Jerusalem Day Beyond Jerusalem

Jerusalem Reunification Day is no longer just a Jerusalem affair. Joyous commemorations were also held in Nazareth, Jaffa, Acco, and elsewhere.

Hillel Fendel ,

Jerusalem Reunification Day is increasingly being celebrated not only in Jerusalem. Joyous commemorations were held in Nazareth, Jaffa, Acco, Ramat Gan and elsewhere.

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In southern Tel Aviv, for instance, dozens of youths from around the country and the old HaTikvah neighborhood joined together to dance and sing while waving high the blue-and-white flags of Israel.  The initiative was that of the national service girls serving in HaTikvah, together with the local chapter of the Bnei Akiva youth movement.  They were joined by yeshiva boys from Har HaMor and Netiv Meir in Jerusalem. Together they descended upon the open-air market, and from there through the local streets, gathering celebrants as they proceeded.

Naomi Strauss, one of the national service girls, said, "Our goal is to link Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, to create awareness that Jerusalem is our heart.  It's simply amazing to see the reactions; everyone is happy and everyone wants to be a part of it."  Meir from Har HaMor said, "In general, there is less of a Jerusalem Day atmosphere here in Tel Aviv, and that's why I felt the need to come here and celebrate.  It's even more exciting to be here than in Jerusalem, because you see how the inner truth of this day - national unity, which Jerusalem stands for - comes true all over the country in the commemorations of the Nation of Israel returning to its Land."

Mixed Cities Celebrate
Special celebrations were also held in cities that are considered "mixed," i.e., they have a growing Arab population: Upper Nazareth, Jaffa and Acco.  Marches were held late Sunday afternoon, culminating in special prayer services and central rallies.  The events were organized by the Young Leadership of the National Union party, with the participation of the local Torah core group in each city.

Hesder yeshivot all over the country, including Ramat Gan, Sderot, Maalot and elsewhere, held special prayer services and celebrations, ending in the early hours of the morning.

From Givat HaOr to Migron
A march-hike to promote the development of new Jewish neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria was held from one prominent outpost to another.  Dozens of youths in the Binyamin region, north of Jerusalem, set off at 10:30 Monday morning from Givat HaOr, just outside Beit El, towards Givat Assaf, on the Jerusalem-Ofrah highway.  From there, they made their way to Ramat Migron, further south. 

Ramat Migron is a fledgling outpost recently constructed just outside Migron, in order to highlight the threats currently facing the latter.  The government has said it will uproot Migron, with its 43 families - possibly resettling them to another location - by this coming August.

However, the families of Migron are not interested in relocation, both in light of the ramifications on other similar neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria, and because of the government's marked lack of success in resettling the families of Gush Katif.  Both the government and Migron-supporters expect an Amona-type situation to develop if the government begins to execute a forcible evacuation and destruction.  Amona was the site of a very violent clash between police and Land of Israel supporters over two years ago, when newly-appointed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ordered the destruction of nine Jewish homes there.

Shaalvim Day, Too
Kibbutz Shaalvim, in the Modiin area, is also celebrating its deliverance today.  Up until the Six Day War, it was located on the border with Jordan - and immediately after the war, military papers were found in captured Jordanian posts outlining official plans for the conquest and destruction of Shaalvim and its residents.

Close to 1,000 celebrants gathered Sunday night in Petach Tivka for the dedication of a Torah scroll for the synagogue of the Kabbalist Elder Eliyahu Leon Levi. Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, Tel Aviv Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, government ministers and Knesset members addressed the event and spoke about Jerusalem.

For more information on the liberation of Jerusalem in 1967, see Arutz-7's Jerusalem Day website and Jacob Richman's Jerusalem Day website.