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Jan 28, 2008

Where there is smoke, there is a bathroom attendant!

An incident recently took place in Hebron between an Israeli Magavnik (IDF border police) and an Arab janitor that nearly created a diplomatic outcry.

First, some background...

The building of the Me'arat Ha'Machpelah is a large structure made up up of various rooms and chambers. Among the various rooms are three rooms each containing a set of "grave markers/headstones" for one of the couples of the Patriarchs/Matriarchs. That means there is a room called "Ulam Avraham" or "Abraham's hall" containing the markers for the graves of Abraham and Sarah. There is a chamber called "Ulam Yitzchak" containing the markers of the graves of Yitzchak and Rivka. There is a chamber called "Ulam Yaakov" containing the markers for the graves of Yaakov and Leah.

The markers do not contain graves within or beneath. They are simply markers. The actual graves are beneath the building in a cave and, as far as I know, have no relevance to the markers.

Ulam Yitzchak is the largest of the chambers. By a lot. Ulam Avraham and Ulam Yaakov are fairly small, and they are really only useable (as prayer rooms) because of the connecting hallways.

The Me'ara was divided up between the Israelis and the Arabs to avoid hostility between the two groups. The Jews get the smaller Ulamot of Avraham and Yaakov while the Arabs get the larger Ulam Yitzchak. The agreement does stipulate that 11 days per year, on holidays, the Jews have open access to Ulam Yitzchak as well.

Enough background, now for the excitement.

Maariv reports on the story that the soldier was bored while guarding the site. He decided to have a good time and as he was passing an Arab janitor, he decided to pull a fast one on the janitor. He said to the janitor that the head of the Waqf in charge of the Me'ara had decided to sell the me'ara to the Jews.

The janitor flipped out and ran to the higher committee of the Waqf and told them that the one in charge of the me'ara had sold it to the Jews. The committee did not check out the info, but accepted it at face value. They sent a quick letter of protest to the Palestinian Authority who, in turn, also did not bother checking out the information but sent a complaint to the Israeli government via the Prime Minister's Office.

The PMO checked out the story with the security services in Hebron and responded to the Waqf and the PA that no such transaction had been made and there is no intention to conduct any such transaction. the local Waqf swore to the committee that they would never relinquish their rights to Ulam Yitzchak.

The upper committee decided not to let it slide, as "Where there is smoke, there is fire" so there must be some truth to the story. They fired the local Waqf head. In addition, the assitant Waqf was removed from his post and reassigned as a regular employee with the job of cleaning the bathrooms in the me'ara!!!!

The commander of the IDF unit in hebron decided to investigate the story and found out what happened. The soldier was surprised to hear what a ruckus his little joke had caused.

I love this story.

3 comments:

  1. OY GEVALT!!! I LOVE THIS STORY AND WAS LAUGHING SO HARD!

    Arabs believe anything they are told! Think the janitor got promoted to waqf head? ;)

    oysh I cant stop laughing! the soldiers are definatly going to string this along and start making up stories by the dozens!

    Rafi,
    Take a strong sniff in ulam avraham where the bars open towards ulam yitzchak.. you'll smell hash ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. RAFI!!!!!!!1 I'M REPORTING YOU TO THE BEIT SHEMESH CHAREIDI CHIEFS! your site is open on shabbos!! OY NA LANU KI CHATANU!

    http://saturdayguard.com/?url=main&lang=en

    GET IT NOW!!

    I cant believe this exists...

    ReplyDelete

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