Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu speaks for me, and for most Jews I know, and for most Israeli Jews, without question:
United Jerusalem is Israel's capital. Jerusalem was always ours and will always be ours. It will never again be partitioned and divided.
And I may have my differences with Israeli President Shimon Peres, but today, on Yom Yerushalayim, he was hitting on all cylinders.
The size of Jerusalem is measured not by its geography but by its history," said the president. "Geographically, Jerusalem has no distinction; no river runs through it, there is no beach nearby and the mountains surrounding are not extraordinarily high. But there is no city in the world with a historical wealth to match Jerusalem, both political history and spiritual history.Yes.
Jerusalem was, and remains Israel's capital. Israel never had a different capital and Jerusalem has never been the capital of another people. Fierce battles took place here, more than anywhere in the world. The city charmed rulers who wanted control of it, it drew in peoples who wanted to force the city to serve their purposes. Legions sieged its walls, and the Jewish people had to defend its spirit as well as its alleyways time after time. At times Jerusalem almost met its undoing but it remained the inextinguishable hope of the Jewish people, which pledged 'never to forget thee, O Jerusalem.
When Jerusalem was in non-Jewish hands, Jews were not allowed to pray at the holy places, while under Jewish rule, it is open to all faiths and all forms of prayer.
Yet another point that bears repeating and that the rest of the world was only too willing to ignore and is only too happy to forget. Not again. Never again.
The blood spilled in Jerusalem was the blood of our soldiers, but also the blood of the Jewish people, flowing through the veins of our existence.
42 years ago today, Jerusalem was reunited under the sovereignty of the State of Israel. Jerusalem is the beating heart of the Jewish people. For millenia, we have cared for her, yearned for her, prayed for her, adored her and adorned her. You don't rip the heart out of a living body. Not while it has an ounce of breath. Not while any of us do.