Israel, Politics, Religion

Don't Believe The Hype: Mughrabi Path Repairs No Biggie

In February 2004, the ramp leading up to the Temple Mount from the Mughrabi Gate collapsed following an earthquake that caused, among other things, severe damage to the Eastern Wall and the further destabilization of the entire Temple Mount.

Shortly thereafter the Mughrabi Path was temporarily replaced with a wooden walkway which takes up about half of the women’s section of the kotel plaza and further leaves an ungodly unaesthetic blight on the Holiest Site in All of Judaism™.

After a couple of years of enduring this ongoing imposition on their prayer experience, religious women who felt they were getting the short-shrift started complaining to the municipality. Truth be told, it does get quite cramped for the ladies at the koysel, rendering their tefillah a rather uncomfortable experience. So last summer, Jerusalem mayor Uri Lupolianski announced that the wooden walkway would be removed and that the original pathway would be rerouted.
“There’s no reason that in the most sacred site for the Jewish people, the men will have a big comfortable plaza while the women will have to be cramped and crowded,” Lupolianski said.
According to the JTA, “The mayor asked for government permission to change the route of the ‘Mugrabi Path,’ which leads from the Western Wall plaza to the Temple Mount, in order to carry out the renovations.”
Excavations were set to begin in June of last year, yet were held off for some reason (I can’t seem to find a source citing why). In any event, the excavations have finally begun, and apparently, they’re going to be responsible for causing World War III. Islamic leaders across the Middle East have called upon Muslims to pour out their wrath upon Israel, from Gaza to Iran. And for God’s sake, for what?
“Israel is now carrying out wide excavations under the mosque and is building a synagogue in front of the Dome of the Rock,” Taysir al-Tamimi told Al Jazeera.
Take a look at the diagram below, provided by the BBC.

You might notice that the Mughrabi Path isn’t even directly connected to the Temple Mount.
Furthermore, all of Uri Ariel’s shittalk about building a shul on the Temple Mount still has yet to amount to actual construction plans. In fact, Israel just authorized the building of a minaret on the exact site Ariel wants his shul. So there goes that idea. (Let alone, WTF–your construction on the Temple Mount is a-okay, but ours will cause it to crumble to the ground? Shyeah, right.)
That would make al-Tamimi a liar. Which would make his remarks incitement, and nothing more.
Others are claiming Israel is trying to locate the remains of Solomon’s Temple to prove that Jerusalem is a Jewish city, while others yet still are claiming that Israel wants to knock down al-Aqsa and build the Third Temple.
Ya know, the occupation is bad enough as it is. The story doesn’t need to be embellished, lies are not necessary to earn my sympathy. I already believe what’s happening to the Palestinians is fucked. This is just throwing fuel on a fire, plain and simple, and no good can come of this. All it does is hurt the Palestinian cause by providing the Jewish Right with more ammunition. This type of behavior does no more than justify that viewpoint that Palestinians are simply liars who hate us and want to kill us, because it seeks nothing more than to foster more rage and more bloodshed. It is entirely counterproductive to the Palestinian cause, and to feed into it by legitimizing it as another “dirty Israeli deed” is a total crock.
Call it bad timing, call it insensitive, whatever. But just remember, by abetting Muslim reactionaryism in this instance, you’ll also be trampling the rights of Jewish women to pray in peace.

10 thoughts on “Don't Believe The Hype: Mughrabi Path Repairs No Biggie

  1. you don’t mention all the “tunneling” charges. rumors that the Jews are “tunneling” under al-aqsa to make it collapse have been going on for 40 years.
    but before you slam the palis, look at the wider context this is happening in, the Judaizing of Jerusalem. There IS a tunnel being dug in Silwan, uncovering a Herodian road it’s believed leads up to the Temple Mount. this excavation is done without permits, yet no one stops it. it’s digging a tunnel under Palestinian homes in Silwan (city of David:, while the people there are already under pressure from settlement. the diggers say, logically enough, that the excavations will end at the walls or the mount where the Herodian road would have stopped — but considering this is settler-led, w/out permits, as part of a wider effort to strenghten the jewish hold on the old city, is it a surprise that an uncoordinated excavation on exactly the other side of the mount feeds into the worst fears of Palestinians?
    the Mugrabi gate was retained by Israel to ensure Israeli access:
    “At the same time, Moshe Dayan determined that the Mugrabi Gate would remain in Israel’s exclusive control, to prevent the Muslim authorities from having the ability to unilaterally close all the gates to the Temple Mount.”
    Refusing to coordinate the excavations around the mount w/the waqf strikes me as needlessly provocative and the result is all too predictable.
    Also, remember the area in front of the wailing wall, the Moroccan quarter, was destroyed after the war in ’67 for “public use”, its inhabitants left homeless, and the few that remain are subject to demolitions and harrassment:

  2. “you’ll also be trampling the rights of Jewish women to pray in peace.”
    what about the rights of the residents of the Mugrabi quarter who were cleansed so Jewish women would have the right to pray “in peace.” I guess it’s misogynist to point out this inconvenient fact.

  3. “Islamic leaders across the Middle East have called upon Muslims to pour out their wrath upon Israel, from Gaza to Iran”
    This is new?

  4. yeah yeah and what about the rights of the jews who lived in hebron in 1929? what about all the jews driven out of east jerusalem under jordanian occupation and the homes and belongings they had taken? why even go there? ’67 was 40 years ago and the clock isn’t stopping.
    i volunteer with icahd — i’m more than aware of what’s going on in silwan. but that’s not what’s in question here — though it ought to be. silwan is not the issue the mullahs and imams are screaming about. but zoning permits aren’t exactly as juicy as the myth that the evil zionists are trying to subvert the third holiest site in islam.
    it’s bullshit to conflate these issues and you know it.

  5. “it’s bullshit to conflate these issues and you know it.”
    yeah yeah yeah and i call your bullshit. you just admitted it yourself: “but that’s not what’s in question here — though it ought to be.”
    I don’t disagree about the incitement. it’s appropraite to point out it’s not happening in a vacuum. I’m hardly the only one who sees it:,7340,L-3362418,00.html
    “Muslim officials are also aware of the embankment’s dilapidated state, but they are afraid (and perhaps this fear has a basis) that Israel would take advantage of the preparation work for the new bridge in order to dig under the Temple Mount mosques. For several years now, the Elad settler organization has been engaged in digs in the City of David area (Wadi Hilu in the Silwan neighborhood), under the direction of the National Parks Authority (inspired and directed by the settlers), and below the homes of Palestinian residents.
    “The City of David isn’t Temple Mount, but the Palestinians see how the Israelis engage in excavation work under their homes and nobody does a thing.”

  6. I already believe what’s happening to the Palestinians is fucked.
    Thing is, it is not love of the Palestinians, but hatred of the Jews that is causing this. Don’t make the mistake of supposing that this is a ploy for generating sympathy for the palis. Seems to me, the Arab world only cares about them insofar as they are willing to kill Jews in Israel. Any aid they get from the Arabs is contingent on that willingness. No, this is just another Anti-Judaic conspiracy theory. “The Jews are undermining the foundation of our faith” is the meme at play here.

  7. Thanks for posting these pictures.
    Why is it that hardly any of the news stories on this subject show decent pictures? Even here, the best image we have is one that was originally made to show how the temporary ramp affects the women’s section.

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