An editorial in the erev Shabbos Yated Neeman decries the increasing chilul Shabbos in Yerushalayim and recent gestures to the Reform Movement, primarily the decision to create an egalitarian prayer area near the Kosel.
Under the headline “The battle over the sanctity of Yerushalayim”, Yated launches a scathing attack against Mayor Nir Barkat and his administration for the sharp and alarming increase in chilul Shabbos in the holy city.
Not forgotten is the recent Jerusalem city council decision to permit the Mitcham HaTachana to operate on Shabbos. Also mentioned is the fact the latter is made possible by the absence of the Shas city councilman during the vote. The chareidi and religious parties in the city council maintain a majority of one, and had Shas been there as expected, the Mitcham would not be permitted to operate on Shabbos. Yated adds “What is clear is the holy city is besieged and it must be liberated”.
The newspaper insists that the Jerusalem of Barkat is not Jerusalem for “the mayor views the city as a national symbol void of the Yiddishkheit aspect, citing Har Habayis is the pinnacle of nationalism R”L, not a holy place, and therefore permits the trampling of the holy site. Their Kosel is the Eifel Tower of the Frenchman and the Roman Coliseum of this city – the British Big Ben of Jerusalem so they build the cage for foxes to walk on it. Jerusalem is the Berlin or New York to the Israelis, and this is how they wish it to appear. Jerusalem City Hall is doing its best to secularize the city and to perpetuate the destruction”.
“This is the Jerusalem conquered by the Greeks and Romans as well as the ‘United Jerusalem’ of Teddy Kollek in the past and of Barkat today. However, it is not Jerusalem! It is Tel Aviv, Haifa or Beersheva living in Jerusalem. This may be what Barkat is striving for but not the major artery that lies in the heart of every Jew.
“While Jerusalem is today under Jewish sovereignty, it is not liberated. The city is choking under foreign spiritual occupation led by the general, the mayor. The Kosel, remaining area of our Beis Hamikdash has become a play of worship for a foreign sect which seeks to crush and occupy the queen with a hechsher from the Supreme Court.
“The city’s designation is the Torah will come forth from it along with the word of G-d, and it has uprooted religion. The State of Israel has her Jerusalem but the Jewish people is still without its Jerusalem and we are compelled to fight this, at least the recent developments”, adding the chareidi tzibur must combat this to prevent the mayor from continuing on this path.
The editorial concludes with a quote from Gemara Shabbos;
“לא חרבה ירושלים אלא בשביל שחיללו בה את השבת”
That Yerushalayim was destroyed due to the chilul Shabbos, concluding “A real alarm. The battle for to defend Kedushas Yerushalayim”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)