Harbinger of Things to Come?: Ancient Pilgrimage Road to Temple Discovered, Offering Conclusive Evidence of Jewish Ties to Jerusalem
by Jordan Hilger, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - Archaeological evidence proving the Jewish connection to the oldest-known portions of Jerusalem has been uncovered.
A pilgrim road traversed by 2.7 million celebrants of the high holidays of Passover, the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), and the Feast of Tabernacles in the time of Jesus, originally built by King Herod to connect the ritually purifying Pool of Siloam and Temple Mount, was unearthed by Israeli archaeologists and unveiled Sunday, with great fanfare in the US and Jerusalem, but great consternation in the Palestinian territories and wider Arab world.
Archaeologist Zeev Orenstein, Director for International Affairs for the City of David, could not underestimate the earth-shattering nature of the find, which had been in process for eight years as Israeli archaeologists burrowed sidelong beneath the Arab village of Silwan to bring to light 820 feet of stone stairs pilgrims ascended to the now-disused Hulda Gates of the Temple Mount.
“These findings show that the connection between the Jewish people and the ancient City of Jerusalem is a matter of fact and not a matter of faith,” Orenstein told Breaking Israel News, referring to the fact that the city of David, discovered in 1867 by Captain Charles Warren, has become the favored choice for the real, historic site of biblical Jerusalem by scholarly and archaeological consensus over the last century, lying just south of the current old city of Jerusalem’s walls.
Doron Spielman, vice president of the Ir (City of) David Foundation, echoed Orenstein’s sentiment to the Jerusalem Post, saying in no uncertain terms that “this place is the heart of the Jewish people,” with JPost editor-in-chief Jaakov Katz noting in an op-ed a rabbinic discussion of the first century that determined a child was of-age to participate in the ritual life of the Temple only when he was able to walk the almost 2,500 feet of the original thoroughfare.
The inauguration ceremony held by the City of David was attended by major American diplomats David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, Freedman at one point demolishing a ceremonial cardboard wall with a sledgehammer in a move widely condemned by the pro-Palestinian Arab world as a clear gesture of US support of Jewish sovereignty over the whole of Jerusalem, past, present, and future.
“Peace between Israel and the Palestinians must be based upon a foundation of truth. The City of David [discovery] advances our collective goal of pursuing a truth-based resolution,” Freedman, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, told the Jerusalem Post, saying unequivocally that any peace resolution between Israelis and Palestinians brokered by the US would necessarily exclude a demand for the Jews to give up a part of Jerusalem.
“I do not believe that Israel would ever consider such a thought. The City of David is an essential component of the national heritage of the State of Israel,” he said.
“It would be akin to America returning the Statue of Liberty.”
Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) representatives called on UNESCO--the UN world heritage organization which in 2016 called Jerusalem an indelible part of Islamic heritage, later relenting in its failure to cite Jewish ties to the city in 2017 by saying it had significance to monotheism generally—to quickly deride the finds as unhistorical, with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) issuing a corroborating statement Tuesday acknowledging the unveiling events were “aimed at changing the historical and legal status of Jerusalem” away from the stridently anti-Jewish tone of the current international consensus about the city.
PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi called on “all relevant multilateral organizations, including UNESCO and the OIC, to take immediate steps to protect Jerusalem and Palestinian rights,” blasting the ceremony as a “war crime,” while the Arab League, according to the PLO news agency WAFA, called it a joint US-Israeli effort to “Judaize” Jerusalem.
“We consider the participation of Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman to be criminal collusion in the commission of a war crime that must be condemned as well as universally and unequivocally confronted,” Ashrawi said in a statement on behalf of the PLO Executive Committee issued Sunday.
“International inaction and silence following today’s outrageous events in Jerusalem are inexcusable,” she wrote.
International silence following the unveiling event was indeed perplexing, especially in light of the deep historical significance of the find as well as its relevance for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process set to be addressed by world powers once again over the next few months, with “pilgrim road Jerusalem” and “City of David discovery” turning up only a handful of (almost entirely Israeli) news results in a google search days later.
The reason may be quite different from what Ashrawi imagines.
Concrete proof that Jerusalem has belonged to the Jews since time immemorial may be too much of a burden on the conscience of a world determined to deprive them of the city.