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February 6, 2016 / 27 Shevat, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Western Wall’

CNN Promotes Old City on Verge of Extinction Due to ‘Political Tension’

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

CNN last week promoted the Old City of Jerusalem as the first of 25 “magnificent structures on the verge of extinction” but implied that Israel is the reason this is the “last chance to see” the sites.

UNESCO’s designation of 48 endangered sites includes the Old City and states:

As a holy city for Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Jerusalem has always been of great symbolic importance. Among its 220 historic monuments, the Dome of the Rock stands out: built in the 7th century, it is decorated with beautiful geometric and floral motifs.

It is recognized by all three religions as the site of Abraham’s sacrifice. The Wailing Wall delimits the quarters of the different religious communities, while the Resurrection rotunda in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre houses Christ’s tomb.

The term “Wailing Wall” dates back to the period before the re-establishment of the State of Israel and includes periods when Jew were allowed at the external wall of the  courtyard of the destroyed Temple Mount only on the Ninth of Av, the day that Jews bemoan the fall of the First and Second Temples.

Today, everyone in the world, except UNESCO and Muslim leaders, refer to it as the Western Wall, or “Kotel” in Hebrew.

CNN did not even mention the Kotel or “Wailing Wall.”

It told its viewers last week:

No other site has spent more time on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger. The Old City of Jerusalem has held a spot since 1982. As holy city for three different religions, it attracts millions of tourists with over 200 monuments, including the majestic Dome of the Rock.

Then came the punch line. Why is it still endangered?

But political tension has hardened relations with Israel and UNESCP, preventing any preservation plans for moving forward.

CNN added a grave warning to people concerning all of the 25 sites it listed:

Go see them now, before it’s too late: threatened by neglect, the elements, changing architectural trends of ruthless developers. These outstanding buildings are all fighting a hard battle for survival.

Another website, known as “whenonearth.com,” lists UNESCO’s 48 endangered site, not to be confused with CNN’s list of archaeological sites that it chose, and states:

Why it’s special: It has significance religious implication to Christianity, Judaism and Islam. It contains hundreds of monuments with great artistic works and architectural structures. It also hosts Christ’s tomb.

Why it’s in danger: the continuous conflicts among different religions are demeaning the city and its walls. Some of the structures have also been destroyed due to conflicts and improper maintenance plans.

Neither UNESCO nor the two websites mentioned above state that the Old City is the site of the First and Second Holy Temples, the existence of which is increasingly being denied by Palestinian Authority and Arab world clerics who are trying to manufacture a new history that erases any link between Judaism and Jerusalem.

All of the sites serve that purpose very well by simply saying that the Old City is holy to Jews as well is Muslims and Christian, without any explanation why it is holy to Judaism. The Muslim Dome of the Rock is noted. “Christ’s tomb” or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is mentioned.

Nothing is said about Jews. No Temple Mount history. No Wall, Wailing or Western. Zilch.

But CNN took the trouble to mention Israel when it explained its version of why the Old City is on UNESCO’s list of sites that supposedly are endangered.

The network furthered UNESCO’s political aim to take control of the Old City by alleging that preservation plans have not advanced because of “political tension [that] has hardened relations” between Israel and the U.N. agency.

US Refuses to Recognize ‘West Jerusalem’ as Part of Israel [video]

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Now that the Supreme Court has told a 12-year-old boy that “Jerusalem, Israel” cannot be written as his birthplace on his American passport because the United States considers the united city “disputed” territory, the State Dept. has gone one step further and cannot pinpoint the capital of Israel.

The United States and the Palestinian Authority share the same policy that does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, as well as suburban neighborhoods in the north, east and southern areas of the city.

The Supreme Court decision on Monday upheld the Executive Branch’s power to determine foreign policy despite a Congressional law recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The Obama administration, like its predecessors, does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital even though all government offices are located in “western” Jerusalem, whose sovereignty by Israel never has been explicitly questioned by the United States or even the United Nations.

However, it is implicitly questioned.

By not recognizing “western Jerusalem” as the capital of Israel, the American foreign policy casts doubt on Israel sovereignty.

Associated Press journalist Matt Lee asked State Dept. spokesman Jeff Rathke Monday afternoon:

 Can you remind us all what city – or what the United States regards as the capital of Israel?

Rathke never answered the question. This not the first time that the State Dept. has performed a song and dance to get around stating if Israel really has a capital and if so, where it is. For example, see here and click here.

But the Supreme Court on Monday decision magnifies the absurdity of U.S. policy that leaves Jerusalem in limbo.

Rathke said:

Since Israel’s founding, administrations of both parties have maintained a consistent policy of recognizing no state as having sovereignty over Jerusalem.

But what about West Jerusalem?

Rathke:

Again, no change to our policy to announce.

But what about West Jerusalem?

Rathke:

Again, Matt, I’ve got no change to our policy to announce.

But what about West Jerusalem?

Rathke:

Our consistent policy is we recognize no state as having sovereignty over Jerusalem.

All of Jerusalem?

Rathke: I don’t have a – I didn’t put a modifier in front it.

Rathke’s song and dance begins at 2:20 in the video here.

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.

