Western Wall Replica Used to Fight Abortion
Kansas evangelicals have come up with one the more unusual concepts of twisted imagery – building a model of the Western “Wailing” Wall to symbolize Holocaust victims and then placing Christian crosses in front as part of an anti-abortion campaign.
The mixed imagery sounds like the work of the mind of a bizarre artist, but the “International Pro-Life Memorial and National Life Center” is a serious project by the strong local anti-abortion community.
The activists refer to the Western Wall as the Wailing Wall, as it was widely known under the Ottoman Empire. The New York-based Forward newspaper reported that the planned shrine will help promote Wichita’s reputation as one of the most solid pro-life cities in the United States.
The design, whose message probably will be lost on most Jews, intends the “Wailing Wall” to represent Jewish suffering. From there, the next logical step is to remember the Holocaust
The next step in the logic is the placement of 60 crosses in front of the replica, each one referring to one million abortions, rendering the number 60 million, ten times the number of Jews estimated to have been gassed and brutally murdered under the Nazi regime.
“[The Western Wall] is a place that memorializes what happened during the Holocaust,” the Forward quoted the project’s spokesman Pastor Mark Holick as saying.
He said that since a 1973 court ruling against state anti-abortion laws, “60 million baby boys and girls have been murdered, and that is a Holocaust unprecedented in the history of mankind.”
Holocaust survivors are bound to be upset at the exploitation of the both the Western Wall and the Holocaust as symbols of a campaign against abortions, but so far, there has been little publicity outside of Wichita.
Virtually no Jew in the world views the Western Wall as a reminder of the Holocaust. Referred to in Hebrew as the Kotel, it is the remaining wall that surrounded the Temple Mount area.
Forward quoted a local Reform leader as saying of the proposed shrine, “I see it as another example of a non-Jewish group taking a Jewish symbol and reinterpreting it for their own private use and thereby bastardizing it.”
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a statement that the project is "an outrageous affront to the Jewish people" and a perversion of Judaism's holiest site.