Sunday, April 18, 2010

Elie Wiesel on Jerusalem

CiFWatch recently alerted me to this story, about some British officials who banned an advertisement encouraging tourists to visit Israel because it carried a picture of the Western Wall, which is apparently not in Israel. (Funny: I was there earlier this morning, and no-one asked me for a passport.)

(Of course, these days no-one can travel from the UK, so perhaps it's a good thing the ad isn't running).

Someday I ought to write about where the contortions of the Lawfare folks and their supporters are taking them. A publication in what used to be a Christian society denying Jews the right to identify themselves with the single most important place in their world: this actually isn't really a new phenomenon, is it now?

I mention this in the context of the full-page ad Elie Wiesel just published in various important American newspapers, calling on everyone (or mostly: on a specific few, powerful ones) to keep in mind that Jerusalem isn't just any old place:
Its presence In Jewish history is overwhelming. There is no more moving prayer in Jewish history than the one expressing our yearning to return to Jerusalem. To many theologians, it IS Jewish history, to many poets, a source of inspiration. It belongs to the Jewish people and is much more than a city, it is what binds one Jew to another in a way that remains hard to explain. When a Jew visits Jerusalem for the first time, it is not the first time it is a homecoming. The first song I heard was my mother's lullaby about and for Jerusalem. Its sadness and its its joy are part of our collective memory.
Simply saying it as it is has become something that calls for expensive ads in important newspapers. Elie Wiesel is probably the most important moral voice in American Jewry; it remains to be seen if saying the obvious will enhance his stature or reduce it. That will be a moral test for America's Jews.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you could clarify. In the ad Wiesel claims that the Western Wall is a remnant of Solomon’s temple, I was under the impression it was from the time of Herod. If so it’s a silly mistake.


Yaacov said...

Herod is correct. His thesis is however no less true for that.

Anonymous said...

No, actually, it will be a moral test for the UK's Christians.


Alex Stein said...

Ah yes, I have always yearned for Ramat Shlomo. After all, if it wasn't for its quarry, the Temple Mount might never have been built.

Anonymous said...

How inexplicable that via Google I can quickly turn up UK websites and Guardian articles promoting vacations in "Turkish North Cyprus" — a piece of the Republic of Cyprus illegally occupied by Turkey for the past 36 years and recognized by no-one else — and even the address and phone number of the "Northern Cyprus Tourist Center" in London. Perhaps some enterprising person in the UK should see whether they also are held to the same standards by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Paul M