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August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Kotel’

Analysis: Was UNESCO Jerusalem Resolution Google-Translated from Arabic?

Friday, July 10th, 2015

(JNi.media) Earlier this week, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee voted 13-2, with five abstentions, to keep the Old City of Jerusalem on its list of endangered World Heritage sites. That sounds harmless enough, seeing as Jerusalem is one of the culturally dense cities on the planet, probably the densest, while being at the center of so much violence: terrorist bombings, Molotov cocktails thrown at Jewish homes and cars, Arab drivers charging their cars into unsuspecting pedestrians, violent clashes between Palestinian youths and police on Temple Mount. There’s plenty of evidence supporting the holy city being endangered.

But that, apparently, was not on the minds of the Heritage Committee when it took its vote. In fact, the resolution does not mention even once the possibility that Arab violence might play a role in the danger the Eternal City is facing every day.

In fact, the words Arab or Palestinian are not mentioned in the resolution text. Jordan is mentioned twice, in relation to the report by the Waqf, which was adopted on its face, while the comprehensive Israeli report, answering in great detail every one of the points raised by the committee, was ignored in its entirety.

Moreover, no one over in Bonn, Germany, even bothered, it seems, to fix the error in translation from the original Arabic to English. And so, for instance, The UNESCO resolution is “deeply concerned by the persistence of the Israeli illegal excavations and works conducted by settler groups in the Old City of Jerusalem and on both sides of its Walls.”

The term “settlers” is attached regularly by Arab media to any Israeli doing anything outside what is perceived as pre-1967 Israel. In this context, it reaches an absurd imagery, which was totally lost on the authors, of archaeology-craving settlers, wrapped in their tzitzis, digging up historic treasures.

Now, the reference to the excavations being illegal has nothing to do with whether or not those archaeologist have obtained the proper permits for their projects, but with the fact that they’re working on the wrong side of the 1949 armistice line, in an area Israel annexed after 1967.

The problem is that the purpose of the UNESCO heritage project is not to decide political issues, but to protect cultural sites, such as those archaeological relics that are being demolished en-masse by Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, or Buddhist temples blown up by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Now, that would be the UNESCO kind of illegal.

Indeed, there are six sites in Syria alone the current resolution is concerned about, but they all are dealt with after the biggest problem site — Jerusalem.

UNESCO also “Regrets the damaging effect of the Jerusalem Light rail (tram line) at few meters from the Walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.”

No one knows what those damaging effects could possibly be. Since the invention of the automobile, those sturdy walls have done just fine standing as they do, a few meters from Jerusalem’s perpetually jam-packed streets. If anything, the light rail helps the situation by reducing traffic.

UNESCO also hates the new “City of David National Park” in Silwan (note the use only of the Arabic version of the name) at a distance of twenty meters from the Walls of the Old City.

The City of David National Park was intended to provide protection to the walls, keeping them away from construction, in a modern Jerusalem that is as skyscraper hungry as any modern metropolis. The park includes a lovely promenade, and important sites of archaeological excavations, and the Ophel Archaeological Garden, with finds from Solomon’s Temple period.

Final Steps Underway for Jerusalem’s City of David Visitor’s Center

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Final steps are underway for building the City of David’s “Kedem” visitor’s center in Jerusalem that will sit on top of the “Givati Parking Lot” excavation just outside of the Old City of Jerusalem’s walls. The visitor’s center will serve as an entryway to the Jerusalem Walls National Park, which includes the City of David and Mount Zion, as well as to the Old City’s Ophel and Hulda Gates.

Several Arab and left-wing activist groups have criticized the project for its location in the predominately Arab eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan and for interfering with the skyline of the Old City.

Many public officials and archaeologists including — Harvard University professor of design Carl Steinitz, Nobel Laureate Yisrael Aumann and renowned archaeologist Dr. Gabriel Barkay—have spoken out in favor of the project.

The structure will sit approximately 21 feet below the Old City walls so that it will not affect the iconic Jerusalem skyline, according to the City of David.

“The City’s goal is to lay down the infrastructure to accommodate about 10 million visitors a year,” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said in a statement.

 

Muslims at the Kotel

Monday, May 18th, 2015

A group of Muslim tourists visited the Kotel the other week.

They weren’t yelled at, they weren’t assaulted, they didn’t need police protection.

If they chose to, they could have even prayed.

What a shame a Jew can’t do the same on the Temple Mount.

Gov. Walker Visits Kotel in Likely Pre-Election Campaign Photo-Op

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker visited the Western Wall (Kotel) this week for the first of several photo-ops that are likely to precede an announcement in June that he will be another candidate for the GOP presidential nomination.

“Really, for us though, we wanted to make it an educational focus, not just a media trip,” Walker said.

His “education” will be focused on learning enough about Israel that he can convince people he know something about foreign policy, a subject on which he already has proved is far from being his ace.

Walker recently compared the Islamic State (ISIS) with union protesters, meaning he could take care of both groups, CNN reported.

He obviously is not on the left side of the Republican party.

Walker said in South Carolina last Saturday:

We need a commander-in-chief who will once and for all call it what it is, and that is that radical Islamic terrorism is a threat to us all. We need a president who will affirm that Israel is our ally, and start acting like it.

His itinerary covers the usual required sites, such as the Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial. He also will meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Knesset Members and IDF officers.

A helicopter tour will give him a bird’s-eye view of Israel’s narrow borders with unfriendly neighbors.

Walker returns to the United States on Thursday, where he undoubtedly will tell everyone how much he now knows about Israel.

It is amazing how politicians learn so much so quickly. Gov. Walker said in South Carolina last week:

Although I’ve only been here once this year, I know South Carolina. Now get to know me.

If Israel is going to be his calling card in the crowded field of Republican presidential candidates, Walker does not have much of a chance. Israel is near the bottom of subjects that interest most American voters.

But terror is big, and Walker is big on fighting terror.

In his speech in South Carolina, he said:

it is not a matter of if another attempt is made on American soil; it is a when another attempt is made on American soil…. I want a leader who is willing to take the fight to them before they take the fight to us.

If Gov. Walker joins the race to be the GOP presidential candidate in 2016, he will have plenty of company. His problem, and that of most other Republican candidates, is that they all sound alike.

Fire Breather on the Roof

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

A 37-year old Chareidi man, Meir Lebel “haRakdan haYerushalmi” (the dancing Jerusalemite), was seen breathing fire at the Kotel, the Tower of David and other locations in Jerusalem’s Old City on April 29, 2015.

Fire breathing is the act of creating a plume of fire by breathing a stream of fuel over an open flame. Lebel has performed as a “fire breather” since the age of 12, and performs at different events in the Chareidi community, in order to spread happiness.

Fire breather 3

Fire breather 2

Pesach Cleaning

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Ahead of Pesach, Kotel employees clean out the Western Wall from all the notes, or “Kvitlach”, placed there by visiting worshipers.

There is a tradition that when visiting the Kotel, you can write a prayer or request and then place it in the wall.

Twice a year the notes are gathered up, and then buried in a Jewish cemetery.

Graduation Day

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/tv/video-picks/graduation-day-2/2015/03/15/

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