According to Dr. Moshe Amirav, an expert on Yerushalayim and a lecturer at Beit Berel College, the prospect of turning over Sergey’s Courtyard in the center of downtown Yerushalayim is indeed a dangerous precedent.
Amirav explains that during the 19th century, acquiring land was the focus of the battle, explaining that about 150 years ago, Russia bought a great deal of land in Jerusalem, including the Russian Compound. Sergey was the brother of the czar, hence the name of the property being discussed.
He explained that in the boundaries of the Jerusalem Municipality, not today’s expanded Jerusalem, some 60% of all the land is owned by foreign countries, giving the example of the Schneller Army Base on Malchei Yisrael Street in Geula, which is owned by Germany. Other properties are owned by the Greek Orthodox Church and so-forth.
He explains if the government does indeed decide to hand over Sergey’s Courtyard to the Russians, it may prompt others to follow suit and demand other pieces of land back from Israel.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)