Addressing the Knesset plenum, discussing the closure of the Old City to vehicular traffic, Shas MK Rabbi Chaim Amsellem stated the Kosel is the holiest site to the Jewish People and as such, access should not be limited, but there must be appropriate roads leading to the site throughout Yerushalayim, permitting easy access. He feels this must be an integral portion of ongoing efforts to preserve and improve the Old City.
He acknowledges that giving priority to public transportation may provide a solution, but he objects to the current plan, which addresses the Old City and Kosel as “tourist sites” a place for visitors, but not a place of kedusha.
“The Kosel is the remains of the Beis HaMikdosh, the holiest place for Am Yisrael. It is a place of daily tefilos. It must become the most accessible place”. Towards achieving this goal, he is seeking a plan that would involve numerous agencies, insisting roads accessing the Kosel must begin at the entrance to the city. These roads must lead to extremely large parking facilities located near the Kosel. He acknowledged there are problems, antiquities in the entire area, but this must be the goal nevertheless. These historic sites mustn’t be destroyed, “but we know if there is a will, there is a way”.
“We pray for moshiach’s arrival daily, when Am Yisrael will visit the Old City, and it appears the ministries responsible for such preparations are simply not addressing the matter today”.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)