8 Perspectives: Hope for Jerusalem
Jerusalem Day commemorates the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City after the June 1967 Six-Day War. Israel calls this the reunification of Jerusalem, a day when Israel proclaims it will never again be divided. It is a day of triumphalism. Floods of young people come from West Bank settlements and pour through the streets of downtown Jerusalem singing songs of Israel’s greatness while carrying large flags, marching through the Old City and visiting the Western Wall. For most Israelis who do not join the march, it is less about triumphalism, but the idea of the Western Wall’s liberation is etched in their mind and hearts, and the day is deeply moving. For most Palestinians, particularly Jerusalemite Palestinians, it is a day of loss, and a day where it is better to stay inside to avoid the provocations.
Another Voice bloggers envision a better Jerusalem, a day when…
Jerusalem would have no borders.
A place where all its residents would enjoy the same rights and privileges.
I imagine a Jerusalem where my brother and I can walk around in the Old City without him being stopped by police who ask for his ID, just because he’s a young Arab male.
It would be a day where there would be justice, unity and love, a city for all to visit and enjoy its historical and religious sites, valuing its significance without thinking about winners and losers.
It would have shady streets lined with trees, and a full recycling program for every neighborhood.
Her walls would be replaced with gardens of coexistence.
It would be a city filled with children’s laughter woven together with the songs and prayers of all her people.
And if we really want to appreciate one another’s struggles.
Inhabitants of Jerusalem would switch homes for a day, those living in East Jerusalem would live in the houses of those in West Jerusalem, deepening understanding of one another.