Thursday, May 25, 2017

From Ian:

PMW: The PA, UN, and Norway behind center named after terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi
In another show of admiration for terrorist murderers and according to the Palestinian Authority's policy of presenting them as role models for Palestinian youth, the Palestinian NGO "Women's Technical Affairs Committee" (WTAC) has named a youth center for women after the terrorist murderer who led the most lethal attack in Israel's history.
The Dalal Mughrabi Center is a joint initiative of the NGO, the PA, the UN, and the Norwegian government! The center's name sign prominently includes the logos of:
- The PA Ministry of Local Government
- UN Women
- The Norwegian Representative Office to the PA
The center, which was inaugurated last week, is named after the terrorist who in 1978 led a group of terrorists who hijacked a bus and killed 37 Israelis, among them of these 12 children:
Worse still, it is not only the name that glorifies the terrorist murderer, the purpose of the center is to educate about her murderous terror attack to youth. At the inauguration of the center, which is situated in the village of Burqa in the Nablus district, a member of the village council, explained about the center's activities:
"Reem Hajje, a member of the village council, noted that the center will focus especially on the history of the struggle of Martyr Dalal Mughrabi and on presenting it to the youth groups, and that it constitutes the beginning of the launch of enrichment activities regarding the history of the Palestinian struggle." [Ma'an, independent Palestinian news agency, May 15, 2017]
MEMRI: Copenhagen Imam Mundhir Abdallah: We Will Obliterate Israel; Terror Attacks In West Carried Out By Troubled, Desperate Victims Of Western Atrocities
On May 16, 2017, Copenhagen imam Mundhir Abdallah, whose March 31, 2017 Friday sermon calling for the killing of Jews led to government action against him and was covered by media worldwide, addressed an "open political meeting" at the Al-Farouq Mosque. In it, he accused the U.S., and the West in general, of committing atrocities in Muslim countries, thus planting the seed for the terror attacks being carried out in the West. Rejecting criticism of him because of his previous sermon, he insisted that as soon as Muslims regain power, they would "erase" and "obliterate" Israel as well as all U.S. military bases in the region. Westerners, he said, are "machines," living in a "culture of AIDS, drugs, homosexuality, family disintegration, and colonialist control" of wealth. Imam Abdallah posted the address on his personal YouTube channel.
The following is the transcript of Mundhir Abdallah's May 16 address:
"What Islamic Terrorism?! You Are Talking About Several Desperate Individuals And Groups, Which Have Taken Root In The Barbaric Environment You Yourselves Created In Iraq – America Created A Barbaric Environment"
Mundhir Abdallah: "It is no secret that Islam and the Muslims today are subject to the most ferocious Crusader campaign. The West today is leading an all-out war against Islam and the Muslims.
"[The U.S.] sponsors that criminal [Assad], who perpetrates ignominious atrocities of historic proportions against humanity, and then along comes Trump, talking about fighting Islamic terrorism. What Islamic terrorism?! What Islamic terrorism?! You are talking about several desperate individuals and groups, which have taken root in the barbaric environment you yourselves created in Iraq.
Syria co-sponsors WHO resolution targeting Israel over health in “occupied Syrian Golan”
The annual assembly of the U.N.’s World Health Organization will vote today on a resolution co-sponsored by Syria that targets Israel over “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.”
This year’s text, co-sponsored by Syria and the Palestinians, along with Algeria, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Kuwait, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia and Venezuela, removes specific language condemning Israel that was in last year’s resolution — likely as a bid to garner EU support — yet renews the annual shaming of Israel by renewing a special agenda item and mandating a report by WHO’s director-general.
“For the U.N. to allow Syria’s Assad regime to influence its focus on health conditions is absurd,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, a monitoring group accredited with consultative status at the United Nations.
“It is the height of cynicism for Syria to introduce a resolution on the health of Druze residents of the Golan Heights, who in fact live very well under Israeli jurisdiction, even as Assad bombs his own hospitals, ambulances and medical workers. The U.N. should reject the hijacking of its world health agenda by Arab regimes and allied dictatorships like Cuba and Venezuela.”
“Notably, the UN assembly will not address Syrian hospitals being bombed by Syrian and Russian warplanes, or millions of Yemenis denied access to food and water by the Saudi-led bombings and blockade, nor will it pass a resolution on any other country in the world.”

