“The Temple Mount is in our Hands”
“The Temple Mount is in our Hands” – Yom Yerushalayim Day, the 45th Commemoration of the Reunification of Jerusalem
This evening in Israel begins the commemoration of Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, the 28th of Iyar in the Hebrew Calendar. The occasion marks the 45th anniversary of the reunification of the ancient and eternal capital of the Jewish State of Israel. Nineteen years after Jordanian Legionnaires routed valiant defending forces, destroyed Jewish landmarks and expelled Jewish residents of the Old City; IDF forces retook the eastern half of Israel’s capitol on June 7th, 1967, after fierce fighting.
Simon Sebag Montefiore’s book, Jerusalem: The Biography captures the moment of liberation during the climactic moment of the June Six days of War in June 1967 with this excerpt published by the National Post, “The Temple Mount is in our Hands”:
First the Israelis bombarded the Augusta Victoria ridge, using napalm; the Jordanians fled. Then Israeli paratroopers took the Mount of Olives and moved down towards the Garden of Gethsemane. “We occupy the heights overlooking the Old City,” the paratroop commander Colonel Motta Gur told his men. “In a little while we will enter it. The ancient city of Jerusalem which for generations we have dreamed of and striven for — we’ll be the first to enter it. The Jewish nation is awaiting our victory. Be proud. Good luck!”
At 9:45 a.m., the Israeli Sherman tanks fired at the Lions’ Gate, smashing the bus that was blocking it, and blew open the doors. Under raking Jordanian fire, the Israelis charged the gate. The paratroopers broke into the Via Dolorosa, and Colonel Gur led a group onto the Temple Mount. “There you are on a half-track after two days of fighting with shots still filling the air and suddenly you enter this wide open space that everyone has seen before in pictures,” wrote intelligence officer Arik Akhmon, “and though I’m not religious, I don’t think there was a man who wasn’t overwhelmed with emotion. Something special had happened.” There was a skirmish with Jordanian troops before Gur announced over the radio: “The Temple Mount is in our hands!”
Meanwhile on Mount Zion, a company of the Jerusalem Brigade burst through a portal in the Zion Gate into the Armenian Quarter, hurtling down the steep hill into the Jewish Quarter, just as soldiers of the same unit broke through the Dung Gate. All headed for the Wall. Back on the Temple Mount, Gur and his paratroopers did not know how to reach it, but an old Arab showed them the Maghrebi Gate and all three companies converged simultaneously on the holy place. Holding his shofar and a Torah, the bearded Rabbi Shlomo Goren, chief chaplain of the Israeli Army, strode to the Wall and began to recite the Kaddish mourning prayer as the soldiers prayed, wept, applauded, danced and some sang the city’s new anthem “Jerusalem of Gold.”
At 2:30 p.m., Dayan, ?anked by Rabin and Narkiss, entered the city, passing “smouldering tanks,” and walking through “alleys totally deserted, an eerie silence broken by sniper fire. I remembered my childhood,” said Rabin, and reported feeling “sheer excitement as we got closer” to the Kotel. As they proceeded across the Temple Mount, Dayan saw an Israeli flag atop the Dome of the Rock and “I ordered it removed immediately.” Rabin was “breathless” as he watched the “tangle of rugged battle-weary men, eyes moist with tears,” but “it was no time for weeping — a moment of redemption, of hope.”
Rabbi Goren wanted to accelerate the messianic era by dynamiting the mosques on the Temple Mount, but General Narkiss replied:
“You’ll enter the history books,” said Rabbi Goren.
“I’ve already recorded my name in the history of Jerusalem,” answered Narkiss.
“This was the peak of my life,” recalled Rabin. “For years I had secretly harboured the dream that I might play a role in restoring the Western Wall to the Jewish people. Now that dream had come true and suddenly I wondered why I of all men should be privileged.” Rabin was granted the honor of naming the war: always modest and dignified, gruff and laconic, he chose the simplest name: the Six Day War. Nasser had another name for it — al-Naksa, the Reversal.
In 1980 Israel’s Knesset passed a law proclaiming Jerusalem as its ‘eternal and indivisible’ capital. The Muslim Ummah suggests otherwise. They contend that Allah had supposedly given Jerusalem and the world as an endowment for Muslims, but not for Jews or Christians. The mainstream media parrots the line that the world hasn’t recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s unified capital since a final peace agreement has yet to been concluded.
As noted in a CNS report successive Presidents beginning with former President Clinton have avoided implementing an Act of Congress mandating moving the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital:
Congress in 1995 passed a law recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and stating that “the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.” An inbuilt waiver authority allowed the president to postpone the move, in the interests of “national security,” for consecutive six-monthly periods.
Reflecting the strong level of support in the U.S. for Israel and for Israel’s claim to Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act passed 374-37 in the House and 93-5 in the Senate.
Last June 6th, President Obama elected to invoke the waiver authority.
These acts by Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama suggest that the circumstances of such recognition would not be in this country’s interests. Thus, preserving the fiction that a Palestinian State would be entitled to East Jerusalem as its future capitol. The US Jerusalem consulate has been largely staffed with Palestinians in the local interests section with Arabic the predominate language of choice in handling issuance of Visas and other matters. According to Israel Matzav the US consulate in Jerusalem functions as “the unofficial US embassy to the Palestinians”.
In the wake of the Arab Spring and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism virtually surround the Jewish State of Israel this failure of will by US Presidents to implement the sense of the Congress in the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act of 1995 and move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem looks like abject dhimmitude by the US government.