Ultra Orthodox Jews Destroy Christian Site in Beth Shemesh
Joe Zias reports
Evening news today reported that the ultra-orthodox in Beth Shmesh borrowed a page from the Taliban in Afghanistan, who destroyed those Buddha’s in 2001, by erasing from the face of the earth an important and beautiful Byzantine complex over the weekend. The IAA and others had been working there for some time uncovering mosaics, a church and other impressive archaeological features only to find it completely bulldozed this morning. Today, all was gone which prompted me to perceive how colleagues in the world of archaeology reacted to the blowing up of the two Afghan Buddha’s by the Taliban. Here all one has to do is to substitute the term ultra-orthodox in Beth Shemesh for the Taliban in order to understand what we in Israel are facing. “… the Taliban’s destruction of the two Bamiyan Buddha statues was still painful to watch; and today it is recognized as an ominous forewarning of the Taliban’s distaste of anything other than their own set of extremist Islamic values.”
Sounds familiar, I hope that there is world public outrage over this act in Beth Shmesh on the scale of what we saw in Afghanistan, if there isn’t, it will only get worse as their behavior at times, towards ‘outsiders’ is on par with the Taliban. Not only towards outsiders, there in the ultra orthodox world of Beth Shmesh and in another 30 odd routes in Israel, women ride in the back of the bus and men up front.This is public transportation.
There’s not been a peep of this despicable outrage in any of the press so far- but there should be. Someone needs to investigate this horrific desecration and arrest those responsible. And prosecute them.
If Synagogues are defaced with Nazi symbols the entire world expresses outrage. It’s time for outrage to be expressed at those ultra orthodox who act just as evilly as their Nazi brethren.
There’s a bit of background to this senselessness here. So the problem has been around for years. This weekend’s act is just the latest manifestation.