United States Democratic Congressmen Elliot Engel and Executive Vice
Chairman of the Conference of Presidents Malcolm Hoenlein were
attacked by Arab rock throwers on Friday afternoon as they visited
the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.
A large “baseball-sized” rock was thrown at the group, and just
missed hitting Congressman Nadler. Both he and Rep. Engel are from
New York. They spoke Saturday night at the International Committee
for the Preservation of Har Hazeitim´s Emergency Forum on Violence at
Mt. of Olives Ancient Jewish Cemetery.
“He’s fine. No one was hurt. I think they were waiting for their bus,
and then a rock was thrown… and then Israeli police officers chased
the person away. They didn’t catch them. Then they got on the bus and
left,” said Nadler’s spokesman, John Doty.
Engel issued a statement confirming the report.
“As we were about to board the bus at the conclusion of our visit, I
heard a rock hit a car about 100 feet from us. I saw police jump out
of their vehicle to ensure our safety. I don’t know if the rocks were
thrown at us or at the police. All I know is that we heard a thud and
later someone brought over the rock. We were told that the incidents
happen like this all the time, but it is disconcerting to actually be
a part of it,” he said.
“This incident is just more evidence that the vandalism of the
graves, and the harassment of those who visit the cemetery need to be
stopped,” Engel continued.
There have been many cases of vandalism against the Jewish cemetery
on the Mount of Olives. After a rock attack in late November, an Arab
perpetrator was found guilty on the basis of video evidence that
showed him vandalizing the ceremony, and he was sentenced to three
months in prison for his crime.
A meeting was called for Saturday night in Jerusalem, including
members of Knesset, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and
Hoenlein, to address the recent acts of Mount of Olives desecration.
“Though it is unknown who was behind the rock-throwing or who paid
the November vandal caught on tape, Palestinians and their supporters
frequently deny the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and other
locations in Israel. Examples include rebranding Jewish holy sites as
Muslim, denying the Jewish Temple ever existed in Jerusalem, and
identifying Jesus as a Palestinian. Erasing the Jewish connection to
the Mount of Olives can only serve the political efforts to bolster
the Palestinian claim to the Jerusalem, while challenging Israel’s,”
stated The Blaze.