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May 29, 1987 - Image 21

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-05-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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at the end. of the road, where
Salah e-Din Street meets
Herod's Gate and the Old City
, walls. We could travel no far-
ther and turned around. Haim
Bar-Lev took the wheel. Back
on Nablus Road, we en-
countered all the terrible and
pathetic remnants of war:
death and destruction and
chaos. Nothing stirred.
"I think they've all run
away," I said to Bar-Lev.
The next day proved me
wrong. The residents of East
Jerusalem had simply hidden
in their cellars, to emerge when
the shooting stopped.
By 9:45 a.m. we were on Mt.
Scopus, gazing at the town
below, which seemed idle and
empty. All at once I saw smoke
rising inside the Old City,
behind the walls. I contacted
Arik: "Are the paratroopers
shelling the Old City?" When
he said that they were, I
ordered him to stop immediate-
ly, and at the same moment,
heard the paratroop G. Branch
officer commanding his mortar
units to stop shooting. "We're
going in:' he cried.
"Where are you?" I called.
"At the Lion's Gate." Before
his last word was uttered we
were back in our vehicles, rac-
ing down the mountain, our
hearts as loud as the motors.
We were going into the Old
City!
Nineteen years earlier we
had broken through the Zion
Gate and entered the Jewish
Quarter, only to leave it again
in despair and bitter
disappointment.
"Let us not go in if it's just to
go out another time," I
breathed.
"We shall never leave again,"
said Haim Bar-Lev.
Our convoy was on the slope
of the hill below Rockefeller,
where the road branches
towards Gethsemane. From the
corner position on the wall op-
posite, shots were still coming,
and beneath, on the traffic
island, was a silent Sherman
tank.
Ahead, on the road from the
valley to the Lion's Gate, was a
column of paratroopers, led by
General Rabbi Shlomo Goren,
chief army chaplain, a sefer
torah under his arm, a shofar
in his left hand, his beard
bristling like the point of a
spear, and his face bathed in
perspiration.
"Rabbi," I called out. "Come
aboard. We're going to the same
place."
"No;' he replied. "lb the Tem-
ple Mount one goes on foot."
"Then we'll meet there." The
jeep sprang forward. On the
way I contacted Motta to find
out where he was.
"The Temple Mount is ours!"
I couldn't believe it.
"I repeat;' said Motta. "The
Temple Mount is ours. I'm stan-
ding near the Mosque el-Omar

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