Happy Jerusalem Day to all israelstreet readers everywhere!
UPDATES 7 am Israel time, Wednesday, May 28 2014:
**Pop singer Justin Timberlake is in Israel for a huge concert tonight in Tel Aviv. Your humble servant is not usually given to entertainment coverage, but in these days in which boycotts of Israel are often attempted, such attention is warranted.
Timberlake posted the following instagram yesterday from the Kotel (Western Wall) which has already received some 150,000 “likes”–and, not surprisingly, widespread condemnation from Israel-bashers everywhere:
**Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon was in the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council yesterday extolling, once again, the Jewish communities there.
In Ya’alon’s words:
“I have been closely following the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria in general and in the Binyamin region in particular, and I am happy to see the development. We are doing many things to promote the settlement enterprise. Where there is no settlement enterprise, there is no security.”
Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day) began last night and continues into today. First started on May 12, 1968 following the reunification of Jerusalem the year before, Yom Yerushalayim became a national holiday in 1998 with the passage of the Jerusalem Day Law.
As usual, this joyous holiday has sparked the usual condemnation from the Israeli “Left” with the Meretz party even filing a bill in the Knesset yesterday calling for its abolishment. The sponsor of the bill, MK Issawi Freij ranted that by having a holiday for the city, the “occupied status” of Jerusalem is emphasized. More than this, he decried the parade of Israeli flags through the eastern neighborhoods of the city.
Your humble servant hopes to be part of that parade today–and he hopes to ascend the Temple Mount.
However, in what has become an effective technique due to the total incompetence of the Jerusalem Police, dozens of Muslims have once again barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aksa Mosque in order to prevent any Jews on the Mount today.
Whether the Police will succumb to Muslim provocation yet again should be known in a few hours.
Meanwhile last night, in a Jerusalem Day kick-off event, the leaders of religious Zionism in the country met at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Everybody who is anybody was there including Economy Minister and Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett, Chief Rabbis David Lau and Yitzchak Yosef, Former Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Dep. Minister of Religion Eli ben Dahan, Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba-Hevron, Rabbi Dov Lior, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.
But it was the speeches of Housing Minister Uri Ariel and PM Benjamin Netanyahu that stole the show and most exhilarated the audience.
Ariel declared: “There will be no more freezes, we will not accept delays and restrictions in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and we will continue to build in all parts of our country. Jerusalem will not be divided again.”
For his part Netanyahu expounded:
“Jerusalem is Yad Vashem, Jerusalem is Herzl’s burial place and the Mount of Olives, where my grandparents are buried, as is Menachem Begin. And Jerusalem is also Mount Zion and Mount Moriah and the Western Wall, Jerusalem is Israel’s eternity, it is our heart, and we are guarding our heart – the heart of the nation.
We will never divide our heart. I am here tonight to rejoice with you in the joy of Jerusalem, and I’m here to strengthen your hands for your diligence in the study of Torah. I want to congratulate you with a happy holiday for Jerusalem and for the entire people of Israel.”
Are we beginning to see a little bit of the Netanyahu of old? Let’s all sincerely hope so.
But whatever the case, take out your Israeli flag and celebrate Yom Yerushalayim 2014!