U.S. Officials To Recognize Jerusalem Holy Site, Facing NGO Pushback

Jerusalem, Israel view from Mt. Scopus

A delegation of U.S. officials will soon attend a ceremony to recognize a Jerusalem holy site that dates back to the second temple era. United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, White House envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt, and several Israeli ministers are expected to attend the dedication of the nearly 2,000 year old Pilgrimage Road. The site is located in the City of David, which is part Jerusalem’s Old City.

The new U.S. standard is facing pushback, according to several reports, because it’s the first time the U.S. will recognize an old city holy site. It’s a new standard that started with the Trump Administration, from the U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem in 2018 and has continued each day on the world stage. However, Emek Shaveh, an Israeli NGO, is condemning the ceremony because it considers the holy site part of “disputed territory.”

The NGO’s statement reads:

“The use of archaeology by Israel and the settlers as a political tool is a part of a strategy to shape the historic city and unilaterally entrench Israeli sovereignty over ancient Jerusalem. It is a process which is likely to produce devastating results for both Israel and the Palestinians.  It is inexcusable to ignore the Palestinian residents of Silwan, carrying out extensive excavations of an underground city and to use such excavations as part of an effort to tell a historic story that is exclusively Jewish in a 4,000 year-old city with a rich and diverse cultural and religious past.”