Thursday, 29 April 2010

Israel Matzav: Jerusalem to be divided on Jerusalem Day?

Jerusalem to be divided on Jerusalem Day?

Jerusalem Day, the 28th day of the Jewish month of Iyar, celebrates the anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem and the Holy sites in 1967. For the previous 19 years, Jews were not able to pray anywhere in the vicinity of the Temple Mount. This year, Jerusalem Day falls on May 12.

Jerusalem Day is celebrated with a flag displaying parade throughout the city (pictured), and with an all night march from the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva in the city's Kiryat Moshe neighborhood to the Kotel (Western Wall) via the Damascus Gate (Sha'ar Shchem - one of the articles I am going to link calls it Nablus Gates, which is the correct translation, but which is not how the gate is known).

For those who have forgotten, let's go to the videotape - 28 Iyar 5727, June 7, 1967.

Unfortunately, the Netanyahu government has decided that it is more important to please the Obumbler in Washington than to allow the Jews to celebrate the reunification of their capital city. This year, for the first time, police will prevent yeshiva students from entering the Old City in the wee hours of the morning through the Damascus Gate (the shortest and flattest walk to the Western Wall - I wonder whether they will do the same thing on Shavuoth the following week).

Jerusalem Police announced that it will not allow an annual march held on Jerusalem Day through Nablus Gate in the Old City to the Western Wall, claiming that the march will likely increase tensions in the area and even cause riots.

Thousands of yeshiva students in the city partake in the march every year. The organization Am K'Lavie, which organizes the event, was outraged by the decision.

The flag parade will not even be allowed to march past the Damascus Gate, which is on the northern end of the Old City, about two blocks from the American consulate.

Organizers of the “Rikud Degalim” parade, in which youths parade through the streets of the city on Jerusalem Day with Israeli flags, were shocked to discover that police are preventing them from marching past the Damascus Gate in the Old City. Organizers, who have been conducting the march for the past 20 years, have expressed great distress at the orders.

MK Uri Ariel (National Union) called on police to allow the parade to continue as in the past. “On a national holiday, we must proudly display our flag everywhere, and not try to hide it.” MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) said that it was clear that “the Likud is dividing Jerusalem. Even former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert allowed the parade to go on,” he said.

And police are now considering closing off the Damascus and Lions Gates altogether during the parade.

The police are considering closing off the Shechem and Lions Gates of the Old City gates to Jews during the annual Jerusalem Day parade in two weeks. Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch told National Union Knesset Member Uri Ariel Tuesday a final decision will be made after assessing the situation.

The annual parade features a “flag dance,” which is scheduled to pass through the gates

The Lions Gate, which is located on the eastern side of the Old City, is the gate through which IDF troops entered the Old City in 1967.

Is the Netanyahu government trying to get us used to the idea of a divided city of Jerusalem? If these decisions are not changed, it will be difficult to draw any other conclusion.

Israel Matzav: Jerusalem to be divided on Jerusalem Day?

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