Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / Flash 90
A general view of a wooden footbridge leading up from the Western Wall to the sacred Temple Mount compound containing al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock shrine in Jerusalem's Old City November 28, 2011.

This year in Jerusalem, Jerusalem Reunification Day carries special meaning as the capital marks its 51st year after the Israeli Defense Forces restored its lost neighborhoods, occupied for 19 years by the Jordanian Army, in the 1967 Six Day War.


The Hebrew date for the holiday, 28 Iyar, this year fell on the Sabbath and so observance of this important Israeli national holiday was pushed off until Saturday night and Sunday.

The holiday this year marks the start to a momentous, historic week. Jerusalem Day celebrations kick off a march to the Old City of Jerusalem on Sunday.

Monday heralds history in the making with the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, on the secular date of Israel’s 70th anniversary, May 14. It is also the Day of Remembrance for the Ethiopian Jews and the 4,000 who died on their trek through Sudan while trying to reach Zion.

Tuesday, May 15th, is marked by Arabs in the Palestinian Authority, and some in Israel, as “Nakba Day” – “Nakba” meaning, in Arabic, “catastrophe” or “disaster” – their designation for the rebirth of the State of Israel.

Wednesday, May 16th, the nation of Guatemala officially opens its Embassy in Jerusalem as well. Welcome, Guatemala!!

By the end of this week, Muslims in Israel will also have begun to observe the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, in which each day is marked with a fast, to be broken only after nightfall. The month ends with a three-day holiday, Eid al-Fitr.

All of it beginning with the reunification of the holy city of Jerusalem, in which the unique kaleidoscope of humanity swirls among the great mosaic that has become the State of Israel.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.