Jerusalem Is the Embodiment of Jewish Justice

(Israel Hayom) Nadav Shragai - Jerusalem Day is a kind of Independence Day on which we were reborn. When Jerusalem was liberated, we felt a wrong had been corrected and that two parts of a whole had finally been reconnected. Having arguments to present to the world about our right to Jerusalem as well as our existential and security needs is important, but it is not enough. The focus of our story is our right and connection to Jerusalem and our commitment to the city as a result. On this holiday, we must speak of the 240,000 Jews residing in Jerusalem beyond the old checkpoints who do not represent an obstacle to peace but rather an obstacle to dangerous partition. If we do not go as far back as King David who purchased Mount Moriah from Araunah the Jebusite, and his son King Solomon, who built the temple there, we will not truly be able to explain our story here to ourselves. The sanctity of the city and the memory of its glory were woven into almost every holiday and religious ceremony held by Jews in the diaspora: In daily prayers, at circumcision ceremonies, at bar mitzvahs, in blessings over food, and even at weddings, Jerusalem was never forgotten. Israel's national anthem mentions Jerusalem eight times. Islam, which now demands exclusivity and ownership of Jerusalem and its holy sites, only showed up 2,000 years after Israel became a nation, while the Palestinians began to define themselves as a people just 100 years ago. By contrast, since the 12th century BCE, the Jews controlled the Land of Israel for a thousand years and lived continuously in it for the last 3,300 years. In that time, Jerusalem was the Hebrew capital, but it was never the capital of any Arab or Islamic state. Even the Jordanians did not make Jerusalem their capital when they ruled the city. This is no foreign land that we have conquered. We have returned home, to Zion and Jerusalem, and those who return home are not occupiers. We liberated the city from a series of occupiers who abused us and our rights for generations. The writer, a fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, is a veteran Israeli journalist.

2022-05-30 00:00:00

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