See the Old City, Before It ‘Disappears’

old city
Tefillah at the Kosel. (Mendy Hechtman/Flash90)

An article on travel destinations to visit “before they disappear” leads off with the Old City of Yerushalayim, a designation that, to say the least, raised eyebrows at the media watchdog Honest Reporting.

The piece, published by the Insider, listed the Old City with 14 endangered areas including the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra, the city of Liverpool, The Florida Everglades, Belize Barrier Reef System, Montana’s Glacier National Park and the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania.

While the others on the list may actually be disappearing, it seemed bizarre to count the Old City of Yerushalayim among them. Honest Reporting derided it as “a great example of the intersection of gross stupidity between United Nations bodies and the media.”

The article seems to rely on the fact that Jordan managed to get the Old City on the endangered heritage list of UNESCO in 1982, one of various transparent attempts to delegitimize Israeli claims.

But the Old City has not disappeared since the 1967 war, and shows no signs of disappearing now. And as far as religious sites are concerned, they are much better protected, especially Jewish ones, than when the Old City was under the control of Jordan, from 1948 to 1967, when the Kosel plaza and Har Hazeisim were desecrated and Jews banned from entering.