Delays Continue on Securing Har Hazeisim


har-hazeisimHopes that at least two troublesome access points to Har Hazeisim would be permanently closed to local Arab traffic were dashed as a result of changes in the police brass in Yerushalayim. According to Avrohom Lubinsky, founding chairman of the International Committee for the Preservation of Har Hazeisim, the police were to have closed the roads used by Arabs as a thoroughfare through the ancient bais hakvoros but as a result of a shakeup in the Jerusalem police command, the action has been delayed.

“The latest delays in taking concrete measures to secure Har Hazeisim are very disappointing,” said Mr. Lubinsky. “These access roads are the root of much of the violence, destruction, and general lawlessness that has created an untenable security situation on Har Hazeisim.” Mr. Lubinsky said that he hoped that the Jerusalem Development Authority and the Office of the Prime Minister would move to improve security, including the installation of some 200 surveillance cameras and the stationing of a police garrison on Har Hazeisim.

The Committee intends to step up its efforts to push for the security measures on Har Hazeisim. It has secured the support of a cross section of prominent Knesset members who have taken a lead role in the worldwide campaign to bring change to the 3000-yaer old cemetery which is the eternal resting place of some of the most prominent figures in Jewish history, including three Nevi’im, rabbonim, admorim, and other leading figures. The Knesset members include Moshe Gafni (Yahadut Hatorah), Danny Dannon (Deputy Speaker of the Knesset – Likud) and Yoel Hasson (Kadima). The committee will be meeting MK Hasson during his visit to the US later this month in the offices of Malcolm Hoenlein, Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and a prominent member of the Committee. Another staunch supporter of the Committee’s efforts is Minister Eli Yishai (Shas).

Mr. Hoenlein and Menachem Lubinsky, another prominent member of the Committee briefed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayahu last July on the deteriorating state of Har Hazeisim. The Prime Minister’s office has since taken a more active role in the planned restoration and security plans for Har Hazeisim. The Committee includes leaders of Agudath Israel of America, National Council of Young Israel, Orthodox Union, and the Rabbinical Alliance of America as well as community activists and lay leaders from several countries.

Mr. Lubinsky noted that the Committee was growing inpatient with the bureaucratic delays in implementing a plan that was to already have been in place by now. He said that in the coming weeks, chapters of the Committee would begin functioning in Jerusalem as well as Europe.

In recent months, the government has taken steps to restores some of the 40,000 graves that were destroyed by the Jordanians during their 19-year rule over Har Hazeisim. It has also begun to wire the cemetery for the cameras, but there are still frequent reports of mourners and visitors being stoned. The cemetery also is routinely used as a dumping ground by local Arabs for used construction materials, garbage, and waste from animals that pass through the cemetery.

“World Jewry is united behind securing Har Hazeisim, making it imperative that the government move quickly to fulfill its promises to secure Har Hazeisim, especially since the funds were already allocated,” Mr. Lubinsky concluded.

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. American askanim and imterested peoples have to get used to Israel’s way of doing things. Sub par, slow, and bureacracy… Promises are promises but not for today, tomorrow or the next day,,sometime in the future.

  2. It might be worth considering that Israelis are more concerned with the living and staying alive in the face of Arab adversity and American apathy.

    It is sad, but the inescapable truth is that Iriyas Yerushalayim has far more pressing projects on which to concentrate, like the poor, the homeless, the hungry, the sick, the uneducated, the future etc.

    The list is endless.