Ehud Olmert has suggested that Israel propose an international trusteeship for the Western Wall and Temple Mount. We have a lot of experience with such international supervision. During the British Mandate, Jewish worship at the Wall was restricted according to Arab sensitivities. Even blowing the Shofar at the end of the Yom Kippur service was forbidden. Brave young Jewish men blew the shofar and went to jail for it, year after year.
From 1948 until 1967, when the Jordanians controlled the old city of Jerusalem, no Jew was allowed to set foot at the Wall. Such a right was included in the Armistice Agreement, but the Jordanian Arabs just ignored it and no one did anything about it.
Only since 1967 under Israeli control have the Western Wall and the Temple Mount been freely available to all.
Doesn’t Ehud Olmert know this? Of course he does. He is accused of being corrupt, not stupid. Then why is he pushing such a plan and insisting that Israel should propose it? Because he wants to stay out of jail.
He looks back and sees that Arik Sharon faced a similar problem. He also wanted to stay out of jail for corruption, so he came up with the disengagement plan in Gaza. So long as he pushed for that, he had the full support of the Israeli left wing press and media, which means virtually all the Israeli press and media.
As the famous journalist Amnon Abramovitch put it, the media wrapped Arik in cotton wool, the way we protect an Ethrog during the Sukkoth Holiday, as long as he pressed for disengagement. Nothing could stop Arik and his media supporters until the disengagement was forced down the throats of the Israeli public.
Many of those forced out of their homes in 21 settlements are still homeless refugees in their own country, and Israeli Negev towns are in constant danger of rockets from Gaza, but Arik achieved his purpose of staying out of jail. (The proof that this was no idle threat is that Arik’s son did go to jail, but for Arik all went well until his stroke.)
Flash forward to Ehud Olmert. What did he learn from Arik and the disengagement? As long as he espouses far left-wing programs the Israeli press and media will protect him and wrap him around like an ethrog. The further left, the greater the ‘ethrogization”. He hopes this will help him stay out of jail on his corruption charges.The damage it will do to Israel and the Jewish People is not a main consideration for him.