Thursday, October 30, 2008

Joseph's Tomb

In the Palestinian city of Nablus, there is Joseph's Tomb, which is believed to be his final resting place in Judaism. So many Israelis come into the West Bank to pray and pay their respects and the Palestinians allow this, though the IDF patrol the area as well. Isabel Kershner explains the Israelis' pull to claim Palestinian soil as their own:

Here, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is boiled down to its very essence of competing territorial, national and religious claims. The renewed focus on what the Jewish devotees call the pull or power of Joseph appears to reflect a wider trend: a move by the settler movement at large away from tired security arguments and a return to its fundamental raison d’être — the religious conviction that this land is the Jews’ historical birthright and is not up for grabs.

Which I thought was a good way of looking at it, though, to me, it doesn't necessarily mean anything. She also talks about the overlapping personalities in Islam and Judaism: Joseph was also considered a Muslim prophet, so Muslims felt they have a right to the tomb as well. Though, since the Israelis took control of the tomb, the Palestinians have been disregarding the tomb and desecrating it.

No comments: