JERUSALEM (Dec. 26)
The question of whether to permit the Waqf, the Moslem religious council, to proceed with the erection of monuments to Jordanian 1967 war dead in East Jerusalem has become a “hot potato” tossed back and forth between the Government an the Jerusalem City Council. As of yesterday it was back in the Council’s hands. But after a stormy five-hour debate the latter decided to shift the burden of decision to the district town planning commission which is composed of Government officials.
The issue arose when Mayor Teddy Kollek, who takes a liberal view toward relations with the Arabs, approved the Waqf application for the memorials. One monument has already been erected in the Moslem cemetery. Two more were planned, one on the slopes of Mt. Scopus. Mayor Kollek’s decision was severely criticized by City Council members who contended that the monuments would only encourage Arab civil disobedience and possible violence. Earlier this week the issue was submitted to the Ministerial Committee on Jerusalem which is made up of Cabinet ministers. A majority of them were said to have favored allowing the monuments to go up but decided that the Jerusalem Municipality should make the final decision.
No vote was taken after yesterday’s caucus in which Mayor Kollek was said to have had the support only of his own faction. The decision to refer the matter to the planning commission was seen as a compromise which would leave the monument in the Moslem cemetery intact while the other two would be subject to the usual town planning rules governing the erection of monuments.