Bibi’s pathetic capitulation on the Mughrabi Bridge

Mughrabi Bridge with notice of fire truck nearby

Mughrabi Bridge with notice that fire truck is nearby

The sad saga of the Mughrabi Bridge continues – and this time it is to the detriment of the Israeli and Jewish public.  As I posted earlier, Jerusalem’s City Council, on the advice of health and safety officials, decided that the Mughrabi Bridge must be dismantled and a new, permanent structure erected.  The new bridge was planned in consultation with the Muslim authorities and Jordan, who still retains official supervision over the Temple Mount.  Jordan reneged on its agreement with Israel and complained to UNESCO about the new bridge, thereby triggering UNESCO’s notorious anti-Israel bias and its demand that Israel cease and desist.

Jordan further advised Israel to stop the building in case it inflames religious passions – as if these are not inflamed by Muslims every day of the week that has “day” in its name. In the face of this “advice” – which I would call extortion – PM Bibi Netanyahu capitulated and issued a stop-work order on the bridge.

Of course this didn’t solve the problem of the rickety bridge, and earlier this week, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat ordered the closure of the bridge altogether, thereby preventing non-Muslims from ascending to the Temple Mount since the Mughrabi Bridge is the only access to the holy area for non-Muslims.

Predictably, this decision upset the right-wing in the Knesset:

The closure, which came earlier than expected, touched off a stormy reaction in the Knesset and among right-wing activists.

“Israel doesn’t know how to express its own independence in its own capital,” said Yehudah Glick, the founder and chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, which advocates for Jewish access to the site. He said that in the past, when construction caused the closure of the Mugrabi Gate, non-Muslim tourists and pilgrims were allowed to use the Chain Gate, one of the 12 entrances to the Temple Mount. Similar access was not granted on Sunday.

Tourists were also very upset at the closure:

“The bridge should be open to everyone, not just Muslim,” Wayne, a German tourist who is visiting Israel for the fourth time, told Ynet. “This is an unfortunate decision. It’s a lovely place to visit but unfortunately we can’t go there. There’s much to see in Israel, but Temple Mount is one of our favorite places.”

The police too were furious, saying that the closure might incite to violence. But is there a time when any Israeli action does NOT incite the Muslims to violence?

And now our brilliant Prime Minister, whom I usually respect and admire, has come up with the mother of all Chelm*-worthy ideas: Let’s coat the bridge with anti-flammable material and station a fire truck near the bridge.  No, it is not Purim today.

Jerusalem municipality fuming over prime minister’s decision to repair walkway instead of building new one. ‘Government’s helplessness in dealing with this hazardous, dilapidated nuisance is regrettable,’ read statement issued by mayor

Officials at the Jerusalem Municipality, who were in favor of demolishing the bridge and building a new one in its place, were not happy with Netanyahu’s decision. Mayor Nir Barkat expressed concern that “Netanyahu’s conduct will delay the completion of a new bridge and will prevent the restoration of the status quo, which was violated by its closure.

“A correct process of decision making would have produced the right solution of placing a permanent and safe walkway in place of the old one,” the statement read.

The mayor and his colleagues were much too polite and much too reticent. This decision is a capitulation to to Muslim extortion.  The bridge is in any event ugly and unsound, and removes about a third of the women’s prayer area at the Kotel.

This decision does not negate the need for its renovation, as described in my above link:

Tour guide Madeline Lavine told The Jerusalem Post in October that she refused to bring tourists up the bridge ever since heavy traffic had caused it to sway beneath her feet while she was accompanying a large group.

Whatever happened to Israel’s much-touted sovereignty over a United Jerusalem?

*Chelm is a mythical Jewish town somewhere in Europe populated by “wise” village idiots. The amusing stories of their antics entertained us throughout our childhood.

