A ceremony was held on Wednesday evening at Jerusalem’s Ammunition Hill, marking the 50th anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the event and said: “We want peace and extend a hand of peace to our neighbors, but it is not Jerusalem that is holding up peace; what is delaying peace is the consistent refusal to recognize the state of the Jews under any borders and to end this conflict once and for all,” stated Netanyahu.
“Was Jerusalem ever the capital of another people but the Jewish people?” wondered Netanyahu aloud. “There was no such thing. Has anyone other than us guarded the freedom of worship of believers of all religions? Quite the opposite. This is guaranteed to the wave of religions only under Israeli sovereignty.”
“The Temple Mount and Western Wall will always remain under Israeli sovereignty,” added Netanyahu.
Around 75,000 people attended the traditional Dance of the Flags in the Old City as part of the Jerusalem Day celebrations and 50 years
for unification of the city under Israeli sovereignty. In the afternoon there was a confrontation between left-wing activists who tried to prevent the parade from crossing into the Muslim Quarter, but were evacuated by Border Police forces.
The Jerusalem Municipality invested an unprecedented NIS 500,000 in the parade. The marchers, dressed in blue and white and holding the Israeli flag, left the center of town toward the Old City. At the IDF Square they split up, with some marching through the Muslim Quarter to the Western Wall. Many of the marchers were Yeshiva students.
Read More: Ynet
President Trump’s Middle East Trip
President Donald Trump recently left the Middle East after a brief visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel. While the president did not do and say everything we would have asked, we were very pleased with this visit.
He began with an important speech in Saudi Arabia. The President did not apologize for American behavior or focus on old grievances. Instead, he stressed the two greatest threats to the United States and our regional allies today. First, he condemned Islamic terror in clear terms and called upon our Arab allies to join us in combatting it. Then he focused on the more specific threat of a newly enriched and emboldened Iran bent on regional hegemony. He offered a new alliance and new resources for our Arab allies willing to join us in resisting Iran’s dark ambitions.
Trump then traveled to Israel where he reminded us all that he is a true champion of the US-Israel relationship. We were deeply moved by the president’s warm words throughout his visit. And we appreciated his decision to be the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall. The picture of our president praying at that holy place communicated support for Israel and respect for Judaism that will be noted throughout the region and beyond.
We in CUFI had hoped the President would announce that the US was moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and we are disappointed that he did not do so. But it is early in the president’s term. We will continue to communicate to him our strong desire that he keep his pledge and move our embassy.
While the President was still in Israel, a horrific bombing killed 22 and injured at least 120 people attending a pop concert in Manchester, England. This carnage was the work of the same radical Islamic terrorists that the president singled out in his Saudi speech. The attack is a gruesome reminder that terror is not a problem confined to Israel or even the Middle East. Peace will be possible only once terrorism is defeated. As the president said so well, “We must obliterate this evil ideology.”
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were welcomed to the President’s Residence in Jerusalem by President Reuven Rivlin and his wife, Nechama, on Monday.
Trump, who arrived in Israel after visiting Saudi Arabia on his first overseas trip since entering office, signed the guest book before holding a private meeting with Rivlin.
The American president said that shared concern about Iran was driving Israel and many Arab states closer and demanded that Tehran immediately cease military and financial backing of “terrorists and militias.”
In stressing threats from Iran, Trump echoed the theme from his weekend meetings in Saudi Arabia with Muslim leaders from around the world, many wary of the Islamic republic’s growing regional influence and financial clout.
“What’s happened with Iran has brought many of the parts of the Middle East toward Israel,” Trump said at his meeting with Rivlin.
Trump also said he seeks a higher level of bilateral commerce, but a lower U.S. trade deficit with Israel.
The United States is Israel’s largest trading partner by country, but third-largest regional market behind Europe and Asia. Israel was the first country to sign a Free Trade Agreement with the U.S., in 1985.
In 2016, the U.S. exported $8.1 billion of goods and services to Israel while importing $17.6 billion from Israel, for a trade deficit of nearly $10 billion.
Overall, the United States has a global foreign trade deficit of about $44 billion. Only 11% of total imports into Israel come from the U.S.
Read More: Israel Hayom
Islamic State claimed responsibility for Monday’s deadly attack at the Manchester Arena and said it was carried out with an explosive device planted at the concert, according to a statement the group posted on Telegram.
“One of the soldiers of the Caliphate was able to place an explosive device within a gathering of the Crusaders in the city of Manchester,” the statement said.
Islamic State media announced that “30 Crusaders were killed and 70 wounded,” adding that the attack was in “response to transgressions against Muslim lands.” ISIS warned that “what comes next will be more severe.”
Meanwhile, world leaders condemned the deadly attack and extended their condolences to the victims and their families.
US President Donald Trump extended his condolences to the victims of the Manchester suicide bombing and said those behind the attack were “evil losers.”
Trump, speaking after talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the town of Bethlehem in the West Bank, said the United States stands in “absolute solidarity” with the British people.
“I extend my deepest condolences to those so terribly injured in this terrorist attack, and to the many killed and the families, so many families of the victims,” Trump said. “So many young, beautiful innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers in life.”
Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also condemned the Manchester attack.
“The Israeli government strongly condemns the terrible terror attack in Manchester,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
Read More: J Post