Netanyahu: Israel Has Made Jerusalem an Island of Tolerance and Religious Freedom
The soldiers who liberated Jerusalem during the Six Day War did the same thing with an outburst of emotion stemming from the depths of their souls. I remember the human flood when a hole in the wall surrounding the city was breached near City Hall and it flowed into the alleyways and we finally reached the Western Wall and touched those stones in person. Seeing our soldiers standing near the Western Wall at that historic occasion was joyous for three reasons: our success in turning the existential threat against us into a great miracle of salvation; our return to the land of our forefathers, in which our identity as a people was forged; and the wondrous unification that joined us and proved that by standing together, we could overcome any challenge.
We liberated Jerusalem and transformed it into one city – not perfect, but whole. It is an advanced city. It has flourished, is open to all and the believers of the various religions are respected here. We redeemed Jerusalem from the ongoing neglect and distress it had suffered. We are the ones who brought it to a high point in its development. What was here in Jerusalem before that? What was the city like at the dawn of our national rebirth, when we began returning to it? There was almost nothing here. In the 19th century, was there an advanced kingdom here in Israel? Was there a vibrant Palestinian capital?
The truth must be told: Jerusalem, like the entire Land of Israel, was a peripheral and desolate district of the Ottoman Empire. A long list of famous visitors provided their impressions of the Holy Land: de Chateaubriand, de Lamartine, Mark Twain, Herman Melville – the greatest writers and poets in human history. They were not Zionist agents. They wrote about what they saw, and they all painted the exact same picture: a remote country, the great majority of which was dull and barren, shrouded in a feeling of unease.
Nir Barkat, Mayor Jerusalem: Jerusalem at 50: A 2,000-year-old dream
I was seven years old when the Six Day War broke out in 1967. My family and I lived in Jerusalem, a few hundred meters from the no man’s land between Jordanian and Israeli territory that divided the city. The State of Israel was preparing for an imminent onslaught. As a little boy, I remember helping soldiers dig trenches in our yard and hiding with my brothers under our beds when the war began. For days, our streets were bombed and our neighbors were wounded. Until suddenly the war was over.
My family and I went out to walk the streets of our newly reunited city. I saw the adults around me crying. As a child, I couldn’t understand. Only years later did I realize the source of that outpouring of emotion.
In that moment, we fulfilled a 2,000 year old dream.
We returned to the roots of our history: the City of David, the Temple Mount, the Mount of Olives and the Western Wall. We united east and west, north and south. Jerusalem’s unity has strengthened us all.
Jerusalem today is the crossroads of the modern and ancient: the City of David and the Western Wall Tunnels – alongside the Hebrew University and a thriving hi-tech ecosystem; the Western Wall and the holy sites – minutes from the bustling Mahane Yehuda market, the Israel Museum, the Jerusalem Payis Arena and Teddy Stadium; the newly reinvigorated Park HaMesila along the old Ottoman train tracks and Gazelle Valley nature reserve – that stretch alongside Israel’s first light rail line. Old and new, holy and secular, natural sites and technological wonders sit side by side in the city of Jerusalem.

50 years on, just-released photos show horror, then joy, in Battle for Jerusalem
Up until the 1967 Six Day War, Jewish soldiers had lost practically every major battle to Jordan’s Arab Legion.
In the 1948 Independence War, the legionnaires trounced the Israelis at the Latrun Fort five times, put Jerusalem under siege, and massacred soldiers and civilians alike at Kfar Etzion in what is today the West Bank.
And indeed the first two days of the Six Day War saw bitter, brutal fighting in the then-divided city of Jerusalem between Israeli troops and the Jordanian Armed Forces — by 1967, it had dropped the name “Arab Legion” — including one of the fiercest battles of the entire war: the Battle of Ammunition Hill.
To coincide with this year’s Jerusalem Day celebrations on Wednesday, the Defense Ministry released dozens of photographs and transcripts, some of which have never been seen by the public before, documenting the vicious fighting for Jerusalem and its Old City, and the ecstasy that followed it.
IsraellyCool: Recreation Of Another Iconic Photo From The Liberation Of Jerusalem
You may have already seen the goosebump-inducing recreations of the iconic paratroopers-at-the-Wall photo.
But there were other iconic photos from the liberation of Jerusalem 50 years ago, including this one of Jerusalem Commander Uzi Narkis, Defence Minister Moshe Dayan, and Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin walking through Lion’s Gate.
