As a prelude to another so-called "day of rage" in Palestinian controlled areas, Palestinian youths in the late hours Thursday torched Joseph's Tomb near the city of Nablus, which is biblical Shechem in Samaria. They inflicted heavy damage to the site.
This is just the latest in a series attacks against one of the most revered sites in the Jewish faith, and it should also mean a great deal to Christians as well.
Three times in scripture, Joseph's resting place is mentioned, adding to the significance in the Lord's eyes.
In Genesis 50, when Joseph is about to die after rising to the highest level of authority in Egypt, he told his brothers, "I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land He promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
Genesis 50 continues: "And Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath and said, 'God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.'"
The book of Exodus records that Moses fulfilled that oath when the Israelites left Egypt for the Promised Land, and Joseph's bones were brought to Shechem.
In the New Testament book of Hebrews, the renowned chapter 11 describes the great acts of faith of the patriarchs and includes Joseph.
"By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones."
The desecration of Joseph's Tomb is not an event to be taken lightly in the spiritual realm, and it should be widely condemned worldwide. This is only the latest in a number of attacks, not only on the site itself, but on faithful Jews who come to pay homage there.
Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is largely responsible for sustaining an environment of overt hostility to the Jewish people and to the history held sacred by Jews.
To his credit, he condemned this attack and said the Palestinians would help rebuild it.
The next step for Abbas and for Western leaders in Washington and European capitals, as well as at the United Nations, is to consistenty condemn such acts and to shine a light on the celebration of hatred for Jews in the education and media systems of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
That is what creates a climate of rage that sends a generation out to destroy sacred places.
That is not something that the "peace process" can solve. No amount of Israeli territorial concessions in places such as Joseph's Tomb will quell such acts of destruction.
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