This Is Our City’: Tens of Thousands of Israelis March to Celebrate Jerusalem Day

(CBN News)

It was 56 years ago when Israeli paratroopers captured the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount during the 1967 Six-Day War. Thursday marked Jerusalem Day, when Israelis celebrate that history with a flag march.

From the gathering point of the march in west Jerusalem, tens of thousands of people made their way through the streets and into the Old City on their way to the Western Wall—all celebrating the momentous day just 19 years after the country became a modern nation when the city was reunified and Jews could go once again to the parts of the city that had been denied them under Jordanian rule over east Jerusalem.

During the ’67 war, Israeli Colonel Motta Gur announced to the world, “The Temple Mount is in our hands!” It marked the first time in more than 2,000 years that their capital was in the hands of the Jewish people.

Former General Uzi Dayan told CBN News, “Actually, I was here in ’67. I was a very young fighter and at the ending of the Six-Day War, they told us, ‘You can go home.’ And nobody went home. We went to our real home: to Jerusalem. And we were wandering around, and it was like a dream. So, it’s nice to come here.”

Dayan witnessed the liberation of Jerusalem as a young soldier and went on to serve as national security adviser to two prime ministers.

“It’s very important today because what brings Israelis, Jewish Israelis, together [is] actually Jerusalem—your homeland, Judaism,” Dayan said. “It’s actually a very strong statement which says, ‘This is our country, this is our land, this is our city and Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the state of Israel but also of the Jewish people.'”

Dayan’s feeling was shared by many others.

Benjamin Philip, director of the Hineni Israel restaurant and soup kitchen, said the day encompasses a dream of thousands of years. “We celebrate the unification of Jerusalem. At the same time, we celebrate the rebirth of the Jewish people coming back to Israel.”

Hedi Klein, former president of Amuna of America, noted that the march “commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem, which is a city older—years and years and years—from the days of King David. It’s very, very important to the Jewish people.”

Mendi Klein, former president of the Hebron Fund, said, “We want to show that Jerusalem, first of all, is an open city to all religions. This is a wonderful country, open to everybody.”

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