Yesterday, on Yom Yerushalayim, the grandson of Narkis, great-grand-daughter of Dayan and granddaughter of Rabin, recreated the historical moment.

Linda Sarsour and the Deafening Silence
I look around as Sarsour, this blood-thirsty wolf in a liberal sheep’s clothing, is given a pass by those who “disagree with what she says, but feel she has the right to say it.” And I can either shake my head with disgust and disbelief, or stand up with those willing to oppose her. And that’s what I will do on May 25.
I may not agree with everyone who speaks before or after me. I may take issue with some of their beliefs. But their beliefs don’t call for my death by stoning, or the other “progressive” tactics of Linda Sarsour’s beloved “intifada.” If a pair of female rabbis can forgive Sarsour’s romantic view of terrorism and excuse her Twitter fantasies of “taking Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s vagina away” as “a little mean,” I can surely stand with Milo Yiannopoulos and everyone else from the LGBT community and other walks of life who understand that Sarsour’s political agenda, if successful, would place all of our collective heads in the basket of jihad.
My personal public health and policy requires that I keep my head.
How ‘Woke’ Are Feminist Farrakhan Fans Like Linda Sarsour?
When Essence recently presented “Woke 100 Women,” three of the leading organizers of the Women’s March — Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez — were among the “socially conscious change makers” featured by the magazine. The three also appear in a related short clip explaining what “woke” means. For Tamika Mallory, being woke “is like eyes wide open; everything is clear; you can always see things other people … just ignore;” for Linda Sarsour, it means “being outraged all the time … about injustice,” while Carmen Perez defines it as “being uncomfortable all the time” and speaking “on behalf of those that can’t speak up for themselves.”
But apparently, being woke can also mean just ignoring things other people see, and not feeling outraged or uncomfortable when there is a chance to schmooze with Louis Farrakhan. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Farrakhan “has espoused anti-Semitism and racism for over 30 years as NOI [Nation of Islam] leader,” and he reaffirmed “his status as the leading anti-Semite in America” in 2015, when he “devoted a large portion of his annual address to followers in Chicago to the anti-Semitic myth that Jews were responsible for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.” The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) offers a similarly unequivocal condemnation, denouncing “the deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-gay rhetoric” of Farrakhan and other NOI leaders, whose conduct “earned the NOI a prominent position in the ranks of organized hate.”
Just three months after Farrakhan expounded his antisemitic conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks, Mallory and Perez were holding hands with him, posing for a photo during an “unforgettable special evening in Chicago with The Minister Farrakhan!”
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and BDS
I asked Papagapitos if she understood why some Jews would find it problematic that RBF funded organizations that believed Israel’s existence to be dispensable or undesirable—like JVP, Zochrot, and other pro-BDS grantees do. The possibility didn’t bother her. “I think what is most problematic is that there would be a monopoly on the solution or on what the correct approaches are,” she said. “And so long as they are striving for the same kind of peaceful and just values or values of justice and peace for the region and for all people, then I think that’s OK, and I don’t see what makes Zochrot or JVP any less Jewish than a different Jewish group.”
RBF has appointed itself arbiter of bigger and more fateful questions than this one—the place of JVP or Zochrot within the American Jewish discussion is a trivial matter compared to, say, the trajectory of U.S.-Iranian relations, or climate change. Still, RBF’s engagement with American Jewish communal life has been minimal or non-existent, at least up until a couple of years ago. The Fund has now thrown its substantial resources behind a sweeping interpretation of what Israel and the American Jewish community really need. RBF’s approach to philanthropy is based on the conviction that a private foundation should take the kinds of risks that government and the private sector cannot. That expansive sense of freedom and mission has now led RBF to stake out a clear—and, to many, unpalatable—position on some of the most wrenching dilemmas in Jewish life.
BDS funding may or may not have been consonant with what David Rockefeller believed about the Middle East. But that is the present-day result of the philanthropic ideal that he pioneered, and that he entrusted future generations of his family to uphold.
David Collier: The twisted, lying academics at the University of Warwick (part one)
The first meeting; ‘Palestine for Dummies’
University of Warwick 'Palestine for Dummies'The talk was given by Dr Teodora Todorova. Todorova is one of the co-founders of the new faculty led group. Another co-founder, Nicola Pratt, introduced the evening. She introduced Todorova as an expert. Todorova herself announced her ‘PhD is on Israeli Palestinian issues’. Everybody can relax, we are in the hands of expertise and academia. As can be seen from the image on the left, the poison that was about to infect the campus was delivered to a room full of students.
