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Restoration and Freedom
teamjij
Wednesday 24/05/2017

Jewish sovereignty was restored over all of Jerusalem, 50 years ago, in 1967. This restoration  allowed peoples from all religions unfettered access to its Holy sites for the first time in approximately two millennia. We honor this occasion by celebrating “Jerusalem Day”, today Wednesday, May 24th.

Historically, Jewish majority in the city of Jerusalem was established in the late 1880’s. 100 years ago, Western Imperialistic powers led by General Allenby liberated the city of Jerusalem from the Islamic control of the Ottoman Empire, and thereafter, through the Balfour Declaration established that Palestine would be recognized as “a national home for the Jewish people”.

In November, 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted a partition of Mandatory Palestine at the end of the British Mandate. The Partition Plan recommended a Special International Regime for the city of Jerusalem and the creation of independent Arab and Jewish States. This plan was never accepted by the Arab states and Jerusalem was under Jordanian control.

Under Jordanian occupation, Jerusalem was systematically Islamicized. No Jews were permitted to live in the city, and the Christian population dropped sharply from 25,000 to 9,000. Jordanian policy imposed the Arabic-language; included the destruction of dozens of synagogues; use of government-issued textbooks in Christian schools; a prohibition on the purchase of property by churches and a denial of church funding of social and medical services, including hospitals; and a total ban on visits to Jewish holy places by Jewish pilgrims.

The religious persecution continued until Jordan chose to join a coalition of Arab states and invade Israel in 1967. Israel’s victory in the Six Day War resulted in the reunification of Jerusalem and freedom of worship was restored to members of all faiths.

Isaiah 62:6 – I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, they shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence…

Times and seasons are ultimately beyond our control. However, the Jerusalem Institute of Justice remains dedicated to confronting discrimination and exploitation by promoting human dignity to ethnic, religious and cultural minorities in Israel and throughout the Middle East. We hope and pray that this year restoration and freedom will come to many people in our region.

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