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Christian Science Monitor Discusses Issue of Wailing Wall

November 23, 1928
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The controversy between Moslems and Jews in Palestine over the right of access to the Western Wall of the Temple shows the continued need of the presence of the British Government in Palestine, is the view of the “Christian Science Monitor.”

“There could scarcely be a more striking illustration of the difficulties attendant upon the administration of mandated government for peoples widely divergent in race, religion and tradition than the recent incident at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. At this location the Jews for many centuries have been accustomed to grieve over the departed glory of their Holy City and to lament the control of their sacred places by what they regard as an alien race.

“It appears that the removal by the British of a partition which in accordance with an ancient ritual was designed to separate the men from the women deeply stirred the Jews, especially as the removal was made during one of their most sacred seasons. The claim of the Moslems under whose urgency the Government acted is that, since the Wailing Wall adjoins the temple area now included in the Moslem quarter of Jerusalem, it is under their exclusive control, and that, since the structure in question was attached to the wall, it was a part of it. Hence their contention that, as it had not been crected by their authority, it should be removed.

“The incident, on its face trivial, is far-reaching in its import, when certain old antagonisms between Moslem and Jew are considered. It will be remembered that when Britain took over the government of Palestine, a statement was issued that the status quoante regarding the religious interests of the various groups should be strictly maintained; and it may be said that this policy has been lived up to both in letter and in spirit. The lesson to be derived from the incident is that the strong hand of Great Britain is still needed to maintain a reasonable degree of peace in Palestine with its diversity of races. While much has been done to prepare the inhabitants for self-government, much more remains to be accomplished before mandated government could be safely abandoned. Yet the signs are encouraging, and there are many evidences of the lessening of the animosity which formerly so widely separated the Moslem and the Jew.”

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