Might sound a contradiction in terms when I appear to oscillate between the spiritual and aesthetic in describing the city that lies half way between the real and the metaphysical in the hearts of hundreds of millions of mortals of the three monotheistic faiths (holding hostage the minds and souls of these duped millions) when I offer another shocking side to Jerusalem’s reality. Ironically, despite my frequent passages by Jerusalem, never, until early yesterday morning, on my way to a business conference near Beit Lahem, that I realized the extent of the ecological damage done to the city – right off the center of the old city – in the fervent craze of building forests of settlement buildings that completely obscure in their dense crowdedness the hills, the once unobstructed Biblical seven hills that gave Jerusalem its near eternal legend.
Jerusalem now is clusters of huge building blocks, while possibly well designed, they leave nearly not an inch of open terrain to allow the imagination of pilgrims to connect in a time travel trance with the spirit and the soul of the place. History, spirituality and even symbolism associated with Jerusalem are premeditatedly murdered by the day with each new stone lifted to edify a new settler’s home. One laments the gross dereliction of the UNESCO in not arresting the ravaging of a universal cultural heritage, a patrimony belonging to the whole human race that’s a store of spiritual replenishment as the physical entwines with the symbolic to transcend beyond the limitation of time and space. Never before I associated the improper and inappropriate of the illegal construction of Jewish settlements in the heart and all around the holy city (7 major settlements contour the city beside settlements built right on the very inside) in violation of the international law, with, yet, possibly a far more ominous development: the irreversible mass ecological disaster, the total obliteration of the wider landscape that render the whole spiritual scene more embracing, more spiritually liberating”.