Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New York Times shows latest on Ezekiel's tomb

The leaning minaret is now wrapped in scaffolding

The voice of the muezzin rings out as Muslims gather for prayer at Ezekiel's tomb at Kifl in Iraq. After all the speculation about the shrine's fate, this video by Stephen Farrell of the New York Times, for all its politically-correctness towards Jews, Muslims and Christians, gives a good idea of the state of what was once one of the holiest pilgrimage sites for Iraqi Jews.

The Hebrew inscriptions appear intact, though the fabric of the building is in dire need of repair, and there are photos of Jews in the 1930s on the walls. We see the leaning minaret in the courtyard surrounded by scaffolding. Archealogical excavations have also been going on, we are told.

Most interesting however, is that Farrell shows the plans the Minister of Heritage has for the shrine's renovation, presumably restoring the shrine to the way it was as a Jewish site . These plans are welcomed by Zvi Yehuda, whom Farrell interviewed in Israel. While burbling inexplicably about the fact Jews had big stores in the Kifl market, many Jews would come and visit the renovated shrine, Yehuda claims. Left unsaid is that these tourists would be mainly Jews from Israel.

So things sounds promising. But until we know for sure that Iraq is not about to turn Ezekiel's tomb into a mosque, better keep signing our petition.

See video and read article