Monday, June 16, 2014

Blitz again on Jobar Synagogue

ADAM BLITZ: Jobar synagogue (Jerusalem Post). Excerpt:
For well over a year I had worked to save Jobar, if not from artillery fire but from the stories which had ensued. It had recently survived mortar fire to its fa├žade. It stood firm despite aerial bombardment. It had steered a course through tales of destruction and resurrection and lived long enough to denounce those journalists who were determined to inter it. But last month was very different.

Over two-thirds of the synagogue has been destroyed. Based on the four photographs provided by the Daily Beast, and a floor plan reminiscent of basilica, both the synagogue’s left wing and central aisle (or nave) are consigned to rubble. The bimah, the raised platform where the Torah was once read, and the Ark which housed the sacred scrolls, are no longer. All that exists is part of a wing to the right of center and the antechamber to the Cave of Elijah, ostensibly an Early Christian catacomb in form, way below.

Many sites in the town of the Jobar have been directly affected. The synagogue has not suffered alone. The Great Mosque, 250 meters west of the synagogue, has also come under regime fire. What is different is the news-worthiness and the mechanism by which the Daily Beast’s photographs reached their intended audience. The photographs were provided to the Daily Beast by the US-based Coalition for a Democratic Syria, a conduit. It was this organization that, with its network of rebel activists, declared a eulogy for the synagogue at Jobar.
Background here and links.