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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Damned if we do and damned if we don't

For now, at least, Israel is leaving the treacherous bridge over the Western Wall plaza to the Mughrabi Gate to the Temple Mount. The wood is being treated in the hope that it will not collapse and emergency services are being stationed at the Western Wall when the gate is open in case the bridge does collapse. I'm sure that those who use the bridge will find that (not very) reassuring.

Some of you may be wondering why the Muslims seem so anxious to take the risk of the bridge collapsing. It's really quite simple. Since Mughrabi Gate is the only gate that is used by non-Muslims, it's a win-win situation for them. If the bridge doesn't collapse, they use it as a club against Israel for not repairing it. And if the bridge does collapse, it's only 'infidels' that will be killed anyway, and then there won't be any non-Muslims on the Temple Mount for a while - maybe a long while - anyway. Of course, there's more to the story than that....
The ancient Jewish character of the area is not in question by serious people, and therein lies part of the Muslim concern over the bridge. The closure of the temporary bridge allows Muslim authorities to proclaim threats to holy places and mobilize worldwide anti-semitism. But a replacement and re-opening of the bridge would be worse require additional archaeological excavations, which would undoubtedly demonstrate still further, if such evidence were necessary, the antiquity of Jews and the reality of the Temple. Such investigations and likely results are a part of what Muslim authorities describe as Israeli efforts to "Judaize" Jerusalem, documented an erased Jewish past.

So, Muslim authorities and their UNESCO allies criticize both Israeli action and Israeli inaction on Jerusalem and its holy sites. Needless to say, Israel is not allowed to criticize Muslims in this area—even when they attempt expropriation through outright fraud, such as the planting of false graves at the site of the future "Museum of Tolerance," or when they engage in horrific vandalism at the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives, or other Jewish sites. World organizations like UNESCO do not take notice of such things, except when Jews are the alleged perpetrators.

This is an old pattern; the Mughrabi Bridge agitation is merely the latest iteration. But the uproar is also an example of something altogether unsavory about Jerusalem: the way in which the mundane is imbued with what might be called anti-holiness. Evidence, logic, and civility do not apply in Jerusalem.
I'm not going to vouch for the rest of that piece - which is way too even-handed for my tastes. But this part is correct.

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At 7:27 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

What would be the possibility to construct such a bridge and transport it 'ready made' to this location to replace the old one?Even with a different angle of approach to the gate.


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