Someone has to stop the insanity. Just like every other capital around the world, Jerusalem hosts mass marches. Of those held in the capital, the Jerusalem Day flag march is one of the oldest and most beautiful. Tens of thousands of religious Zionist youths, most dressed in white, walk the streets of the eternal city, the same city generations of Jews have prayed toward. There is nothing wrong with that.
The only ones angered by the march are the last remnants of the Arab nation who continue to dream of wiping out the Jewish state. A majority of them reside in Israel and refuse to accept the ruler of the land. That is why they depict a beautiful march that represents the love of a people for their land as a provocation.
It is unfortunate that too many Israelis have fallen for this garbage. Rather than reject the threats of violence outright, they take them into consideration and are even prepared to surrender to them. Worse still, for some reason, the diplomatic echelon discusses the march and which route it will take with foreign countries. That is unacceptable.
Does it sound reasonable to you for a country to ask its neighbors for permission to hold a march in its capital? Does Jordan, Egypt or Qatar update Israel on mass events in their territories? Does London, Paris or Madrid receive authorization in advance from Washington for their marches, parades and celebrations? When it comes to the flag march, things have gotten downright bizarre. And it doesn’t pay off for us.
Deterred by Hamas, then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu determined the flag march would not pass through the Damascus Gate in 2021. Yet two hours later, we sustained a rocket attack on Jerusalem. We discovered once again that giving into terror achieves the opposite of the desired result.
The time has come to restore a little sanity. No foreign entity, terrorist or anyone else has a right to intervene in what goes on in Israel’s capital. Threats of violence cannot determine where we go in our country. We have every right to go anywhere in Jerusalem, safe and secure, which includes the Damascus Gate.
This tough approach is the only way to begin to put the genie back in the bottle.
Fifty years after the unification of Jerusalem and the return of the Jewish people to its holy sites is the perfect time to remind everyone that we are still here. Paratroopers entered the Old City from the Lions’ Gate. Their children and grandchildren will follow in their footsteps and continue the historic movement of Israeli sovereignty across all of Jerusalem.
Ariel Kahana is Israel Hayom’s senior diplomatic correspondent.
This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.