A special dedication ceremony was held Thursday evening to celebrate the opening of 119 units for Jewish housing on the Mount of Olives in eastern Jerusalem.
The dedication comes at a time when President Barack Obama's speech demanding that 1949 Armistice boundaries serve as the basis for Israel-PA negotiations has been countered strongly by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's refusal to consider the division of Jerusalem.
Daniel Luria, the Executive Director of Ateret Cohanim, which oversaw the project, told Arutz Sheva, "It was a magnificent evening ... The week of Yom Yerushalayim, on the day after, in fact, Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke about the indivisible Jerusalem, united, staying in Jewish hands we are celebrating the completion of this phenomenal and symbolic neighborhood."
"One has to remember there was a lot of pressure to stop this neighborhood. The world said it would not happen. Arafat, may his name be ground out, said the only Jews he would allow on the mount of olives - or in his Al Quds - are those who have been here for generations. He was referring to the dead Jews. Well, today there are Jews who are alive... running, jumping, living. This is the symbol of the victory of the Jewish people.
Chema Moskowitz, whose husband Irving Moskowitz purchased the property in 1990 and first moved Jews into the neighborhood, addressed the attendees by video.
"In 1998, when three [Jewish] families moved into a small building on this property, people in governments all across the world went a bit crazy. The media around the world attacked my husband for renting to those three families in east Jerusalem. There were front page articles in Finnish, Spanish, and even Chinese newspapers expressing their shock and dismay. President Clinton sent Ambassador Albright to Prime Minister Netanyahu to tell him to remove those families," Moskowitz recalled.
"What was the problem? These three families were not Muslim, not Christian, not Hindu, and not Buddhists. They were Jewish... It appears the one one place in the world where apartheid is applauded is east jerusalem when a Jews move into an Arab neighborhood... Today you see the result of that small beginning on Har Hazeitim - today there are many families living there," Moskowitz said.
"David Ben Gurion said, he who abandons his past forfeits his future, united jerusalem is both our past and our future and we will not abandon it," Moskowitz concluded.
The American Friends of Ateret Cohanim annual dinner will take place on June 1st in New York.