The Knesset plenum on Monday convened a special session to mark Jerusalem Day, which was celebrated on Sunday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,
Opposition Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich (Labor)
and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin addressed the plenum during the event.
need to stop for one day every year and realize that we are witnessing and experiencing the fulfillment of a prophecy, the yearning for Zion, the return to Zion and the revival of Zion" Netanyahu told the Knesset plenum.
The prime minister came to the defense of visionary of the state Theodor Herzl, saying "he foresaw the problem and the solution, but he didn’t give up on Zion.
"He raised his right hand and said – If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither. Today we are raising our hand with the same oath. We are taking an oath for a built up Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Israel," he said.
At the opening of the special session, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said "Jerusalem Day is not a religious holiday, nor does it belong to rightists. Any attempt to attribute Jerusalem Day (to a particular group) removes it further from the heart of our shared Jewish identity.
"Disputing over Jerusalem is unbearable, yet being indifferent to its fate is a failure of the Zionist enterprise and Jewish education," he noted.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that partitioning Jerusalem could
result in a religious war.
Speaking at a state ceremony marking Jerusalem Day in the capital's Ammunition Hill, Netanyahu said: "If we place this quadrate of the Temple Mount in the hands of others, I doubt we will be able to avoid a religious war.
"I know what history has taught us: only under Israeli sovereignty were peace and quiet among the faiths maintained."
Netanyahu further added, "Israel without Jerusalem is like a body with a weak heart. Never again will our heart be divided.
"A nation willing to sacrifice its heart would convince its enemies it has no desire to fight for anything. Jewish history has changed forever: the divided city has been united and will stay that way.
"Our generation has a great privilege of witnessing the realization of the words of the prophets. It is up to our generation to secure this change for generations to come."