We are not dealing with a difference of ‘opinion’ here, nor am I simply highlighting a distorted narrative. There is no attempt to adhere to any type of truth. Todorova began an hour long rant so full of mistakes and lies (yes, lies) that every single student left that room more stupid and more in danger of radicalisation than if they had all spent the evening swallowing a Hamas handbook.
That the academic involved actually took her PhD in a related subject matter only serves to further darken the clouds over the whole of academia. It is shameful that any academic could present a talk so riddled with inaccuracy, lazy research, blatant distortion and so many outright lies. That it came from an academic who should in theory have spent years ‘reading’ about the very subject she understands nothing about, brings into question the entire academic award process. Apparently she has been delivering this talk for years. Her actual knowledge of the history of the conflict? Risible. Let’s begin:
Church of Scotland’s Rejection of BDS and Criticism of Hamas Draws Cautious Welcome From Country’s Jews
Scottish Jews have cautiously welcomed the Church of Scotland’s decision at its annual General Assembly to reject the BDS campaign targeting Israel, as well as its rebuke of Hamas over the group’s continuing denial of the Jewish state’s right to exist. The decisions were approved despite searing condemnations of Israel made by many speakers at the assembly.
Long-regarded as a stronghold of anti-Zionist activism, the Church has come in for heavy criticism from British Jews in recent years over its uncompromising stance on Israel. But at this year’s Assembly, an amendment to a resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was successfully passed that expressed the Church’s “deep concern in regard to Hamas’s continued declaration…that Israel does not have the right to exist.”
A motion that urged “the adoption of economic measures to pressure the state of Israel to comply with international law” was also rejected by the Assembly. Arguing against the move, the Reverend Paraic Reamonn, minister of St. Andrew’s Jerusalem, stated that Church support for BDS would amount to “reckless endangerment of its institutions and activities in the Holy Land.” Reamonn did not say whether he had received specific information from the Israeli authorities to support his fear.
Report: Ben Gurion University professors support BDS
On Wednesday, the Knesset Education Committee convened an emergency session to discuss the concern that Ben-Gurion University is promoting the BDS movement.
The committee meeting was initiated by MKs Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home), Anat Berko (Likud) and Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu) following the University’s recent promotion of a controversial workshop run by far-Left NGOs and sponsored by the European Union, which taught students how to effectively film protests.
Ben-Gurion University has come under fire in the past for its affiliation with anti-Zionism and BDS. In 2011, Israel’s Council for Higher Education recommended shutting down the University’s Department of Politics and Government unless changes were implemented.
Education Committee Chairman MK Yakov Margi (Shas) said, “It is outrageous that such a phenomenon is occurring within Israel. We need to deal with whoever is promoting it.”
PreOccupiedTerritory: Boy Who Cried Wolf Shaking Head At Repeated Touting Of Palestinian Cause (satire)
A youth notorious for repeated invocation of a threat to the point that the alarm no longer raises the intended reaction cannot believe that Arab and Muslim regimes keep citing the overused Palestinian cause in their polemic rhetoric as if anyone cares anymore.
The Boy Who Cried Wolf told acquaintances today that he remains incredulous that after so many instances of trying to rally the Arab and Muslim worlds around opposition to Israel, with little to show for it, the regimes spouting that rallying cry still try to leverage solidarity with the Palestinians for their own political gain, with ever-diminishing returns.
“I don’t get it,” the boy who continued to raise the alarm of “Wolf!” just to see the reaction from the villagers. “Even an idiot such as I knows when to stop. But these people? I can’t imagine their thought process. ‘Hey, every single time we’ve invoked this as a pan-Arab issue that demands we unite around it, we’ve had our butts handed to us – let’s keep doing it!’ Einstein’s definition of insanity comes to mind.”
Why quote Haaretz big time when the left-leaning Israeli newspaper reflects a small minority's views?
In Israel, one preferred local journalism hub has long been Haaretz, which has been called that nation's equivalent of The New York Times.
Its a false comparison because Haaretz ("The Land" in Hebrew) has limited circulation, is unabashedly and consistently left wing in its news columns as well as its editorial positions, is hostile toward religious orthodoxy -- no small thing in a nation where religion plays an enormous role in public life -- and has no where near the domestic influence or corporate wealth of the Times.
