Legendary Israeli singer Naomi Shemer's "Jerusalem the Golden" is an iconic song for Israelis and Jews throughout the world. But the song has struck a chord with a whole different audience as well.
IDF Radio announced Monday that Islamic Jihad's top commander, Dr. Ramadan Salah, presented at a religious conference at Tehran last week on the subject of Jerusalem. The goal: to encourage the Islamist world not only to fight for Jerusalem as a military target - but also as a symbol of Islamic "cultural heritage."
"What does Jerusalem mean for us?" Salah reportedly asked at the conference. "Learn from the Jews, from the cursed entity [Israel]. They love Jerusalem - not only militarily, but also culturally."
Salah then proceeded to translate Naomi Shemer's "Jerusalem of Gold" (Yerushalayim Shel Zahav), noting, "the entity plays this song on June 7, the day they captured Al-Aqsa and entered the Temple Mount [a reference to Jerusalem Day - ed.] [. . .] every Jerusalemite child, every Israeli soldier carries this song in his heart."
Islamic Jihad is the group responsible for last week's barrage of rockets from Gaza on Israel, which numbered over 60 missiles but saw no injuries. The terror group called the attack "Operation Breaking the Silence" in Palestinian media, and garnered support at the expense of rival group Hamas for its "armed resistance against the Occupation."
Shalah claimed Saturday night that the terror group is not interested in an "escalation," but would respond forcefully in the event Israel launched a ground offensive to defend itself.
"If and when a war is forced upon us, we will fight, even though we are aware of our ability and our modest weapons," Shalah stated, in a live television broadcast. "But we are able to deter, to stand firm and to hurt the enemy."