Wednesday, May 28, 2014 is Jerusalem Day. It is the day Israel celebrates the liberation of Jerusalem from Arab occupation some 47 years ago. It is the day Jews commemorate the reunification of Jerusalem as the undivided Jewish Capital of the Jewish nation.
In 1948, when Israel declared its Independence, Jerusalem was to be a special City. It would be undivided. It would be open to Jews and Muslims alike. It would be a place that protected religious freedom for all.
But the Arabs didn’t want that. They didn’t want a Jewish Israel. They didn’t want a Jewish Jerusalem.
They attacked. They wanted to get rid of the Jews. They wanted the British Palestine Mandate territory to be Islamic and Judenrein—Jew-free.
They were optimistic. Israel had no trained army. Its military was more a civilian militia than an armed force. It had little heavy weaponry. It had little-to-no training.
By contrast, the Arabs had six armies. Each had been trained and equipped by the British. Some had British advisors to manage the battlefield. Some had British officers to lead in battle.
But a miracle occurred. The Arabs failed. Despite an American-British arms blockade against Israel, and despite the training and equipment the Arabs brought to the battlefield, Israel won. Israel, which couldn’t even afford dog-tags for its fighters, beat back the Arab armies. The new state of Israel survived.
Jerusalem wasn’t so lucky. The Arabs had cut it in half. They occupied the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. They captured the Temple Mount.
They expelled the Jews under their control. Arab occupation meant that the Old City was now Judenrein—Jew-Free.
The Arab occupation ended freedom of religion for Jews. Virtually all the Jewish synagogues in the Old City were destroyed. No Jews were allowed on the Temple Mount. Judaism’s holiest site was Judenrein.
That anti-Jew occupation lasted 19 years. Then another war broke out. During that War (1967), Israel paratroopers took control of the Temple Mount. The words, ‘The Temple Mount in in our hands!’ rang out across the land.
Suddenly, for the first time in nearly 2,000 years, our holiest place was once again in our possession. Suddenly, our holy City was re-united.
That’s what we remember on Jerusalem Day. That’s what we celebrate.
Now, 2014, we have something else to celebrate on Jerusalem Day: G-d’s Redemption prophecy.
You see, on May 26, 2014 that prophecy moved closer to reality. Leaders of the two greatest enemies of Judaism met on the Temple Mount.
It was an historic meeting. The Muslim and the Pope joined together to celebrate their presence at the spiritual center of the Jewish world. They were there to seek social justice. They were there to exclude the Jew.
Muslim officials told the Pope that Israel hinders Islamic worship on the Temple Mount. The Pope was interested in this. Muslims did not tell the Pope that they forbid Jewish worship on the Mount. The Pope didn’t ask about this.
Politically, Jerusalem is in danger. The Temple Mount is endangered. The future Jewishness of both is in danger.
Nations want the Jew gone. So do the Arabs. So do Islam and Christianity.
Read their documents. It’s all there. They don’t want Jews in Israel.
According to a recent Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Global Anti-Semitism study, some 25 per cent of the world’s 7 billion people harbour anti-Jewish beliefs. When the Muslim and the Catholic Pope walk upon a Jew-free Temple Mount, they send a message all those Jew-haters.
It’s a message of hope. It’s a message that says, if we can walk so freely upon the Jew’s holiest site while the Jew is banned, we are close to triumph over the Jew.
The Jewish Tanach prophesies that Jerusalem will stand at the center of the war against Israel. It says Jerusalem will become the main prize Jew-haters want.
That’s exactly what Jerusalem is today.
The Temple Mount is the house of the G-d of Israel. It is where the G-d of Israel reveals his sovereignty over the world.
The enemies of Israel want the Jews gone. They want the G-d of Israel gone.
When a Muslim religious leader meets a Christian leader on Judaism’s holiest ground, the message they send to the world is, ‘Look at us. The Temple Mount is in our hands!’ Their handshake at that Jewish site is a sign of that triumph.
More than 2,500 years ago, Israel’s G-d predicted that, in the days just before the Jewish Redemption, the enemies of G-d will come together to conquer Jerusalem. Two days ago, those enemies came together to stand on Jerusalem’s heart. They smiled.
The war against G-d is real. The war against Jewish Jerusalem is real.
This is how Jerusalem Day becomes part of the Jewish Redemption story. If you want to find out what happens next, open your Tanach.
It’s all there.