What it does have is influence in international liberal circles, which I'd say includes the majority of the Western correspondents working in Israel.
Haaretz strongly opposes the right-wing government led by Benjamin Netanyahu, in particular its policies toward Palestinians in the West Bank. On this issue, its editorials and columnists are often quoted by those in the international media who trend liberal-left.
As such, Haaretz wields more influence internationally than it does within its home nation, giving it outsized importance in the international debate over Israel -- which is why Haaretz should be a subject of interest to American consumers of Middle East news.
CNN’s Amanpour Blames Israel’s ‘Very Far Right’ Gov’t for Stalling Peace in Mid East
Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s international correspondent, is concerned that the “very far right” Israeli government is making Middle East peace impossible while glossing over the role the Palestinian Authority plays in stalling an agreement. As she easily labeled the problems she finds with Israel, Amanpour was less specific when talking about Hamas as a terrorist group.
“There are lots and lots of complications,” Amanpour said about finding a path to peace and compromise between Israel and the PA. “Not least the Palestinians which are embroiled with a whole Hamas side of the equation. And the Israelis that are going further and further to the right. Bibi Netanyahu's government is a very far-right government.”
She continued:
“Its coalition allies are far right. Under — since President Trump has been elected, the government in Israel has simply put more and more settlements into the occupied territories. That makes it more difficult.”
Did you catch that? It's the far right that's the problem, not the Hamas terrorists.
Corrected: “Occupation Wall” Comes Down
Describing Israel’s security barrier, specifically the walled section next to Bethlehem, The Independent‘s Bethan McKernan could barely disguise her bias:
Israel’s barrier is there as a means to protect against terrorist infiltration. Labeling it an “occupation wall” is prejudicial and inaccurate.
Following a complaint from HonestReporting, The Independent has amended it to the more palatable “security wall.” While we would normally take issue with the description of the barrier as a wall (over 95 percent of the structure is a fence), in this case the reference to a wall is acceptable given the focus on the specific section by Bethlehem.
UKMW prompts Indy correction to sentence claiming 750,000 Palestinian prisoners since 1967
Earlier in the month, we complained to editors at The Independent about an article (“Restaurants in Gaza only serve salt water in solidarity with hunger strikers”) by Bethan McKernan which included the following claim, attempting to contextualise Palestinian support for the hunger striking prisoners:
“750,000 Palestinians have at one point or another in the last 50 years been imprisoned by the Israeli state, affecting almost every family.”
This statistic, stated as fact by McKernan, is at minimum highly disputed. As blogger Elder of Ziyon has persuasively demonstrated, it’s almost impossible for these numbers (cited frequently despite the fact that it originated from a radical NGO with ties to a terror group) to add up. Elder showed that, for the number to be accurate, it would mean that there were over 23,000 new prisoners a year since 1967, or 500 a week. However, even during the height of the intifada, the number of new prisoners a year never even reached 10,000.
'Gas the Jews' spray-painted in Florida park
Anti-Semitic and satanic graffiti was spray-painted throughout a park in central Florida.
The graffiti at the part in Wedgefield, Florida, was discovered by parents on Wednesday morning.
Orange County officials said that park employees on Wednesday worked to clean and cover up the graffiti, under a local policy to remove defacement of public property within 24 hours, local ABC affiliate WFTV 9 reported.
Among the epithets in the graffiti was “Gas the Jews.”
Risking death, Muslim lawyer stands up for Iraqi Jews' rights
When people think of Iraq, they think of a country plagued by war, on the verge of ‎collapsing. They think of a failed state that ethnically cleanses minorities and blows up holy sites as well ‎as ancient archaeological treasures. Most Iraqi Jews see nothing but a bleak picture when they look ‎at Iraq today. However, within this war-torn country, there is a Muslim voice of hope, calling out ‎for his country to become a true democratic state and to give Iraqi Jews the justice that they ‎deserve. He does this under the threat of death but remains determined to speak out for all of the ‎minorities in his country, including the Jews. ‎
Ammar al-Hamadani, a Muslim Iraqi lawyer, is working to ensure that Iraqi Jews ‎receive the compensation they deserve in a new democratic Iraq after they were expelled from ‎the country following Israel's 1948 War of Independence. Referring to the expulsion of Iraq's Jews and ‎the seizure of their property as "unconstitutional and inhumane," he stated with sadness that the ‎laws that prompted the Iraqi Jewish community into exile remain in force today "despite the ‎political change that took place in Iraq in 2003 and the enactment of a new Iraqi constitution in ‎‎2005 in which we had some hope for change for Iraqi Jews in a democratic, federal and multi‎cultural Iraq."‎
Al-Hamadani emphasized that it is unlawful to strip any Iraqi of their citizenship for any reason and ‎it is the right of "any Iraqi who has lost his citizenship for either political, racist or sectarian reasons ‎to request the restoration of citizenship." However, al-Hamadani noted that while the Iraqi ‎Constitution permitted the restoration of Iraqi citizenship for those who lost it for the above ‎reasons, Iraqi Jews were excluded: "Iraqi Jews remain deprived of justice under the new Iraq in ‎such a crude violation of the constitution." ‎
Size of Gazelle Herd in Jerusalem Reserve Triples in Two Years
Staff at the Gazelle Valley nature park in Jerusalem are celebrating the recent birth of two new fawns, as these cute offspring bring the number of antelope to 20.
