Terrestrial Jerusalem and Ir Amim, two Jewish NGOs that spend all of their energy to oppose any Jewish rights in Jerusalem, are alarmed:
JNS reports the story a bit differently:On December 27, 2022, the Elad settlers of Silwan accompanied by a heavily armed detail of Israeli police, took over a large plot of land immediately adjacent to the Pool of Siloam in Silwan (from which the name Silwan derives).The settler takeover is not exclusively a settler initiative. In a press release touting the commencement of excavations on the site, this is being presented as a joint venture between the Elad settlers, the Israel National Parks Authority (INPA), and the Antiquities Authority (IAA). For all those needing proof, this is further evidence that in Silwan, the settlers and the Government of Israel are one of the same.The land in question has been owned by the Greek Orthodox Church and leased to a Palestinian family since the 1930s. A family member was arrested last night (26 December) in a pre-emptive arrest, and three more were detained this morning.The Government of Israel and the settlers have decided there is no better time to take over Church property, in a place of cardinal importance to Christianity, than the Christmas week. There is nothing new in this. The settlers and the Government customarily reserve Christmas week for their most problematic initiatives, assuming, not without reason, that the diplomats and decision-makers are all on leave and will not pay attention.
An ancient Jerusalem pool that was used by millions of Jewish pilgrims during the time of the Second Temple two millennia ago as a ritual bath before ascending the Temple Mount, and revered by Christians as the site where Jesus cured a blind man, will be fully excavated and then opened to the public, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Tuesday.The Pool of Siloam, located in the southern portion of the City of David, the ancient epicenter of Jerusalem, and just outside the Old City walls is expected to become one of the most important historic and tourist sites in the city.The pool has been a focal point for archaeologists and scholars for the last 150 years. The excavations are set to begin in January and will continue for at least several months, while the site is expected to open to the public in about a year.
The planned excavation of the five-dunam site (about 1.25 acres) is getting underway after a 14-year legal battle culminated in June when Israel’s Supreme Court found no reason to challenge the validity of the Ateret Cohanim organization’s purchase of 99-year leases, renewable for an additional 99 years, from the Greek Orthodox Church, the largest landowner in Jerusalem.One of Ateret Cohanim’s goals is to purchase land in the history-rich area for public viewing, said Doron Spielman, vice president of the City of David Foundation. Previously, the area, which was off limits to everybody, lay barren for decades and was littered with garbage, he said.“It is not every day that we find an icon in Jerusalem,” Spielman said. “This is not just a huge find, it is a mega-find.”Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion said in a statement, “The Pool of Siloam in the City of David National Park in Jerusalem is a site of historic, national and international significance. After many years of anticipation, we will soon merit being able to uncover this important site and make it accessible to the millions of visitors visiting Jerusalem each year.”
According to TJ and Ir Amim, the Jews are stealing away Christian land.
In reality, they legally purchased the rights to the land, and it will become available for millions of Christians to visit!
These people who pretend to be defending Jerusalem prefer that precious historical site be strewn with garbage and inaccessible to all rather than fixed up and available to all.
The transfer of the lease is legal, above board and helps improve Jerusalem.
Which begs the question: who really cares about Jerusalem?
Certainly not Terrestrial Jerusalem or Ir Amim.