Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Olmert BS

Jerusalem has known many wars, too many - as have we - but its hoped-for eternal destiny remains "the whole city", the city of peace. This great challenge is still before us.

I believe there is no contradiction between the Israeli people's total allegiance to Jerusalem and its unity and our ambition to create peace within it. Jerusalem is a city of many peoples. We respect all believers, preserve their holy places and are wholly committed to freedom of religion, religious worship and conscience for all residents, visitors and lovers of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is the heart of the Jewish people, the axis of identity, faith and history of our people for generations. Three times a day for thousands of years, believing Jews turn their faces towards Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. The power of the emotions, and the expectation of Jerusalem which throbs in the hearts of Jews in the Diaspora - the passion of their yearning, the depth of their love and the sanctity of their prayers - they are unequaled...

Forty-one years ago, in a war that was forced upon us, Jerusalem was liberated and united. Nearly 3,000 years after David and Solomon sanctified it as the capital of Israel and the city of the Temple, and nearly 1,900 years after it fell and was torn from us during the destruction of the Second Temple, Jerusalem - with Israel’s holy places contained within it - returned to the bosom of the Jewish people, who yearned and dreamed and prayed to it in endless longing. It was returned and cannot be undone.

The eternal Jewish love for and commitment to Jerusalem, which are deeper and stronger than any other, stood behind the decisions of the Israeli Government and Knesset to unify the city 41 years ago, with the support of the entire nation. They ensure Israeli sovereignty in historic and sacred Jerusalem forever.


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