Two years ago, when the nature reserve officially opened the Gazelle Valley nature park had just six long-legged antelope, a staffer at the park tells ISRAEL21c.
Gazelle Valley, officially known as Pri Har Valley, opened to the public in 2015. A lengthy court battle between real-estate developers and local conservationists, with the help of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and other environmentalists, took some 20 years to resolve.
Today, this green open space of 260 dunams (64 acres) in the heart of Jerusalem holds the distinguished title of being Israel’s first urban nature reserve.
Over the years, the conservationists fought on behalf of the local antelope population to keep them and their natural environment safe.
Israeli cows are world's best milk producers, new report shows
Israeli cows are world's best milk producers, a new report by the Agriculture Ministry said Wednesday.
The report, released ahead of the Shavuot holiday, said the average Israeli cow produces some 11,970 liters (3,162 gallons) of milk a year.
The data also showed a 3.5% increase in demand for milk and dairy products in 2016.
Between milk and other dairy drinks, yogurt, cheese and pudding cups, Israelis consume an average of 178 liters (47 gallons) of milk a year per capita, the report showed.
Some 774 dairy farms operated in Israel in 2016 compared to 1,026 in 2006. Still, the average dairy farm production has increased by 71% over the same period.
Israeli startup finds way to predict tumor resistance to chemo
Chemotherapy is sometimes thought to be a treatment that’s harsher than the disease it comes to fight.
Cancer patients are subject to rounds of chemotherapy treatments in which cells – both healthy and cancerous are expected to be destroyed in the process.
So it’s especially awful when the targeted tumors have cell mutations that are resistant to chemo or develop resistance afterwards, rendering the potentially harmful therapy ineffective and pointless.
Now Hebrew University researchers say they have developed a way to predict resistance to chemotherapy treatments, which can help doctors and patients better target their treatments and helping reduce the rate of resistance levels “dramatically,” from the current 50 percent.
Research Elucidates Ancient Jerusalem Reservoirs, Known as ‘Elephant in the Room’
The massive ancient reservoirs that remain viewable today in Jerusalem’s Old City had serviced Jews making pilgrimages to the Second Temple some 2,000 years ago, according to a soon-to-be-published research paper.
Jerusalem contains a large number of these ancient pools. A massive cistern named the Pool of Israel — more than 360 feet long, 111 feet wide and 78 feet deep — is situated next to the Temple Mount. The Pool of Hezekiah lies among the houses of the Christian Quarter. Jerusalem residents are also familiar with the Sultan’s Pool, which was converted into an open-air venue for public performances; two pools located on the Church of St. Anne’s property; a deep pool seen on Western Wall tours; and the Shiloah Pool, which was discovered under the City of David.
“While residents of Jerusalem had private wells under their homes and the ruling authorities had aqueducts, another solution was needed for the masses of pilgrims. The visitors used water for drinking, cooking and other day-to-day tasks. Two of the pools were also used for ritual cleansing,” Dr. David Gurevich, an archaeologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who specializes in the holy city’s history during the Second Temple period, told Israel Hayom.
“These large complexes are the elephant in the room that researchers have ignored. Even though some of the pools were excavated and researchers suggested the use of individual pools, they ignored the larger picture. The question was never asked, ‘What are these facilities doing specifically here?’ It turns out there has never been another city on the Mediterranean coast with such a large amount of these pools of water,” said Gurevich.

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