JERUSALEM (JTA) – More than 100 Orthodox rabbis, mostly from the United States, are urging action against ongoing Arab attacks on the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
The rabbis signed a petition organized by Moshe Phillips and Benyamin Korn, president and chairman, of the Religious Zionists of America — Philadelphia Chapter, together with Rabbi Dov Fischer, Esq., spiritual leader of the Young Israel of Orange County, Calif.
The petition also was signed by the Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi David Lau; as well as rabbis from France, Australia, and Canada.
“We call on the Jewish community to press for immediate action by the appropriate authorities to safeguard this holy Jewish site and preserve the integrity of undivided Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital,” the petition said.
The petition will be presented Sunday at a public meeting in Brooklyn on the issue, co-hosted by Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and Menachem Lubinsky, leader of the International Committee for the Preservation of Har Hazeitim, or Mount of Olives.
There are an estimated 150,000 graves on the mountain, where Jews have been buried since biblical times. Notable individuals buried there include the prophets Zechariah, Malachi and Hagai; Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin; famous modern rabbis such as Aryeh Kaplan and Ahron Soloveichik; Henrietta Szold, founder of Hadassah; cantor Yossele Rosenblatt; and British parliamentarian Robert Maxwell.