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This photo of the Flag of Israel flying in Jerusalem with the Temple Mount in the distance represents the position of The Jewish Press Online

For years already, Israeli flags have been flown along the route that leads from Damascus Gate to the Western Wall, where the Jerusalem Day flag march will apparently proceed.

No one waves them, but they are more significant than the flags that will be carried there on Saturday. We are here, day after day, year after year.


The dozens of Jewish families who live along Hagai St. and its byways – from Beit Rand and Torat Haim to Beit Danon and Beit Wittenberg, Beit Nof, and other settlement points – are the true flags, the ones already raised on this route. They are living flags, a march of life.

At a time when tearing Israeli flags of cars, public buildings, and flagpoles (even in the Baka neighborhood in the western half of the city) has become a national sport for Arabs in Jerusalem, the flag march takes on special significance.

And when Israeli flags are trampled in east Jerusalem and schools cancel field trips to Jerusalem, we cannot forgo this event. But the settlement along Hagai St, the historic nucleus of settlement that is so crucial to Jerusalem, is much more important, and now is the time to bolster it.

Hagai is one of two main pedestrian routes to the Western Wall and the Temple Mount and mainly serves residents of Jerusalem’s Haredi neighborhoods.

Until the riots of 1929 and 1935, this road was home to hundreds of Jewish families, some of whom were renowned in old Jerusalem circles, including Eliezer Ben Yehuda, the reviver of the Hebrew language; the families of two presidents – Reuven Rivlin and Yitzhak Navon.

The state erred when, after the 1967 Six-Day War, it made due with rebuilding and populating only the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. The Muslim Quarter, which used to be called the “mixed quarter,” was also once home to thousands of Jews, but unlike the Jewish Quarter, the Jews never returned to it.

The government left the field to ideological organizations like Ateret Kohanim, which did and do everything they can, but it isn’t enough.

In the past decade, about one-quarter of Old City residents have left – the vast majority Muslims who lived in the Muslim Quarter. This means that despite the difficulty, Jews can be housed in more and more parts of the Old City outside the Jewish Quarter.

This is the heart of Zion (Jerusalem), and the return of Jews to it is Zionism at its best. This is also the response to the terrorism that seeks to hurt Jews on this route, as well as the plans to divide Jerusalem on which research institutes with links to the Democratic party in the US are working.

If the government strengthens Jewish settlement in the Old City of Jerusalem, it will torpedo the pressure that will come.

Flags, as Herzl wrote so many years ago, lead people forward to where they want to go, but in Jerusalem, facts on the ground will determine what happens. The future of the Old City of Jerusalem will be decided by more and more courtyards and buildings purchased by Jews who will live in them, as well as by Jerusalem residents “marching” to the Western Wall via Hagai St., as they have for 55 years, without flags, every day, three times a day. This is the true march of the living, through the heart of Jerusalem. The flags to come only show us the way.

{Reposted from IsraelHayom site}

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