During a visit by the Federal Minister of Education to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, an instructor asked Bettina Stark-Watzinger’s Christian companion to cover his cross, causing outrage. The employee wanted to ensure respect for the site and its visitors, the foundation responsible for the Wailing Wall said on request on Wednesday.
Scandal during the visit of the Minister of Education in Israel – the companion should cover the cross
The refusal of the German Father Nikodemus Schnabel to cover his cross was accepted and access to the Wailing Wall was granted. There are also no regulations for religious symbols. It was initially unclear whether the FDP politician and the priest were ultimately at the Wailing Wall. A reporter from “Spiegel” had published a video of the incident on Twitter.
According to the foundation, the instructor also wanted to prevent “inconveniences” that had recently occurred in the Old City of Jerusalem. Exactly what was meant by that remained unclear. However, Christians have recently experienced increased hostilities and attacks, especially in Jerusalem.
Foundation tries to appease – affected person is concerned about developments in Israel
“It is painful to see how the climate in this wonderful city is changing more and more for the worse under the new government,” Schnabel wrote on Twitter after the incident. He is abbot of the German-speaking Benedictine Abbey of Dormition in Jerusalem.
According to the German representative office in Ramallah, it shares its concern “about the dwindling space for some religions” in Jerusalem. The current Israeli government is the most right-wing the country has ever had.
“We apologize for any disturbances. The Wailing Wall is open to all,” said the foundation responsible for the site. The Israeli news site ynet spoke of an “embarrassment for Israel”. Accordingly, the Germans submitted an official protest to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem after the incident. The Foreign Office in Berlin has not yet commented on the event.
Christians make up just under two percent of Israel’s approximately 9.7 million citizens. The Wailing Wall is considered the most important shrine of Jews worldwide. It is the remains of a Jewish temple destroyed by the Romans in the year 70.