Never Never Garden

Apparently a special form Jerusalem Syndrome has been experienced by mayors of Jerusalem over the generations, making them believe that they have been charged with a messianic task.

Jerusalem Syndrome is defined as an emotional state experienced by some visitors to the city who become convinced they have divine and messianic powers. Apparently a special form of this syndrome has been experienced by mayors of Jerusalem over the generations, making them feel they have a messianic task, so they act without heeding the consequences.

Teddy Kollek behaved this way when he announced the establishment of a national park in an area containing hundreds of homes housing thousands of Arab residents, who thus became violators of the building laws and whose homes were earmarked for destruction.

Ehud Olmert behaved this way when he opened the Western Wall Tunnel, "the rock of our existence," an act that led to the deaths of many Jews and Arabs.

The new mayor, Nir Barkat, is also behaving this way regarding the planned destruction of homes in the Silwan neighborhood and other places in the city.

This has led to a controversy and political arguments about the authorities' stupidity and the deviant use of law enforcement; these have sparked counterarguments citing the rule of law and concern for the public's well-being in the face of violators of the building laws.

But the most graphic argument was raised by those who support the initiative to destroy the Palestinians' houses as they waxed poetic about "one of the most important historic sites in the history of the Jewish people, the site called 'the entrance to the Garden of Eden' in quite a few sources, the site where King Solomon apparently wandered and among whose trees he hid as he wrote his books, the site where King David apparently wrote part of his Psalms."

This entire description is a bunch of nonsense, just as are large parts of the Disneyland next door that was set up at the zealots' site known as the City of David.

However, it is not right to discount this description and disparage it as a hallucination of romantic zealots, because anyone who rummages around in his memory will soon recall that he, too, was inculcated with similar narratives created in the Zionist education system to deal with the threatening reality by weaving a mythological past.

The reaction of the Zionist migrants to the physical and human scenery they encountered was twofold.

First and foremost, they observed the visible scenery as if it were a stratum below the real scenery - the scenery of their ancient homeland. In the foreign scenery that unfolded, they sought the remnants from their dream and slowly wove a new cloth that covered the threatening scenery.

But this was not merely a cloth of paper and illusions; they were determined to design the reality, the physical scenery, according to their vision and dreams. They then destroyed the Palestinian scenery and built their own scenery in its stead with the ancient myth serving as their justification and excuse.

What makes "King David's garden" a pretext for removing the Palestinian presence there while Canada Park, which was planted on the ruins of villages whose residents were expelled in 1967, is a positive example of a legitimate Zionist act? In which way is the myth of Masada different from the myth being created about the City of David? And what message is transmitted by the municipal-state museum in the Tower of David, which is nothing but a temple for the religious rite around Israeli Jerusalem and has no room for the other collective, that of the Arab Palestinians?

Apparently the attitude about a myth is dependent on who invented it, so acts done by others become illegitimate.

It is no surprise that most Jerusalemites support the destruction of the Arab homes. They, too, want to walk in the virtual garden of the king. It appears Jerusalem Syndrome is not merely an emotional state of individuals.