Jerusalem’s 50th Anniversary Commemoration in D.C.

Jun 7, 2017

Today, the Ambassador of Israel to the United States Ron Dermer, along with Speaker Paul Ryan, hosted a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium. Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu were broadcast live from the Knesset in Jerusalem. Sitting beside the Prime Minister was the new U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman. Events were organized in all 50 states to join via video conference and several governors spoke statements of support. 

                                                                    Mat Staver and Hunter Stoner

Mat Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel, President of Christians in Defense of Israel, and Founder and President of Covenant Journey, attended today, along with Covenant Journey Alumni Hunter Stoner who is interning in Liberty Counsel's DC office. Speaker Edelstein urged President Trump to move the Embassy to Jerusalem and recognize it as the official capital of Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke of growing up in Jerusalem surrounded by snipers and bombs before the Six-Day War and the reunification of Jerusalem. Netanyahu said, “Now, there is one city where Christians, Jews and Muslims are free to worship. And that is Jerusalem. Jerusalem will never be divided again.”

                                                    Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu

Today’s event was a historic joining of two nations to commemorate 50 years ago when the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) liberated Jerusalem and reached the Western Wall. It was one of the biggest underdog victories in the history of warfare, with fewer than a thousand Israeli casualties compared to over 20,000 from the Arab forces.

From 1948 to 1967, Israeli citizens from all religious backgrounds as well as Jewish and Christian people of all nationalities could not access East Jerusalem's Old City and holy sites, including the historic Western Wall that dates back to the Second Temple. On June 7, 1967, IDF paratroopers advanced through the Old City toward the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, bringing Jerusalem’s holiest site under Jewish control for the first time in 2000 years.

The commander of the brigade, Lt. General Mordechai (Motta) Gur, approached the Old City and announced to his company commanders, “We’re sitting right now on the ridge and we’re seeing the Old City. Shortly we’re going to go in to the Old City of Jerusalem, that all generations have dreamed about. We will be the first to enter the Old City...” and shortly afterwards, “The Temple Mount is in our hands! I repeat, the Temple Mount is in our hands!” General Rabbi Shlomo Goren, chief chaplain of the IDF, sounded the Shofar at the Western Wall to signify its liberation.

General Uzi Narkiss, head of central command during the Six Day War, said “The Wall was before us. I trembled. There it was as I had known it—immense, mighty, in all its splendor...overcome, I bowed my head in silence.”
                                              Children Singing Israel's National Anthem at Knesset

                                            Attendees Joined via Video Conference from 50 States

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