Knesset Responds to UN Resolution, Inaugurates Jerusalem Jubilee Celebration

Yesterday (Tuesday), the Knesset Education Committee held the inauguration of “Jerusalem Now & Forever,” a photo exhibition celebrating the 50th year of the reunification of Jerusalem.

The exhibition features photos from the renowned “Photographer of Jerusalem,” Sharon Gabay, which capture the beauty, diversity and tolerance of the Holy City. The exhibition will be displayed in the Knesset over the next two weeks, and will then be exhibited throughout the world in 2017, providing people everywhere with the opportunity to celebrate Jerusalem’s 50th year of reunification.

The exhibition is the initiative of Israel’s largest grassroots Zionist movement, Im Tirtzu, which has teamed up with Sharon Gabay to bring the beauty of Jerusalem to the world. According to Im Tirtzu, the exhibition will serve not only as a tribute to the City, but an answer to those that will use the 50th year of Jerusalem’s reunification to attack the city and the State of Israel.

Members of Knesset from all sides of the political aisle attended the exhibition, including Yehuda Glick (Likud), Ilan Gilon (Meretz), Yakov Margi (Shas), Haim Jelin (Yesh Atid), Zouheir Bahloul (Zionist Camp), Oded Forer (Yisrael Beitenu), Meirav Ben-Ari (Kulanu), and Benny Begin (Likud).

MK Glick, who invited the exhibition to the Knesset, delivered the opening remarks: “A picture, as is known, is worth a thousand words. These pictures deliver a clear message that Jerusalem is a beautiful city, alive and well. A city in which millions of residents of different colors and beliefs live in harmony. Jerusalem at its essence, and as evidenced by its name, is a city of peace. In the words of Isaiah the Prophet, ‘for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all people.’”

Sharon Gabay said: “There are many people here who see the photos and are surprised. I am not surprised – whoever would take a camera and walk around the city – this is what he would see. When they talk about Jerusalem in the news we only see wars, checkpoints, fire and smoke. But I want to photograph the truth, and the truth is that Jerusalem is a pluralistic city that accepts everyone.”

Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg talked about the deep connection between the Jewish People and Jerusalem:

“The Jewish nation is the only nation in history that under the wedding canopy makes a declaration to remember their eternal capital. ‘If I forget thee, O Jerusalem’ is not just a territorial promise, but part of the very essence of the nation. Displaying this exhibition throughout the world will enable the Jewish People to experience the joy of Jerusalem.”

Chairman of the Education Committee MK Yakov Margi also blessed the exhibition: “The exhibition expresses the message of Jerusalem: coexistence and peace. This is an exhibition that needs to travel the country and the world, and go to places that only receive a very selective Israeli experience.”

Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Ofer Berkovitch and MK Haim Jelin were also among the speakers at the exhibition.



Photo credit Ezra Landau
Photo credit Ezra Landau


Photo credit Ezra Landau


Photo credit Ezra Landau

Information provided by Im Tirtzu

“Anti-Zionist political organizations that receive funding from foreign governments have no place in Israeli academia”

A stormy debate erupted yesterday (Tuesday) in the Knesset Education Committee when several bereaved families spoke out against academic programs that offer students credits and scholarships for interning in NGOs that defend terrorists in court. The bereaved families waved pictures of their loved ones and demanded to remove these programs from academia.

The committee was convened following the report that academic programs offer students credits and scholarships for interning in foreign government-funded NGOs that engage in a wide array of highly controversial activity. Among these NGOs is “HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual,” which defends terrorists and their families in court. Upon hearing the news, the Forum for Bereaved Families immediately penned a letter to Minister of Education Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) and Chairman of the Education Committee MK Yakov Margi (Shas) urging them to remove these programs from academia.

Devorah Gonen, the mother of Danny Gonen z’l who was murdered by a terrorist while hiking near the village of Dolev in 2015, said: “We feel that our loved ones were murdered a second time. The Council for Higher Education must end this absurdity immediately. This is a dangerous snowball; if today students can intern at organizations that strengthen the murderers of Jews, I fear that the next step will be even worse. It is sad that we have to beg for this. Israeli academia is degrading the murder of our loved ones. The blood of those murdered is crying out from the ground.”

Hadas Mizrahi, who lost her husband Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi z’l in a terror shooting last Passover, said: “Baruch was murdered because he was a citizen of the State of Israel. It is absurd that the Council for Higher Education permits an organization like “HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual” to have a place in academia. What message are we sending to our society? For the murder of Jews we award prizes? For this students receive scholarships? How have we gotten here!?”

A representative from the Council for Higher Education was present at the discussion and said: “The Council rejects all attempts to politicize academia and calls to expose the students to a wide range of opinions. The Chairman of the Council has appointed Professor Asa Kasher to create an ethical code that will examine the connection between politics and academia.”

Doron Mizrahi, father of IDF soldier Ziv Mizrahi z’l, waved a picture of his son to members of the committee and said: “How have we gotten to this situation that we, the bereaved families, need to beg in order to stop this absurdity? It cannot be that our taxes continue to fund organizations that work against Israeli citizens. I demand: help us prevent the next murder.”

Matan Peleg, CEO of Im Tirtzu movement, which exposed these academic programs to the public, said: “Our hearts are with the bereaved families that fight against those who defend the murderers of their loved ones on a daily basis. Now the families are getting another slap in the face, this time from the Council for Higher Education.”

Peleg continued: “Anti-Zionist political organizations that receive funding from foreign governments have no place in Israeli academia. The fact that one can receive academic credits for interning at organizations like “B’Tselem,” HaMoked,” and “Baladna” is an utter disgrace to academia, and strengthens the delegitimization campaign against Israel from within.”