Saturday, May 19, 2007

US, Europe Shun Jerusalem Day Celebrations

EU countries will not take part in the celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of Jerusalem's reunification, EU president Germany said Thursday [May 10] in a diplomatic letter sent to the foreign ministry and the Knesset [Parliament]. US Ambassador to Israel Richard Jones will also not participate in the events. Diplomatic sources told Ynet that the event was not on the ambassador's timetable. Ambassadors of all EU countries will not show up for the special Knesset session on Jerusalem Day on Wednesday.

European countries do not recognize Jerusalem's reunification. As far as they are concerned, East Jerusalem, which was occupied during the Six Day War, is an occupied territory. Among EU countries, there is a difference of opinion regarding participation in the Jerusalem Day celebrations. Germany decided to send the letter to the official bodies in Israel, but a number of EU countries are considering violating the boycott and taking part in the celebrations. The Egyptian and Jordanian ambassadors were also invited to take part in the events, and foreign ministry officials expressed their concern over the possibility that they would also fail to show up. Sources in the ministry noted that diplomatic moves were made in a bid to prevent the European boycott. The ministry's spokesperson said that "Jerusalem is Israel's united capital. This week, we will mark 40 years of reunification. Many guests were invited to take part in the events, including diplomats. We expect them to attend."

Sources in the German Embassy in Israel told Ynet on Sunday morning that the international community viewed Jerusalem from a different point of view. "We believe that Jerusalem's future should be part of the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Our point of view is not new, and Germany must take this stance in accordance with the rest of the countries.

"We cannot force other European Union countries to accept our opinion, but we can definitely decide for ourselves. Germany cannot take part in an official event of the Israeli government, if this implies that we recognize these borders of Jerusalem."

(By Ronen Bodoni,, May 13, 2007),7340,L- 3399017,00.html

Prayer Focus:
This brings deep grief to our hearts. But one day, the nations will come up to Jerusalem and will bow their knee to King Messiah, and our tears will be turned to shouts of great joy. Pray that your nation will have the courage to stand with Israel.

"At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart." (Jeremiah 3:17)
[Reported by: Bridges for Peace]