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5 Responses to Bibi’s pathetic capitulation on the Mughrabi Bridge

  1. JudyPT says:

    I too am furious that Bibi has again folded under Muslem threats. What on earth goes on in his mind? The biggest mistake was made by Moshe Dayan when he gave control of the area to the Waqf after the Six day war. What was he thinking, that the arabs would love us more? Since then every move we make is taken as an affront to their religeon and a reason for more threats against us. It’s about time we reminded them WE won that war [and all the others] and take back all our Holy sites that we spent so much blood and treasure winning from them.

  2. Earl says:

    Why any kafir would want to visit the top of the Mount is beyond me- the mosque itself is now khufr-rein, and the rest of the plateau is filthy and littered with building detritus, oily carpets, lead flashing, etc. with the olive groves cut down. I agree with Judy PT- Dayan should never have relinquished the site, especially considering the damage to J and Jewish graves effected by the Jordanian-Arab Arabs.

    I don’t regret having ascended (the views of J are great, but knowing that one is standing on yet-another example of Islamic theological supremacism rather dulls the moment.

  3. reality says:

    Bibi capitulated like any other leader coz he’s afraid of Arab violence & then wonders why the right wing”terrorists ” are doing violent price tag things. No one ever expected Jews to be violent but perhaps this is the only way to stop Arab lies & to stop them from taking over all & any sites holy or not as their own territory. When the country & world sees israeli price tag “violence” then maybe (probably not though) the powers that be will think twice before issuing orders detrimental to our states well being. And perhaps the police(ha ha) will actually run chase & even arrest the arab inciters & trouble makers jsut like they do with the “hilltop youth” ( Actually I think the police are too scared to dare to arrest the Arabs -the kids what’ll they do already? -much easier to arrest them)

  4. Perry says:

    Hello Anne,

    Would you help me please? What is the situation now with regards to the temporary wooden Mughrabi-Bridge? Has it been re-inforced? As the 2005 temporary bridge subsequently needed attention in 2007 and city engineer, Shlomo Eshkol, has warned over the past year that it’s unsafe, I’d certainly be disinclined to accept any assurances of safety from the Council for Muslim Interests in Israel and the Wakf Islamic Trust.

    Can you tell me anything about the excavations on the earthen ramp. All I can find is this video from 4 years ago by Dr. Gideon Avni.

    The reason I ask is that a few yards south, under Robinson’s Arch, the I.A.A. made some very interesting discoveries. Benjamin Mazar worked the same area in 1969, but he did not dig as deep. Here is the only commentary I have found on the subject. It originates from the Associates for Scriptural Knowledge. I hope that does not discourage you from reading the link below.

    Click to access n111219.pdf

    Kind regards,


    • anneinpt says:

      Thank you for your comment Perry and welcome to my blog.

      In answer to your questions: as far as I know, the “temporary” Mughrabi bridge has been slightly reinforced and a fire engine has been stationed nearby in case of fire. As I said in my post above, that is pathetic. The whole bridge needs to be dismantled and properly rebuilt but political constraints are delaying this. I quite agree with you that I wouldn’t trust any statements about Jerusalem emanating from the Waqf.

      Regarding the excavations beneath the ramp, the video you posted is excellent. There is more information about both the thwarted reconstruction of the bridge and the excavations below in this article from Jewish Ideas Daily. Just a short excerpt:

      In the earth below the Mughrabi Bridge lies the heart of ancient Jewish Jerusalem, literally in the shadow of the Temple. The most recent excavations nearby have revealed a mikveh (ritual bath) and a first-century, C.E. clay seal bearing the Aramaic legend “pure for God,” suggesting that the object attached to or exchanged for the seal was dedicated to the Temple.

      The information about the excavations in the article you linked is roughly the same as in my link above, except that the writer in your link disputes whether the Temples were on what is known as the Temple Mount today. I can’t really comment on that as I am not an expert on archeology, and I haven’t found anything else more recent than what I posted in my article and in this comment.

      I hope this helps you, and I look forward to seeing you again on the blog.

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