The Jerusalem obsession - Opinion -
Of all of Israel’s whims, this is the craziest of all. A country trying look secular, Western and modern is going nuts over a wall
The sky has fallen. America is stuttering about the Western Wall. Where is it located? Whom does it belong to? It’s the end of the world, the Zionist enterprise is finished. It’s a good thing we have a Habayit Hayehudi representative in the United Nations (in the guise of the American ambassador), Nikki Haley. She hastened on Tuesday to prevent another emotional holocaust by stating that in her personal opinion, the Kotel is ours. What a relief! The Temple Mount is (again) in our hands.
Of all of Israel’s whims, this is the craziest of all. A country trying look secular, Western and modern is going nuts over a wall. It’s a fetish. You can live with it, of course, but like any obsession it can drive you insane.
But the obsession with the Kotel is part of a wider syndrome, the Jerusalem obsession. There’s no more divided city than united Jerusalem, and we’ve devised no greater self-deception than thinking there can be a solution without justice in Jerusalem. You can of course love Jerusalem, which was a lovely city until its last occupation, with an amazing history and holy places. You can pray toward it a dozen times a day, to a city that Jews lived in for generations and also longed for. It is truly an exciting and recommended tourist destination, just check out TripAdvisor.
But a country that wakes up in terror because some American official avoided saying that the Kotel is part of Israel, proves not only that its discourse is delusional, but that it isn’t at all sure that the Kotel really belongs to it, and how uncertain it is about its borders, sovereignty and justness. When it comes to talking about Jerusalem, it loses its moorings; when it comes to the Kotel, it loses consciousness. In both instances we’re talking about detachment from reality.