[Update: Full Speech Translation at PM.org.il – here]
From YnetNews.com – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday that partitioning Jerusalem could result in a religious war.
Speaking at a state ceremony marking Jerusalem Day in the capital’s Ammunition Hill, Netanyahu said: “If we place this quadrate of the Temple Mount in the hands of others, I doubt we will be able to avoid a religious war.
“I know what history has taught us: only under Israeli sovereignty were peace and quiet among the faiths maintained.”
Netanyahu further added, “Israel without Jerusalem is like a body with a weak heart. Never again will our heart be divided.
“A nation willing to sacrifice its heart would convince its enemies it has no desire to fight for anything. Jewish history has changed forever: the divided city has been united and will stay that way.
“Our generation has a great privilege of witnessing the realization of the words of the prophets. It is up to our generation to secure this change for generations to come.”
President Shimon Peres, who also attended the ceremony, said: “The Jewish longing for Jerusalem is unparalleled.” In a message of peace, he remarked: “We will always cherish and respect Jerusalem’s residents and visitors of all faiths. We shall honor their holy places and their right for freedom of religion.”
“The crowing glory (of the Six Day War) that gave it great spiritual meaning and that struck a chord with every Jew in Israel and the world was Jerusalem,” he said. “Jerusalem was and is the Jewish people’s first city,” Peres added.
“In its entire history, Jerusalem has never been so great, open, versatile, lively and yearning for peace as it is today.”
The ceremony was also attended by Mayor Nir Barkat, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino and bereaved families.
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As Yeshua’s followers in Israel struggle with how to tell their story – the Bible story – to the nations at the end of the information age, pray that they do not lose YHWH’s “zeal for Zion” (John 2:14-25) in the process of diplomacy.