Peres: Jerusalem will know ‘true peace’ soon

“We won’t go back to a divided city, to a cut and wounded city," Netanyahu says at official ceremony marking Jerusalem Day on Ammunition Hill.

By MELANIE LIDMAN, JONAH MANDEL
June 2, 2011 03:05
2 minute read.
President Peres speaking at Ammunition Hill

President Peres speaking at Ammunition Hill on J'lem Day 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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President Shimon Peres retained his optimism on the chances of peace in our times, in a Wednesday speech at the official ceremony marking Jerusalem Day on Ammunition Hill.

“This is the Jerusalem that seeks peace and is open to the prayers of the faithful from all faiths,” he said.

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“Jerusalem, which knew siege and prevented access to its holy sites, was opened widely by Israel and breathed the air of freedom. The uniqueness of Jerusalem was restored and returned to be the center of Jewish statehood – the capital of the State of Israel.”

“I believe in the eternity of Jerusalem. I believe that Jerusalem will know true peace soon,” the president said.

In his address at the ceremony, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu drew on childhood memories of a divided Jerusalem to emphasize that the city must never be split again.

“From Sanhedria in the north to Talpiot in the south, the city was constantly under fire, or the threat of fire,” he said.



“A scar passed through the center of the city – of barbed wire, no-man’s-land, mines, waste – it was a dump.”

“We won’t go back to a divided city, to a cut and wounded city, because the day Jerusalem was redeemed, the day the city was unified – the wound healed, and the scar disappeared,” Netanyahu said.

“There are problems and challenges, but we won’t revert to those days.”

Earlier that day, over 100 people gathered to honor the soldiers who fell in the Six Day War at a ceremony at Mount Herzl.

“There’s a double meaning to this day,” Yaffa Cohen Beriro, who lost her husband, Binyamin Zeev, in the battle for Khan Yunis, told The Jerusalem Post after the ceremony.

“There’s the pain of the loss, but also the happiness of what happened. [A victory like] the Six Day War is something that has never happened in any other country in the world,” she said.

Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger spoke about the strong emotions of the day that still echo 44 years later.

“I will never forget the picture of my father, sitting and listening to the radio, and sobbing as if something had happened to him,” Metzger said.

“We need to be sensitive enough so the world knows and understands that you can’t move the origin of Judaism and Zionism, that it is part of Israel and the capital of the country. But on the other side, there are citizens who are not Jewish and they have joined the Israeli experience and we are obligated to them,” Knesset speaker Reuven Rivlin told the Post at Mount Herzl.

“We need to do a lot more for this part of Jerusalem, we aren’t doing enough, especially with infrastructure and giving them equal treatment.”

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