Driven mad

Ferrari display at Western Wall sparks outrage

Touring company executives are given special permission to park in the plaza, angering visitors and the religious services minister

Ferrari cars at the Western Wall plaza on November 3, 2017 (YouTube screenshot)
Ferrari cars at the Western Wall plaza on November 3, 2017 (YouTube screenshot)

Parking your car in the Western Wall plaza in Jerusalem is strictly prohibited.

Apparently though, there’s some leeway if you’re the top brass of a world-famous auto manufacturer.

That’s what visitors to the holy site discovered on Friday morning, when they were met with a display of 10 Ferrari sports cars smack dab in the middle of the holy site plaza.

Ferrari, celebrating its 70th anniversary, had apparently asked for permission to bring its cars to the Wall for a quick stop as executives toured the country to mark the event. The Western Wall Heritage Foundation, which runs the site, approved.

Some ogled the admittedly eye-pleasing vehicles, but others were annoyed, if not outraged.

One visitor told the Ynet website it was “disgusting” and “outrageous” for the holy site to be commercialized so.

Another told Channel 10 news, “It’s not clear why we need such an exhibit in Israel’s poorest city.”

The liberal religious group Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah said the Wall was no place for such a “commercial gimmick.”

Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch said the incident was “an innocent agreement to allow parking for a few minutes in the early morning” for touring Ferrari executives. He stressed that the cars were not on display but simply parked there for a few minutes while company staff toured the site, and said there had been no payment for the parking privilege.

Religious Services Minister David Azoulay at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on October 29, 2017. (Ohad Zwigenberg/POOL)

Also vocally unhappy was Religious Services Minister David Azoulay, who said he had expressed his chagrin to the site’s administrators.

“There is no place for such flashy displays at this holy place,” Azoulay said. He added that the ministry would this week hold a meeting with all relevant authorities to ensure such incidents do not recur.

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