Public Discussion: Preserving Antiquities in Holy Places – The Temple Mount and its surroundings as a case study

 Emek Shaveh in cooperation with the Van leer Institute in Jerusalem invites you to a Public Discussion to be held on Thursday, 15 January 2015, 7pm, at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem. 

Jerusalem’s holy sites comprise structures that are hundreds and even thousands of years old, often built on earlier remains. The religious character of these ancient places contributes to their status and value. However, archaeological excavations in sacred sites are a fraught political issue that fans tensions in Jerusalem and beyond.

The Temple Mount (al-Haram ash-Sharif) is perhaps the best-known place where Israelis claim antiquities were destroyed. In the nineties an expansion project was launched for the mosques on the compound, and according to the Israelis, the works caused considerable damage to antiquities in the area. Conversely, complaints are made against the Israelis for archaeological excavations carried out in the tunnels below and around the Temple Mount, and about the works on the Western Wall plaza.

The discussion will focus on the possibility of performing religious worship while maintaining the relics of the past in sacred sites in the complex and multifaceted we reality today.

  • Greetings: Prof. Gabriel Motzkin, director, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
  • Chair: Dr. Yoni Mendel, the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute
  • Introduction: Yonathan Mizrachi, archaeologist, Emek Shaveh
  • Prof. Yitzhak Reiter, chair, the Department of Eretz-Israel Studies, the Ashkelon Academic College; senior researcher at the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies and at the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • Prof. Alona Nitzan-Shiftan, head, the Archaeology Track, the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning, the Technion—Israel Institute of Technology
  • Adv. Kais Nasser, doctoral candidate in law, Tel Aviv University; specialist in planning issues in Jerusalem
  • Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the Rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites

The discussion will be conducted in Hebrew and will be accompanied by simultaneous translation into English

Admission is free

The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, 43 Jabotinsky St., tel. 02-560-5222,
Parking is not allowed on the Institute’s campus (metered parking is available on adjacent streets

Invitation as PDF file


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