I will consider this helpful someday when the article indicates that the Chief Rabbis coordinated their visit with the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian mayors of Jericho and Nablus. Then such a visit will be a helpful indicator of respect, mutual recognition, and cooperation. Otherwise it is just improved security for a better occupation, and is not contributing to a safe and just solution. Rabbi Froman, by contrast, always when he enters an Arab city, even with historic Jewish roots, always comes with respect for the occupants, especially the Muslim occupants. That is why his way is a way of courage.
© Marc Gopin
Chief rabbis in rare visit to holy sites in Nablus, Jericho
By JONAH MANDEL
First visits by high-ranking Israeli delegation in 10 years.
Israel’s Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar conducted an unprecedented visit to Jewish holy sites in Nablus and Jericho on Thursday, ahead of the High Holy Days.
For the first time in 10 years, a high-ranking Israeli delegation came in broad daylight to Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus and the ancient Shalom Al Israel synagogue in Jericho.
The visit, the first of its kind since the IDF pulled out of Nablus and Jericho, was said to be the result of an ongoing dialogue between Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites Shmuel Rabinovitch and the head of the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria Brig.- Gen. Yoav Mordechai, who organized the tour. OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi and Judea and Samaria Division commander Brig.- Gen. Nitzan Alon also participated.
The rabbis prayed at the sites and were briefed by Mizrahi on the arrangements under which Jews can pray there. Both sites are in Area A and hence under Palestinian security responsibility.
The IDF cited the visit as another example of the improving security situation in Judea and Samaria, which can be credited, among other factors, to confidence-building measures led by the military, and the tightening of ties between the IDF and Palestinian security forces.
Metzger used the opportunity to speak out strongly against the phenomenon of clandestine nocturnal infiltrations into the Joseph’s Tomb complex.
Since the site was taken over by Palestinians in 2000, Jewish worshipers have been barred from entering during the day.
As of November 2007, monthly nighttime visits, coordinated with and secured by the IDF, enable busloads of Jewish worshipers to access the tomb.