During Wednesday`s special plenary session marking the annual Jerusalem Day holiday, Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein noted that during the Six-Day War the government of Levi Eshkol made the historic decision to reunify Jerusalem in a small shelter in the Knesset building. The shelter has recently been restored as a small museum.

”As a result of this historic decision, two days later the Old City, with the Western Wall and the Temple Mount, was returned to us, and the city was united,” Edelstein said.

During a special plenary session marking Jerusalem Day, Speaker Edelstein says capital`s ”beauty and strength” lie in its diverse population

(Knesset Speaker Edelstein, archive photo)

”There are those among us who reject the notion of holding on to [all of Jerusalem]. They view the unification as a mistake and not as a right and the realization of the vision of all generations,” the Knesset Speaker told the plenum. ”In order to clarify their claim, they wave the overused argument that when we said `If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning` we did not mean Shuafat or Jabel Mukaber. This is a wrong and misleading claim, because when King David wrote those words of yearning for the holy city, he was not familiar with Rehavia or Talbieh (neighborhoods). He simply wrote about Jerusalem.”

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Edelstein said Jerusalem is home to ”seculars and ultra-Orthodox, Jews, Muslims and Christians, and they all live in the shadow of the city`s uniqueness and holiness. This is the beauty and strength of Jerusalem. We should not let the pessimists and those who stir up disputes present this fabric as problematic or devastating. On the contrary, we should view it as a model for joining hands between populations and view Jerusalem as a uniting city, a city of peace.”