In the last few days, ads were hung up in Mt. of Olives in East Jerusalem announcing the depositing of plan no. 51870 for the construction of the Israeli Military College. The public is granted 60 days to file any objections or reservations to the plan, after which the Regional Planning Committee can discuss the objections and approve the plan. The planned college would serve as the academy for training senior commanders in the Israeli Military and the Security Forces.
The idea to build the college should not be of any problem, but the location, at one of the most sensitive and disputed areas in Jerusalem, is a little more than provocative. The plan is to build the Military Academy at the Palestinian neighborhood of A-Suwane, near the Beit Orot Settlement, at the hilltop of Mt. of Olives. The plans call for an 8 story structure, 5 stories of which will be built into the ridge, with 41,480 sq. m. of built up space.
See more at t-j.org.il.
I believe that one can’t think of Mount of Olives as real estate. It is important for the three monotheistic religions: the 3,000 years old Jewish cemetery, is on Mt. of Olives, where the resurrection of the dead should begin when the Messiah comes; A thin bridge will connect the Haram A-Sharif and the Mt. of Olives at the end of the days, according to the Islam; and for the Christians, the Mt. of Olives is a site that connected with the life and the death of Christ, where he spent his last days before the crucifixion, and where he ascended.
On top of all this holiness, Mt. of Olives is under dispute between us and the Palestinians, and we will have to solve this dispute only through an agreement. Bringing the Military Academy to this spot is quite insensitive and if I may add, not so smart, of our Government.