[Tower of David, Yerushalyim]
Today is Jerusalem Day, commemorating the reunification of the city in 1967 when Israeli forces liberated the Old City from Arab control.The IDF notes:
The eagerly awaited command to take the Old City was given at sunrise on the third day of the war, 7 June 1967. The Command assigned this task to the paratroopers, who started with an attack on the Augusta-Victoria hills and the Mount of Olives, overlooking the Old City. After firing in the direction of the breakthrough path, the Lions Gate, the force from the east advanced forward very quickly and broke through into the Old City. The paratroopers ran towards the Dome of the Rock, located next to the last remains of the Temple, the Western Wall, where, in the presence of the sector commander and the deputy head of the armed services, General Rabbi Shlomo Goren, the chief chaplain of the IDF blew a long blow on the rams horn, announcing the release of the Western Wall and the Old City of Jerusalem. Jerusalem, the divided and split capital of Israel, was reunited [emphasis mine].
When anyone suggests that the city should be “shared” between Jews and Arabs, I remind them that Jews and Arabs are living there today. It is a multiethnic, multicultural and multireligious place. But what they really mean is Israel should cede control.
What would that entail? If the recent past provides any glimpse of what would happen in the future, Jews would be forbidden access to holy sites and other places of religious significance. Jews were barred from visiting the Kotel and holy sites were desecrated. When the Mount of Olives was under Jordanian rule:
Jewish access and the continued burial of Jews on the mount was prohibited, despite Jordan’s explicit commitment in the Israeli-Jordanian Armistice Agreement of 1949. During the period of Jordanian rule, the cemetery was destroyed and desecrated, and 38,000 of its tombstones and graves were smashed to smithereens.
The Jordanian army also destroyed “the Hurva synagogue—the most prominent synagogue in Jerusalem for over 300 years.”
These experiences should make it clear that the Jewish people will not use Yerushalyim as a bargaining chip in political negotiations. Remember this:
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its cunning.
May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy. (Psalms 137:5-6)