Newly-appointed Public Security Minister Omer Barlev announced late on Monday that the Flag March would proceed as planned on Tuesday.
Parade marking 1967 victory rescheduled after Arab violence
“In a democracy, it is allowed and important to demonstrate within the confines of the law,” Barlev said to the media. “We will hold a police assessment about the events and we will operate according to the recommendations of the police.”
The march, a traditional part of the annual festivities commemorating the unification of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jews in the 1967 Six-Day War, was postponed due to Arab violence over one month ago. It was rescheduled for last Thursday but was again postponed due to security concerns.
The march will begin on Hanevi’im Street in downtown Jerusalem and proceed towards the Damascus Gatenwhere the route in previous years entered the Old City. The participants will not be permitted to enter the Damascus gate but will proceed to Jaffa Gate where they will enter the Old City and descend to the Western Wall Plaza.
The original march, scheduled for May 10, was canceled as Hamas fired rockets at the Israeli capital from Gaza. As the plans were announced last week to hold the march, Hamas threatened to renew firing rockets at Israel. Arab media reported that the message was passed via Egyptian mediators that Hamas would respond to an ex post facto Jerusalem March in the same way they responded to the original Jerusalem Day March.
More Arab threats of violence
The Palestinian Authority, recently re-enfranchised and funded by the Biden administration, called for violence intended to shut down the march in Jerusalem.
“We warn of the dangerous repercussions that may result from the intention of the occupying power [Israel] to allow extremist Israeli settlers to carry out the Flag March in occupied Jerusalem tomorrow,” Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said Monday on Twitter.
The IDF has intensified the alert status of the Iron Dome batteries deployed in the south as well as reinforcing the Border Patrol troops deployed throughout Jerusalem.
Arab Coalition Partners threaten new prime minister with violence
The United Arab List, currently a coalition partner, released a statement warning Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
“We warn in advance that the incident is highly likely to re-ignite the area, leading to dangerous violence and escalation,” the statement read.
Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben-Gvi called on newly-appointed Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to stand by the Zionist principles that got him elected.
“I expect the elected prime minister, Naftali Bennett, who has more than once participated in the flag dances, to stand firm despite the fact that he folded from all his ideology – we hope that at least a flag parade in Jerusalem still remains legitimate in his eyes,” added Ben-Gvir.
Last month’s conflict between Gaza and Israel was preceded by several weeks of intensifying Arab violence in Jerusalem during the Muslim month-long fast of Ramadan. Blamed on the attempts to ethnically cleanse the neighborhood of Shimon HaTzaddik (Simon the Just), the violence was also focused on the Temple Mount, and Jews were prevented from visiting their holiest site for almost one month. The violence crescendoed on Jerusalem Day, May 9, when Arabs on the Temple Mount attacked Israeli Police with Molotov Cocktails, fireworks, and rock-throwing. Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem and continued firing a total of over 4,600 rockets over the next 11 days.
Rabbi Kahana: “Every day is a Jerusalem march”
Rabbi Nachman Kahana accepted the Arab threats with equanimity.
“We have been praying for Jerusalem every day, three times a day, for the last 2,000 years,” Rabbi Kahana said. “Do they think we are going to stop and just walk away? They attacked us for 11 days last month, gave us the worst they had, tried to annihilate the Jewish people and the Jewish love of Jerusalem. And we are still here and still loving Jerusalem.”
The rabbi scoffed at the media referring to the march as a “nationalist Flag March”.
“The march is part of Jerusalem Day,” Rabbi Nachman said. “But every day is Jerusalem day and this will be even more so in the days after Messiah,” he added, citing the Prophet Zechariah.
Thus said the lord of Hosts: There shall yet be old men and women in the squares of Yerushalayim, each with staff in hand because of their great age. And the squares of the city shall be crowded with boys and girls playing in the squares. Zechariah 8:4-5
“Every Jew that walks the streets of Jerusalem today, every old person in Jerusalem, every child, is the manifestation of Zechariah’s prophecy and a ‘nationalist flag march,” Rabbi Kahana said. “And that is what the Arabs don’t want to allow; Zechariah’s prophecy about Jerusalem.”