An article published on Friday on Al Jazeera.net accused Israel of perpetrating a huge hoax by creating faked graves with the intention of continuing a massacre perpetrated against Palestinians in 1948. A minimum of investigation reveals that the article is inaccurate, blaming Israel for a zombie invasion agenda that is actually being actively pursued by the PA with the help of the United Nations.
“Fake Graves” Scam
According to the article, Israel spent nearly $55 million and four years to create 25,000 polystyrene tombs. According to the article, this hoax was enhanced by placing small rocks on the fake gravestones to mimic the Jewish custom of placing a rock on a gravestone after visiting the gravesite. The article claimed it was a scam financed by selling the gravesites to the public by convincing them it is “inspired by the burial method of the alleged Second Temple.”
— National News (@NationalHaber) October 11, 2019
The “fake” cemetery referred to in the article is a new and unique section of the Har Menuchot Cemetery in the Givat Shaul section of Jerusalem opened in 1951. The cemetery now houses 150,000 gravesites. The new section of the cemetery was required to fill the annual demand for 4,400 new burial sites. The new section is being created by excavating a subterranean space under the mountain and creating multiple levels of burial sites. This will allow an additional 22,000 burial sites to be added without using any additional real estate. Elevators will be used to access the sites. As the Al Jazeera article accurately noted, archaeological evidence indicates that this method was used in the Second Temple period, though no credible archaeologist or historian would use the term “alleged” to refer to either of the Jewish Temples that existed in Jerusalem.
The first stage of the project is expected to open to the public after the Jewish holidays.
Claim: Fake Cemetery Intended to Continue “Deir Yassin Massacre”
Al Jazeera described the new section of the Jewish cemetery as the continuation of the displacement and murder of the Arab residents of Deir Yassin. In the Israeli War of Independence in 1948, 120 fighters from the Irgun and Lehi entered the village of 600 residents as part of the effort to relieve the blockade of Jerusalem during the civil war that preceded the end of British rule in Palestine. Though initial reports claimed 254 Arabs were killed, the Palestinian mayor of East Jerusalem later amended that to 117 dead, including the Arab soldiers. Other Palestinian sources set that figure even lower.
Four days after the Deir Yassin massacre, on April 13, a revenge attack on the Hadassah medical convoy in Jerusalem ended in a massacre killing 78 Jews, most of whom were medical staff.
In his book published two years ago titled, Deir Yassin: The End of the Myth, Prof. Eliezer Tauber, head of the Institute for the Study of Underground Movements at Bar-Ilan University and former Dean of the Faculty of Jewish Studies at the University, performed an exhaustive investigation into the incident including both Jewish and Palestinian eyewitness accounts. Tauber concluded that “no massacre took place.”
“The attackers took . . . 200 villagers prisoner and safely released them in Arab Jerusalem,” Tauber wrote. “Only 101 Arabs were killed, [as opposed to the established figure of 254], a quarter of them active combatants and most of the rest in combat conditions.”
The incident has been used as the prime example of Israeli perpetrated horrors against Palestinians.
“Israelis and Palestinians believe in two myths about the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem,” Tauber wrote. “The Israelis claim that the Palestinians followed their leaders’ exhortations to evacuate their homes temporarily and then return with the victorious Arab armies, but that is not what spurred Palestinians to leave. The Palestinians claim that the Israelis expelled them in 1948, but this was not what drove the departure. The true story of the 1948 Palestinian exodus was a flight mainly motivated by panic over a massacre that never happened.”
In a 2006 interview with the BBC, Hussein Khalidi, a prominent Palestinian Arab leader, stated that he was instructed by his superiors to fabricate claims of atrocities at Deir Yassin in order to encourage Arab regimes to invade the expected Jewish state. His false press statement was released to New York Times leading to an article on April 12, 1948, claiming that a massacre took place at Deir Yassin that was reprinted worldwide and cited even in Israel as proof of Israeli atrocities.
Claim: Mount of Olives Another Case of Fake Jewish Cemetery
The Al Jazeera article also described the “transgression” of the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, the largest and most important Jewish cemetery in the world. Extending over 62 acres east of the Temple Mount, the cemetery on the Mount of Olives has served in that capacity for 3,000 years. The Mount of Olives (which is also sanctified in Christian and Muslim traditions) is mentioned in the visions of the prophet Ezekiel and the prophecies of Zechariah. According to Jewish tradition, those buried there will be the first to arise at the resurrection of the dead and will be exempt from the tribulations accompanying the Messianic process.
Though it may sound absurd to accuse Israel of faking a huge and ancient burial site, this claim was part of a United Nations resolution in 2016. A resolution put before the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in April 2016 made the claim that there was no connection between Judaism and the Temple Mount. In addition to a call to prevent Jews from visiting their holiest site, the resolution accused the Jews of “planting Jewish fake graves in other spaces of the Muslim cemeteries.” This accusation has been around since 2012, when the Al Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage claimed that Israel planted thousands of fake graves around the Temple Mount. The resolution was approved by 33 states, including France, Russia, Spain, and Sweden.
Islamic Messianic War on the Dead
The sad irony is that Islamic officials have been caught many times erecting fraudulent grave markers in Muslim cemeteries in Jerusalem. In 2010, Israeli officials cleared away about 300 grave markers that had been placed as a means of illegally claiming municipal land. The markers were cleared after each site was scrupulously reviewed by the Israel Antiquities Authority and found to contain no human remains. The Jerusalem Post reported the story, noting that in 1945, the Supreme Muslim Council of British Mandate Palestine had planned to build a large commercial center directly on top of the cemetery.
The Mount of Olives is also referred to in Jewish literature as the Mount of Anointment because the anointing oil used to anoint kings and high priests was prepared from the olives that grew there. The Red Heifer ceremony was also performed on the Mount of Olives.
Arabs have also been found adding fraudulent gravesites to the Muslim cemetery adjacent to the Temple Mount. It has been conjectured that this cemetery was created in an attempt to prevent a Jewish Kohen (priest) from ever performing the ritual of the Red Heifer, since he is forbidden for reasons of ritual purity from walking over a grave, and he must do so in order to bring the ashes of the Red Heifer to the Temple. This is a mistaken belief since the remains of a non-Jew do not carry impurity.
It was estimated in 1947 that there were 60,000 Jewish gravesites on the Mount of Olives but recent estimates put that number at closer to 150,000. Considered a holy site by international accords, it is protected by international law. The area fell to Jordan in the war but the Armistice Agreement required Jordan to allow “free access to the holy sites and cultural institutions and use of the cemeteries on the Mount of Olive.” Jordan did not honor that agreement. Arab residents began uprooting the tombstones and plowing the land in the cemeteries. Four roads were paved through the cemeteries, in the process destroying graves including those of famous persons. Skeletons and bones were strewn about and scattered. Tombstones were used as paving stones for roads in the Jordanian Army camp in Azariya, east of Jerusalem. In Azariya a telephone booth was found built out of tombstones, and Jewish tombstones were also used as flooring for latrines. After the site was liberated in 1967, about 38,000 smashed or damaged tombstones were counted. The slow rehabilitation of the mount and the tombstones has continued until this very day, and Jewish burial at the site was renewed.
It should be noted that a “Two-State Solution” would create a Palestinian State in Judea and Samaria with its capital in Jerusalem, turning control of the Mount of Olives over to the PA. The Oslo Accords signed between the PA and Israel in 1993 obligates both sides to guarantee freedom of access to all holy sites and protect them but the PA has refused to honor its obligation in this regard.