Hundreds of people took part in the thirds annual Hug Jerusalem event, which took place in the capital on Sunday, creating a giant human chain by holding hands across city limits, and sharing values of solidarity and brotherhood.
Debora Perlman, one of the event's organizers, told Ynet that the love people bear for Jerusalem transcends differences and is enough to bring together people from different backgrounds and religion beliefs.
Brotherhood (Photo: AP)
"The event had two centers, one at (the Old City's) Nablus Gate and one at the Jaffa Gate. We had hundreds of people celebrating the fact that as different as they are, they are united by their love of Jerusalem."
Secular Israelis, religious ones, Palestinians and tourists from the US, UK, Holland and Jordan – to name a few – all gathered to join hands, added Perlman. "We didn’t have to do much talking. It was all about being together and rejoicing.
Solidarity (Photo: Reuters)
"Jerusalem is the heart of the world and there are too many reports of blood and violence connected to it. We want to send a message of joy and unity."
Eliyahu Maclean, another of the event's organizers and a religious man, told Ynet that he hosted eight Palestinians who came to take part in Hug Jerusalem: "Some of my friends don’t understand how I can do that. They (his guests) were given a 48-hour stay permit and it's too dangerous for them to travel back at night, so I had them stay with me. It's like I've opened a peace center."
Harmony (Photo: Reuters)
Maclean believes that the event allows Palestinians a glimpse of future peace: "They came from Hebron, Jericho and Ramallah and most have them have never been in the western part of Jerusalem before. We applied for 50 (military crossing) permits, but only about 20 agreed to come.
"We held musical events and prayer services along with the hand holding and the message was peace and togetherness."