Thursday marked Jerusalem Day in Israel. This was the day on the Hebrew calendar marking the 42nd anniversary of the Israeli defeat of an attack by the Jordanian Arab Legion against Jerusalem during the Six-Day War.

The battle unexpectedly gave Israel control over all of Jerusalem and united the holy city under Israeli rule. During 19 years of Arab rule over the Old City of Jerusalem, all Jewish synagogues and seminaries in the Old City were burned, and no Jew was allowed to enter the Old City.

The speeches by Israeli leaders on this year’s Jerusalem Day ceremonies were aimed both at the people of Israel and at the president of the United States.

These speeches were prompted by the publication of an Obama Middle East plan, which would force Israel to relinquish control of Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority and cede sovereignty over the Old City to the U.N.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his first speech since his return from his meeting with President Barack Obama in the White House. He addressed the nation on all Israeli electronic media to give the “assurance that Jerusalem will not be divided” and that “Jerusalem is not on the negotiating table.”

Israeli President Shimon Peres delivered a strong speech on Ammuition Hill, on the spot of one of the bloody battles in Jerusalem. He reminded the world that only Israeli rule has given “freedom of access of all religions, and that this is why Jerusalem’s sovereignty would remain in Jewish hands.”

Appearing at a leading Jewish seminary in Jerusalem, Israeli Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, addressing the president with a message from the people of Israel, gave a direct message for Mr. Obama: “The president of the United States must know that Jerusalem belongs to the people of Israel.”

Senior Israeli government minister Benjamin Begin, son of the legendary late Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, spoke at a Jerusalem Day rally and stressed the historical right of the Jewish people to Jerusalem.

In his prepared remarks, Mr. Begin criticized “foreign leaders” who demand the people of Israel relinquish their rights in Jerusalem and other portions of the land of Israel, when “these leaders know full well from the experience of the past 15 years that no peace settlement will come out of any of this.”

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

1 COMMENT

  1. I believe we need to support Israel. We are a country of Christian Beliefs. We need to stand by our beliefs. Tolerance of terrorism is not one of them. The blood of innocent people is being shed to uphold evil dictators.

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