Daily Israel Report

Jerusalem Day March in the Footsteps of the Liberators

A dramatic nighttime march followed in the footsteps of the paratroopers who liberated Jerusalem in 1967.
By Elad Benari & Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 5/22/2012, 6:43 AM

Jerusalem Day march
Jerusalem Day march
Danny Vetzler

About 100 Israelis took part in a special nighttime march on Jerusalem Day, following in the footsteps of the heroic Israeli paratroopers who liberated the city during the 1967 Six Day War.

The march left at 11:00 p.m. local time from the Lions’ Gate, one of the gates entering the Old City of Jerusalem and the one where the waiting troops stood in June 1967 when the order "Ben Tzur, move on!" came from COS Mota Gur - ordering them to advance into the narrow streets despite fears that the entrance was mined and the possibility of hand to hand fighting. It ended, as the paratroopers' advance did, at the Western Wall.

The march was sponsored by the One Jerusalem organization, in memory of the late Fima Falic, one of Israel's greatest supporters in the U.S. Falic’s wife, Nili, chairs the Friends of the IDF organization in the U.S. and Panama. Falic himself had a special love for Israel and IDF soldiers, and his family continues to support organizations in Israel and abroad.

“This is an historic moment,” one march participant said. “We are so lucky. We are so honored to be here tonight. We’re going to do the same route as the soldiers did 45 years ago. This is amazing.”

He added that the march will become an annual tradition and expressed hope that the march will grow include thousands of people every year.

The march was created last year after several years in which official groups were not given permission to march through the Lions’ Gate.

“Last year, together with the Falic family, we at One Jerusalem rekindled and recreated this important tradition,” said one participant. “Last year we had a very small number of people – maybe ten to 15 people and this year we have a hundred.”