Jerusalem Day Today
This is the day Israel celebrates the “reunification of Jerusalem” following the Six-Day war in June 1967. After Israel was provoked by its enemies, its military forces were able to reconquer the city. In Hebrew, the holiday is called Yom Yerushalayim.
As for those who dispute Israel’s rightful claim to Jerusalem, Prime Minister Netanyahu tweeted this in response on Thursday: “The Jewish link to the temple mount is basic history. Does anyone claim Egyptians have no link to pyramids? Or Greeks to Acropolis? Absurd.”
After the city was returned to Israeli control, Jerusalem experienced quite a time of revitalization following the Six-Day War.
Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, described this time of rebuilding in a statement on their website: “After the 6-Day War the city and its environs underwent an intensive and unprecedented process of restoration and development. Institutions were built, entire new neighborhoods were established and an extensive system of roads and transportation infrastructure was constructed.”
As a result, Jerusalem grew in population. “Ten new neighborhoods were built on 21,000 dunams. This development enabled a significant increase in Jerusalem's population and the absorption of considerable numbers of new immigrants,” according to the Knesset. “In December 2012 Jerusalem's population stood at 815,300 people, including 515,200 Jews and 300,100 Arabs. It is currently the largest city in Israel.”
Jerusalem is “the capital of Israel and the seat of the President, the Knesset, the Government and the Supreme Court,” according to the Knesset.
Every year, the holiday is celebrated with festivities and parades in Israel, including the March of Flags through Jerusalem.
Colonel Mordechai Gur spoke these words in his historic speech on June 7, 1967 from the Temple Mount:
“Paratroopers, conquerors of Jerusalem!
When the Temple Mount was conquered by the Greeks it was liberated by the Maccabbees. The "Kanaim" and Bar Kochva fought against those that destroyed the Second Temple.
For 2,000 years the Temple Mount was off limits to the Jews.
Until you, the paratroopers, came and returned it to the bosom of its people. The Western Wall, towards which every Jewish heart beats, is again in our hands.
Many Jews risked their lives, over our very long history, to come to Jerusalem and to reside in it.
An infinite number of wistful poems have expressed the profound desire for Jerusalem that beats in every Jewish heart. During the War of Liberation incredible efforts were made to reclaim the heart of the people - the Old City and the Western Wall.
To you has fallen the great privilege to complete the circle, to give back to the people its eternal capital and its sacred center.
Many paratroopers, our finest and most veteran comrades, fell in this terrible battle.
It was a rapid and ferocious battle. In it you functioned as one body that crushed anything that stood in your way without concern for your own injuries.
You did not gripe, you did not complain, you did not report, you just advanced and conquered. Jerusalem is yours - forever.”