Monday, August 29, 2011

Joseph's Tomb -- (Republication of our first photo essays)

Joseph's Tomb, (circa 1900)
Our first photo essays were actually an experiment to test the public's interest in these historic photographs.  We will periodically republish the first essays for our growing audience.

Joseph's traditional burial site is in the city of Schem (Nablus).  Below are pictures taken in 1900. The originals are here and here on the Library of Congress collection.  View another picture here.
 The Ottoman Empire ruled the land of Palestine in 1900.  Ostensibly, the guard pictured at the tomb is an Ottoman policeman.

Note how the tomb was located in an empty field.  Indeed, Jewish visitors to the tomb after the 1967 war remember it as a solidarity structure in a large field.

Today, it is surrounded by Palestinian buildings. 
Ottoman guard at the Tomb (circa 1900)

According to the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority is obligated to safeguard holy sites and ensure free access to them. (Annex III, Appendix I, Article 32 of the Oslo 2 accord, signed on September 28, 1995.) The Oslo 2 accord (Article V of Annex I) also spells out specific arrangements concerning particular sites such as the Tomb of Joseph in Nablus, the Shalom al Yisrael Synagogue in Jericho, and the Tomb of Rachel near Bethlehem.

During the 2000 Intifada, Palestinians razed the site.  It has subsequently been rebuilt, but Jewish visits to the tomb are irregular and must be conducted with IDF escort.
Joseph's tomb surrounded by Palestinian buildings today

The razing of the Tomb in the 2000 Intifada

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