Jerusalem(over the course of 2000 years)/ Conflicts-Who Owns the Western Wall
The western wall, as we all know, is one of the most significant monuments in Jerusalem, interestingly, in almost all religions and races involved in the endless fight. In Jewish society it is known by the name of Kotel or the Wailing Wall, while Muslims call it the Buraq Wall instead.
Kotel: Jewish interpretation
For the Jews, the construction of it started in 19 BCE as part of Herod the Great’s plan of building a second Solomon’s Temple in replacement of the one destroyed the Babylonians in 586 BCE. Recent findings suggested it was not completed until his great grandson became king. This is also the closest to Temple Mount, the holiest place in Judaism, for a long period in history when Jews were forbidden from Temple Mount itself. Since long before the establishment Israel, they have been worshiping towards it, and they will follow their ancestors’ path no matter what.
A brief introduction of the monument’s history, and a tour into the two thousand year old tunnels lying underneath
The Buraq Wall: A Muslim interpretation
The Muslims however believe otherwise. In Islamic world the wall is known to be part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which is the third most important holy place to the religion. It was originally a small mosque but then expended and rebuilt over decades and its present form remained unchanged since around 1035AD. This is also where a lot of Muslims gather for Friday prayer. Some claimed that the Jews did not start worshiping at the site until 1917, and that the wall was unrelated to any Jewish temple, as technically the existing exposed part of the western wall where Jews pray today is no longer the one existed two thousand years ago. Moreover, certain archaeological findings suggest that the western wall that the Jewish ancestors referred to might not be the one built at where the wall stands today.
“There is not a single stone in the Wailing Wall relating to Jewish History. The Jews cannot legitimately claim this wall, neither religiously nor historically. The Committee of the League of Nations recommended in 1930, to allow the Jews to pray there, in order to keep them quiet. But by no means did it acknowledge that the wall belongs to them.”
Sheikh `Ikrima Sabri
PA-appointed Mufti of Jerusalem