The plan to build a mosque adjacent to the ruins of the Twin Towers passed a crucial hurdle Tuesday when New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission voted 9-0 not to declare the building now occupying the site protected, making way for it to be demolished and a mosque and Islamic center to be built in its place.
No one was more shocked by the news than retired Brigadier General Dov Shefi, a former chief military prosecutor and now attorney general of the Defense Ministry who lost his son in the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers. "For us it's like bringing a pig into the temple," Shefi told Arutz-7.
According to Shefi, people cannot accept the fact that a mosque will be built on the site of the disaster. "I think that the establishment of a mosque in this place, a place that serves as a memorial site for 40,000 families, is like bringing a pig (an unkosher animal) into the Holy Temple. It is inconceivable that in all the city of New York, this site was specifically chosen to establish an institution that represents the culture that led the terrorists of Al-Qaeda to carry out the greatest crime ever.
"America sometimes loses its mind. America raised the banner of the freedom and liberty, allowing everyone to express an opinion, but this belief often makes them lose sight of reality."
Shefi has already turned to U.S. government officials, calling on them to cancel this initiative. "I'm connected to all the support groups of the U.S. families and victim organizations, and I'm not ashamed to write them. I sent a letter to the mayor of New York. I know it will be hard for them to accede to my request but they must understand us."
Shefi told Arutz-7 of his son Haggai, and the terrible news on the day of the disaster. He related that Hagai was a "genius of geniuses" and that and at the age of 29 he was already president of a high-tech company.
The Shefi family flew immediately to the U.S. after the disaster, and Haggai's body was found and brought to burial in Israel. Shefi said that Haggai phoned his wife after the plane hit the north tower to say goodbye to her.