update desk

Western Wall rabbi tells European envoys: Jews don’t need your approval

The U.N. ambassadors from Italy, Romania, Slovenia and Moldova withdrew from a group visit when the European Union ordered them not to participate in any Israeli-hosted tour of eastern Jerusalem.

Then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Ambassador David Friedman (right) light the first Hanukkah candle at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. To Netanyahu's left is Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, rabbi of the Western Wall, and next to him is Mordechai “Suli” Elias, director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, Dec. 22, 2019. Photo by Koby Gideon/GPO.
Then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Ambassador David Friedman (right) light the first Hanukkah candle at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. To Netanyahu's left is Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, rabbi of the Western Wall, and next to him is Mordechai “Suli” Elias, director of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, Dec. 22, 2019. Photo by Koby Gideon/GPO.

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, the rabbi of the Western Wall, chastised United Nations diplomats from four countries who refused to visit the sacred site, in an open letter on Friday.

The ambassadors of Italy, Romania, Slovenia and Moldova withdrew from a group visit to the Western Wall a week ago when the European Union ordered member-state representatives not to participate in any Israeli-hosted tour of eastern Jerusalem. While Moldova is not a member of the E.U., it is a candidate for membership.

Representatives from seven countries attended the visit as planned, from Thailand, Costa Rica, Belize, Serbia, Georgia, Haiti and Sierra Leone.

Rabinovitch wrote in his letter: “It was with extreme dismay that I heard of your decision not to attend the official tour of the Western Wall given by the State of Israel for ambassadors. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Your decision to ‘avoid’ the tour was a resounding victory for evil, a deeply upsetting choice.”

He continued: “The Jewish nation does not need anyone’s approval for its eternal connection with Jerusalem and the Western Wall. This is a bond of thousands of years that was shaped by the love of a nation for its God and forged through the fire of destruction.”

He added, “It is a bond that is validated every single day by unusual archaeological findings from the days of ancient kings of Judah, discovered in the earth of Jerusalem. Had you joined the tour, you would have seen them yourself.”

You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war.

JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you.

The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support?

Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Topics
Comments
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates