Rabbi embroiled in Czech burial site controversy

Sidon condemned the tactics of the Orthodox groups which have staged a series of protests in New York, London, Brussels and Prague.Since the 750-year-old cemetery was discovered several years ago, those dedicated to preserving Jewish heritage have focused their attention on a compromise reached several months ago by Prague's Jewish community.

The compromise, announced by the Czech government, involved preserving the site by encasing the remains of several hundred Jews in concrete. The remains of 160 other Jews, which had been removed for anthropological research, were also to be returned as soon as possible.

Prague's Jewish community, which felt that the deal was the best possible offer, reluctantly endorsed the decision.

The Czech government has also taken a hard line with the foreign protesters. Culture Minister Pavel Dostal recently said he will not let construction be halted.