July 1, 2019
- Archeologists in Jerusalem have identified the “Pilgrimage Road,” the path millions of Jews took three times a year when performing the commandment to go up to the holy city during Judaism’s three key holidays: Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot.
- The Pilgrimage Road goes from the Shiloah Pool to the area adjacent to the Western Wall known as Robinson’s Arch, where today you can still see remnants of the ancient stairway that led into the Jewish Temple. Josephus, the Roman-Jewish historian, wrote that 2.7 million people used to visit Jerusalem during the Jewish holidays.
- The official opening of the Pilgrimage Road has far greater significance for Israel than just the opening of a new, impressive tourist site, said Ze’ev Orenstein, director of international affairs for the City of David. It proves the long and historic Jewish connection to Jerusalem.
- U.S. Ambassador David Friedman said, “The City of David brings truth and science to a debate that has been marred for too long by myths and deceptions. Its findings, in most cases by secular archeologists, bring an end to the baseless efforts to deny the historical fact of Jerusalem’s ancient connection to the Jewish people.”
- Pilgrimage Road, Friedman said, “brings to life the historical truth of the [Second Temple] period in Jewish history. Peace between Israel and the Palestinians must be based upon a foundation of truth. The City of David advances our collective goal of pursuing a truth-based resolution.”
- Asked if Israel would give up the City of David in a peace deal, he said, “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. It would be akin to America returning the Statue of Liberty.”See also Jerusalem’s Heart – Editorial
The Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry referred to the unveiling of the Pilgrimage Road in the City of David as “Judaization activities.” U.S. Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt responded on Twitter: “We can’t ‘Judaize’ what history/archaeology show. We can acknowledge it & you can stop pretending it isn’t true! Peace can only be built on truth.”
Trying to erase the Bible stories and the thousands of years of Jewish history in which Jerusalem has always been the focus of prayers and yearning does nothing to add credibility to the Palestinian cause. Just as Judaism (and Christianity) preceded the birth of Islam, so too do Jewish links to Jerusalem. The presence of U.S. Ambassador Friedman and Greenblatt at the ceremony was significant for the message it conveyed that the U.S. recognizes the historical truth. (Jerusalem Post)