Why This One Move In The Old City Is A Game Changer
Over the last few decades we have witnessed a revitalization of Jewish life in Jerusalem’s Old City and surrounding neighborhoods. Made judenrein in 1948, Jews have been returning to these areas ever since the Six Day war in 1967. With all the publicity behind some of the landmark real estate purchases we often lose site of key moves that can change actualized sovereignty on the ground.
Actualized sovereignty means (in the case of Jerusalem) Jewish residents actually fulfill the state’s sovereign claim by moving into neighborhoods that lacked a Jewish presence. After all, what good is the state’s claim to sovereignty when on the ground it does not exist.
The remodeled Pinat Chama (warm spot) under Beit Wittenberg is a game changer and a perfect tool to expand actualized sovereignty between the Kotel and Shaar Shchem (Damascus Gate). After all, there is one thing to have Jews living in a building, however to instill a sense of safety and normalcy where Jews can act normally in their own city is something unheard in the so called “Muslim Quarter.”
Yet this is exactly what the Pinat Chama under Beit Wittenberg does. Food and drink and a place to sit and rest are all part of normal city life. However, in the world of frontline urban pioneering in Jerusalem, none of this can be taken for granted. Each move towards this, is another sign we the Jewish people have in fact actualized our sovereignty.
While every purchase is a success, we cannot underestimate creating real contiguity and actualized sovereignty in Jerusalem’s Old City – every little step counts.