“The ongoing violence in Yerushalayim and other cities throughout Israel points to an urgent need for the immediate construction of a wall around Har Hazeisim,” was the essence of a plea by Avrohom Lubinsky, founding chairman of the International Committee for the Preservation of Har Hazeisim (ICPHH). Lubinsky noted that in meetings with ICPHH leaders, police officials had endorsed the idea even before the most recent spate of violence. “We cannot afford to leave the holiest and most important Jewish cemetery in Judaism with 150,000 kedoshim exposed and at the mercy of violent mobs who simply can crisscross the cemetery and desecrate graves and throw rocks at mourners at will.”
The ICPHH statement thanked police officials and Border Police units for protecting the holy site during these turbulent days in Jerusalem. It also congratulated the Knesset and the Government for “putting teeth in the new tough laws against rock throwers by adding minimum sentences and holding parents of minors responsible for the actions of their offspring.” Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked had promised the ICPHH that she would vigorously prosecute the offenders. Police have made several hundred arrests in recent weeks with most awaiting prosecution. The ICPHH had long lobbied for the tougher laws, even sharing tough laws with various Knesset committees against rock throwers in many states in the US.
In making its case for enclosing the entire area of the Jewish cemetery, the ICPHH pointed out that most cemeteries in the world had walls. Founded more than 5 years ago, the ICPHH has successfully arranged for 142 cameras to be installed on Har Hazeisim as well as a police substation. Despite these major additions to the security of the cemetery, there have been several large-scale desecrations in the Eastern part of the cemetery (i.e. Polin, Gur, and Afghanistan). “The wall must be impregnable and supported by sophisticated electronic gear,” Lubinsky added.
In an emotional appeal, the ICPHH leader said: “No Jew can feel safe until the 150,000 neshomos can rest in true peace!” He pointed out that the wall was more than fulfilling the imperative of kavod hameis; it will also go a long way in securing visitors and mourners. An ICPHH leadership group is planning to visit Israel in the coming days to press their case with senior government officials for the construction of a wall.