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Government Bans Beggars in Front of Wailing Wall

All beggars at the Wailing Wall have been ordered removed by the police, acting on instructions from the government. The reason given is that the lane in front of the Wall is a public thoroughfare.

Some time ago, when begging was prohibited on the main streets of Jerusalem, the Jewish community, foreseeing that begging might be banned at the Wailing Wall, sent a delegation to see District Commissioner Keith Foach, who expressly promised the delegation that the ordinance would not infringe on the beggars at the Wall because the lane in front of it was not considered a public thoroughfare.

In the meantime no action has been taken to remove the beggars from in front of the Mosque of Omar, a Moslem shrine, and from in front of the Holy Sepulchre, a Christian shrine.

The beggars at the Wailing Wall have played an important part in the history of the Wall. In the first place they furnished the occasion for pious Jews giving charity, they created a certain message of security for individual Jewish worshippers and they gave some Jewish aspect to the Wall.