Sometime around 10:15 on the morning of June 7, 1967…
The first reservist paratroopers of Brigade 55 broke through the Lion’s Gate leading into the Old City of Jerusalem and reached the narrow enclave of the Western Wall. Having just fought a fierce two-day battle in the streets of east Jerusalem, they grieved for lost friends, and grieved as well for their own lost innocence in what for many was their first experience of combat. They leaned against the Wall, some in exhaustion, some in prayer. Several wept, instinctively connecting to the Wall’s tradition of mourning the destruction of the Temple and the loss of Jewish sovereignty—precisely at the moment when Jewish sovereignty over Jerusalem had been restored.
Several hours later, Yitzhak Yifat, a twenty-four-year-old reservist about to begin medical school, reached the Wall. As part of the brigade’s 66th Battalion, he and his friends had fought in the Six Day War’s toughest battle: Intimate combat against elite Jordanian Legionnaires in the trenches of Ammunition Hill, on the road to Mount Scopus.
But, Obama wants to give this holy site to the Palestinians.
US President Barack Obama released a statement Tuesday, conveying the “warmest wishes” to Israel on its 66th Independence Day.
Obama acknowledged the Jews’ millennia-long struggle to return to their ancient homeland and their success in achieving that dream in 1948.
“Generations of Jews dreamed of the day when the Jewish people would have their own state in their historic homeland, and 66 years ago today that dream came true,” he stated. “Today, Israel thrives as a diverse and vibrant democracy and as a ‘start-up nation’ that celebrates entrepreneurship and innovation.”
He stated that the Israel-US relationship is “based on shared democratic values and our unwavering commitment to Israel’s security” and thus “has never been stronger.”
“The United States was the first nation to recognize the government of Israel in 1948, and today we are still the first to come to Israel’s defense,” he added.
For the record… A poll released earlier this year found that 70% of Jewish Israelis do not trust Obama to safeguard their nation’s vital interests.