May 19, 2012
Ethel C. Fenig
Tonight Israelis begin to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem in modern times. On this date, according to the Jewish calendar, (the Gregorian calendar civil date is June 7) the Israel Defense Forces broke through the Jordanian offensive lines manning the 1948 ceasefire lines (not final armistice lines, not mutually agreed upon boundaries) dividing Jerusalem after the creation of Israel. The illegal Jordanian occupation of the eastern section of Jerusalem artificially split the city for 19 years until the 1967 Six Day War when the Muslim nations surrounding Israel plus other Muslim allies not on their border vowed to drive Israel into the sea. During their occupation, with few exceptions, the Jordanians refused to allow Jews to visit their holy and historic sites while destroying many of them, all in gross violation of numerous agreements.
Dodging sniper fire while racing through eastern Jerusalem towards the Old City in the final days of the 1967 war, the Israelis finally made it to the Western Wall, the last standing remnant the Holy Temple. “The Temple Mount is in our hands! I repeat, the Temple Mount is in our hands” the brigade commander triumphantly reported. And then the Chief Rabbi of the IDF blew the shofar (ram’s horn).