Orange Humanist

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Q&A On The Graves in Gush Katif

The Israeli gov't intends to dig out all Jewish graves currently in the Gaza Strip and transfer them into pre-1967 Israel (AKA the green line).

Q: Doesn't it make sense to move the graves over?
A: No. It is a basic human right to know that once you're buried, your grave will not be moved at every
politician's whim and fancy.

Q: But the Arabs will surely not leave the graves alone? And how will the families be able to visit?
A: That might be true. However, we should demand that those graves will be treated with respect and that the families will be allowed to visit them.

Q: How can we demand anything? Israel is withdrawing unilaterally and cannot demand a thing.
A: Israel can demand that basic human rights be kept, regardless of whether its actions are unilateral or bilateral.

Q: And if the Arabs won't agree?
A: Supposedly we're going to be talking peace with those same Arabs? How can we talk peace if we can't even leave our GRAVES there in peace?

Q: But how can we expect Arabs NOT to violate the graves? Just look at what happened to the Mount of Olives Cemetery. (The Mount of Olives Cemetery is the most revered of Jewish cemeteries and has graves dating back to around 1000 BCE. That cemetery was under Jordanian control between 1948 and 1967 and the graves there were desecrated, with gravestones being used for army camps, latrines and other important Jordanian building projects)
A: We can expect that any human being will keep the basic human right for decent burial. There are Jewish cemeteries in Egypt, Syria, Poland and Germany as well, which we are not moving anywhere.

Q: You're really expecting Arabs not to desecrate non-Muslim graves put there by a conquering force?
A: There is already a cemetery in the Gaza strip of British soldiers who died fighting in the area in both world wars. It might sometimes be desecrated, as are other cemeteries worldwide, however generally it is up kept and is open for visits.

Q: This wouldn't be the first time graves are transferred from place to place
A: True, but this would be the first time bodies which had been given proper burial are being dug up and moved only because of politics.

Q: The Chief Rabbinate of Israel said it is against religious law to keep the graves there? How can you say otherwise?
A: The Chief Rabbinate of Israel also suggested moving the graves over to the Mount of Olives. How can the Chief Rabbinate make sure that those graves will never be desecrated again? Shouldn't the Chief Rabbinate suggest a better place then?

Q: What would be a better place?
A: If we assume that every piece of land that is under contention would not be safe for burial then that would rule out anywhere in the Land of Israel. Additionally, it would preclude any cemetery worldwide which had been desecrated in the past and anywhere there is a Muslim community which might object to the new abomination in their midst. The search is still on.


  • At August 03, 2005 10:21 PM, Blogger YMedad said…

    One additional point: for hundreds of years, when we did not have political autonomy under foreign rule, our graves were untouched and served as compass points for our eventual return. It was only the so-called "Palestinian Arabs" who adopted methods such as graves' desecration and that of holy sites such as the Temple Mount, Joseph's Tomb and the Peace-On-Israel synagogue in Jericho. How ironic that "peace" brings with it the disinternment of the final resting places of Jews who came home.


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