The Western Wall

The Dispute over Israel's Holiest Jewish Site, 1967–2000


The Western Wall—Judaism’s holiest site—occupies a prominent position in contemporary Jewish and Israeli discourse, current events, and local politics. In The Western Wall: The Dispute over Israel's Holiest Jewish Site, 1967–2000, Kobi Cohen-Hattab and Doron Bar offer a detailed exploration of the Western Wall plaza’s evolution in the late twentieth century. The examination covers the role of archaeology in defining the space, the Western Wall’s transformation as an Israeli and Jewish symbol, and the movement to open it to a variety of Jewish denominations. The book studies the central processes and shifts that took place at the Western Wall during the three decades that followed the Six-Day War—a relatively short yet crucial chapter in Jerusalem's extensive history.

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Kobi Cohen-Hattab, Ph. D. (2001), Bar-Ilan University, is an Associate Professor of Land of Israel Studies at that university. He has published articles and books on the historical-geography of the Holy Land during the modern time, including Zionism's Maritime Revolution: The Yishuv’s Hold on the Land of Israel’s Sea and Shores, 1917–1948 (De Gruyter, 2019).
Doron Bar, Ph.D. (2002), Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies, is an Associate Professor of Land of Israel Studies at this institute. He has published books and articles on popular and national holy sites in Israel, including Landscape and Ideology in the Reinterment of Renowned Jews in The Land of Israel (De Gruyter, 2016).
List of Figures

 1 Pilgrimage and Holy Places
 2 National Sentiment and Holy Places
 3 Research Methods and Approach
 4 Western Wall Scholarship and the Present Volume

1 The History of the Western Wall before the Six-Day War
 1 The Development of the Western Wall as a Holy Place
 2 The Western Wall in the Modern Era (1799–1967)

2 Archaeology and Sanctity at the Western Wall and Its Surroundings
 1 Razing the Mughrabi Quarter
 2 The Battle over the Demolition of Homes in the Abu Saud Quarter
 3 Archaeology near the Southwestern Corner of the Temple Mount
 4 The Ministry of Religions and the Western Wall Tunnel

3 Politics in the Planning of the Western Wall Plaza
 1 The Creation of the Temporary Plaza
 2 The Design of the Western Wall Plaza
 3 The Safdie Plan and the Related Disputes
 4 The Shimron Committee Conclusions

4 The Western Wall as a National Israeli Symbol
 1 Between State and Religion, or, Who Is Responsible for the Western Wall?
 2 A Holy Place or a National-Historical Site?
 3 The IDF and the Western Wall
 4 Mass Prayer and Expressions of National Solidarity

5 Non-Orthodox Jewish Denominations and the “Women of the Wall”: a Struggle for the Right to Pray at the Western Wall
 1 The Struggle over the Partition at the Western Wall Plaza
 2 Reform Jewry at the Western Wall, July 1968
 3 The Non-Orthodox, the Women of the Wall, and the Right to Pray in the Western Wall Plaza
 4 Robinson’s Arch as an Alternative Prayer Site
Summary and Conclusions: Past, Present, and Future at the Western Wall Plaza
 1 Past and Present at the Western Wall Plaza
 2 Planning and Development: How Should the Plaza Look?
 3 Nation, State, and Religion at the Western Wall Plaza
 4 Who Owns the Western Wall?
 5 Past, Present, and Future Interwoven

All interested in Jewish and Israeli Studies, those who are drawn to Jerusalem's history during the Modern Era, students, academics, specialists, and educated laymen interested in architecture, memory studies, gender studies and the changing Jewish world.
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