15.07.2011 13.Tammus, 5771
Second Temple artifacts may be buried under Ein Karem toilet
Neighborhood residents are convinced the bathroom-cum-toolshed, which they call "the monster," was just a pretext for building an edifice that would some day serve as a restaurant.
Have the Tourism Ministry and the Jerusalem municipality buried treasures from the Second Temple under a giant lavatory? That possibility is just one of the problems cited by opponents of a plan to improve a spring in the city's Ein Karem neighborhood, at one of Israel's most important Christian tourism sites.
The spring is the fourth most important site in the Holy Land to Christian pilgrims, after Jerusalem's Old City, Bethlehem and Nazareth, and about one million people visit it each year. According to Christian tradition, this is the place where Elizabeth, John the Baptist's mother, and Mary, Jesus' mother, met when both women were pregnant. But for the last two years, these visitors have been greeted by the adjacent sight of a huge, sealed building that, according to the approved plan, is supposed to serve as a public lavatory and a municipal warehouse for gardening tools….