Five days before the heavy construction equipment is set to be dispatched to demolish a shul in the community of Givat Ze’ev, MK Rabbi Aryeh Deri has proposed moving the structure from its current location to a new one owned by the local council.
The proposal calls the structure to be physically transferred brick by brick from the land it is now located on that is claimed by Palestinians to a lot that the Givat Ze’ev local council would donate for the reconstruction of the Ayelet Hashachar synagogue
Construction experts questioned whether Deri’s proposal was practical. While there have been instances in which shuls and other buildings were physically transferred from one location to another – such as when Israel abandoned Gaza, and transferred the synagogues from there to Israel proper. However, the experts said, the construction there was of a different kind, lending itself to “unpacking” — unlike the more permanent construction method used in Givat Ze’ev.
The shul, which has been in operation for 15 years, is slated for demolition after a decision last month by the High Court. The court ruled that the land the synagogue is built on belongs to Palestinians.
The builders of the synagogue claim that the land had been purchased from the Palestinians, which the latter denies.
On Thursday, Harav Eliyahu said that the decision to demolish the building was “a tragic and shameful one. I lived in the Galilee, and here there are thousands of Arab homes and mosques built without permits, and no one would dare demolish them,” he told Army Radio. “There is a great deal of hypocrisy and unfairness in this country. For me, destroying a shul is as bad as burning a sefer Torah.”