​Jerusalem was unified 47 years ago and it will never be re-divided. We are committed to a rebuilt, greater and developing Jerusalem as a historical mandate of the Jewish People.

 Jerusalem Day Cabinet meeting at Ammunition Hill


Copyright: GPO/Haim Zach

​(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

At the Cabinet meeting (Wednesday, 28 May 2014), at Ammunition Hill in honor of Jerusalem Day:

1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:

"Jerusalem was unified 47 years ago and it will never be redivided. Since that day, Jerusalem has developed; it is prosperous and flourishing. We meet here every year in order to ensure that this prosperity will be even greater, that the construction will be even broader and that it will flourish even more. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat will brief us on actions to restore, revitalize and develop the city in general and the Old City in particular. We are committed to a rebuilt, greater and developing Jerusalem as a historical mandate of the Jewish People. I have heard that there are those who would like to cancel today as a national holiday. I say that this is not just a national holiday; this is a historic, national miracle. The Jewish people will always see to the rebuilt and greater Jerusalem."

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat made the following remarks:

"Mr. Prime Minister, ministers, friends, Happy Jerusalem Day.

This year this holiday is especially joyous. An unprecedented number of young people are celebrating in the streets of Jerusalem. I must say that the atmosphere in the city has changed. Our first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, said that if the Land of Israel has a soul, it is the city of Jerusalem.

In recent years, Jerusalem has gone back to being relevant to more and more young people. We are seeing increases after years of declines in the number of pupils in the state secular and state religious schools. To our joy, we are seeing increases in the number of pupils alongside the increases in the number of ultra-orthodox and non-Jewish pupils. I must say that the Zionist movement is – alongside the other sectors – holding its head high and looking forward.

It is interesting, Mr. Prime Minister, is that Jerusalem young people are at the forefront of urban renewal throughout the city in areas that I will detail later. I would like to thank you Mr. Prime Minister and all the ministers. I see the scope of the cooperation and the investments in Jerusalem that are growing from year to year and I do not think that this is self-evident.

I will summarize by saying that the residents of Jerusalem are the most satisfied among residents of major cities in the state of Israel, regardless of their socio-economic situation. No less important – residents of Jerusalem are the most optimistic. I believe that this stems from the trend, which we all see, of improving the atmosphere and in a better future for the holy city of Jerusalem."

2. The Cabinet approved a series of decisions to strengthen the city of Jerusalem and assist in its economic, tourist, cultural and social development:

* A decision to rebuild the Tifereth Yisrael synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, which alongside the Hurva Synagogue, had been one of the two magnificent synagogues in the Old City skyline. Both synagogues were destroyed during the fighting in the War of Independence. (The Hurva synagogue was rebuilt following a Cabinet decision in 2002. The work was completed in 2010.) The project will cost NIS 55 million and be spread over 2014-2017.

* A decision to assist in completing the construction of a ‘national archaeological center’ in the museums area in Jerusalem, that will concentrate the activity of the Israel Antiquities Authority and present archaeological research, the restoration labs and the storage facilities for the country’s treasures, the scientific archive and an advanced archaeological library (at a cost of NIS 55 million to be spread over 2014-2017, in addition to NIS 210 to be raised by the IAA from donations).

* A decision to extend the Israel Land Authority (ILA) lease for the Shaare Zedek Medical Center, at no cost, and to allocate additional land to the medical center for medical needs.

* A decision to encourage culture, the arts and recreation in the city and to lease to the municipality – at a symbolic cost – the Beit Hatene facility, which the municipality intends to turn into a center for culture, arts, tourism and the media, and to work towards approving an ILA decision to allocate land for a municipal swimming pool.

* A decision to encourage international productions in Jerusalem as part of an understanding the influence and importance of television and cinema and their contribution toward improving the positive image of Jerusalem as a living, flourishing and prosperous city. The government will allocate an additional NIS 31 to this end, to be spread over 2014-2016, with the overall ‘Merom Plan’ budget standing at NIS 333 million.

* A decision to mint a Hurva Synagogue gold coin in the ‘Jerusalem of Gold’ bullion series.

3. The Chairman of the National Library of Israel Board of Directors David Blumberg briefed ministers on the library’s renewal project.