The Hebrew University in Exile:
A Visit to Mount Scopus
The convoy goes up once a fortnight from the College of Terra Sancta, one of the temporary habitations of the displaced Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the Jewish area, to the Hadassah Hospital and the Hill of Scopus—which means the “Watchman.” It takes up twenty police officers to change the guard at the buildings of the Hadassah and the university, with their baggage and food for the fortnight. It also takes up one busload of the academic and administrative staff of the university, who go up to enjoy “the excellence of Scopus,” and to look at the relics of their old studies and research. They can stay there two or three hours before the convoy returns, or, if anyone wishes it, the two weeks till the next convoy comes.
Half the guard is changed each fortnight. The convoy is escorted by a senior officer of the United Nations staff that watches over the observance of Israel’s armistice agreements with the Arab States. The list of all the visitors to Scopus must be approved by the Arab authorities in the Old City of Jerusalem some days before the convoy leaves. At the university building the roll of those who have been approved is called. We produce our identity cards with photographs, and enter a blinded bus that is without windows: and we drive off to the Mandelbaum Gate. That is no portal, but the post in No Man’s Land where the Jewish area ends and the Arab area begins. There we alight, and the roll is checked by the United Nations officer and officers of the Arab Legion, who must give the permit to cross the line. When we have passed the scrutiny, we re-enter the bus with an escort of two soldiers of the Arab Legion.
About the Author