During a special Knesset meeting marking the "Jerusalem Day" national holiday,
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said "regretfully, only the religious sector marks Jerusalem Day."
"Jerusalem Day was created by law as a national holiday. And yet the nature of celebrations in Jerusalem and the identity of those dancing in the streets today teach us that the national holiday in its current form more resembles a sectoral holiday. To be honest, most of the main events in Jerusalem have long been held under the auspices of the religious public." [ynetnews]
It's unfortunate, but mostly true.
When it comes to the demonstrations on behalf of the Land of Israel, the vast majority of those present are religious. The celebrations for Jerusalem are organized by religious organizations.
Why? Rivlin knows the answer. Judaism is what connects us to the Land of Israel, and in absence of a strong religious connection, only a strong ideological Zionist connection will work. As "Zionism" becomes more and more an outdated cliche among modern Israel, is it any surprise that only a strong religious connection remains?
Who is supposed to foster the connection to Jerusalem?
- Ehud Barak offered to split the city with Yassir Arafat at Camp David.
- Ehud Olmert and Tzippi Livni offered it to the Palestinian Authority
- Netanyahu is freezing building in Jerusalem.
- Earlier today, a group of 60 Jews marching in Jerusalem on Wednesday afternoon were pelted with stones after taking a wrong turn and entering the Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat. [ynetnews]
- Earlier today, some 50 left-wing activists held a rally in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in protest of the eviction of Palestinian families and the entry of Jewish residents. Two of the demonstrators were detained. [ynetnews]
- Yossi Sarid's blessing for Jerusalem Day is for the city to be split, soon. [srugim]
Celebrating Yom Yerushalayim doesn't mean running through the shuk in the old city at midnight, noisily banging on metal shop doors.
It means, legally building, legally buying homes, legally moving into all areas of Yerushalayim.
If Arabs can live wherever they wish, why can't Jews?
Yearn for Yerushalayim.
And make it a national day of education and celebration, a day off from work.
Otherwise, only those deeply attached to it will celebrate.
The mainstream youth of the left doesn't show up to demonstrations without free buses and free Aviv Gefen concerts.
If we're going to encourage Jerusalem awareness to those who aren't that committed, its going to take a lot more incentive.
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