Israeli President Reuben Rivlin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took part in an official rally on Ammunition Hill marking 49 years since the Six Day War and the reunification of Jerusalem.
In an official rally marking 49 years since the reunification of Jerusalem on Ammunition Hill, Israeli President Reuben Rivlin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat attended a special ceremony. In honor of the occasion, Netanyahu stated: “I remember the magic of Jerusalem in my childhood but I also remember another reality, walls with snipers, abandoned areas, and minefields. We already have 49 years of a Jerusalem free of bondage and we won’t return to that reality anymore.”
“Jerusalem is not exempt from problems and we deal with them,” Netanyahu added. “But the reality of a divided city, a wounded city, a torn city we don’t want to go back to. Placing our flag on the Western Wall was the second most important day after the Declaration of Independence.”
“We won’t abandon the Western Wall and we won’t deny our ties to the Temple Mount,” Netanyahu proclaimed. “UNESCO, the UN branch that deals with preserving human cultural civilization, claimed that there is no Jewish connection to the Temple Mount. What stupidity, what absurdity, what a disgrace!”
Netanyahu also criticized the peace conference in Paris: “Jerusalem has 70 names and one of them is peace. The State of Israel wants peace. I want peace. I am interested in renewing a political process aimed at establishing peace but peace will be achieved only via direct negotiations between us, where in the end they will recognize the right of Israel to exist as the Jewish nation state.”
“Peace will be achieved via direct and free negotiations between the sides,” he stated. “We’ve seen that it was achieved with Jordan and Egypt. It has not been reached via international dictates. All international dictates do is distance peace and to make the Palestinians more stubborn in their positions.”
“The one who refuses to recognize Israel as the national state of the Jewish people is also the one who denies our connection to Jerusalem and turns the Temple Mount into a center of religious incitement,” Netanyahu proclaimed. “The one who doesn’t renounce terrorism has a long way to go to achieve peace.”
“Jerusalem is open to all three religions only because Israel is sovereign in Jerusalem,” he declared. “This was not true for previous generations’ centuries before us. Israel respects all religions, defends the holy sites of all religions, and builds in Jerusalem for all its residents, both Jewish and Arab alike.”
“Over 800 fighters from the Paratroopers Brigade, the Jerusalem Brigade, and the Harel Brigade lost their lives in and around Jerusalem in the Six Days War,” Israeli President Reuben Rivlin stated. “The Hillel prayer was merged with pain. Just as the happiness of Israel’s Independence Day is connected to the sorrow of Memorial Day, also the happiness regarding our freedom on Jerusalem Day is mixed with the sorrow over the deaths of the liberators of Jerusalem who fought for its unity.”
“I was born in Jerusalem 76 years ago,” Rivlin stated. “During the Six Days War, I was an intelligence officer in the reserves for the Jerusalem Brigade. I was privileged to be among the liberators of the city. I remember the excitement that surrounded us when we got to the wall. There were also those that did not want to and cried.”
Israel is about to mark what I believe is one of the country’s most important national days: Jerusalem Day.
Jerusalem Day commemorates the unification of the city in 1967 under Israeli sovereignty, when IDF soldiers liberated the Old City from Jordanian occupation. Only then were Israelis able to return to the holiest place on earth for the Jewish people, the Western Wall, after 20 years during which they had been denied access to the site.
I decided to celebrate 48 years of the unification in a special way, by inviting you to join me on a journey through time in Jerusalem – a journey in photos.
Recently, a rare collection of photographs was unveiled by the U.S. Library of Congress, uncovering some stunning scenes from Jerusalem during the 19th and early 20th centuries. I selected 25 of these amazing early photographs of the city, and compared them with photos from my own collection. Some were taken from the very same angle, others from a similar point of view, but all of them show remarkable differences and similarities alike. Witness what these 100+ years have done to Jerusalem and how, while becoming more advanced and developed, the historical character of the Holy City remains intact just as it has for thousands of years.
Damascus Gate, 1890
One of Jerusalem’s most beautiful gates, built in 1537 under the rule of the Ottoman Empire.
Damascus Gate, today
The Western Wall, 1898
Notice that some stones contained writings in Hebrew, believed to be the work of visitors who wanted to commemorate their names upon the wall.
The Western Wall, today.
With time, the writings had faded and were replaced by a new tradition of placing notes in between the stones. Nowadays, there are separate praying spaces for men and women.
David Citadel, 1898
The citadel dates back to the Mamluk era and was built on the site of an earlier fortification erected by King Herod.
David Citadel, today
The Tower of David, c. 1930s
Entrance to the Tower of David Museum, today
The Tower of David Museum was opened in 1989 and contains archeological ruins dating back some 2,700 years.
The Garden Tomb, 1898
Discovered only in 1867, the Garden Tomb is considered by some Christians to be the site of burial and resurrection of Jesus.
The Garden Tomb, today
Click HERE for the rest of the collection.
Born in 1982 in Northern Israel, Noam Chen lives and works today in Tel Aviv. Noam specializes in Landscape and Portraits. Noam’s work has been published in newspapers and magazines in Israel, the UK, Canada and the USA, among which is The National Geographic. For more of Israel’s amazing landscapes visit Noam’s website, or join him on Facebook.
Jerusalem ‘investigator’ tells Hamas paper that Palestinian orgs are planning for massive turnout, estimates clashes with Jews.
Palestinian Arab organizations are planning to flood Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount with Arab visitors for Jerusalem Day this coming Sunday.
Jamal Amru, an “investigator of Jerusalem affairs,” spoke to the Hamas paper Palestine on Thursday about the preparations.
He said the Palestinians are preparing to take in a large number of visitors at Al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday from all over “Palestine,” indicating sovereign Israel, Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Amru estimated that there will likely be clashes between Muslims and Jews at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday evening, when the Muslims perform their tarawih prayer at the start of Ramadan even as Israelis take part in the traditional Rikudegalim flag parade.
The annual Rikudegalim flag dance celebrates the liberation of the 3,000-year-old ancient Jewish capital in the 1967 Six Day War by waving Israeli flags and singing songs on Jerusalem Day.
Al-Aqsa is located on the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, where the Jordanian Waqf has been left with de facto control and has banned Jewish prayer in a discriminatory breach of Israel’s freedom of worship laws.