. ala the story in the gemara: Rav Ami and Rav Asi asked to see the “Neturei Karta” lit. the watchers of the city.
Which you obviously never heard of.
About 14 years ago, I tried to locate the kever of Baba Meir ZYA on Har HaZeisim with no luck. I asked a uniformed ostensibly Jewish and official guard who was supposedly “guarding” the beis hachayim for directions – he was too lazy to give me proper directions so told me to ask a little Arab pisher who was trying to schnorr money from tourists to take them to kvorim. (I wonder if the guard got a percentage or asked the kid to buy him cigarettes or drinks with the money – it would not surprise me that they were in cohouts). I understood having to use the services of a paid “guide” when I went to kivrei tzadikim in Morocco – but not in Eretz Yisroel!
Four years ago I tried to find the Ohr haChayim’s kever on a winter afternoon and could not – it was not safe for me to walk to it, not because of the yishmoelim whom I do not fear but because night fell suddenly, I could not see and the ground was full of pits and holes.
The community indeed needs to take back control of the beis hachayim, and fast. It is a mokom koidesh, where people have paid thousands to be buried, and it is treated worse than an abandoned parking lot in Harlem.
for this Jews pay to be buried in Eretz Yisrael? taking up precious land? what a horror.
Taking up precious land? Har haZeisim has been a burial ground for generations.