Israel celebrates 52nd Yom Yerushalayim; Iranians held protests and demonstrations, alongside Germany and Iraq; Riots and clashes on Temple Mount as Palestinians throw rocks at Jewish worshippers. Iran: Our strategic depth and determination created a new regional order…
Israel is celebrating Jerusalem Day on Sunday, a holiday commemorating the reunification of Israel’s capital city, specifically during the Six Day War in 1967 when Jerusalem’s Old City was liberated. Educational events, parades, and nation-wide celebrations will go on through Monday night. This is Israel’s 52nd celebration of Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day).
Jews were permitted to enter and pray on the Temple Mount on Sunday, resulting in riots and clashes with Palestinian protestors who threw rocks at Jewish visitors. It was the first time the Temple Mount area was opened to Jews on Jerusalem Day in three decades.
Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, gave a famous address on December 13, 1949, as the United Nations decided Jerusalem would be a “separate international entity” under its auspices. Ben-Gurion condemned the UN and implemented the Knesset’s meetings from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in solidarity. On the United Nations, he stated, “We cannot imagine, however, that the UN would attempt to sever Jerusalem from the State of Israel or harm Israel’s sovereignty in its eternal capital. Twice in the history of our nation were we driven out of Jerusalem, only after being defeated in bitter wars by the larger, stronger forces of Babylon and Rome. Our links with Jerusalem today are no less deep than in the days of Nebuchadnezzar and Titus Flavius, and when Jerusalem was attacked after the fourteenth of May 1948, our valiant youngsters risked their lives for our sacred capital no less than our forefathers did in the time of the First and Second Temples.”
In his famous speech, he referred to Jerusalem as “an organic, inseparable part of the State of Israel, just as it is an integral part of Jewish history and belief. Jerusalem is the heart of the State of Israel.” On the global community’s denial of Israel’s right to self-determination and Jerusalem as the historical capital city of the Jewish people, he stated at the time, “The attempt to sever Jewish Jerusalem from the State of Israel will not advance the cause of peace in the Middle East or in Jerusalem itself. Israelis will give their lives to hold on to Jerusalem, just as the British would for London, the Russians for Moscow and the Americans for Washington.”
He announced that Jerusalem would remain Israel’s eternal capital city, despite the UN, highlighting Israel’s independence and historical reclaim of Jerusalem. He also announced that Israel would oversee the protection of religious sites in Jerusalem, stating, “We are proud of the fact that Jerusalem is also sacred to other religions, and will gladly provide access to their holy places and enable them to worship as and where they please, cooperating with the UN to guarantee this.” Israel has to date honored its commitment to protecting Israel’s holy sites for all religions.
As Israel celebrated Jerusalem, thousands of Iranians took to the streets marking Quds Day this weekend. The demonstrations were in support of the “Palestinian cause”, a counter to Israel’s celebrations. Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini created Quds Day during the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and it is recognized across the globe. Iranian protestors took to burning Israeli and American flags, this year specifically attacking President Trump and his “Deal of the Century”.
Head of Iran’s military forces, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, gave an address where he praised Iran’s strength and resistance while claiming Israel is “trapped” in security fears as a result. He stated on Sunday from Tehran, “Our strategic depth and determination created a new regional order, and there is no issue in Western Asia in which Iran does not have a hand. We created an Islamic resistance front, and now the criminal and occupying regime is trapped in an ongoing nightmare of security fears and instability – this despite the vast support it enjoys from the West.”
This year, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel permitted a Quds Day march in Berlin on Saturday where hundreds took to the streets. Hezbollah was present at the march where they called for Israel’s destruction. Large protests by Shiite Muslims were also reported in Iraq.