The March of Heritage Folly Continues

No one should impugn the genuine emotional and spiritual attachment of Jews, Christians, an Muslims to Jerusalem’s monuments and heritage places.  But when heritage becomes a public zero-sum game between hostile communities, waged with raucous demonstrations and intentional muscle-flexing in a small, already-tense city, needless violence can be the only outcome.  

Are there no cool heads, no wise leaders who can stop this latest cycle of heritage-based hostility in Jerusalem?  

Jerusalem: Rebuilt Hurva Synagogue (white dome, above; al-Aqsa Mosque (silver dome, below). Detail of a photo by Berthold Werner


From Ynet News:  

Old City synagogue opened amid heightened tensions

After PA urges Muslims to barricade themselves in Al-Aqsa Mosque, hundreds of Jews take part in ceremony bringing new Torah scroll to restored shul in Jewish Quarter. ‘If this angers Obama, Netanyahu should choose a different partner,’ celebrator says.  

Shmulik Grossman

Published: 03.14.10, 20:38

Hundreds of people took part in a ceremony bringing a new Torah scroll into the restored Hurva Synagogue in the Old City’s Jewish Quarter on Sunday. The ceremony in east Jerusalem was held under heavy security after the Palestinian Authority joined the Islamic Movement in its calls for Muslims to flock to the al-Aqsa Mosque in response to extremist Jews’ plans to lay a cornerstone at the Temple Mount.  

Among the celebrators was Knesset Member Michael Ben-Ari (National Union), who criticized the prime minister, saying, “(Benjamin) Netanyahu, who crushed his own national backbone and is leading to the division of Jerusalem, should have come here to draw strength from Hurva’s restoration and display power instead of compromising Jerusalem’s unity.”  


Earlier Sunday, Hatem Abdel Kader, the Fatah official in charge of the Jerusalem portfolio, urged Palestinians in Jerusalem and Israel to declare their plans to travel to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City and barricade themselves there starting Monday.  

Meanwhile, police have declared they will not allow the Israeli rightists to go through with their plans to lay a cornerstone at the site.  

To read complete story, click here.


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