The tombs uncovered in Jaffa belong to pagan worshipers buried next to domesticated pigs. Even so, haredi protests, which have sometimes been violent, will continue: "This is a three thousand year old cemetery where the remains of thousands and thousands of our forefathers are buried…this terrible tragedy and crime could only take place in the state calling itself Israel, which was established by heretics…"
'Andromeda Hill tombs belong to Pagans, pigs'
Israel Antiquities Authority says latest findings from controversial excavation site in Jaffa prove unequivocally that graves found at site belong to pagan worshipers traditionally buried next to pigs
The tombs uncovered near Andromeda Hill in Jaffa belong to pagan worshipers buried next to domesticated pigs, according to the latest findings revealed during excavation works at the site.
For the past year, the site has become a political and religious hotspot, with ultra-Orthodox frequently protesting what they claimed was the desecration of Jewish graves.
The demonstrations often deteriorated into physical and verbal violence, with protesters hurling stones at police officers and security forces arresting dozens of rioters.
The excavation site has more than once been the target of vandalism, and a number of Israel Antiquities Authority officials have even received anonymous threats.
The Authority has already stated in the past that the graves most probably do not belong to Jews – but were largely ignored. Now, with the excavation work complete, they can finally base their assertion on findings that "unequivocally prove a Pagan population lived in the area."
'Remains of domesticated swines'
According to Authority officials, the controversial cemetery was uncovered back in 1993. Some 30 graves, most of which were carved out of gravel, were identified and ascribed to the Persian to Byzantine eras.
The discovery of the graves stirred a storm among religious elements, who claimed the excavations violated the respect for the dead.
"Human bones and skulls are rolling like manure in the field, and no one cares," wrote members of United Torah Judaism in a letter sent to then Minister of Religious Services Yakov Margi, demanding that he halts the construction work at the site.
The latest findings, however, seem to refute former claims of the existence of Jewish graves. According to Yossi Levi, the central district archaeologist for the Israel Antiquities Authority, many pig bones were identified among the remains.
"These are the remains of domesticated swines, which were placed in the grave in honor of the buried. This tradition was widespread among Pagan populations throughout ancient Israel," he explained.
Now that excavation works have been completed, the remains were transferred to a certified representative at the Ministry of Religious Services, and will be brought to burial at an alternate location.
You might think clear evidence these graves are graves of idol worshippers would stop haredi demonstrations, but you'd be wrong, even though haredi understanding of Jewish law allows the removal of non-Jewish graves and grave of idoloters:
Rabbis to Protest Ancient Grave Desecration in Israel
NEW YORK, March 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Central Rabbinical Congress is conducting weekly demonstrations in front of Aby Rosen's townhouse in upper Manhattan at 5 East 80th Street, to protest the uprooting of an ancient Jewish cemetery in Jaffa, Israel, for the purpose of building a luxury 600-million dollar hotel on the site.
"This is a three thousand year old cemetery where the remains of thousands and thousands of our forefathers are buried," said Rabbi Pinches Weinberg. "Now, Aby Rosen with his partner Michael Fuchs of RFR Realty are digging and desecrating these holy graves.
"According to Judaism, which teaches the existence of life after death, digging graves is a serious sin. The entire Jewish community is outraged at this horrible behavior.
"Of course, this terrible tragedy and crime could only take place in the state calling itself Israel, which was established by heretics against the will of all leading Torah authorities, since the Torah expressly forbids the existence of a Jewish state during our divinely decreed exile. Throughout its existence, the State of Israel has trampled on every law of the Torah with impunity, and viciously oppressed all those who stood in its way.
"The current desecration is a private venture, but it is an historical fact that the State has always sponsored the uprooting of ancient cemeteries for purposes of archaeology and road construction, despite the pleas and appeals of pious Jews worldwide. Therefore it is no wonder that the State has given its blessings and protection to Aby Rosen and RFR Realty to proceed with this project."
The Central Rabbinic Congress has conducted many protests in the past nine months. One major protest took place in Washington, DC on July 6, 2010 with 7,000 participants. Afterwards, numerous protests were held at RFR headquarters at 390 Park Avenue, with larger and smaller groups of people. One major protest at RFR headquarters with 10,000 participants took place on Oct. 28, 2010.
We invite you to join us at our weekly protests in front of Aby Rosen's home at 5 East 80th St, usually on Thursdays between 3:00 and 4:30 PM.
This Monday, March 28, we will be conducting demonstrations at two locations in Manhattan with 600 demonstrators: from 3:00 to 4:30 we will be in front of the Israeli Consulate at 800 2nd Ave, and from 4:30 to 6:00 we will be in front of Aby Rosen's home at 5 East 80th St.
SOURCE Central Rabbinical Congress of the USA and Canada
Update 9:24 am CST – Haredim plan to hold a Jewish funeral for the bones, despite clear evidence the graves belong to pagans:
Haredi group to bury remains uncovered near Jaffa's Andromeda Hill
Kobi Nahshoni • Ynet
Members of Atra Kadisha, an ultra-Orthodox organization that fought against the removal of graves found near Andromeda Hill in Jaffa, will hold a funeral for the bones uncovered there, claiming that they belong to 150 Jews.
Members of the organization insist that the remains belong to Jews because they were buried in accordance with Jewish tradition – on their backs, and with their heads facing the direction of Jerusalem. The Israel Antiquities Authority, however, asserted that the bones belong to pagan worshipers and their pigs.