During his speech at the Knesset in honor of the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Jerusalem will never be divided again. “The Temple Mount and the Western Wall will remain under Israeli sovereignty forever,” he added.
Netanyahu Photo Credit: Hadas Parush/Flash 90
The Knesset marked the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s reunification with a special discussion that Israeli President Reuven Rivlin attended. Among those who delivered speeches during the event were Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, opposition leader Isaac Herzog and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.
“We are the ones who dragged Jerusalem [out of] the neglect and distress it was in,” Netanyahu said. “We are the ones who brought it to the peak of its development. What was here in the period during which we started to return to it? Almost nothing.”
Netanyahu said that Jerusalem “once again sunk to a low point” between 1948 and 1967. “We stood there, trying to sneak a peek at the Western Wall and Temple Mount and we couldn’t reach [them],” Netanyahu continued. “We will never return to such a situation. The black cloud that floated in Jerusalem’s skies dissolved 50 years ago.”
“Here’s the paradox: the more we succeed in fortifying its status, developing it and preserving its special character and the freedom of religion as it becomes a glorious symbol of the Zionist act, the denial and lie about the Jewish people’s connection to Jerusalem increases,” Netanyahu added. “The desire to attack Israel does not take into account the facts. Again and again, there’s an attempt to erase our link to Jerusalem. It’s a battle. We are engaged in it all the time. It will take time but I have no doubt that they will fail. I want to clarify: the Temple Mount and the Western Wall will remain under Israeli sovereignty forever.”
“The connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem has never been severed and it will never be broken,” stated Edelstein. “Unfortunately, recently, there have been voices undermining this simple fact from within and outside of Israel. International organizations like UNESCO doubt our connection to Jerusalem and local movements are calling on [us] to give up parts of it. The 50th anniversary celebrations are an opportunity to proclaim again in a loud voice: Jerusalem will never be divided again.”