Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Archaeologists still protesting Western Wall compromise

TEMPLE MOUNT WATCH: Archeological council slams mixed-prayer area at Western Wall. The government's decision last January to expand the prayer area to include Conservative, Reform and mixed-gender prayer has raised the ire of archeologists who warn of great damage to a Jewish and world heritage site of primary importance (Itay Blumenthal, YNet News).
Israel’s Archeological Council announced, in a letter that it sent on Monday to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that it greatly opposes what it called "the major damage to the archeological park at the foot of the Western Wall", the place where the government decided last January to establish an expanded prayer area for Conservative, Reform and mixed-gender worship.

“Recently a prayer and events area consisting of an additional 500 square meters has been established, as one can see when visiting the site; these stages cause great damage to the site's appearance, in the site’s visiting path and the ability to explain the site to visitors - they should be removed as soon as possible," they determined. "The current plans to add and multiply the amount of prayer stages will only cause more damage to the site."

The harsh message followed a hearing that was held on the subject two weeks ago, and the hearing’s head, Prof. Roni Reich, explained that "this is a Jewish and world heritage site of primary importance. Preservation of the ruins is a prime archeological, public, educational and cultural duty."

Background here and links.