Monday, December 19, 2011

Jerusalem's Mughrabi Bridge: Another Blackmail Threat

From Violence Feared Over Mughrabi Bridge Closing

For a concise explanation of what happened when Israeli authorities wanted to close (and rebuild) the Mughrabi Bridge -- not used by Muslim worshippers -- for safety reasons, and received threats of violence, please read Shmuel Rosner in the NY Times: No Water Under Jerusalem's Mughrabi Bridge.

Let me start you off:

"JERUSALEM — In most well-managed cities, when a bridge is said to be putting the public at risk, it is closed without controversy until it can be made safe again. Not so in Jerusalem. In most well-managed holy sites, worshipers place a high priority on their safety and won’t stand for shoddy infrastructure. Not so in Jerusalem.
"Last Sunday, the Mughrabi bridge was sealed off following an order by the city engineer who declared it unsound. This is the wooden ramp that ascends from the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest place of worship, up the Temple Mount, at the top of which stands the Dome of the Rock, a major Muslim site. The bridge was built seven years ago as a temporary substitute for the stone walkway that was destroyed by a winter storm in 2004.

"The bridge was reopened on Tuesday, but for a couple of days Jewish worshipers and the occasional tourists could no longer climb the Temple Mount to visit the place where, according to biblical tradition, Abraham brought his son Isaac to sacrifice him and where a proud Jewish Temple was erected, then destroyed, then erected again and destroyed again by the forces of great Rome.
"Muslims could still enter the compound at the top of the hill as they long have, through any of the other gates available to them, and they could still pray at the mosques. Yet it was they who were most outraged by the announcement that the bridge had become impassable." 
Read the rest of the story here.
And for a 'different' slant, read this Guardian piece and note an unwitting quote that tells you what it's really about:
"'Isra, a 20-year-old Palestinian woman, said: 'We don't mind about the bridge itself. Muslims are concerned about the whole site and the mosque in particular. What we don't want is for many Jewish people to come here.'"

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