Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a special Knesset (parliament) session Wednesday to mark Israel’s Jerusalem Day. The Prime Minister took the occasion to remind the world that he intends to keep Jerusalem the unified capital of the Jewish state. “Jerusalem is the heart of the nation. It will never be divided,” said the Prime Minister.
Tuesday night marked the 47th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification. From 1948 until the Arab-Israeli war of 1967, Jerusalem was split between Israel and Jordan.
Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein talked about the feeling of triumph after Israel’s 1967 victory and reclamation of Jerusalem. “Jews stood tall. They were proud to be Jewish, to go to synagogue, to walk around with a kippah, to speak Hebrew,” he said. Edelstein continued, discussing that Jerusalem belongs to all Jews, no matter how religious they are or where their political ideologies align.
“My dear friends, 47 years ago Jerusalem was united. That is how it always was. And this is how it will always be,” asserted Netanyahu at a Yeshiva (Jewish school) Tuesday night.
Netanyahu also spoke about the Jewish people’s ancient connection to Jerusalem, which is thousands of years old.
The Israeli Prime Minister argued that Zionism, Israel, and Jerusalem go hand in hand.
Speaking at the school, Netanyahu said:
Rabbi Kook believed that Zionism cannot be disconnected from Judaism. He believed that nationalism alone, without a connection to the eternal wells of Judaism, would not allow for the justification of Israel’s existence or foster the unity needed for its existence. Without spirit, there is no material, without Torah there is no salt.
Netanyahu spoke of Jerusalem as the “heart” of Israel, that it will be forever part of the Jewish state. “We are safeguarding our heart, the nation’s heart, and we will never divide our heart. Because it is the nation’s heart, it must be connected to Israel’s eternal future,” said the Prime Minister.
Jerusalem remains a hotly debated issue in the ongoing “peace-process” between Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinians have demanded East Jerusalem as part of negotiations for a two-state solution.
Many countries, including the United States, have refused to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. Several recent U.S. administrations have spoken of their support to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but no administration has followed through with the initiative.