 

Israel’s 5-Year Upgrade Plan for Western Wall

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Israel’s new government has approved a five-year plan to upgrade and further develop the area around the Western Wall.

The project is already raising tensions because the Palestinian Authority is demanding Israel hand over the Old City plus much of the rest of Israel’s capital, as well as all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza to create a new Arab country to be called “Palestine.”

The Western Wall is part of the Temple Mount compound, Judaism’s holiest site, the sole remnant of the ancient Holy Temple of Jerusalem.

The Temple Mount area is also sacred to Muslims, and is considered the third holiest site in Islam.

To both, the site represents the heartbeat of the religious universe.

Israel plans to develop the area with upgraded infrastructure, improved archaeological activity and, further development of the Western Wall site, and underground tunnels that run along the length of the Wall.

Netanyahu Vows on Jerusalem Day, Capital Undivided ‘Forever’

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed Sunday at a Jerusalem Day ceremony that the Israeli capital will remain undivided “forever.”

Speaking at the government’s official Jerusalem Day ceremony held at Ammunitition Hill, Netanyahu said, “We need to tell the truth without fear. This is where we began our path as a nation.

“This is our home – and this is where we will stay.”

The priority, said Netanyahu, is to ensure that Jerusalem forever remains open to all who wish to worship within her walls.

When Jordan occupied the eastern portion of the Israeli capital, that was not the case – despite an original United Nations mandate directing that Jerusalem always remain an open, international capital of the world. Instead, barbed wire blocked off Jewish access to Judaism’s holiest sites, and to a great extent even Christian access to sites holy to that faith as well.

Filth and garbage was strewn all around and over the Western Wall, nearly burying the holy site.

“Only under Israeli rule will there be freedom of worship for all religions in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “Believers pray at their holy sites not in spite of our rule in the city, but precisely because of it,” he noted.

“We will forever preserve an undivided Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty,” Netanyahu vowed.

“Who opposes our presence in Jerusalem? Those who refuse to recognize our right to exist as a sovereign nation in our own state,” the prime minister said. “They see us as a foreign entity that needs to be uprooted.”

He added that just as the radical Islamists are terrorizing the rest of the region, so too are they aiming at Jerusalem – and after the heartbeat of the Holy Land, next will be the West.

“Sunni extremists like Da’esh (ISIS), and Shi’ite extremists like the leadership of the ayatollahs in Iran,” he pointed out. [They] “fight each other, but [then] they have a common enemy: the West and the open, free culture it represents.”

Netanyahu also warned against the nuclear technology deal being negotiated between Iran and the world powers led by the United States.

“We are opposed to that deal and we are not the only ones,” he said. “There needs to be a better deal.”

Gal-On, Leftists Slam Jerusalem Day Flag Dance Parade in Old City [photo]

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

Leftist political leader Zehava Gal-On did her best but failed to prevent Israelis from celebrating Jerusalem Day with the traditional Flag Dance march through the Old City on Sunday – including the Muslim Quarter.

Many tens of thousands of students and Israelis from around the country participate in the colorful and musical march every year, celebrating the reunification of Jerusalem. But as a rule, the Left have chosen to never participate in the march or the celebrations.

Writing in frustration on her Facebook page Sunday, the chairwoman of the Meretz political party condemned the annual procession.

She called it a “violent, racist act of provocation against Arab residents” of Jerusalem, joining other leftists who attempted to prevent this year’s parade with a petition and appeal to the High Court last week.

The effort failed, however, with the Court deciding it was not legal to prevent the 30-year-old procession from taking place, but noting there would be “zero room for tolerance for those provoking violence, verbally or physically.”

On Sunday morning, the chief rabbis of Israel led thousands in Jerusalem Day prayers at the Western Wall, attended also by heads of yeshivot and other senior clerics.

“It is outrageous to see far-right elements take over Jerusalem Day and turn it into a day that has entirely become a racist, violent act of provocation against the city’s Arabs,” Gal-On wrote.

“The ‘Flag Parade’ through the Muslim Quarter is an aggressive show of force whose entire purpose is to jab a finger in the eyes of the Palestinians.

“Officials who allow this disgrace do so in order to remind everyone they are lords of this Land and the ease with which they can come in, rampage and go wild.”

Sounds like sour grapes, by someone who hasn’t succeeded in redividing the city.

Photos from Jerusalem Day Parades past:
Jerusalem Day Parade 2012 2

Israelis wave with Israeli flags during a march celebrating Jerusalem Day in the streets of Jerusalem , May 20 2012. Thousands of Israeli Jewish took part in Jerusalem Day celebrations in the capital, marked the 45nd anniversary of its capture of Arab east Jerusalem in the Six Day War of 1967. Photo by Noam Moskowitz / FLASH90.

Thousands of Israelis take part in the annual flag parade, celebrating Jerusalem Day in the streets of Jerusalem.

Thousands of Israelis take part in the annual flag parade, celebrating Jerusalem Day in the streets of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Day Parade (Archive: 2014)

Jerusalem Day Parade (Archive: 2014)

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/gov-walker-visits-kotel-in-likely-pre-election-campaign-photo-op/2015/05/12/

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