On October 4, 2010, the Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee failed reaching a decision on a tunnel entry to the Western Wall Plaza. The plan was prepared by the Western Wall Foundation, the Jerusalem Development Authority and the municipality; it includes the construction of a tunnel that would become the main entrance to the plaza and a four-story parking place for 600 cars. Kais Nasser, an attorney representing several Islamic groups, said the move contravenes court rulings on the Western Wall.
Since it implies opening a new opening between the Zion and Dung gates into the Old City, this is a major change in the status quo (the existing religious equilibrium). Last time a new opening breached the city walls was in 1898, when the Ottoman authorities made an opening near the Jaffa Gate, in order to allow the passage of Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II.
This type of violation is a recurring theme with the Israeli Administration. On March 14, 2010, the fourth Hurva Temple was inaugurated nearby, in what may be a preparation for the construction of a Third Temple on the Temple Mount. On October 8, 1990, twenty-two Palestinians were killed and over a hundred others were injured by Israeli Border Police during riots that were triggered by the announcement of the Temple Mount Faithful – an extremist group of religious Jews – that they were going to lay the cornerstone of the Third Temple.
No less notorious were the events related to the Western Wall Tunnel. The wall is about sixty meters long, while the tunnel runs 485 meters underground, following the Second Temple’s side. Excavations at the site began during the 19th century by British researchers; Israel began its own excavations after the Six Day War, in 1967. Shortly after, the site became a business, when tourists were allowed visiting it. Unluckily, this was an inconvenient site, since there was only one entrance. Visitors were forced to retrace their steps in the way out. In 1996, Benjamin Netanyahu organized the opening of a new exit into the grounds of the Ummariya Madrasah, in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City and adjacent to the Via Dolorosa. In the subsequent riots, over eighty people were killed.
The excavations and the works related to the tunnel were enshrined in intrigues and secrets. Many archeological reminders of the Second Temple were apparently destroyed in this project; the state occulted what really happened there. The tunnel and the mosque are not large enough to justify all the trucks of dirt taken out. Trucks filled with archeological artifacts were shown by the Israeli television in their way out of the site; it was a major work. Why there is no public record of the state works under the Mount Temple? What was extracted from there? Did the State of Israel place explosives – without the Waqf (the religious authority administrating the al-Aqsa Mosque) knowledge – under the Mount Temple in order to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque whenever it would decide the moment is ripe? Is the new tunnel reported in this article another step in the implementation of the Israeli secret plan to build a Third Temple over the ruins of al-Aqsa?
However, there is more than that in this story. In 1998, a Polish developer was granted permission to build a car-park near the Auschwitz concentration camp. The developer, Janusz Marszalek, originally wanted to build a shopping centre and fast food outlet, but was forced to change his plans after a wave of international protest, mainly by Jewish organizations. Unluckily, the Israeli Administration doesn’t show the same sensitivity regarding Jewish projects in Jerusalem.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center was established in 1977 as “an international Jewish human rights organization dedicated to repairing the world one step at a time. The Center’s multifaceted mission generates changes through the Snider Social Action Institute and education by confronting anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, promoting human rights and dignity, standing with Israel, defending the safety of Jews worldwide, and teaching the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations.” As an example of its “humanitarian principles based on tolerance,” the center decided to destroy the Muslim Cemetery and to build “The Center for Human Dignity” and the “Museum of Tolerance” over it. Since they are capable of saying this mega-irony without blinking, they should be given the Nobel Peace Prize at the first opportunity.
The construction of the center began in June 2005 and was frozen by an Israeli Supreme Court order on February 2006. However, in November 2008, the same court allowed the construction to proceed, noting that this corner of the cemetery had been transformed into a parking lot as long ago as the 1960s, and that Jerusalem has been inhabited for roughly 4000 years, and thus many ancient sites have been built over. The new parking car planned for the Western Wall, reinforces the policy adopted by the Israeli Administration.
Would the Israeli and Jewish leaders be kind enough to explain in a logical way, in a moral way, in a Godly way, what’s the difference between the events? Why Jerusalem can be violated for the sake of new Jewish projects, but Auschwitz cannot?