According to the
British newspaper, the cutting of the two-mile path, from Bethany over
the Mount of Olives and down past the Garden of Gethsemane into the Old
City, will end a 1,600-year tradition begun by early Christian pilgrims.
The wall stands
above the site revered as the place where Jesus performed the miracle
of Lazarus a few days before his crucifixion. The Gospel of John
describes how the miracle led many Jews to walk from Jerusalem to see
what had happened. Exactly the same route was used by 4th-century
Christians, who traveled in large numbers to Bethany, located east of
Jerusalem, for a service on the second Sunday before Easter.
evidence also shows that Bethany was a thriving Jewish town in Jesus’
time, reported the Telegraph. The remains of ancient homes with
ceremonial Jewish bathing cisterns were found near Bethany when the
wall was being erected, and the route of the wall was diverted to
protect the Jewish artifacts.
Bethany is a Palestinian town, outside the wall, with a large Arab
population. The wall has made life extremely difficult for thousands of
Bethany residents who used to commute into Jerusalem for work.
Furthermore, the local economy has suffered. The short drive from
Jerusalem to Lazarus's tomb now requires pilgrims to make a one- hour
detour. Consequently, the thousands of pilgrims who used to come
monthly have trickled to a few hundred
increasingly referring to the wall as the country's new eastern border.
When the border is formalized, pilgrims will have to cross an
International Court of Justice in The Hague has declared the wall
illegal, saying that it is being built on occupied land, but Israel
continues to argue that it is a necessary defense against suicide
ancient pilgrimage route that follows in Jesus’ footsteps, from the
place where he raised Lazarus from the dead to Jerusalem, is about to
be severed by the construction of Israel’s 30-ft wall, reported the U.K