web analytics
December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



New Strategic National Park in Eastern Jerusalem

Cars driving on the road leading up to Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem.

Cars driving on the road leading up to Mt. Scopus in Jerusalem.
Photo Credit: Mendy Hechtman/FLASH90

After years of planning, the objections of pro-Palestinian interests have been overruled, final approval from the District Planning and Construction Committee has been obtained, and a national park will finally be built on the slopes of Mt. Scopus.

The soon-to-be built green area, named Slopes of Mount Scopus National Park, is approximately 2/3 of a square kilometer (181 acres). It borders the eastern edge of the Mt. Scopus campus of Hebrew University, extending up to the main Maaleh Adumim highway – exactly where two Arab-populated neighborhoods, southern Isawiya and northern A-Tur, had been slated to expand.

Environment Minister Amir Peretz, a long-time proponent of withdrawal from areas liberated in the Six-Day War, strongly opposed the project. However, Interior Minister Gideon Saar (Likud) told the Knesset recently that the planning would not be halted and that the process should be completed by early January. He and former environment minister Gilad Erdan, also of Likud, have done what they can to ensure a strengthened Jewish presence in all of Jerusalem, as well as Judea and Samaria.

The importance of the new park can be recognized from several angles. For one thing, Slopes of Mount Scopus National Park is part a series of green areas mostly north and east of the Old City designed to create miles of bike and walking paths around the Old City, encourage tourism, and safeguard the area from acts of vandalism.

The Jerusalem Development Authority insists that the building of the new park has no political significance, but is rather the best way to preserve the last open areas in eastern Jerusalem. The placement of a national park simply retains the status quo, such that illegal construction will not take place, the enforcement of the ban against dumping construction waste can be expected to be finally enforced, and the abundance of litter will be cleaned up as well.

The new park buttresses Jewish contiguity between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim, serving a similar purpose as the now-stalled E-1 project. As we have written in the past, the development of E-1 plays a critical role in saving the city of Maaleh Adumim (population: over 40,000) from becoming a Jewish enclave surrounded by PA-populated territory. The Slopes of Scopus park serves a similar function.

Most important, however, is the fact that it prevents illegal Arab construction from creating facts on the ground. Arab expansion into this area, mostly with rampant illegal construction of the type that is immediately razed if built by Jews in Judea and Samaria, would have created a chokehold around the Holy City and blocked Jewish Jerusalem’s open reach toward the Judean Desert in the east.

Negotiations were waged in the past between the National Parks Authority and representatives of Isawiya and A-Tor, with the latter hoping to obtain a reduction in the size of the park. No practical results were agreed on, however.

Prior archaeological work in the area produced some fascinating finds. In addition to caves, water cisterns, ossuaries, a columbarium, and large stones for construction, a burial field with 44 Second Temple-era graves was uncovered.

Though Minister Saar’s announcement that the new park will certainly be built is heartening, national park status is, unfortunately, actually not an ironclad guarantee against Arab encroachment. A national park exists alongside the eastern wall of the Old City – the one facing the Mt. of Olives – and yet desecration there continues, sometimes more intensely and sometimes less.

Specifically, most of the Old City’s 800-meter long eastern wall is already dotted with Muslim graves and the Arabs continue to add to them. The existing graves mar the presence of two prominent Old Jerusalem entrances along the wall: Lions’ Gate, through which sraeli forces entered and liberated the Old City in the Six-Day War, and Golden (Mercy) Gate, which has been sealed up for nearly five centuries. However, the southernmost 80 meters are still mostly untouched, and are in fact protected by law from being built up or upon. Yet Muslims have been flagrantly violating the law and long-time custom by holding funerals there and adding new graves. Dozens of graves have been illegally dug with nothing but tombstones atop them – “saving” the space for future bodies.

This activity has decreased of late, thanks to proactive police enforcement and public awareness, but the situation is fluid.

Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech congratulates the Israeli Government on the new national park on the slopes of Mt. Scopus, and invites you to do your part as well in keeping Jerusalem united under Jewish sovereignty. Write letters to the editor, speak to friends and acquaintances, and visit www.keepjerusalem.org or e-mail ours@keepjerusalem.org to receive updates on our bus tours of critical parts of Jerusalem.

About the Author: Chaim Silberstein is president of Keep Jerusalem-Im Eshkachech and the Jerusalem Capital Development Fund. He was formerly a senior adviser to Israel's minister of tourism. Hillel Fendel, past senior editor at Israel National News/Arutz-7, is a veteran writer on Jerusalem affairs. Both have lived in Jerusalem and now reside in Beit El.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “New Strategic National Park in Eastern Jerusalem”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Christian Israeli Kay Wilson and Mohammed "Zionist" Zoabi.
Christian Terror Victim Protected ‘Mohammed the Zionist’ from Terrorists
Latest Indepth Stories
President Shimon Peres receives the Congrssional Gold Medal.

“Mr. Prime Minister, declare a unilateral ceasefire! Remember, Blessed is the peacemaker!”

KidSport-Everybody-Is-A-Winner1

“D-e-t-e-r-m-i-n-a-t-i-o-n!”

This masked "soldier" carrying a machine-gun is not part of a terrorist organization, according to the European Court of Justice.

Hamas is continuing to prepare its next war against Israel instead of improving conditions in Gaza

UN Flags

If the UN Grants national recognition to Palestine, why stop there? Tibet, Chechnya, Basque…

The decision to not publicly light the Menorah in Sydney, epitomizes the eternal dilemma of Judaism and Jews in the Diaspora.

Am Yisrael is one family, filled with excruciating pain&sorrow for losing the 4 kedoshim of Har Nof

What is its message of the dreidel?” The complexity and hidden nature of history and miracles.

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

The 7 branches of the menorah represent the 7 pillars of secular wisdom, knowledge, and science.

Obama obtained NO verifiable commitments from Cuba it would desist from acts prejudicial to the US

No one would deny that the program subjected detainees to less than pleasant treatment, but the salient point is, for what purpose?

For the past six years President Obama has consistently deplored all Palestinian efforts to end-run negotiations in search of a UN-imposed agreement on Israel.

It’s not an admiration. It is simply a kind of journalist fascination. It stands out, it’s different from more traditional Orthodoxy.

For Am Yisrael, the sun’s movements are subservient to the purpose of our existence.

More Articles from Hillel Fendel and Chaim Silberstein / KeepJerusalem.org
Keeping-Jerusalem

Police play down Arab terrorism as mere “violence” until the truth can no longer be hidden.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Rav Goren: “At the request of the Jews, Omar built the Dome of the Rock as a Jewish house of prayer”

When Islam conquered the Holy Land, it made its capital in Ramle of all places, not in Jerusalem.

The story in a nutshell: The terrorists (Arabs) act, and the victim (Israel) ignores and pretends.

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty

“We have succeeded in raising an ideological generation that loves death like our enemies love life”

How many illegal Arab structures are there in the city? Why are they not being destroyed?

“This arbitrary ban is an ugly stain on our democracy, and it also undermines the rule of law.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/keeping-jerusalem/new-strategic-national-park-in-eastern-jerusalem/2013/12/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: