PM: Our capital will never be divided

Netanyahu speaks at Jerusalem Day ceremony, says "Israel without Jerusalem is like a body without a heart."

Netanyahu at Jerusalem Day ceremony 370 (photo credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO)
Netanyahu at Jerusalem Day ceremony 370
(photo credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO)
Jerusalem will remain the united capital of the Jewish people, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Sunday at the ceremony on Ammunition Hill marking 45 years since the city’s unification.
Netanyahu recounted recent visits to centuries-old synagogues in Prague and Amsterdam, pointing out that they, like synagogues around the world, face Jerusalem, symbolizing the Jewish people’s past and its home for the future.
“We will protect Jerusalem, because Israel without Jerusalem is like a body without a heart,” the prime minister said. “On this hill, 45 years ago, the united heart of our people began to beat again, with full power. Our heart will never be divided again.”
Giving up on a united Jerusalem would show weakness to our enemies, he explained, saying that a body that would give up its heart could not fight for anything.
IDF soldiers fought like lions 45 years ago, because they were fighting for Jerusalem, he said, and they changed history forever.
“Our generation had a great privilege – we saw the words of the prophets come true,” he declared. “We saw the rise of Zion, the return of Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel, the in-gathering of exiles, and our return to Jerusalem.”
Netanyahu called for the “revolution” to be preserved.
“This is the place in which our past was revealed and our future is built,” he said. “We developed Jerusalem in the north, south, east and west, and we will keep building our capital.”
He concluded, “We will make sure Jerusalem’s golden light will shine on our people, and spread the light of Jerusalem to the whole world.”
President Shimon Peres called for peace among nations and religions living in Jerusalem, recalling the many battles in the Holy City’s history.
“In six days, our soldiers, with their bravery and heroism, contributed a great chapter in the history of Israel’s security,” Peres recounted. “The quick war [in 1967] amazed the world.”
The president said Israel had not been looking for war, but Arab leaders had promised to bring an end to Israel, and the IDF fought three wars in six days – against Egypt, Jordan and Syria.
“Those who wanted to defeat us were themselves defeated,” he said. “Here on Ammunition Hill was the battle on the first night of the war, where the historic echo that came from the prayers of our forefathers and our longing for redemption rose.”
The president spoke about 22 empires’ attempts to conquer Jerusalem over 4,000 years, burning its houses and taking down its strongholds.
“No other place in the world is like Jerusalem,” he said. “It is the cradle of the three main monotheistic religions.”
At the same time, he added, Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people, a source of inspiration and identity throughout history.
Israel recognized and respected Jerusalem residents and visitors of all religions, protecting their holy places and granting them freedom of religion and worship, Peres said.
“Prayers from the Western Wall, the calls of the muezzin and church bells can all be heard without censorship,” the president said, but added that there was still violence in the Holy City.
“Jerusalem hopes for peace, and we must do everything to make it come true,” he said.