Israeli Youth Flag March through Damascus Gate of Old City on Jerusalem Day
Source: AFP, Jack Guez
Today is the commemoration of Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, and the 28th of Iyar in the Hebrew Calendar. The occasion marks the 48th anniversary of the reunification of the ancient and eternal capital of the Jewish State of Israel. There were clashes at the Damascus Gate between ten thousands of flag waving Israeli and Arab teens as the throng entered the Old City’s Muslim quarter. The Times of Israel reported:
The celebrants marched to the Western Wall plaza, adjacent to Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount, through the Old City’s Muslim Quarter, where Jewish marchers and Arab protesters clashed violently throughout the afternoon and evening.
Events were taking place planned throughout the city Sunday, including concerts, museums opening to the public for free and parades to mark Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six Day War and the unification of the capital under Israeli rule.
Official events were set to include memorials for soldiers killed during the 1967 war and a ceremony featuring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin and other prominent officials.
Nineteen years after Jordanian Legionnaires routed valiant defending forces, destroyed Jewish landmarks and expelled Jewish residents of the Old City; IDF forces retook the eastern half of Israel’s capitol on June 7th, 1967, after fierce fighting.
Israeli troops approach Temple Mount, June 7, 1967
Israeli troops approach Temple Mount , June 7, 1967
Simon Sebeg- Montefiore’s book, Jerusalem: The Biography captures the climactic moment of liberation during the June Six days of War in June 1967. Note this excerpt published by the National Post, “The Temple Mount is in our Hands”:
First the Israelis bombarded the Augusta Victoria ridge, using napalm; the Jordanians fled. Then Israeli paratroopers took the Mount of Olives and moved down towards the Garden of Gethsemane. “We occupy the heights overlooking the Old City,” the paratroop commander Colonel Motta Gur told his men. “In a little while we will enter it. The ancient city of Jerusalem which for generations we have dreamed of and striven for — we’ll be the first to enter it. The Jewish nation is awaiting our victory. Be proud. Good luck!”
At 9:45 a.m., the Israeli Sherman tanks fired at the Lions’ Gate, smashing the bus that was blocking it, and blew open the doors. Under raking Jordanian fire, the Israelis charged the gate. The paratroopers broke into the Via Dolorosa, and Colonel Gur led a group onto the Temple Mount. “There you are on a half-track after two days of fighting with shots still filling the air and suddenly you enter this wide open space that everyone has seen before in pictures,” wrote intelligence officer Arik Akhmon, “and though I’m not religious, I don’t think there was a man who wasn’t overwhelmed with emotion. Something special had happened.” There was a skirmish with Jordanian troops before Gur announced over the radio: “The Temple Mount is in our hands!”
Meanwhile on Mount Zion, a company of the Jerusalem Brigade burst through a portal in the Zion Gate into the Armenian Quarter, hurtling down the steep hill into the Jewish Quarter, just as soldiers of the same unit broke through the Dung Gate. All headed for the Wall. Back on the Temple Mount, Gur and his paratroopers did not know how to reach it, but an old Arab showed them the Maghrebi Gate and all three companies converged simultaneously on the holy place. Holding his shofar and a Torah, the bearded Rabbi Shlomo Goren, chief chaplain of the Israeli Army, strode to the Wall and began to recite the Kaddish mourning prayer as the soldiers prayed, wept, applauded, danced and some sang the city’s new anthem “Jerusalem of Gold.”
At 2:30 p.m., Dayan, ?anked by Rabin and Narkiss, entered the city, passing “smouldering tanks,” and walking through “alleys totally deserted, an eerie silence broken by sniper fire. I remembered my childhood,” said Rabin, and reported feeling “sheer excitement as we got closer” to the Kotel. As they proceeded across the Temple Mount, Dayan saw an Israeli flag atop the Dome of the Rock and “I ordered it removed immediately.” Rabin was “breathless” as he watched the “tangle of rugged battle-weary men, eyes moist with tears,” but “it was no time for weeping — a moment of redemption, of hope.”
Rabbi Goren wanted to accelerate the messianic era by dynamiting the mosques on the Temple Mount, but General Narkiss replied:
“You’ll enter the history books,” said Rabbi Goren.
“I’ve already recorded my name in the history of Jerusalem,” answered Narkiss.
“This was the peak of my life,” recalled Rabin. “For years I had secretly harbored the dream that I might play a role in restoring the Western Wall to the Jewish people. Now that dream had come true and suddenly I wondered why I of all men should be privileged.” Rabin was granted the honor of naming the war: always modest and dignified, gruff and laconic, he chose the simplest name: the Six Day War. Nasser had another name for it — al-Naksa, the Reversal.
In 1980 Israel’s Knesset passed a law proclaiming Jerusalem as its ‘eternal and indivisible’ capital. The Muslim Ummah suggests otherwise. They contend that Allah had supposedly given Jerusalem and the world as an endowment for Muslims, but not for Jews or Christians. The mainstream media parrots the line that the world hasn’t recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s unified capital since a final peace agreement has yet to been concluded.
As noted in a CNS report successive Presidents beginning with former President Clinton have avoided implementing an Act of Congress mandating moving the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital:
Congress in 1995 passed a law recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and stating that “the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.” An inbuilt waiver authority allowed the president to postpone the move, in the interests of “national security,” for consecutive six-monthly periods.
Reflecting the strong level of support in the U.S. for Israel and for Israel’s claim to Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act passed 374-37 in the House and 93-5 in the Senate.
During his more than six years in office,President Obama has elected to invoke the waiver authority every six months for alleged national security reasons. In January 2015, Sens. Cruz (R-TX) and Heller (R-NV) introduced legislation that would strip the Presidential waiver authority under the proposed, The Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act of 2015 would remove that Presidential authority. As reported by JNS.org “it requires official government documents to identify Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The US embassy remains in Tel Aviv two decades after the passage of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995.”
These waivers by Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama suggest that the circumstances of such recognition would allegedly not be in the America’s interests. Thus, preserving the fiction that a Palestinian State would be entitled to East Jerusalem as its future capitol.
Given, the formal recognition of a Palestinian State by the Vatican in a May 2015 and draft UN Palestinian state resolutions under possible consideration, a unified Jerusalem could be imperiled. A resolution drafted by France is being circulated for comment and may be poised to be introduced at the UN Security Council forcing ceding East Jerusalem as the capital for a Palestinian State, assuming a majority of the 15 members approve it. The resolution would give Israel and the Palestinian Authority two years to conclude a final status agreement. Failing that, the resolution would arbitrarily impose a border based on the 1949 Armistice Line- what revered Foreign Minister, the late Abba Eban, called “the Auschwitz line.” President Obama has broadly hinted that the Administration might not side with Israel in any UN Security vote on the French proposal. This is a reflection of the President’s pique at Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for the latter’s vigorous opposition of a proposed final agreement with Iran over its nuclear program with a target date set for June 30, 2015. Islamic extremist threats from Iran, its proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, coupled with the rise of the Salafist/Sunni Islamic State, threaten the security of the Jewish State of Israel. The failure by US Congress to pass the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act of 2015 coupled with a possible UN Security Council vote on Palestinian statehood in 2015 would constitute an act of abject dhimmitude sealing Israel’s fate. That must not come to pass and must be vigorously opposed.