(JNS.org) In the wake of the Dec. 23 United Nations Security Council vote against Israeli settlements, the city of Jerusalem dedicated a symbolic street from ancient times Tuesday. The street will soon be opened to the public.
At an event marking the beginning of events for the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem, officials showed off a plaque on “Pilgrim’s Way,” which is currently being excavated in the City of David by the Israel Antiquities Authority. The 2,000-year-old site was one of Jerusalem’s main streets in the later Second Temple period. The roadway, built in the Herodian period, begins at the Siloam Pool and ends below the steps at Robinson’s Arch at the Western Wall. Pilgrims would plunge in the pool and then ascend the Temple.
“Mr. President Barack Obama, I am standing here, on Chanukah 5777, on the route on which my forefathers walked 2,000 years ago,” Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev said during the dedication.
“No resolution in any international forum is as strong as the steadfast stones on this street. No other people in the world has such a connection and link to its land, neither in Senegal, New Zealand, Ukraine nor Malaysia,” she said, referring to the four countries that brought the U.N. resolution to the Security Council after Egypt backed down from doing so at the urging of President-elect Donald Trump.
Regev added, “1,900 years after the Great Revolt against the Romans, the paratroopers entered through Lions’ Gate and realized the eternal dream of the Jewish people, the dream of Jews in Yemen, Ethiopia, Poland, Morocco and Russia—to return to Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish people, the symbol of sanctity and justice. Fifty years ago, we turned hope into reality: Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, was once again united, and we will never agree to its being divided a second time.”
Also attending Tuesday’s ceremony were Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Knesset members and former IDF paratroopers Dr. Itzik Yifat, Tzion Karsenty and Chaim Oshri, who were among those who liberated Jerusalem’s Old City in 1967.